Guides Laptops

How to Make Your Laptop Faster in 6 Easy Steps

These six ways will speed up almost any laptop so you can work and play much faster than you ever believed.

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If there is one thing that we want out of every laptop we use, it’s speed.  In fact, in my experience, a lot of the time when people want help with their computer it’s because they want to know how to speed up their laptop in Windows 10.

You may be thinking that your laptop is as fast as it will ever run and there is nothing you can do to improve it.  But you would be dead wrong.  While I won’t promise you that your i3 machine will ever run faster than a high-end i7 based PC, there are things you can do to improve the speed and make it plenty fast for what you want to do.

Today, let’s examine six ways you can speed up your laptop so you can get your work done faster and enjoy using your laptop even more.  These aren’t in any particular order, but I guarantee if you implement at least one or two of them, you will notice a boost in performance on your laptop no matter what type of processor you have.

1. Clean Up Your Hard Drive and Defrag

The very first thing you need to do when looking to speed up your laptop is perform a little bit of housekeeping.  Over time, you collect hundreds, if not thousands, of unwanted files and applications.  With all this junking up your hard drive, it is no wonder your machine is slow.  It is forced to search through all this useless data anytime you want to do something.

First, go through your applications and delete anything you no longer need.  After all, why keep any apps running on your system if you are not using them.  That just doesn’t make any sense at all and some of these apps could be slowing down your laptop.

For this purpose we recommend Revo Uninstaller :

  1. Download Revo Uninstaller for free and install it using the downloaded file
  2. Once Revo Uninstaller and in the window find the program you want to uninstall from the list

  1. Double click the program you want to uninstall and click continue if needed
  2. The programs uninstaller Window should pop up after this. Follow the prompts to uninstall the program
  3. After this go back to Revo and follow the prompts to finish uninstalling and look for any leftover files (often programs leave a LOT of extra data behind!)

Once you have removed those old, unwanted apps, it is time to spend some time going through all your files.  Now I know that this part of process is going to take some time.  If you have a lot of files, it could take a while to finish.  That’s okay.  I promise you in the end it will be totally worth it.  Go through all your files and delete anything you no longer need.  Once you have done that, go ahead and organize all your files so everything is nice and neat and you know where you can find everything.

After you complete the file organization step, it is time to defrag your hard drive.  What is that exactly?  Over time, your hard drive becomes fragmented.  What that means is parts of files are stored in multiple spots on your hard drive instead of right next to each other.

This increased the amount of time it takes for your hard drive to access the files slowing down your system in the process.  By running a defrag, you can move those chunks of files together so they are where they are supposed to be.  The end result of this is that your hard drive will have a much easier time locating the file so it will open faster, thus speeding up your computer.

  1. To defrag your harddrive follow the instructions on the Microsoft website

2. Check for Malware and Viruses

Nothing will slow a laptop down faster than just one virus or a few pieces of stray malware.  Once you have cleaned up your hard drive, go ahead and run your antivirus software and let it do a thorough scan of your entire hard drive.  If it finds anything, go ahead and remove it.  When that is complete reboot your machine and then run the scan one more time just to make sure it found everything.  If your virus software has a boot scan, try running that instead, as some viruses can hide from virus software if they have a chance to load.

Next, download and install Malwarebytes.  This software is designed to scan for malware such as spyware and other small apps that can junk up your drive, run in the background and cause your machine to slow down.  Most of these are rather benign, but annoying.  Still, you want to get rid of them.  Let Malwarebytes do its scan and then remove anything that it finds.  When that is complete, give your machine a good reboot and run the scan again to make sure it got everything.

Once that is complete, download and install CCleaner.  This handy piece of software will do its own scans for malware, but it also scans for other things such as registry errors.  Cleaning up the registry is one of the best things you can do if you are looking for a little more speed out of your system.  Once your system doesn’t have to process those old registry entries anymore, it can run much more efficiently.  In the end, that means much more speed for you.

3. Try Other Applications

Some applications use more resources than others, even if they do the exact same thing.  For example, Chrome may be the number one browser, but is a notorious resource hog.  This can result in a much slower system for you.  Instead, try installing and using Firefox or stick with Edge if you are on Windows 10.  This is only one example, there are many more out there.

I admit, this will take a bit of experimentation on your part to find the right software for your system, but if you are really looking to get as much speed as possible on your system, it will be worth it in the end.  Sure you may have to run some alternative applications, but for anyone looking for fast, this could be an easy answer without having to invest one dime into their laptop.

4. Check Your Power Settings

In today’s modern power settings, laptops are pretty damn smart.  Today you have the ability to not only set when the computer sleeps and wakes up, but you can also determine how much power you are using.  Processors have the ability to speed up and slow down based on your power settings, but if you have these set incorrectly, your machine could be running much slower than you hoped.

Check your power settings and make sure your processor is set to either automatically speed up when it is needed or turn off any of the lower power mode settings that back off the speed and basically slow your machine down.  Sure, running these settings will help you save power and precious battery life, but if speed is what you are looking for you don’t have time to deal with low power modes.

5. Add More Memory

One of the easiest and most affordable upgrade options available to you is memory upgrades.  By adding a few extra gigabytes of RAM to your laptop, you can really increase the amount of apps it can store in memory at once, thus speeding up the overall processing time of your computer.  You will have to check to make sure you can add memory to your laptop before you run out and make a purchase, however.  In many cases, you will only be able to add so much.  I recommend maxing out the system memory of your laptop if you can that way you can store as much as possible in its memory while you work.

6. Add an SSD

Solid State drives are some of the fastest storage media out there today.  While they aren’t as large as a traditional hard drive, they are lightning fast and will make your old hard drive seem like a dinosaur.  It is possible to find some rather large ones, but you will pay for them.  I recommend using a 256GB SSD in your laptop and keep your old hard drive as a secondary internal drive if there is space in your laptop or purchasing a case to transform it into an external drive for storage.  Between that drive and the cloud, you shouldn’t run into too many problems with storage.

Final Thoughts

There you have it.  This list should cover just about everything for a variety of budgets so you can improve the performance of your laptop.  Some of these can actually be done at no other cost other than your time.  Remember, before you go out and invest any money in your laptop, perform the free options that you can do to the software so you know exactly where you stand in the speed arena.  Once you have done that, then it is time to get out your wallet and invest a little money in your favorite tool and toy.

Speeding up your laptop is always a good thing.  It will help you get more done and it could even extend the life of your laptop, delaying the time before you simply must upgrade for something a little more modern.  So why not give these tweaks a try and see what it does for your laptop?  You could find that it breathes new life into your laptop when your computer begins to run like it did the very first day you brought it home or, in some cases, even better than that first day.

So what are your results?  If you tried these please let me know by commenting below.  I would love to hear your experience and how these tweaks helped, or even didn’t help, your particular laptop.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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