8 Free yet Effective Ways to Speed up Your Laptop (Windows based)
Sure, upgrading hardware is a proven way to speed up a laptop — it is without cost!
Besides the price you'll need to pay to get the physical hardware, e.g. an extra 4GB RAM (random-access memory), a large volume HDD (hard disk drive), or even a more advanced SSD (solid-state drive); a lot of time and energy are also required to install them correctly. Done incorrectly, you could be wasting money, and your laptop would perform slowly as usual.
Today, I want to share with you the best tips to speed up a laptop for free — without spending a cent adding new hardware or sending your computer to a technician.
Let's get started.
1. Be more organized
Your computer is like a man. A person is more likely to be productive if he/she is more organized in handling things. The same principle goes with a computer. The more organized all tasks are, it's going to run more dynamically. How to make your laptop more organized? Start with clearing up the desktop, remove useless folders and files, get rid of shortcuts you don't often use.
2. Less auto start up programs
Any laptops with Windows OS can slow down if it has to load additional programs when Windows boots. The trick is often caused by third-party applications that add themselves to the auto start-up list, especially when your laptop is brand new — it's likely that the manufacturer has pre-installed some bloatware. So you get the point, try disabling or removing these useless autoloaders. For Windows 7 or older, use MSconfig. For Windows 8 and 10, turn to Task Manager.
3. Know your laptop and less multitasking
Usually, a laptop computer is designed to meet your basic demands such as Internet surfing, documenting, communication, etc. If you use it for gaming, you are actually torturing it and its life will end sooner. Another important thing you should keep in mind is the more programs you run at the same time, the more slowdowns you're going to get. Fair enough, avoid multitasking to the best you can.
4. Clean up hard drive
Generally speaking, 10-15% free space is required for a computer to perform well. That means if your laptop hard drive has been 85% full or more, it's going to affect your using experience. How to clean it up? A few tricks like uninstalling unused applications, transferring large files, removing duplicates and junks will help free a decent amount of space.
If you don't want to do these manually, a handy program like CleanMyPC also works great. It tends to find more junks with its deep cleaning functions.
5. Disable fancy but useless features
For example, if your laptop is with Windows 7 or Vista, there is a feature called Aero — a technology aims to improve the esthetic look of your screen. In fact, it's not necessary because it'll consume a bit system resources thus slow you down. For Windows 8 and 10, the Visual Effects will also make your laptop sluggish if it's not with advanced hardware configuration. Learn how to optimize it here.
6. Update dated third-party programs
If your laptop freezes when you open a specific application, chances are the program not up-to-date. Check the program's official website to see if there is a newer version available. For example, my laptop ran very slow on Photoshop CS4, and once I updated to latest CS6, it's much better. In the meantime, a more updated version of software tends to be more secure.
7. Get rid of Adware
Adware are pop-up ads that flying around when you surf the Internet via a web browser (such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc). If your laptop is slow only when you are browsing the web, beware that Adware might have got you. Additionally, Adware might also damage your computer and invade your private data by building their keyloggers and spyware into the auto-downloadable program you install. To scan and remove Adware, I always use BitDefender Antivirus Plus.
8. Restart more often
Though it may sound silly, restarting your laptop is often the easiest yet most efficient way to speed things up. All buffers and holding processes will be cleared and reset after a system reboot. Also, if you don't use your laptop, instead of quickly folding it, shutting it down and let it take a breath. These are eight favorite tips I use on a regular basis to keep my laptop clean and fast. Are there any other methods to speed up my laptop? I am sure there are. Also, depending on the particular situation your laptop is experiencing, the fixes can be different as well. I hope you like the tips I've shared above. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think?
Thanks to Melinda for submitting the issue:
"I am currently using a laptop computer with Windows 7 home basic operating system. I am a computer novice and use the laptop to surf the net, make documents, chat with friends, play music (on iTunes) and occasionally for playing games online. Recently the computer is running extremely slow. How can speed up my laptop for free (without paying a cent to upgrade hardware or buy a new PC)?" — Melinda