HP Laptop Running Slow? 4 Ways to Speed It Up

Last updated: Aug. 3, 2017

Like any other PCs, HP laptops can perform slowly, too -- especially when they're showing their age.

If your HP is running much slower on Windows 10 than it should, consider the following fixes we're going to show you.

Note: sometimes a computer may slow down for no good reason, a simple restart would often resolve the issue. We assume you've already done that.

In this article, we'll first explore the reasons why an HP laptop may be slow, then share a few effective ways and tips to speed it up.

The fixes and tips introduced in this post should apply to all HP laptop models including Envy 13/15/17, Pavilion 15/17, Spectre, and Stream Notebook as long as it's running Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, or latest Windows 10.

Why is my HP laptop so slow?

All Windows-based PCs can get clogged up with junk files, unused applications, and face many other kinds of common system problems. All these can lead to performance issues with various symptoms, e.g. slowdowns, hangs, lags, just to name a few.

The reasons vary from case to case, but they all should fall into three categories in general:

  • Hardware issues: not enough RAM, hard drive failing, outdated CPU, lack of storage space, etc.
  • Software issues: malware/adware infection, Windows registry errors, poorly designed third-party applications, etc.
  • Bad using behaviors: running too many apps at once, playing large video games, doing heavy video editing projects, using your notebook in bed, etc.

While it's hard to figure out the real culprits without a thorough diagnosis, here are some general fixes (and tips) that should help you identify and fix the problem.

1. Check viruses, malware, or adware

Without surprise, virus and malware are often the top concern when it comes to PC issues. They can cause serious damage such as crash your computer, as well as do smaller damage like slowing down your PC performance, collecting private information, compromising security, or causing data loss, etc.

To find out whether your machine has been caught by virus or malware, we recommend you run a full scan with Norton Security — one of the best antivirus software in the world as of 2017. A good alternative is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.

Adware or spyware, on the other hand, can also bog down your PC, especially when you are surfing the Internet via a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). Adware is able to inject flash ads or redirect search queries to spammy advertising websites, often without your awareness. To check and remove this kind of malicious software, use SpyHunter 4 or Webroot Internet Security.

2. Clean up your HP hard drive

It's a common myth that emptying disk space will speed up computers (source) as there is no scientific data to back it up. However, in our experience, having more storage space often makes a PC (and Mac) run better, as least we feel so.

You can't solve all performance problems just by using some magic utility, but cleaning up the hard drive won't go wrong. Plus, a cleaner PC is also productivity booster as it helps find wanted files faster, and the users be more organized.

There's no better tool for the job than CleanMyPC - like its name indicates, it's a program designed to clean all the junk and unnecessary files, optimize startup items, remove system plugins, and more.

3. Diagnose Windows system & registry issues

First of all, get rid of those bloatware (pre-installed applications on a new computer) and processes that often slow down startup on Windows 10.

According to this finding on how much bloatware slows down a PC from ComputerWorld, it says "computers that are free of third-party software...on average, start up 104% faster, shut down 35% faster and have 28 minutes more battery life than the same laptops with bloatware."

You can manually locate those bloatware by taking a look at your program list and uninstall them one by one, or let CleanMyPC do it for efficiency.

Next, check if your computer has Windows registry problems and other type of system issues. Unfortunately, the process isn't as easy as it sounds because you need some advanced tech knowledge. Thus we recommend using RegCure Pro to scan and fix all these errors in one time.

Also, don't forget to implement Windows Updates on your PC, especially if you're under Windows 10. Always keep those software you regularly use up-to-date, this helps avoid application freezing issues.

Updating is often ignored by simply clicking "remind me later," but it's by no means a smart decision. To fix that, you can check or enable auto updates by going to This PC > Settings > Updates & Security.

Update settings in Windows 10

4. Upgrade hardware

This may seem a no-brainer option, but it's probably the most effective way to speed up your notebook if your computer has been used for several years. The hard drive could die out anytime, and the RAM might be a bottleneck to run large programs.

If so, consider adding more memory or replace the old HDD (hard disk drive) with an SSD (solid state drive). Yes, those upgrades are extra cost. However, they are still cheaper than buying a new PC, or switching to Mac if you're tired of living in the Microsoft world 🙂

For HP laptop-compatible SSD upgrades, HP C SSD 2AP99AAABL 512GB is the best choice. You may also consider Samsung 850 EVO 500GB or Crucial MX300 525GB.

For HP laptop-compatible RAM (memory) upgradesCrucial 8GB Kit is a great choice. If you're short on budget, go for Kingston Technology 4GB.

Pro tip: watch this video before you open your laptop's mainframe.

Other fixes (and tips):

  • Don't multitask — close applications you no longer use. While you are browsing the Internet, avoid opening too many tabs at once. Websites floated with ads and flash tend to over-use your system resources quickly.
  • Get a cooling pad for your laptop (see HAVIT HV-F2056 on Amazon). This helps prevent the machine fan from overheating.
  • Most HP computers are not designed for gaming or photo/video editing. Get to know your device's limit before you run any large third-party programs.
  • Try not use the laptop on your lap, in bed, or on any soft surfaces because that's not good for the fan to vent. Also, consider elevating your machine with a laptop stand like Rain Design mStand.

That wraps up this article, I hope you find those fixing tips useful. Do you have another good tip? Share with us below.

Cover image credit to ​Flickr.

Jessica Carrell

Jessica is the content manager at AnySoftwareTools. She is a lover of photography, technology, teaching, and learning. Recently she's keen on following news related to tech giants and SaaS startups in bay area.

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