How to Speed up a Slow HP Laptop

Like any computer, your HP laptop will run slowly over time — especially when it’s showing its age. But if you are using a brand new HP laptop and it starts to lag, slow to boot up, and freezes now and then, something is definitely wrong out there.

In this article, you are going to learn the possible reasons behind a slow HP laptop, along with a few fixes and strategies on how to make your HP laptop faster again.

Note: we assume that you’ve already tried restarting your computer, which is often the quick fix for many PC issues. So we’ll go through the potential causes, followed by solutions and tips to speed up your HP laptop.

The fixes and tips below should apply to all HP laptop models such as Envy 13/15/17, Pavilion 15/17, Spectre, and Stream Notebook as long as it’s running Microsoft Windows 10 or the latest Windows 11.

Why is My HP Laptop so Slow?

All Windows PCs can get clogged up with junk files, unused applications, and many other types of files and programs. All these may cause performance issues with a variety of symptoms such as slowdowns, hangs, and lags, just to name a few.

Possible reasons for a slow laptop (HP laptops included) vary from case to case, but they all fall into the following three categories:

  • Hardware issues: not enough RAM, hard drive failing, outdated CPU, lack of storage space, etc.
  • Software issues: malware/virus, Windows registry errors, problematic third-party programs, etc.
  • Improper using behaviors: opening too many programs at once, playing large video games, running heavy photo/video editing projects, etc.

How to Make Your HP Laptop Faster

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

If You Are Using a New HP Laptop

Step 1: Wait until Windows Update is Complete

Most new HP notebooks come pre-installed with Microsoft Windows 11 operating system. When Windows is setting up the initial update, your laptop will take a bit longer to boot up. And there doesn’t seem to be an effective way to get around this yet.

Step 2: Remove Auto-Run Programs or Services

Almost all new PCs are pre-loaded with some bloatware, in other words, programs that have been installed by default. However, most likely you will never need them. Even worse, some programs sneak into the startup list and run automatically when your HP boots up.

According to this finding from ComputerWorld on how much bloatware can slow down a PC, 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.”

How to fix that? There are a lot of manual fixes out there, but they either require time or technical skills (or both) to implement properly. If you are a computer person, you’ll be able to sort that out on your own. If you are new to computers, using a PC cleaner program is recommended.

We recommend CleanMyPC. When you launch the app, go to “Autorun” and switch those unneeded apps from “ON > OFF” and you’re good to go.

Note: CleanMyPC is not freeware but offers a free trial.

Furthermore, you can use the program to uninstall unneeded programs in batches, saving time doing so one by one.

That’s pretty much all you can do with a new laptop that’s running slow or freezing constantly. If your HP laptop is still slow after taking these two steps, it’s probably due to hardware issues or using habits.

For example, your HP is loaded with a mechanical hard disk drive (rather than a faster solid-state drive), or your RAM is inadequate. The solution is quite simple but can be costly — upgrade hardware, scroll down to Fix #5 below for more.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Additional Tips section below to get more ideas about how to keep your laptop in good shape.

If You Are Using an Old HP Laptop

1. Check Viruses and Malware

Viruses and malware are unsurprisingly the top concern when it comes to PC performance issues.

They can cause serious damage such as crashing your computer, as well as slowing down PC performance, collecting private information, compromising security, causing data loss, etc.

To find out whether your HP computer has been caught by a virus or malware, you should run an antivirus scan.

Adware or spyware, on the other hand, can also bog down your system performance, especially when you are surfing the Internet. Adware often injects flash ads or redirects search queries to spammy websites, often without your awareness or permission.

2. Clean up Hard Drive

Although it’s a myth that cleaning a disk will speed up a computer, it is our experience that having more disk space often makes a computer perform better.

You can’t solve all performance problems just by using a magic utility, but cleaning up the hard drive won’t go wrong. Plus, a cleaner PC will help boost your personal productivity.

Again, you can manually clean up all kinds of junk and unnecessary files, optimize startup items, remove unneeded programs/plugins, etc, or rely on a PC cleaning tool to do so for efficiency.

How much free storage should you aim to get? According to HP Customer Support:

“Make sure there is at least 15% free space on the hard drive.”

3. Fix Windows Registry

Registry errors can occur, especially when you often install and uninstall third-party programs, some of the information is kept in the registry. They may cause many Windows issues such as, not being able to shut down the system, causing your PC to run slowly, etc.

That’s why you need to check if your HP has Windows registry problems. Unfortunately, the process isn’t as easy as it may sound. Watch this video on how to do it:

4. The “Annoying” Windows Updates

Yeah, I know. I also hate Windows updates. But they are super important if your HP computer is running on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Updating is often ignored by simply clicking “remind me later,” but it’s by no means an intelligent decision. To adjust that, you can check or enable auto-updates by going to This PC > Settings > Updates & Security.

Update settings in Windows 10

5. Upgrade Hardware (SSD, RAM)

This may seem a no-brainer option, but it’s probably the most effective way to speed up an old HP laptop.

The hard drive could corrupt any day, and the RAM might be the bottleneck to running large programs. Consider adding more memory or replacing the old HDD (hard disk drive) with an SSD (solid-state drive).

Yes, a hardware upgrade means extra cost. It’s still cheaper than buying a new PC.

Additional Tips

  • Try not to multitask — always close applications you no longer use. While you are browsing the Internet, avoid opening too many tabs at once.
  • Pay attention to those websites filled with video ads as they tend to overuse your laptop’s system resources and cause HP to warm up and overheat. Consider using an ad blocker extension/plugin.
  • Get a cooling pad for your laptop. This helps prevent your HP laptop fan from running out wild and overheating.
  • Most laptops are not designed for gaming or photo/video editing. It’s best that you get to know your computer’s limit before running any large third-party programs.
  • Try not to use the laptop on your lap, in bed, or on any soft surfaces because that’s not good for the heat to vent. Consider elevating your machine with a laptop stand.

That wraps up this troubleshooting guide. If you have any other questions related to HP laptop running slow, leave a comment below and let us know.

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  • Ant

    I bought a used HP 15-ay127tu. I’ve reloaded windows 10 home with latest updates, fitted it with 448GB SSD, 16GB RAM and loaded the latest Intel drivers. It is stupidly slow to boot. Bios is only 5.4s, but from the welcome screen to desktop ready to use, it takes another 90s. I’ve trimmed back startup programs, tried enable/disable fast start up, disabled Windows Update service and App Readiness Service with no improvement. I’ve used HP’s tools to check for h/ware and MS windows issues and none were found. This laptop just seems inherently slow. My old HP 6200 SFF is booted to the desktop ready to go in 17s, which puts the laptop to shame. I’ve run out of ideas on how to improve it’s performance

  • Andre

    I have been told mine has a problem with the software communicating with hard drive by a local computer guy and he fixes those by cloning and replacing it with an different one. But since have still have 2 warranty on it they have me go through a lot of stuff to fix it over the phone.
    And now I don’t know if they ever going gave me a replacement or my $$$ back. All for ~$600 laptop 2018 provolone 14.

  • Dee

    I got my HP PAVILION Core i3 10th gen
    about two months ago on March 2020
    And it’s either freezing or slow
    it’s slower then me running ????????‍♀️
    I don’t have any idea why and I don’t think that this article/or whatever you wanna call it
    Makes any sense you should make a video
    I need to fix it to do my school work I can’t ruin my last year of High School by not being on zoom on time because it’s slow or when the website freezes for no reason
    And also the Battery runs out fast

    • Dean

      I would say return it if you still can

  • Robin

    I have hp elitbook folio 9470m. It’s too slow for anything. When i Wanna dekstop refresh then it’s take a long time like minimum 30 to 40 sec. And suddenly it’s work stop wifi device. It’s show wifi device not found. When i connect a use hard drive or phone it’s take time long to connect. Anything i can go to open it’s be lac. Even it’s show program is not responsing. What can i do now???? Can i change my ram or processor.

  • Samm Black

    Most places offer a paid & a freeware version of tools to do what you suggested. The fact that you only mentioned items for sale makes me cautious as to whether the solutions are the best option or the sponsored option

  • fvh

    My HP Laptop Intel i5 8Gb RAM and Windows 10 Home 64 is absolutely useless. A total waste of space and money. We bought one for each of us, and they’re both useless.

    • J Massie

      Seems to be the norm. And the advice above, especially “Clean my PC” which charges you but will not run on the HP (virus message) – how incredibly disappointing with this machine. Mine barely runs. And I bought it just a few weeks ago.

  • Cristian

    Thank you!
    I have no time to read all this.
    My Sony Vaio is a rocket after 10 years compare with any HP.

    Never buy HP and you don’t need to lose time to adjust your laptop

  • james

    I bought two HP over a year ago and they both worked great for about a month, the WIFI had problems connecting on both. I got an external WIFI USB and now it connected as soon as I turn it on. I am convince that HP hardware is crap and this is going to be the last HP i will ever own.

  • Beth Coats

    UGH, HELP, my Pavillon got smashed,,, so the culprit replaced it with A NEW HP “laptop” from walmart, I have not transfred anything to it (as in photo’s, documents)but all of these programs show up. I am paralyzed from bra line down, my life is hard with everything and our new digital world… I am biology major and 52yrs old. now I have to depend on lap-top, (still won’t use a flip phone) but I think the processor (isn’t that what speeds it up) may be faster on a new Galaxy smart phone I have had in box for 9months…I will try your instructions. Hopefully that helps, I also have this norton password protector that flashes yellow across the top saying something to the effect of maybe slowing it down, but don’t I need that??

  • Zakia

    I have a new HP laptop and when I turn it on other devices that are being used in the home freezes. The laptop is brand new. It’s so annoying because I cannot use it as it disrupts others in the household. Any suggestions? Is it a faulty laptop? Thanks.

    • Girood Graham

      That’s what u get when buy a cheap n poppy laptop.

  • Jenelyn Antonio

    My loptap is laggy .
    It does not open any windows it only appears black and white .

  • Deeyah

    My HP stream laptop has been running slow lately. When I restart it, I go to open libtaries and right click on any random file,it takes ten minutes for the options to open. And when I try closing d program, it freezes and says “library is not responding”. What should I do to fix this problem. Thank you!

  • Terry R Asbury Jr

    Hi There! I have a HP Pavilion DV7 4273US, still running windows seven.. It Is very slow to Boot up and the first few initial minutes it does run after boot, it runs rather slow. And even after running a little while, it takes about a minute or more sometimes to open open any apps. I need to know what i can upgrade in my computer to have it run faster.. Should i upgrade the Ram Memory OR install a new SDD? Please help!!!!!!!!??????

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Looks like you’re using an old laptop, I would suggest you to do an SSD upgrade if you can afford. That will definitely help speed up the startup time and improve overall performance.

  • Trudi Gardner

    My new HP pavillion has 12 gigs ram etc. It is slower than my old laptops!
    Takes 2 minutes to boot. What has happened to HP?
    Must i stick it in the closet and go back to Asus?
    I’m 80….cant handle the wait time.

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Which operating system (e.g. Windows 7, 8, or 10) is your HP running? Also, how’s the hard drive performing? Do you see lots of auto-run programs when you boot up the machine? Without knowing further details, it’s hard to pinpoint the problems.

  • Jayme Beynon

    I got my hp less than a month ago, and when I first turned it on it was ridiculously slow. I got it because of it’s big hard drive and decent (ish) ram and I can’t even play the only game I have installed. It takes so long for anything to load, even just a Google search. I don’t know what to do

  • Karther

    I got my HP laptop only a few months ago and after about 2 months of use it’s been gradually getting slow. Lately this week it’s been frustratingly sluggish with youtube videos lagging despite having only google chrome running with about 4-6 tabs open and tabs + web pages taking minutes to load. Today couldn’t take it anymore so I had to search for help. I tried your 2nd method of downloading CleanMyPC and it wiped 2GBs of junk of my laptop (I had to buy the program for it to clean everything, only cost $25 but it was worth it) immediately after the process my tabs loaded faster as I went through them and there was no more lag on my youtube videos. Everything seems to be running smoothly as of now. Thank you so much for the advice! 🙂

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Good to know. Thanks for sharing Karther!

  • pruthvesh

    i have hp pavilion 15-077tx laptop . now it’s 3 years old .and getting slow down …i formatted 2-3 times but still it slow … please suggest me solution …no software problem . but heating a lot crossed 79°C . . help me … thank you

  • Samson

    My hp laptla, now runs slow, often shows boot device not found and the fan makes loud noiseoften like its been forced to work