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16 Ways to Speed Up Your Laptop Does your aging laptop need a boost? We look at the software and hardware upgrades that will breathe new life into your PC
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Every laptop—even the latest, ultra-fast model—is prone to lag. This can be caused by a number of reasons, from simple fixes like too many different programs running in the background to more serious issues like low RAM or disk space and even a fragmented hard drive.
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Whatever the reason, a slow laptop is the last thing you need when you’re trying to meet a project deadline—which is also quite ironic when many people find their device lagging behind. After all, a busy day often requires several different files, tools, and tabs to be open at the same time, making your laptop struggle to keep up with your tasks.
This can affect not only your stress levels, but also the overall productivity of your business. For example, if an employee works a 7.5-hour day and experiences a five-minute delay in laptop response every hour, that’s nearly 40 minutes a day—and three hours a week—lost waiting for files or programs to load. . Depending on an employee’s hourly wage, this can result in thousands of pounds being lost each year on just one slow laptop.
Although one answer to this problem is to invest in new hardware, this is often considered a rather expensive option – especially for smaller businesses. After all, why invest hundreds of pounds in a new laptop when the problem can easily be fixed for free? To help you make up for lost time, we’ve compiled 16 easy ways to speed up your Windows 10 laptop.
In the course of your computer’s life online, it is very likely that you have downloaded a number of small applications onto it, only to have them run quietly in the background, relatively unnoticed. These small programs, which may have a one-time use, may consume a small amount of food resources. This is perfectly fine if you have one or two, but if you have programs for several years, all consuming small amounts of resources, this can quickly add up.
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Programs like disk cleaners, desktop customization software, and antivirus programs fall into this broad family of forgotten software that affects computer performance, not to mention programs downloaded by younger members of the household. Removing these apps is pretty easy, although Microsoft says you might not even know they’re running.
An easy way to keep track of the chip drainers is to visit your Windows settings and look through the list of installed programs and remove the ones you no longer need. It doesn’t have to be a regular check – once every few months should be enough to keep track of the situation – or make it a habit to delete things as soon as you realize you no longer need them.
Many programs (including some of the utilities mentioned above) are designed to start automatically when Windows starts. Software manufacturers often set their programs to open in the background, out of sight, so they open immediately when their icons are clicked. This is useful for programs you use often, but for programs you rarely or never use, it wastes precious memory and acts as a drag on overall system speed, slowing your computer down from the desktop.
Fortunately, in Windows 10 it’s now easier than ever to adjust which apps can run at startup. Simply go to the Settings menu, click on “Applications” and then on the “Startup” tab; You will see a list of all programs or services that may run at startup, a label that shows the impact on system resources and performance, and a toggle to block or allow startup. Simply turn the switch on any services you don’t want running all the time and you should start to see improvements in performance and startup time.
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Latency affects many devices, not just old computers. This includes new computers, which is often caused by manufacturers pre-installing bloatware on laptops before they are sold. Sometimes this can be in the form of the manufacturer’s own services and software, but it can also include third-party applications that are pre-installed as a result of commercial distribution agreements between software suppliers and the manufacturer. Whether you call it crapware, bloatware, or PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), these unwanted software can affect your computer’s performance.
Like the old tools and programs mentioned above, these services can affect memory and processing power and take up valuable storage space. Some pre-installed programs, such as the Microsoft Office suite or the Dropbox desktop client, may be considered useful additions, but there is a good chance that at least a few of them will exceed your requirements. It’s worth spending some time going through your new laptop to identify any pre-installed apps that may have shipped.
As with unused programs running in the background, malware can often go unnoticed and is more common than you might think. It only takes one click on the wrong email link or download of a small one-time program to infect your computer with malware that often drains your system’s resources.
Cryptocurrency miners are among the most common types of malware affecting computers in 2022 and are designed to operate invisibly and silently drain your computer’s power to mine cryptocurrency for a cybercriminal. Depending on how much power your computer can generate, this type of malware may be more prominent on some computers than others.
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However, removing these types of malware is usually a simple process. There are a number of excellent security packages on the market that are completely free to use and will most likely quickly detect and remove malware. Configuring your computer to run a regular antivirus scan is an effective way to proactively stay on top of cyber threats.
A simple but effective way to make things a little easier is to remove all unused resources. You can do this quite easily with a file scan tool that will tell you if there are older folders or files that you haven’t accessed or used in a while. This can be in the form of older documents or even data stored on your laptop, including temporary files and cookies that can affect your computer’s performance.
There are a number of tools to help you with this. One of the most widely used is CCleaner, developed by Avast, which cleans potentially unwanted files and invalid Windows registry entries from your computer. In 2019, the app made news after hackers managed to breach the company and use the software to spread malware among its customers. Avast claims to have fully recovered from this incident, and today CCleaner remains an incredibly useful tool that we recommend using if you’re new to PC maintenance.
The tool scans your computer’s hard drive for any folders or files that haven’t been accessed in a while. Then, it cleans everything you leave it to, and you look at any issues that might exist in the registry that might be slowing down your computer. The tool also has a tab that allows you to uninstall programs directly through the utility instead of Control Panel, as well as a feature to turn off startup programs and another tab that looks for hidden files that may take up too much space. Lots of storage space.
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You can download and install CCleaner here. Once installed, launch the application. This will open the “Check Status” tab, which will run a full system scan for various issues, but we recommend running a custom cleanup to get a little more detail. In the “Custom Clean” tab, click “Analyze” to scan the selected components, and then click “Run Cleaner” to perform the actual operation. This scans the drive for things like temporary internet files, memory dumps, and more advanced things like cleaning preload data. You can choose which items to scan, such as specific applications or system components. The registry tab can also help you clean up any unnecessary registry entries that may be clogging up your laptop.
You can also use the Tools tab to explore the various other features that CCleaner offers, including disk analysis and application removal. You can also go to CCleaner’s settings menu and turn off update notifications, as this can be annoying if you only plan to use the app every few months.
Old mechanical hard drives can often suffer from fragmentation. This happens when the various bits that make up a complete file are scattered over the physical surface of the drive tray. Because the ride
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