You know that a slow computer is frustrating and can be the difference between getting your work done on time or being late to a meeting.
The problem with laptop computers is that they quickly run out of storage space, have low memory, and get bogged down by viruses.
But don’t worry. Keep reading because we’ve got 15 ways to boost your computer’s performance so you can get more done in less time!
This guide will teach you how to speed up your laptop, clean it from viruses, increase its memory capacity and even prevent overheating.
Let’s dive in!
1. Get an SSD
Solid State Drives are the best thing to happen to PC performance since DDR RAM. If you have a laptop or desktop without one, dump it now and buy one. It’ll make your machine feel like it’s brand new, even if it’s years old.
The speed upgrade is immediately noticeable – booting up takes seconds instead of minutes, programs launch faster, files load faster, etc – but installing the drive doesn’t involve anything too technical.
Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, there are plenty of guides online that will walk you through things step-by-step.
2. Clean Out Your Computer
The more junk you have on your computer, the slower runs. This is true for both laptop and desktop computers. If you have a ton of files from years ago on your machine, you can speed up your computer significantly by clearing some space.
3. Uninstall Unused Programs
Just because you downloaded a program doesn’t mean you need it or use it regularly. Most of the time programs “leak” into your startup menu without you even realizing it – they set themselves to launch automatically when Windows boots up, slowing down your PC in the process.
Luckily, various software solutions help remove unnecessary apps – all you need to do is download them and run them; if an app appears on the list, uninstall it (even foreign ones).
4. Stop Using Visual Effects
All those cool 3D effects might look good on your new Lenovo gaming laptop, but they’re killing it. The more visual effects you use, the slower and less responsive your PC becomes.
5. Clean Out Your Startup Menu
There’s a lot of stuff that can launch automatically when Windows boots up – most of which you don’t need. Fortunately, there are programs out there that tell you what launches on startup so you can disable them as necessary (i.e., if something doesn’t seem useful to you, remove it from the list).
You should then download CCleaner and go through the startup menu with it to remove items you think are unnecessary.
6. Update Your Virus Scanner
Spyware, viruses, etc are always evolving, so keep your antivirus program updated or you could be infected without realizing it. You wouldn’t leave your email inbox open for months on end – don’t let your computer do the same either.
If you’re not sure whether your anti-virus program is up to date, check its settings and look for an auto-update feature that downloads new virus definitions every day/week/month. If it has one, turn it on!
7. Turn Off Windows Aero / Glare Effects
Windows 7 users have a neat visual effect called “Aero” which can slow down your computer. There’s a way to disable it but you might as well just turn it off from the get-go – your machine will thank you for that.
8. Upgrade Your RAM
RAM is the place where your computer holds temporary files while it works with them. If you have a ton of apps open and a few programs running at once, there won’t be enough RAM available for everything, resulting in slow performance.
To solve this problem, simply upgrade your RAM to more than what your computer came with (for instance, if 4GB was installed when you bought it, buy 8GB). In most cases, laptops come with one stick of RAM so upgrading isn’t too difficult.
9. Enable Virtualization Technology
Virtualization is when your computer creates virtual machines created within the real machine. This means that instead of forcing all programs to use just one section of RAM, you’re splitting it up between multiple “virtual” environments.
To turn on virtualization in Windows 7 , go to Control Panel > System & Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > System Properties > Hardware (tab) > Device Manager (button) and click on the “+” sign beside Memory (your option may be different depending on your personal setup).
Under “RAM”, right-click any item with ECC written next to it; select “Properties”. Look for an option called “Enable Virtualisation Technology” or “Enable Intel VT-x”. If it’s there, enable it.
If it isn’t, your computer probably doesn’t support this option so don’t worry!
10. Buy a Solid State Drive
A solid-state drive is just an expanded version of RAM. Instead of being massive and not being able to handle multiple programs/apps at once, the information held on one is more accessible (i.e., you can open up multiple things at once without sacrificing performance).
As far as speed goes, they’re faster than any traditional HDD – hence why they make perfect storage solutions for larger files like video editing projects, etc.
Upgrading laptops with SSDs is relatively easy but reaching these speeds requires some technical know-how (i.e., where to purchase the right part ).
11. Back Up Your Files
Whether it’s your documents, photos, music files, etc – you need to be backing them up regularly. Do yourself a favor and buy an external hard drive or make sure you have enough room on your computer for everything.
This way, if something happens to your machine, you won’t cry over files lost forever!
12. Make Sure You Have Enough Power/Use Power Saving Mode
Ever put on the power-saving mode of any device? If there isn’t much juice left in the battery but there is enough that the light stays green then it will allow you to use most functions of that product while allowing little to no performance loss.
Use this feature when you’re about 30% down the road so you can get the most out of your battery life. Of course, this won’t help if you’re using a desktop though.
13. Close Open Tabs (In Your Browser)
Ever open up 20 tabs simultaneously and then wonder why there is such a huge load time when switching between them? If so, don’t click over to another tab!
Instead, go to File > New Tab and try to limit how many you have open at once. Sure, it may be nice having so much information right in front of you but unless all those websites are offering something useful, it’s best not to waste any bandwidth!
14. Uninstall Useless Programs
Some programs come pre-installed on your computer – take Adobe Reader as an example. You probably won’t need it to read PDF documents/books so why not uninstall the ones you’ll never use?
This way, your computer will have more space for the stuff you want and need!
15. Update Your Drivers
Updating drivers is also a must. For example, if you’re running Windows 7 then updating DirectX can help speed up your laptop. Search something like “windows 7 DirectX update” and click on the first result ( Microsoft’s official website ).
Follow their instructions and see how much of a difference it makes. Other than that, updating outdated software such as Flash Player or Java can greatly increase performance so don’t forget about them either.
Note: Be wary of any third-party updates because they might cause more harm than good!
16. Don’t Overclock Yourself
Most laptops can be overclocked (i.e., when they are pushed beyond their normal limits) but only if the user knows what they’re doing. If you end up pushing your laptop too far, it could end in disaster; slowing everything down to a crawl and potentially frying the internals!
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on how hot your machine is getting when attempting an overclock – if anything starts acting strange then turn off the power immediately!
17. Be Careful With Software Cracks/Hacks
Although sometimes seen as safe alternatives, software cracks and hacks have been known to cause problems with computers. Many of them can change system files and overwrite hardware drivers.
It’s important that you follow the installation instructions to the letter and only do things that your computer is capable of supporting. And as always, use reliable sources for anything you download.
Want More Help Improving Your Laptop Performance?
We hope that you’ve found this blog post helpful and informative. In addition to our tips, we also recommend checking out our blog for more information on how to enhance your laptop performance.
From battery life hacks to protecting your device from viruses, there are a lot of great posts about the latest in technology news!