Our Expert Tips on Speeding up Your Slow Laptop

how to speed up an old laptop

Over time you might start to wonder to yourself, "why is my laptop so slow?". This is a common problem with new laptops, just as it is with older ones, it is not even always our fault. Sometimes the manufacturers should take some of the blame.


Luckily, you don't always need to hire a professional to get your laptop back to tip-top shape. With this short guide, you will have all the help you need to get your laptop running faster than when you first bought it.

Why is my laptop running slow?

There are a few reasons that you might find your laptop is running slow. Some of them are unavoidable, like the hardware becoming out of date.


Technology snowballs, what's new and passes as "fast" today are going to be painfully slow by future standards. This could be as soon as 5 years ago. Laptops are notoriously hard to customize the same way a desktop is, but it can still be done.


This is the time when it might be a good idea to start thinking about getting a laptop upgrade.


There are a few reasons that you might find your laptop is running slow.

 

Some of them are unavoidable, like the hardware becoming out of date. Technology snowballs, what's new and passes as "fast" today are going to be painfully slow by future standards. This could be as soon as 5 years ago. 

a custom built - customizable laptop in a see through chassis

A fully open-hardware custom built laptop, reviewed on Tested.

Laptops are notoriously hard to customize the same way a desktop is, but it can still be done. This is the time when it might be a good idea to start thinking about getting an upgrade.

Want a new one instead? We've got you covered.


One of the biggest ways the manufacturers can cause your laptop to run slowly is by filling it with something called bloatware. Bloatware is software that is included but serves no benefit. It is there because the manufacturers got paid to put it there, not because you want it.


Modern laptops come with a huge amount of bloatware, some are harmless but frustrating, some are downright hazardous to your computer.


A good example of one that is harmless is Candy Crush Saga. This game is added on to your windows Laptop by default, even though you don't want it, you will then have to remove it.


FIlling your laptop up with this junk you don't need can lead to your laptop becoming slower over time.

What is bloatware and how to remove it?

One of the biggest ways the manufacturers can cause your laptop to run slowly is by filling it with something called bloatware.


Bloatware is software that is included but serves no benefit. It is there because the manufacturers got paid to put it there, not because you want it. Modern laptops come with a huge amount of bloatware, some are harmless but frustrating, some are downright hazardous to your computer. A good example of one that is harmless is Candy Crush Saga.

bloat software installed on your computer

Make sure you uninstall any bloat software on your laptop.

This game is added on to your windows Laptop by default, even though you don't want it, you will then have to remove it.


FIlling your laptop up with this junk you don't need can lead to your laptop becoming slower over time.


Next, they also often include hazardous bloatware like McAfee antivirus. 


This antivirus is a virus in itself, it tries to remove genuine antivirus software and does nothing to protect your computer. A good way of seeing just how much slower your laptop is running is by going on the task manager.


This can be done by pressing control, alt, and delete together. Then clicking the task manager button. 

high cpu usage in service manager from mcafee antivirus

High CPU usage in task manager from McAfee antivirus.

The task manager will show you how much of your computer's CPU is dedicated to each program.


This can look complicated, but in terms of speed, it is quite simple to understand. You may see that McAfee is using a large percentage of your CPU. If for example, McAfee is using 30%, that means 30% of the focus of your laptop is running this bloatware.


That's why your computer is, in simple terms, running 30% slower than it should be.

Why having the latest update matters:

showing the recent updates for Windows 10

Checking the recent updates on Windows 10.

Sometimes your laptop can start to run more slowly due to being slightly out of date software-wise. This is very easy to remedy and you will see almost immediate improvement.


First, you will want to type updates into the search bar at the bottom left of your screen. 


Then, click "check for updates" and follow the prompts. Once your laptop has updated and restarted, you will hopefully see a noticeable improvement straight away. Overtime old software versions start to make your laptop run slower.


This is in part because this software is slightly out of date. In some cases though, like with Apple products, it is that the manufacturers are intentionally slowing down your laptop so you will feel compelled to buy a new one. 


This is a point of contention with Apple and they are regularly fined by various government bodies.

De-clutter your laptop:

Having a full laptop, especially your desktop, can contribute to it running more slowly. If you are almost at full capacity your laptop has so many more files to work through.


Even something as simple as searching your documents for a specific file can take such a long time because there are just so many files that need to be cross-referenced. Additionally, you may have programs running in the background that you needed at one time but have since stopped using.


Just like when checking to see how much McAfee or other bloatware was affecting your laptop speed, you can follow the same steps to see what other programs are running in the background making your laptop run slower than you would like.


These programs can either be closed or deleted.

Anti-virus keeps you running smoothly:

McAfee may be a fake anti-virus, but there are still some great ones out there. Windows Defender is free to use and works pretty well overall.

 

It can help prevent you from downloading malware that will not only damage your laptop but slow it down drastically. The best way to remove this malware is to uninstall McAfee, type windows defender into the search bar at the bottom left of your taskbar and follow the installation steps.


Keeping your laptop free of malware is one of the best ways to keep your laptop running quickly and safely.

Conclusion:

Hopefully, you now have a good idea about what could be making your laptop so slow. And how to then go about fixing it.


Even older models should run comfortably and quickly, so doing a little spring cleaning of your files might be in order. One of the best ways to do this is by running windows defender and removing any found malware.


If you are not able to fix your slow laptop, you should definitely get a newly released 17-inch laptop.

About the Author Arpad Balogh

I'm a tech geek from Hungary. Latest laptops? I got em. I love testing and breaking things, although most of the time I fail putting them together, but that's another story...

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