How to fix a super slow laptop (7 easy tips)
If your Windows laptop isn’t as fast as it used to be, there are lots of ways you can get it working like new. It could have been infected with malware, or you might have an outdated operating system.
Also, there might be too many startup programs or too many temporary files. If you have an older laptop, you might have to replace your hard drive or memory cards.
1. Quit running too many programs in the background
If your laptop is slow, one of the easiest things you can do is close as many programs as possible. However, there are some programs that continue to run in the background even after you close them. These programs can eat up your processing power, which can slow your laptop down.
The fix: You can use Windows Task Manager to close programs running in the background. To do this, hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard and select Task Manager. Then make sure to click More details in the bottom-left corner. This lets you see which programs are using up your computer’s CPU, memory, and more.
2. You have too many startup programs
You might also have too many programs opening when you start your computer. Some of these programs will request permission to run when you boot your computer so that you will use them more often. However, there are some programs that will automatically run every time you turn on your computer without ever requesting permission.
The fix: To find out which programs are set to run when you boot your laptop, go to the Startup tab at the top of the Task Manager window. Here, you will see the application name, status, and its startup impact.
3. Your operating system is outdated
If you haven’t updated your OS (operating system) in a while, you might be missing out on new driver updates and software patches. This can slow your laptop down and leave you unprotected from security vulnerabilities that hackers use to infect your computer.
Typically, Windows rolls out major feature updates twice a year. On the other hand, patches for improving security and fixing bugs are released monthly. If your laptop seems to be running slower than usual, make sure that your system is up to date.
4. Your laptop has a virus
If you are seeing pop-up ads on your laptop or programs are randomly crashing, your computer might be infected with malware (malicious software). Your computer can get infected when you open emails from unknown senders or download files from suspicious websites.
There are different kinds of malware that can cause your laptop to slow down for various reasons. Some malware can infect your laptop’s memory and spread to other programs and files on your computer. Hackers also use malware to steal your personal information, such as your bank details or home address.
5. Fragmented files
Whenever you create, delete, or edit a file on your computer, some of that data becomes fragmented. That means pieces of files are stored in various parts of your hard drive. Over time, this can cause your laptop to slow down because your drive has to jump around to find each piece of data.
In order to consolidate and organize the data on your drives, you can defragment your computer. And, while Windows 10 automatically defragments files once a week, you can also do this manually any time you want to.
7. You don’t have enough RAM
Random-access memory (RAM) is temporary storage for your laptop. It keeps all the things your computer needs on stand-by. Then, when the time comes, it can quickly pull the information and hand it over to your processor.
For basic tasks like word processing and surfing the web, you can get away with 2-4 GB of RAM. However, for multi-tasking or graphics-intensive programs, you might need 8-16 GB of RAM or more. While adding more RAM will not always speed up your laptop, you do need to have more than the minimum amount of RAM for certain programs to run properly.