Why Is My Laptop So Slow? And How To Fix It

Every machine loses its efficiency over time, and your laptop is no exception. Unnecessary downloads, bulks of temporary files, Malware, and outdated operating systems are the biggest culprits when it comes to why your laptop is running slow. Read a more detailed article about how to speed up your computer.

But with a bit of maintenance and upkeep, you can keep your laptop optimized and efficient. Before we get into what slows down your laptop and how to improve it, take a look at how you can improve your computer’s speed.

Why Is My Laptop Running Slow?

Laptops are more fragile compared to their computer counterparts. However stacked a laptop may be on hardware, it’s still much more fragile than a computer CPU. And that’s why your laptop is more vulnerable to speed issues.

You don’t need to be a tech geek to keep your laptop optimized. We’ll start with the simplest of checks and solutions to find the perfect fix. So, here are the usual suspects for what kills your laptop’s speed:

  • Unnecessary “Wake” Time
  • Over-Personalization
  • Outdated Specs
  • Viruses And Malware
  • Running Out Of Disk Space
  • RAM Issue

How To Get Rid Of Laptop Running Slow?

Knowing what slows your laptop is one-half of the problem. You need to know a fix for improving things as well. Don’t stress it out if you don’t already; we’ve prepared a brief overlook of the problems and how to solve them. So stay tuned till the end. You never know what might work for you!

1. Unnecessary Wake Time:

Laptops are the number one victims of overworking. You don’t always shut them down. Instead, you close the lid on whatever work you’re in the middle of and hope to resume from the same screen when you log back in.
“Sleep” is, without a doubt, the best feature a laptop has. But overdoing it has its cons as well.

Like a computer, your laptop needs to shut down properly to set things into balance and give the components a break. “Sleep” barely gives your laptop the rest it needs. It slows down the processing power but never really calls off activity.

This continuous usage of processing power eventually makes your laptop’s components weaker. The processor, hard disk, RAM, and even the cooling system takes a toll due to constant usage.

Your best shot at avoiding this problem is to ensure you shut down your laptop when you don’t exactly need it. Avoid the unnecessary idling of your machine too frequently. Even better if you schedule an automatic shutdown at some time during the night.

2. Over-Personalization

What’s the first thing you do when you get a new laptop? You look into the latest app releases, aesthetic themes and activate all features to personalize them. And why not? What’s better than a personalized unit that has everything you need at a click’s distance?

However, over-personalization is a speed killer. More often than not, we end up going the extra mile in personalization. We tend to download apps, install themes, and activate many more features than we need.

All this personalization takes up disk space and processing power! The more you add, the tighter you choke your laptop’s speed.

There isn’t a one-fits-all rule for personalizing your laptop. But you should know when you’re overdoing it. The easiest check to make here is by looking up your app history.

For Windows 10, start the “Task Manager” and click on the “App History” tab to check app activity. You’ll see a list of the programs and features along with their CPU Time, Network, Metered Network, and Tile Updates.

task-manager

Click on “CPU Time” to arrange the apps according to their CPU usage. You’ll see a bunch of programs taking up free space that you don’t have a daily use for. Get rid of as many apps and features from the bottom of the list as you can.

3. Outdated Specs:

The operating system and programs of your laptop require constant updates. The manufacturers release updates every few weeks or so to sort out bugs and overcome any security lapses.

Now the mistake most of us make is turning those important updates off. Yes, it can be a real pain to use up extra data (if you’re on a limited plan) and sit idle waiting for your laptop to complete the updates, but it is necessary.

If you’ve turned off the updates for your laptop for over a year, chances are it might be the reason for your laptop running slow. After all, you’re running on an OS and programs over a year old and are in no way optimized for today’s use.

To check up on your laptop’s updates, type in “Windows Update Settings” in the menu and click the system settings icon that pops up. You can check for new at the top of the newly opened Window.

windows-update

Also, you can “Resume” updates if you’ve paused them before. Moreover, you can change when your laptop restarts for an update and whether or not to receive updates for other Microsoft products through “Advanced Settings.”

4. Viruses And Malware:

Viruses and Malware mainly corrupt your laptop through unsecured downloads or unsupervised docking. Both of which are very common for a laptop user.

Being a laptop owner, you exchange data through USBs and downloads much more frequently. And that’s where you should keep your head up. Any malware that infiltrates your firewall will keep running in the background and suck in most of the processing power.

To steer clear from the threat of viruses and Malware, installing a licensed antivirus program is a must. It doesn’t come free but is well worth the cost for the security and efficiency it gives you.

To use the Windows inbuilt antivirus, type “Virus and Threat Protection” in the startup menu and click on the “System Settings” icon. You can run a “Quick Scan” to check your laptop’s current health.

anti-virus

For advanced settings, click on “Manage Settings” and check all four boxes available. This will turn on the Windows Real-Time Protection, Cloud-delivered Protection, Automatic Sample Submission, and Tamper Protection.

5. Running Out Of Disk Space:

Low disk space may be another reason why your laptop is running slow. Your laptop needs at least 20% of free disk space to run the SWAP file when RAM clocks out. And if it isn’t there, it is likely to freeze and slow down.

Check your current storage stats by click on “This PC” after opening the file explorer. If the marker on your folder/folders is red, you need to free up some space. You can free up storage space in the following three ways:

6. Organizing Downloads:

The downloads folder on your computer usually takes up most of the space. Movies, installation files, pictures, music, and work files are all laid scattered in it.

Start organizing the folder by moving files to their respective folders. I.e., photos to “Pictures,” work files to “Documents,” etc.

Once you’ve organized the data you need, you can delete the rest that stays.

7. Uninstall Programs:

Too many installed programs affect your laptop’s speed in more ways than one. Some applications may automatically run at start-up, slowing boot time. While others run in the background, even when closed from the top of the Window.

To delete programs and applications that you no longer need, type “Control Panel” in the menu and click on the “App” icon. Under the “Programs and Features” heading, click “Uninstall A Program.”

From the list of the installed apps, select the ones you don’t need or what you can work without, and click on the “Uninstall” icon the appears above the list.

8. Defragmentation:

Deleting large chunks of data from your hard drive doesn’t leave all empty spaces. It leaves a fragmented memory for your laptop to work on.

It prevents your system from storing data orderly. Instead, it stores and accesses data from the fragments left behind, making your laptop run slow.

To solve this issue, type “Defragment And Optimize Drives” and click the “App” icon that appears.

disk-defragmentation

On the Window that pops up, select the drive you want to defragment and click on “Optimize.”

9. RAM Issues:

RAM is the temporary memory used by your laptop to read or receive data instantly. Hence, it is named the Random-Access Memory. Less or overused RAM too may be one of the reasons why your laptop is running slow.

Ideally, anything above 4GBs of Ram is optimum for speed and performance. But, if you’re running high-end software for graphic designing or gaming, you may need more. Other than that, too many apps running simultaneously or in the background use up RAM and compromises speed.

To check your current RAM usage and capacity, start the Task Manager and sort the running apps by “Memory.”

task-manager

Here, you can select the programs using most of the Ram and that are unnecessary and click “End Task” at the Window’s bottom right.

For even better speed and performance, consider upgrading your RAM. Replacing RAM on a laptop isn’t as easy as on a computer. But it is much convenient to have more RAM space rather than constantly closing apps to improve your laptop’s speed.

Conclusion:

Laptops get rusty and dusty like any other electronics. The only reason it’s more fragile is because of the compact installation of hardware, which makes cleanup and maintenance a dread of a task.

But with the above tips and tricks, you can keep your laptop optimized and efficient for well beyond its age. The daily analysis and optimization of the software on your laptop play an important role in the overall longevity of your machine.

Mohammad Ibrahim
Ibrahim is a passionate writer and tech-savvy. His craving for the latest tech releases and news, combined with a charm to put sentences together, strives for more than just viewer engagement.

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