Does your laptop feel sluggish? Try these 9 things before you give up

Is your laptop acting sluggishly? Do you have to wait five minutes for the laptop to start after restarting it? Even if you only have a half-dozen tabs open, do you find it difficult to transition between them?

You might be tempted to get a new laptop because your current one is slow and bothersome, but before you do, try these ideas. Improving the performance of your old laptop can extend its life and keep it out of the landfill for several years.

Restart your PC

Have you tried switching it on and off?

There’s a reason it’s a cliche. This method is, if anything, much more applicable today. A modern laptop is reliable and can be put into a power-saving sleep mode. Unless you’re installing a Windows update or troubleshooting, there’s no reason to turn it off.

It’s worth a shot. Use the power button to shut down the laptop and then turn it back on. It only takes a minute to complete.

Clean startup applications

When your laptop boots into Windows, a fresh start also allows you to view which applications are launched. Many programs are designed to start when Windows starts up, and they tend to accumulate over time. A laptop might be slowed down by a slew of starting programs.

By visiting the Settings app in Windows 10, you may clear up your startup applications. Select Apps from the drop-down menu, then click Start. A list of apps that launch upon startup will appear. You can enable or disable each app using the toggles next to it. Windows even provides an estimate of how much they affect boot times (though in my experience, this estimate hasn’t proven to be true).



Check your Internet connection

Most of the things you do on your laptop will almost certainly require an Internet connection. A stable connection is required for web browsing, Netflix streaming, and online gaming. A sluggish Internet connection can stifle performance.

You can use a speed test tool like to evaluate your Internet connection. Repeat the test numerous times while keeping track of your ping time, download speed, and upload speed. With download and upload speeds exceeding 10Mbps, you should notice a ping time in the single digits.

Take note of large variations in performance from one test to the next. This is a hint that your Internet connection is functional but unreliable.

Free up RAM

The random access memory, or RAM, on your laptop is its short-term memory. It keeps track of all running apps as well as the data they require. When a laptop runs out of RAM, it must instead access data from the hard drive, which takes longer even with contemporary solid-state drives.

With Task Manager, you can see what apps are running and how much RAM they need. This may be accessed using Windows Search or by pressing Control + Alt + Delete on your keyboard and selecting Task Manager from the pop-up menu.

A list of active programmes will appear in Task Manager. To view how much RAM each programme is using, go to More Detail. Select any applications that appear to be consuming a lot of memory and press End Task to terminate them. Be aware that this closes the app fully (and instantaneously), and you may lose any saved data.

Using Task Manager to free up RAM is a band-aid solution. It can help you find RAM hogs, but the programmes you have open were probably there for a reason. Still, while you look for alternative apps that utilise less memory or plan a RAM update, this will suffice.


Free up space on your hard drive

Your hard disc is your laptop’s long-term memory, and it, too, can cause issues if it’s full. Of course, you won’t be able to install new applications, and you might feel down in the dumps. This occurs because many software, including Windows itself, require a small amount of storage space for temporary files.

Open Windows Settings, pick System, and then Storage to check your laptop’s storage. A bar graph will appear in Windows that shows how much storage is being used. If your hard drive is overly full, the bar will turn red.

A list of how your storage is used is also available from this option. Apps, temporary files, video, music, OneDrive files, and other items go into this category. You may choose each to see a breakdown of what’s eating up space as well as start deleting programmes or emptying temporary storage. Because programmes and features take up the most space, going through that section and removing huge apps is the most efficient approach to clear up space.

The Windows Storage menu, on the other hand, isn’t flawless. If it fails to detect programmes, they will be listed under Other rather than Apps & Features. Make sure you double-check both.


Run Windows Update

By updating your laptop’s drivers or installing a new version of Windows that fixes flaws reported in prior versions, Windows Update may enhance performance.

By default, your laptop should run Windows Update on a regular basis, so you won’t have to install any updates. However, you may have pushed off your updates or turned off the feature entirely. After getting tired of Windows Update’s constant notifications, many people do this.

By going to the Windows Settings menu and selecting Updates & Security, you may run Windows Update. This will immediately launch Windows Update. Updates that haven’t been installed yet should be downloaded and installed now. To complete installation, most updates require a restart of the laptop.

Reset Windows

Is your laptop still running at a snail’s pace? It’s time to pull out of orbit and destroy the place.

Although resetting Windows is a drastic measure, it usually resolves performance difficulties. You’re effectively restoring the laptop back to factory defaults. This can fix performance issues caused by applications, Windows configurations, and device drivers.

The specifics can be found in our guide to resetting Windows. Fortunately, the steps are simple to follow. Select Updates & Security, then Recovery from the Windows Settings app. The option to Reset this PC is located at the top of the menu. Get started by pressing the Get Started button and following the on-screen instructions.


Upgrade your laptop’s RAM

Is your laptop still running slowly? It’s possible that a hardware update is your only option.

RAM expansion will improve sluggish performance caused by a lack of RAM. While you can free up RAM by closing programmes, as previously mentioned, the best long-term option is to increase more RAM.

This isn’t always doable, however. Modern computers may permanently lock RAM to the mainboard or seal the laptop in such a way that upgrading it without specific tools is difficult or impossible.


Upgrade to a solid state drive

Although most modern laptops come with a solid state drive, some recent versions did include a mechanical spinning disc, usually known as a hard disc drive or HDD. Disk drives provide a large amount of storage for a reasonable price, but they are significantly slower than solid state drives. Every time you access data from the hard disc, you’ll have to wait.

Not every laptop, like RAM, is designed to allow for a user hard drive update. Laptops that came with a hard disc drive, on the other hand, are likely to support an upgrade. For more information, check your laptop’s handbook.

Is your laptop still sluggish? It might be time to replace it.

Hopefully, these suggestions may assist you in resolving your laptop’s performance issues. If not, it’s time to think about getting a new laptop. Our laptop reviews will help you choose the best laptop for you.

We also have some ideas for repurposing an outdated laptop. Remember, don’t just throw it in the trash! Laptops contain hazardous ingredients, and the lithium-ion battery might catch fire if it is damaged. Dropping off a laptop at a local recycling facility or contacting the manufacturer are both options for recycling a laptop at no cost to you.





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