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Speeding Up a Slow Laptop

Is your old computer starting to run slow? Even a new computer can be surprisingly slow depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Simple upgrades can significantly increase the speed of a laptop whether it be hardware or software-wise. Here are some ways you can speed it up.

Increasing the Memory

If you just installed a new program and your laptop is slow while it’s running, you may need to check the requirements of the software because the laptop may be lacking the processing power to run the program properly. if you have a spare slot for another RAM stick, you may double or even triple the memory and you will see a big difference in the way applications are opened and working.

Another way to see if you can increase the memory that is being used is to go to the task manager to see how much of the memory is actually being used. There are some programs that run in the background without you knowing and using up the precious memory you need to run other programs. Getting rid of unwanted software may just fix the speed issues you are having without needing to purchase or upgrade the RAM.

Upgrading the Hard Drive

Older laptops tend to slow down over time due to their parts, especially the hard drive because it’s one of the parts that has to work hard to do what it does. The hard drive is where all the data is stored so you can understand how much it’s being used because the different types of data is being accessed all the time. Modern computers usually come with the fastest, most recent form of these drives so upgrading the drive might not be possible. Upgrading the drive on an older laptop can drastically increase the data accessing power and you will definitely see a difference with this simple upgrade.

Another thing to note is the how much storage space you have left. If a disk is near its capacity, freeing up space like getting rid of software that isn’t being used or taking up space can help alleviate the slowness of running programs or accessing files.

Uninstalling Unused Software

Have you recently purchased a new computer in hopes to replace that slow old laptop? Even new computers can seem like there’s not much difference from your last computer. The usual culprit for this reason is bloatware. Bloatware is the pre-loaded software that is installed on your computer, so when you first turn on your laptop, you may see a lot of applications already sitting on the desktop. There may be tools, games and widgets that you’d never use. These third-party programs are basically similar to how ad revenue works and is one of the ways that manufacturers keep prices down to appeal to the consumer. Some of these programs will be running in the background that you won’t notice and take up space on your hard drive which can slow down the laptop. By uninstalling these applications can speed up your computer and even increase battery life.

If you use your laptop for just surfing the internet and are wondering why the computer is running slow for such a simple action, having too many tabs open in your browser is another source of a slowdown in speed. You may think they’re just open websites but these tabs use up a lot of memory by keeping them open. By checking the task manager, you might notice that the one browser you have open is using up most of the resources of the computer.

After restarting your computer, loading up an operating system can take forever and may be due to the computer updating itself. Simply just having the patience to let the updates finish can bring the laptop back up to speed.

Checking for Viruses and Malware

After seeing a system crash or “blue screen of death”, you might think that some hardware part went bad or you’re getting an operating system error after restarting and experiencing a sluggish computer. Sometimes the sad reality is that you may have been victim to a virus or malware attack. Having a good anti-virus program can protect you from these attacks but some advanced viruses might be able to bypass them. Running a scan yourself may fix the issue, but if it persists, it may be better to take it to a professional that can figure out if it really is a hardware or operating system issue or if you have a virus.


The speed of a computer highly depends on a number of things and age is definitely one of the things to consider when running a new, more recently released program. The computer can simply just not be able to support the program because it doesn’t meet the hardware requirements even after upgrades. Even operating system versions can also be a culprit, especially on older Apple operating systems. If it’s an overall speed issue running simple tasks, these upgrades may be the best for you.

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