The average laptop only lasts between 3-5 years, but you can improve upon that with proper laptop care.
Few things are more frustrating in modern life than having a slow laptop. Whether you’re using it for work or leisure, laptop speed is a major indicator of the overall condition of your computer. When it all boils down, if you’ve got a slow laptop, you’ve got laptop problems.
So, how can you fix a laptop that’s obviously losing speed?
In this post, we’re going to give you a short guide for fixing some of the most common laptop speed issues. Much of the time, these are solvable problems that are caused by a lack of proper maintenance more than an issue with the computer itself.
Fixing a laptop that isn’t performing will keep it going for longer, but it’ll also keep your blood pressure from spiking while you’re using it. Keep reading and take care of your laptop problems once and for all.
Power Saver Mode
When trying to rectify a slow laptop, it’s best to start with the simplest fixes and work backward to the more intensive ones. Since you’re dealing with a laptop, there’s a really good chance that you’ve turned up “Power Saving Mode” at some point when you unplugged your device.
Having this on reduces the performance of your hardware and your computer tells you as much. Instead, click “Balanced” or “High-Performance” mode and watch your computer speed transform before your eyes. You really only need to save power when you have the laptop unplugged for a long period of time.
The average laptop user isn’t exactly mindful of what programs are running and when. Just because you close programs doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped running. Many apps will keep running in the background, using up your laptop’s memory.
Both Mac and Windows laptops have a “Task Manager” that shows you which programs are running. Once open, you can look at the finer details to see how much memory and CPU each program uses.
Make sure not to close any programs that are necessary to have open, then go through and click “End Task” in Windows or “Force Quit” in MacOS.
A similar issue occurs when your laptop boots up. Certain programs are set to launch when your computer turns on. These are called “startup programs” and when you have too many of them going at once, they can really set your laptop off on the wrong foot.
Again, open Task Manager, but instead of looking at your processes, click on the “Startup” tab. You can enable and disable your startup programs. On Windows, you can even see which startup programs are causing the most trouble under the “Startup Impact” column.
It’s also helpful to close down all programs before you turn your computer off. This way, they won’t attempt to start when you turn it back on.
On both Windows and Mac laptops, you’ll be prompted to install new OS updates when they come out. Many computer owners simply ignore this prompt and go about their business, but there are numerous benefits to regular OS updates.
This often gives you driver updates and new patches that improve the overall performance of your laptop. Not doing the updates can slow your computer down and make you vulnerable to hackers.
Updates typically come 2-3 times a year. To check if there are any updates available on Windows, go to “Settings” and select “Update & Security.” On Mac, go into “System Preferences” and click “Software Update.”
Delete Unused Files
When you’ve had your laptop for a little while, like with our homes, they get cluttered. Chances are, you’ve got all sorts of files hidden in every nook and cranny of your hard disk. You don’t see them, but they’re almost certainly impacting your computer’s performance.
You can perform a disk cleanup to get rid of old, unused files. It’s good practice to take the time each week to go through your hard disk to delete files and folders that you don’t need. Empty your trash can and you’ll restore some of that lost performance.
Uninstall Unused Programs
As with your files, it’s easy to accumulate programs over time. Whether it’s a game that you really wanted to play or an app you used once when you got into photo editing, they need to go if you aren’t using them. Having them sitting there just clogs up your hard drive and slows everything down.
Even programs that you use once in a while might be worth deleting if they’re big enough. You can always reinstall it if you need to use it again.
Uninstalling a program is an easy process. On Windows, go to “Control Panel,” go into “Programs,” and click “Programs and Features.” It’s even easier on a Mac – just right-click on the program you don’t want and delete it.
Scan for Viruses
So far, we’ve only discussed regular maintenance you can do to speed up your computer. In other scenarios, you might be dealing with malware that is significantly impacting your computer’s performance.
If this is the case, there are likely to be other symptoms, like constant popups or crashing programs for seemingly no reason. Malware can affect your computer’s performance in a number of ways, but it can also result in security breaches that put your personal information and data at risk.
It can be helpful to purchase third-party antivirus software to do a scan. There are plenty of good options for both Windows and Mac that’ll identify and remove the virus in question.
Get Your Slow Laptop Fixed Professionally
Fixing a laptop that isn’t up to speed isn’t always cut and dry. If you’ve tried all of these methods and you’re still dealing with a slow laptop, the only thing left to do is seek professional help.
At Fruit Fixed, we specialize in Windows and Mac laptop repair. If there’s an issue with your laptop hardware causing it to work slowly, we’ll find it and fix it. Contact us for more information on our services or head to one of our locations across Virginia.