Why is my Laptop so Slow?

Don’t get frustrated if your laptop is running slow – follow these quick tips to remedy the problem and get it back to normal.

Having a laptop makes life so much easier, but is something that is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrust us into a life of remote learning and home working. Spending so much time on your laptop means that it’s even more important to keep it nice and fast, so here are some steps you can take to remedy a slow laptop.

Task Manager is a good place to start, offering a window into your laptop’s health. In Windows 10, you can open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar. The default page that opens tells you what apps you’re currently running, but not a lot more beyond that; opening More Details will show how much memory and CPU use each app is using. Close any apps that you don’t need to be running – you’ll be surprised how many you don’t realise are open and running in the background. But be careful not to close anything that is vital for the running of your laptop. If it’s unclear which apps are using a lot of memory or CPU use, sit and watch Task Manager for a few minutes, as some may quickly rise to the top of the list before falling again, which can be indicative of a particularly draining app. Remember, you should always have an up-to-date antivirus program running, so if your current one is eating away at your memory or CPU, it might be worth changing to a different one. You can check out our pick of the best antivirus software for Windows for some ideas. It might also be worth checking your antivirus settings, as your chosen software may be performing scans while you’re trying to work or study. You can remedy this by scheduling antivirus scans for a time when you’re not going to be using your laptop, like the evening. The apps you have installed could also be causing performance issues. If your laptop takes a long time to boot up, it could be that you have too many apps trying to run at startup. In Task Manager, you can disable apps from automatically opening on startup in the Startup tab.

Monitoring how much free disk space you have is also essential if you want to keep your laptop running smoothly – a laptop with little room to breathe is unlikely to perform as well as it should. It’s worth going through all of your files and folders and either deleting them, or backing them up if they’re not accessed regularly; movie downloads are one of the main culprits here. Do you have scores of apps installed that you don’t use? Consider uninstalling them, and you’ll find you have a lot of space freed up. Get into the habit of regularly clearing out clutter from your Downloads folder, perhaps twice a month. Anything you think you might need to hold on to can be backed up on an external hard drive.

These are all quick fixes that can be undertaken in a matter of minutes. But if you want to spend a bit more time (and money) getting your laptop faster, you might want to consider upgrading your machine. If you’re using a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD), and your laptop can take one, you should consider upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD). You could also look into installing more RAM, particularly if you’re using apps that use a lot of memory.

Speed Up Laptop