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Rebecca Zimmermeyer | Portrait

Rebecca Sommer | Cyber Security Writer

@RJ_Sommer

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Laptop Slow? Tips to Speed up Your Machine Again

You are tired of your PC or laptop standing in the way of your energy and motivation to get things done fast and efficiently? We have some tips on how to speed up your PC or laptop in case it is a little old and slower than it was when you bought it. I successfully tried all of them in the past and I hope they work for you, too.


1. CCleaner

CCleaner deletes temporary data created when working on your laptop. This especially did wonders after a bunch of Windows updates slowed down my laptop. At one point I felt like my laptop would bite the dust, taking 10 minutes just to open the first program after starting the laptop. It was a first-class flashback to the year 2000 in terms of speed. After running CCleaner it was as good as new and I was back in 2016.

Unnecessary temporary files are deleted from the Windows Registry and your hard drive. Your laptop will be cleared out nicely.


1. Defragment Your Hard Drive

By defragmenting your hard drive you make sure to use up your storage space efficiently. All data that you store on your computer or laptop gets a fixed space on your drive. Deleting something produces gaps in between the remaining data. Those gaps will be filled up with any newly added data. As a result it can happen that a program is not stored in one space, but in several gaps which makes the program run slower. Defragmenting will reorganize your storage so that everything that belongs together is stored in one place. As a result, your programs may run faster.

Enter defragment into your search and start the process. Ideally you set up automatic defragments every month. However, defragmenting can take some time, so you might prefer to trigger it yourself when you have time.


3. Block unnecessary auto-starts

Look through your apps and programs that start automatically when you turn on your laptop. I, for example, only skype once a month with friends that live scattered all over Germany. Therefore, it is not necessary for Skype to start automatically. Also, I do not mind starting Spotify only when I need it. There are many programs that one does not need during every laptop session. To tidy out auto-starts will improve the speed of your laptop immensely. Having too many programs on auto-start eats up memory and slows down your computer. It gets especially bad when your internal memory is used up and data is processed on the much slower hard drive.


4. Uninstall Programs You do not Use Anymore

Clear out your laptop every once in a while. Uninstalling programs and apps that you do not use anymore frees up space on your machine and minimizes processes that might run in the background.


5. Check and Clean the Cooling Fan

A blocked cooling fan does not only make your laptop louder, but also slower. When your laptop is overheating the fan has to do more and as a consequence eats up more energy. However, this problem is avoidable. The arch enemy of laptop fans are fluff and dust from fabric – for example from your mattress, sofa or sheets. To prevent clogging your cooling fan and overheating your laptop, use a laptop desk on your next comfy Netflix binge in bed.

In case it is too late and your laptop feels like 100 Fahrenheit and sounds like it could take off at any second, you can open it up and take a peek inside. I did that with one of my older laptops and the fan looked a lot like a cat shedding fur rolled around in it.

After I cleaned it carefully with paper towels, a tooth brush and everything my household had to offer, it purred again quietly and contently. Speed and battery capacity improved immensely, too. If you are insecure about opening your laptop up yourself you can always have it cleaned professionally as well.


If all of this does not help you can still invest in new hardware, for example stronger memory, or get a new device. However, it is worth a try. Not having to spend money on a new laptop or computer sounds good too, right?

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