When web pages don’t load quickly and your computer takes a long time to start, the first thing most people do is buy a new computer. Don’t be one of them: use these tips to speed up your old laptop instead.
The truth is, in the time it takes to research and buy a new laptop, you can easily speed up your old laptop. Removing programs you don’t use and blocking programs on startup can really speed things up. Using your old laptop’s utilities to delete old files also helps. Cleaning and reinstalling Windows is the best way to speed up your old laptop. Windows 8 and Windows 10 both have built-in utilities that make this process painless.
There are also hardware upgrades you can use to speed up your laptop. Older laptops allow you to add faster hard drives and RAM. The performance of your laptop largely depends on these two things.
Here’s how to speed up your old laptop.
Clean Up Old Files
Windows works best when there is enough space on your hard drive to cache your favorite files. Hibernation, the state your computer enters when you close the lid, also requires a large amount of free storage space.
Your quest to speed up your old laptop starts with your files. Even after a few months, lots of files pile up in your download folder and elsewhere on your PC. These files themselves are not harmful, but the more space they take up, the closer you are to running out of storage space.
Review your files and see what’s taking up the most space. In Windows 10, type in the search box in the lower left corner of your screen. The utility automatically deletes files you don’t need. Open this.
Click on your drive for a breakdown of what’s taking up the most space on your PC. Use this dump to decide which files to delete.
There is no Storage Space utility in Windows 8. Instead, you should check your PC for files you don’t need. You can check how much free storage you have left by opening up My Computer and looking at your hard drive’s storage meter.
Add More Storage or Faster Storage
If all the remaining files on your PC are necessary, consider adding more storage to your PC instead. Some laptops let you swap their internal hard drives for faster models with more space. Add solid state drive. Computers with SSDs start in seconds, not minutes, and files take less time to move than a mechanical hard drive.
Technical services like Best Buy’s cow suit and Staples’ easy technologycan tell you if it is possible to upgrade to SSD. They will transfer your files and Windows to the new drive as well. Geek Squad charges $39.99 for hardware setup and $99.99 for file transfer. A Samsung 850 EVO SSD It’s $159.99 at retailer with 500GB of storage. That’s $300 for pre-tax upgrades and fees.
Some laptops are too thin to replace their hard drives. Adding removable storage is your best bet on these computers. Look for an SD or microSD card slot on your PC. If you have, buy a large storage card to leave it in and move your unnecessary files there. Must Be Mobile directory Move Your Music, Videos and Pictures to SD in Windows 8.1 guides you through moving your files and making them easier to find in Windows. This trick also works on Windows 10. Use the Best Surface Pro 4 MicroSD Cards breakdown to find a great SD card for your device.
Cloud storage services are your last option to speed up your old laptop by adding more space. Windows 10 and Windows 8 have built-in support for Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service. If you move your music or photos to OneDrive, you can leave them there and delete the versions on your PC. The Music & Photos app in Windows 10 automatically finds OneDrive files.
Add More RAM to Speed Up Your Laptop
At the heart of every computer are three pieces of hardware: a hard drive, a processor, and RAM. We have already discussed hard drives, and you cannot change the processor of your laptop. You can add more RAM. With more RAM, switching between apps and multitasking becomes easier.
Not all laptops allow you to upgrade your RAM, but most do. As with hard drives, check your manual to see if it’s possible to add more RAM to your laptop. If you’ve never done anything like this before, ask about a RAM upgrade at a tech service. It’s hard to predict how much a RAM upgrade will cost you. Different laptops get different RAM.
Any program you download from the internet, no matter what it does, can cost you your performance. So, if you want to speed up your old laptop, aggressively delete the programs you don’t use.
How to Uninstall Programs in Windows 10 It guides you to delete utilities you downloaded outside of the Microsoft Store. Learn how to delete apps and programs with it How to Uninstall Apps in Windows 8.1 path to follow.
Block Programs at Startup
Every time your PC starts, programs start with it. On really fast PCs this isn’t a big deal, but many of these can make a slow PC feel even slower. To speed up your old laptop, limit which programs start as soon as you turn on your computer.
In Windows 10, type in the search box in the lower left corner of your screen. Disable any non-essential apps or programs. Media apps like iTunes and Spotify tend to add themselves to the startup without your knowledge.
Reset your computer
When nothing else works, it’s time to factory reset your computer. Windows will delete your current installation and reinstall itself.
How easy it is for you to reset depends on your laptop’s storage space. For really cheap laptops you should create a restore drive or order one from the company that made your computer. See the manual that came with your laptop to learn how. Mid-range and high-end laptops have a button. To use How To Reset Your Go Mobile Windows 10 PC Windows 10 laptop reset guide. How to Reset Your Windows 8 Laptop, Desktop or Tablet Windows 8.1 walks you through reverting computers to a fresh Windows installation.
Back up your files if you plan to speed up your old laptop with a reset. Windows 10 and Windows 8 only save your files when there is enough free storage space left in them. Otherwise it will delete them all.