Did you know that in 2020, the global personal computer (PC) market had an estimated value of $145.73 billion? However, experts forecast that to jump to a staggering $161.93 billion by the end of 2021.
All those figures suggest that more people will invest in new desktop PCs and laptops this year.
So, does that mean you should as well, now that your existing laptop is running slow?
Not so fast; there are several things you can do first to try and get your device back to speed. We listed the top hacks in this guide, so be sure to keep reading.
- 1 Limit Login or Startup Items
- 2 Disabling Mac Login Items
- 3 Deactivating Windows Startup Programs
- 4 Be On the Lookout for Memory-Hogging Processes
- 5 Managing Mac Processes via Activity Monitor
- 6 Managing Windows Processes via Task Manager
- 7 Scan for Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and Malware
- 8 Uninstall Apps You Don’t Need
- 9 Removing Apps on Mac
- 10 Deleting Apps on Windows
- 11 Eliminate Dubious Browser Extensions
- 12 Consider Investing in a High-Performance Laptop Replacement
- 13 Try These Tricks If Your Laptop Is Running Slow
Limit Login or Startup Items
Login items are programs and services that automatically launch when you sign in to a Mac. On Windows computers, they go by the name startup items. Either way, they start as soon as you sign in to your computer; thus, they eat up valuable resources on the get-go.
So, the more enabled login or startup programs, the more computer memory consumed. For that reason, this list is one of the first things you should check if your laptop is running slow.
Disabling Mac Login Items
If you’re on a Mac, you can access the login items list by clicking the Apple logo on the upper left corner of your desktop. Next, choose the System Preferences option on the drop-down menu. Then, select Users & Groups.
On the next window, navigate to the Login Items tab. Go through the list and highlight all apps or services you want to disable. Finally, hit the – button below the list.
Once you click the –, the items you selected should stop launching on login. To confirm you’ve disabled them, restart your Mac; its boot speed should have improved.
Deactivating Windows Startup Programs
So long as you have the latest Windows 10 version, you should have the Startup Apps management panel. It lets you manage all startup programs with ease, as you only need to toggle their on/off switch.
To access the Startup Apps management panel, open the Settings service. Next, select Apps, and then click the Startup option. That should open a window with a list of all items included on your startup programs list.
Finally, click the switch for the enabled programs you want to stop from running on startup.
Be On the Lookout for Memory-Hogging Processes
Processes are sets of instructions that a computer’s processor is currently running. They’re necessary for the proper execution of the tasks you need to run on an app.
The thing is, each computer program you launch can have multiple processes. As such, a single application can use loads of valuable resources, making your laptop run slow. That’s why you’d want to check active processes as soon as you notice a drop in your device’s performance or speed.
Managing Mac Processes via Activity Monitor
The Activity Monitor is a native Mac service that lets you track all current processes. For instance, it allows you to see how much CPU, memory, or energy each active task on your Mac uses. It’s in that way that you can confirm which programs may be making your device run slow.
To start Activity Monitor on your Mac, launch a Finder window and choose Applications. Then, select Utilities, and in the new column that opens, click Activity Monitor.
You can also use the Spotlight Search tool to launch Activity Monitor. Simply hit the Command (⌘) and the spacebar keys, type “Activity Monitor,” and hit the Return key.
Once the Activity Monitor window opens, navigate to the Memory tab. That should display a list of all active processes and current tasks on your Mac. You can also click the Memory column to organize the items starting from the largest memory user.
Next, go through the list to determine which apps and processes you don’t need at the moment. Highlight them and then click the X button at the top-center part of the window to close them. Doing that should free up memory on your Mac, helping boost its performance and speed.
Managing Windows Processes via Task Manager
On Windows devices, Task Manager is the equivalent of Activity Monitor. With this service, you can quit apps, disable processes, and see a complete list of active programs. It also details information about each item’s CPU, memory, and disk usage.
The simplest way to launch Task Manager is to press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard. Another way is to right-click on an empty spot on the taskbar and then choose Task Manager from the menu that pops up. You can also press Windows + R, type “taskmgr” (without the quotation marks) in the Run dialog, and hit OK.
Once Task Manager is up, go through the list to look for unnecessary items. You can then select those you don’t need and hit the End Task button to quit them.
Scan for Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and Malware
Potentially unwanted programs also go by the name potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). In many cases, users don’t find these apps helpful, even if they downloaded them with consent. They’re not always dangerous, but they consume computer resources.
On the other hand, malware is short for malicious software. These are intrusive programs that can spy on and steal your sensitive data. They can also damage files or even entire computers and networks.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals create at least 450,000 PUPs and malware each day. If one or more such programs make their way into your laptop, you can expect its performance to drop. Worst, they can wreak so much havoc that you may end up dealing with data and monetary loss.
To prevent such dangers, you can download and install antimalware on your laptop. These security programs detect and block threats before they get downloaded and installed. They can also scan for and remove PUAs/PUPs and malware already installed on your device.
Uninstall Apps You Don’t Need
Uninstalling programs you no longer need or use is one of the best ways to preserve your laptop’s disk space. You want to do that because you need enough disk space to download and install critical OS and app updates. Up-to-date OS and apps, in turn, have fewer bugs and issues; thus, they also run better, faster, and smoother.
Removing Apps on Mac
To remove apps and programs on a Mac, start by launching a Finder window. Next, click the Applications field on the left pane and highlight the app you want to delete. Then, tap your trackpad with two fingers and select the Move to Trash option in the menu that pops up.
Deleting Apps on Windows
If you’re on a Windows laptop, you can get rid of unwanted apps by clicking Start and then Settings. Next, hit the Apps option and select Apps & features. From there, highlight the app you want to delete, and finally, hit the Uninstall option.
Eliminate Dubious Browser Extensions
Browser extensions are add-on programs meant to enhance or improve browser functions. For instance, some block pesky advertisements, while others can help you manage passwords. There are even those that help check and proofread spelling and grammar.
Unfortunately, many extensions can consume significant amounts of computer resources. So, the more of these you have on your laptop, the slower your device can get. Worst, some of them have exposed millions of computer users to malicious programs.
So, if you’ve noticed a slowdown in your browser or laptop, be sure to check your active extensions. Make sure to disable and uninstall those you don’t need or appear to be suspicious add-ons.
Consider Investing in a High-Performance Laptop Replacement
Suppose your slow laptop’s product support is about to end. In that case, it’s high time to replace it with a higher-performance laptop.
Otherwise, once support does end, your device will no longer receive OS updates. Hardware parts won’t get help and service, either. So, if something goes wrong with your laptop, you might not be able to fix it anymore.
It’s best to invest in a higher-spec laptop so that you can get access to the latest, speediest processors. A perfect example is a computer equipped with an 11th Generation Intel Core i9 processor. To learn more about such laptops, click to read here what your top options are.
Try These Tricks If Your Laptop Is Running Slow
There you have it, your comprehensive guide on what you can do if your laptop is running slow. So, give these hacks a try first, as they can help bring your device back to speed. However, if your computer is too old for software or hardware updates, it may be time to get a replacement laptop.
Ready for more PC guides or laptop tweaks that can help you improve your gear’s performance? If so, then feel free to check out our latest technology articles!