your laptop running slow? No matter whether it’s old or new, a Windows PC or a MacBook, using a slow laptop isn’t an enjoyable experience.
If you’re looking for ways to make your laptop run faster by upgrading it with faster storage and RAM, or by removing items that could be slowing you down, such as malware, viruses, and even anti-virus apps, or you just want to streamline your laptop for optimum performance, then this is the place to start.
We’ve gathered six laptop performance-related tips that can breathe new life into your old laptop, or make your new one really take off:
Malware slowing things down.
Precious resources being used by open apps.
Too many startup items.
Limited free space on your startup drive.
Visual gimmicks slowing down your computer.
Malware, Virus, and Anti-Virus
Whether it’s adware, spyware, or a virus, malware can be a leading cause of computer slowdowns.
Although viruses, adware, Trojans, and spyware all have unique elements that classify them, we’re going to consider them all under the malware umbrella, as evil demon spawn we don’t want to see on our laptops. No matter what type of laptop you have, Windows, Mac, or Linux, you should consider some form of anti-malware app as a first line of defense.
For Windows and Linux users, active anti-malware apps that can scan your laptop, both in the background and on demand, are a good choice.
For Mac users, the on-demand malware scanner may currently be a better choice since it doesn’t take up resources except when it’s in use.
But don’t get carried away; a single anti-malware scanner is sufficient defense. Running more than one at any one time is more likely to lead to a slow, unresponsive computer than it is to find additional malware.
To get started removing malware from your Windows laptop, look at How to Remove Adware and Spyware.
Mac users may find Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac a good resource for both scanning for malware and obtaining information on how to remove most Mac malware. By the way,Malwarebytes is also a leading anti-virus maker for Windows.
Too Many Apps Open
Do you really need all those apps running? A common cause of laptop slowdown is the sheer number of apps that are active. Each app eats up laptop resources, including RAM, disk space (in the form of temporary files that are created), and CPU and GPU performance. And while apps running in the background may be out of sight, they still consume some of your laptop’s limited resources.
But it’s not just the number of open apps, but how you’re using an app. A good example is your web browser. How many tabs do you have open? Most web browsers use a sandboxing technique to isolate each open window and tab from the others. This means you can consider each open browser tab or window as if it were an open individual browser app. See how quickly the number of “open apps” increases, and the effect it has on your laptop resources? Getting in the habit of closing unused apps, and only opening the ones you need, is a good way to help manage resources and your laptop’s performance.
Quit apps when you are done using them
Close browser tabs that you no longer need
Control Start Up Items
You should also consider preventing apps from starting automatically. All of the major operating systems allow you to configure apps so they’ll start up automatically when you boot your computer. These can save you time by not having to remember to start up certain apps, but we often forget to remove even if we’re no longer using the app. If nothing else, it’s a good idea to take a look at what’s starting up.
Mac users: Remove Login Items You Don’t Need
Windows users: Use these instructions to Prevent Programs Loading at Windows Startup