We’ve all been there. Your
laptop takes forever to boot up, you keep seeing the spinning wheel or the blue screen of death, and your browser
continuously crashes. It’s a waking nightmare when you realize your laptop is
on the fritz. Whatever your computer’s symptoms might be, there are a few things
you can try to speed up your device. Let’s dive in and see if you can rescue
your beloved laptop.
1. Run Disc Cleanup & Check for Viruses
First things first. Run a disc cleanup and check for viruses. For help on how to do this on PC, click here and to do this on a Mac, click here. After you’ve run the disc cleanup, you should know whether or not there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed before you can move on.
2. Use an External Hard Drive
Lack of space? If this is the
primary cause for slowing down you laptop. You could replace internal hard
drive, or a better idea is to look for a good deal on an external hard drive with
the capacity you need.
What you’ll want to do first is take a look at all the files you have living on your machine. Which ones do you use on a regular basis? Which have you not touched in months? Which do you need occasionally, but don’t need to access regularly? Once you figure that out, you can select all files that are unnecessarily taking up space on your machine and copy them to the new external hard drive. Verify that the files have been safely moved, and then delete any duplicates from your local machine. This should free up a good amount of space.
3. …And on That Note, Use the Cloud
Do you have any programs on your computer that take up a ton of space on your machine? Instead of using programs like iTunes or Window Media Player, use programs that hold “files” in the cloud. For music, check out Spotify or Pandora. For photos, text documents, and presentations, use DropBox, iCloud,Google Docs, or Prezi. Great thing about cloud-based programs, they have mobile apps, which means you can have easy access to your files on any mobile device.
4. Get Rid of Applications You Never Use
From time to time, (hello spring cleaning) it’s important to take a look at all of the installed apps you have on your laptop. First step is to figure out which ones you use and which ones you haven’t used in a while (like 3 months). Second, uninstall or delete the unused apps. They’re taking up extra space on your computer, space that could be used for more important things. Also, make sure to delete the download files from your trash or recycle bin, too! If you ever decide you made a mistake and want one of the applications back, you can always re-download.
5. Disable Programs that Open on Startup
Programs that automatically when you boot up your computer can slow it down. When it comes to speed, a simple change, like disabling programs launch at startup will help your machine run faster. Here’s how disable startup programs on a PC, and here’s how to do it on a Mac.
Once you’ve done the steps above, you may want to consider upgrading to the newest version of your operating system. While a new OS won’t free up space on your computer, it may be a good idea to have all the latest patches and features.
If your laptop continues to be sluggish because it’s simply too old and can’t run the applications you need, it may be time to retire it.
Did we miss any tips for improving computer performance? Let us know in the comments! Wishing your laptop a speedy recovery