Fix A Slow Laptop (Windows)

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After time, computers become slower. It’s a way of life. The more we use our laptops the more they move away from the original clean image. Think of it like a new house. When you first move in, everything is tidy, and the place looks fresh. Give it a year or two and the same house, looks completely different. This is because it’s been lived in. Just like a house though, we can clean a few things up and bring it closer to its original state.

Clean up your Desktop

When you login, the first thing Windows does is load the Desktop and its list of start-up items (Excluding Windows 8 which loads tiles). If you have a bunch of documents and links on your desktop, it has to load each one. Instead move these into another location because let’s be honest, when’s the last time you loaded that spreadsheet from 2012? Clean this up and you could increase your boot time.

Disable Start-up Applications

This is the list of applications that Windows is told to load on start-up. When you install applications, they may have place themselves within here. Sorting this out is another way of increasing your boot time.

Windows 10

Right Click the Taskbar and select Task Manager. Once this load, click on More Details.

You will see something that looks like the window below. Click the Statup tab and you will see your applications.

The ones that are enabled will load on startup, anything that is disabled, won’t. If you wish to disable any, right click them and select Disable.

Follow these steps for pre-Windows10: https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/m/msconfig.htm

Run an Antivirus Scan

It may be that your machine is infected with malware, adware or virus. Running a scan can help identify any malicious files which could be slowing your computer down. Not to mention infecting your machine. Windows 10 comes pre-installed with Windows Defender however there are free alternatives. If you have Defender, Right click the Icon and Run quick scan:

Here is a list: https://www.trustedreviews.com/best/best-free-antivirus-3633595

Clean-up Temporary files

You may have heard of CCleaner but I wanted to point out that Windows does have a native tool. Disk Cleanup could help you clean temp files which could be slowing your machine down. Open Start and type in Disk Cleanup. Then click the application.

Once loaded, you can select what files you wish to remove and clean them:

If you wish to use CCleaner please be careful. There was an incident a while back where hackers had included malware inside of CCleaner installation files. Always by careful where you are downloading your software from.

Check You Disk Space

Whilst you use your computer, multiple writes are being written to disk. If your disk is full, it could be hindering the process. If you load up Windows Explorer and click on This PC, you should be able to see how much space you have left:

If this is in Red, think about deleting files. Remember, deleted files move to the Recycle Bin so won’t be removed until you clear it out. You will see the icon on the Desktop. Right click and select Empty Recycle Bin.

A few more suggestions would be to…..

Uninstall unnecessary programs

If you do have old applications or software installed on your machine, think about uninstalling them.

Update your software

Updating might seem like a pain but will often pay off. By not updating, you are running on out of date code. The vendor may have optimized performance in their next update. Not to mention patched security holes.

Shut down

You would be surprised how often people do not shut their machine down properly. Putting your laptop into sleep mode does not do it any good. Give your machine a restart and shut down every so often. You will start to notice the difference.

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