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How To Make Your Laptop Faster

Updated on September 12, 2014

All laptops will eventually slow down, even if you bought the latest model available. Software programs are upgraded all the time and often require more horsepower from your computer. The need arises to speed up your computer.

There are several ways to make your laptop or regular desktop run faster, but they can all be divided into two categories:

  • if you're willing to spend some money
  • if you're not willing to spend money

The first will result in the most dramatic increases in computer performance, but will require some cash. However, even if you cannot afford to spend any money, there are several ways to make your laptop run faster for free.


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What is the best way to upgrade my laptop if the computer runs slow?

Short of buying a whole new laptop, the best way to upgrade your laptop is to upgrade specific components. It will cost money, buy should cost less than the price of a new laptop or notebook and it will have the biggest impact on performance. Depending on current prices for computer parts and the current configuration of your laptop, you may want to look into:

  • Adding more memory, especially if you have less than 4 Gigabytes. Windows works best with at least 4 Gigabytes. If your laptop only uses one module, adding another one will also result in them running at dual-speed, which gives another speed increase. If there are no empty slots, you may have to replace existing modules.
  • Replace your hard drive with a solid-state hard drive based on flash memory, because the hard drive is often the biggest bottleneck in computer performance. Using a flash-based hard drive, which doesn't have any moving parts, can dramatically speed up your laptop by loading applications faster or booting up faster. Another benefit of flash-based drives is that they generate less heat and use less power, which should increase battery life.
  • Replace your existing processor or cpu with a faster one. Processors drop in price all the time and you may be able to purchase a new or used one that is much faster than the one you have, especially if your laptop is a few years old.


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How to make laptop faster for free?

There are a few ways you can improve laptop performance for free.

  • Replace existing components with salvaged parts that are faster
  • Speed up your laptop by adjusting its settings
  • Remove all unused software and bloatware to free up resources such as memory
  • Speed up hard drive performance by regularly defragmenting or defragging
  • Use your laptop only in the right environment


How to make my laptop run faster with salvaged parts?

If you cannot spare any cash, you may also be able to upgrade your hardware using salvaged parts from other laptops that are compatible with yours. Laptops and desktops get thrown away all the time, even though they are sill in good working order.

Some parts, particularly the processor and memory, can be used to replace what you have in your laptop. These parts could be newer and faster than the ones you have depending on how old your notebook is. Ask around, you may find something.


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How to speed up my laptop by adjusting settings?

By default, computer such as laptops will throttle or adjust the speed at which they run to conserve power. You can turn off this feature to speed up your computer. Just remember that doing so will make your laptop run out of power faster.

In Windows, select start and control panel. Click on power options to change how your computer adjusts power consumption and the speed at which the computer runs.

For those more technically inclined, may also look into adjusting settings in the Bios. Depending on your computer model, you can press on the del key when the computer boots up to enter the Bios.


How to free up memory by uninstalling unnecessary or other bloated software?

Many applications tend to take up resources such as memory, even when they are not used. Uninstalling software you aren't using, can free up memory, cpu power and other resources. The less available memory there is, the more often the hard drive has to be used to swap data in and out. All this slows down your laptop since the hard drive is often the biggest bottleneck.

  • Remove all unused applications and only keep what you need
  • Do not use wallpapers, Aero or other fancy graphics settings
  • Try to keep your laptop as lean and barebones as possible


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Why and how to defragment your hard drive to increase computer speed?

As data is constantly written, read and deleted, the hard drive becomes fragmented as time goes by. The drive needs more time to gather the data it needs and your computer slows down. Defragmenting rearranges the way the data on your computer is stored in a more efficient manner. The hard drive needs less time to find and retrieve the information and the result is a computer that is faster.

Windows already includes a feature that will defragment your hard drive.

  • Right click on one of your local drives in Explorer and select properties
  • When the properties windows pop up, select tools and defragment now to begin

If you happen to use your computer in a way that makes frequent changes to your hard drive, such as:

  • installing and uninstalling software applications,
  • downloading files and deleting them,
  • use BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer file sharing programs,

then you should definitely consider defragmenting your laptop on a regular basis.


How can the laptop environment make my laptop run faster?

If possible, try to use your laptop in a cool environment. When a laptop gets hot, it tries to cool off by running slower. Keeping your laptop in the shades can help it run faster longer without having to slow down.

Some laptops are also designed to slow down when the laptop is not level as a security precaution. The hard drive especially will spin slower in the event the laptop falls to the ground to prevent data loss. Always place your laptop on a flat, even surface.


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