How can I speed up my laptop? | 8 Step Checklist

If you’re concerned about your laptop not being as fast as it once was, then don’t worry too much. One of the most common problems is for your laptop to slow down, especially if you’ve had it for a while. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to get your laptop back to the speed it once was. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to speed up a slow laptop.

How can I speed up my laptop?

If you’re looking to speed up your laptop, then there are a few different ways that you can go about doing this. You should run through this checklist with 8 different things that you can do to try and improve the speed on your laptop – make sure to run through this checklist beforehand to increase your laptops speed as much as possible.

1. Make sure you don’t have programs automatically starting

Depending on what laptop you’ve got, many of them come with programs that will start automatically any time you turn your laptop on. By having these programs running at the same time as everything else, this can contribute to RAM usage and make your laptop slower.

If you’re on a Windows laptop, you can check this by going to System Configuration > Startup. This should show all the programs that are currently running. If you’re using a Mac, then I find the best way to do this is through Activity Monitor. You can find this by going to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. This shows everything that’s running on your laptop.

2. Get rid of all the programs you aren’t using

One of the most common things I see on friends and families laptops is an abundance of programs that never, ever get used. Lots of people download apps, use them a few times and then never ever use them again. What they don’t realise is this actually takes up storage space on your laptop, and can contribute to it running slower. So, the first thing to do is to delete all the apps that you aren’t using.

3. Update your Operating System

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running Mac OS or Windows OS, if you haven’t updated it in a while, then this could be a contributing factor as to why your laptop is running slowly. You can set your laptop to update overnight so you can come back to it the next day ready to go.

4. Clear cache

Another thing that can slow down your browser is bot clearing your cookies and cache regularly. When you visit a website, your browser stores the information temporarily in the browser until you visit again. If you leave this to collect data regularly for a while, then it can build up quite easily. Clearing these files might help your laptop run a little bit faster.

5. Check Which Toolbar Extensions You Have

If you’re finding that your browser is running slowly, then one of the best things you can do to get it back up to speed is check with extensions that you have. Some extensions can cause your laptop browser to run significantly slower than usual. So, checking which extensions you have and make sure none of them are what is causing the problem.

6. Check if you have any viruses

Unfortunately, viruses are still a common problem for laptop owners everywhere. And although Mac’s are actually really good at detecting malware, it’s still quite common to get a virus on a Mac. One way that you can combat this is by getting a good anti virus software which can help you to deal with any malware and viruses that attack your laptop. This can help to speed up your laptop if you do happen ton have a virus.

7. Run a defrag (Windows Only)

If you’re running on Windows OS, then you might want to defrag your laptop. You don’t need to worry about this if you’re using a Macbook and running on Mac OS. Why? Because modern Macs actually auto-defrag, so you don’t need to worry about doing it.

You should also not run a defrag if your laptop has an SSD, which the majority of newer laptops do. This can actually damage your drive, so it’s important that you don’t do this if you have a solid state drive.

But for older laptops, running a defrag can help to speed up your laptop quite easily. This is because when you save a file, it stores in separate blocks. When you delete that file later, sometimes it can leave gaps where the blocks should be, which aren’t replaced by a new file, instead taking up more space. It’s kind of like fitting the blocks in Tetris.

8. Consider Upgrading your Laptop

If your laptop is more than a few years old, or you bought the base model of what is available, then it might be that your laptop isn’t up to task. This is especially true if you use programs that are very intensive – if you’re a graphic designer, then you might need to upgrade your laptop.

If you don’t want to do this yourself, then you might need to go to a local shop to do so. You can increase the amount of RAM in the majority of laptops, and the difference between 8GB and 16GB of RAM might be all that you need. You can also look at upgrading your storage too – if your laptop has HDD or eMMC storage, then you’ll probably want to upgrade to an SSD.


All in all, these are a few of the main reasons why your laptop might have slowed down somewhat. Make sure that you perform all of them to get your laptop back to what it once was!

If your laptop is particularly old, then it might be time to invest in a new one. Don’t worry – a good laptop doesn’t have to cost a lot, which I’ve shown in my list of laptops under £500. Here, if you get a laptop with more RAM and storage space than your current laptop, then you should see an improvement in speed!

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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