One of the most important skills to develop in the technological world is learning how to optimize your laptop. Understanding how your device performs and making necessary improvements to increase its speed will not only extend its lifespan but also boost your productivity. Performance issues can be caused by a wide range of reasons such as insufficient RAM, multiple programs running in the background, or the presence of malware to name a few. While most of these issues can be solved by upgrading to a newer model, this option is not always viable especially if you are on a budget. In this article, I shall discuss a few effective tips that you can use to optimize your laptop for fast downloads.
1. Uninstall programs that you don’t use
In most instances, new computers come with pre-installed apps. After using the device for several weeks or months, you’ll also download and install a wide range of programs. All these programs eventually build up and lead to a host of performance issues. If you’ve never analyzed all the applications installed on your device since you bought it, now is the best time to do so. Lots of small programs such as virus scanners, desktop customization apps, and file optimization tools can utilize a lot of resources and reduce the speed and effectiveness of your computer. It’s important to learn how to reset your Mac and take stock of installed programs and once in a while. Even if you won’t uninstall most of them, knowing the apps that are running and resetting it can help you avoid working with a slow device.
2. Eliminate malware
As a laptop user, it’s always important to be vigilant of malware risks. When the performance of your device starts behaving unusually, the main cause is usually malware. Research studies have shown that cybercriminals create more than two million types of malware threats every day. This is an extraordinarily huge number.
Malware is prevalent, frustrating, and time-consuming. You can avoid having to deal with a malware attack by using a trusted antivirus. Paid antiviruses are quite effective at recognizing security threats, unlike their free counterparts. Investing in a good antivirus is a small price to pay compared to the time and energy that you are going to use when your device gets infected.
Another way to prevent malware attacks is by scanning your computer regularly. Most users never have time to scan their gadgets. And this increases the chances of malware attacks. If you are always busy, you can always set up automatic scans to run after a couple of days or weeks. Do the scan especially when you notice that the performance of your laptop has reduced drastically.
3. Update your system regularly
When was the last time you updated your laptop? Most of the major software providers usually release updates to their operating systems and other important programs regularly. The purpose of updating your device is to not only improve its performance but also prevent hackers and cyber criminals from attacking you and accessing sensitive information. Updating your system won’t take a lot of time. However, it will be worth it in the long run. Always download updates from providers recommended by the manufacturer. Turn on update notifications to know when you need an update. With the right applications, your computer will always operate at an optimal level.
4. Reduce bloatware
Both old and new devices have lots of programs that come pre-installed as part of the operating system. While they can be helpful at times, they can end up burdening the user with lots of unnecessary tools. Keep in mind that most manufacturers usually have deals with software providers to include software trials that the user might never need. In most cases, bloatware usually harms the performance of a device because it takes up valuable disk space and memory. Do away with programs that don’t add anything to your experience as a user.
5. Defragment your hard disk
Most mechanical hard drives usually suffer from the issue of fragmentation. It occurs when bits of a complete file are scattered across the drive’s surface. Since the drive head has to travel across the disk space to read various portions, it can greatly slow down the device. Defragmentation is the process of restructuring the hard disk to regroup bits in the same area to increase the access speed of the hard drive. If your laptop uses a solid-state drive, it will not experience fragmentation.
6. Consider using SSD instead of a hard drive
You should consider swapping the hard drive of your laptop if it is mechanical for a solid-state drive. Making this change can significantly improve the read and write speeds of your laptop and boost its overall performance. Solid-state drives do not have moving parts. They are not only reliable but also help in boosting the system’s speed.
If your laptop is currently using a solid-state drive, you can consider upgrading it to a faster solid-state drive. In recent years, SSD capacities have been increasing while the price has been going down. Therefore, it makes sense to swap out your hard drive for them. When you make this change, you can consider using a cloning tool to copy the operating system from your hard drive to the SSD instead of having to reinstall it.
7. Improve cooling
Does your laptop become too hot when you are working on huge projects or during the summer months? When this happens, realize that your device has reached its maximum operating temperature and it is doing its best to cool down by increasing fan speed and minimizing heat output by suppressing performance. Most laptops come with in-built cooling systems such as heatsinks and fans to regulate temperatures and prevent components from reaching maximum temperatures.
In some instances, the cooling systems will not perform optimally for you to experience the potential of your device. Fortunately, there are lots of market solutions to this problem. One of them is investing in an external cooling pad. When you place this kit beneath your machine, it will blow cool air and prevent key components from overheating. Cleaning your laptop regularly and ensuring that the airflow vents are open will go a long way in preventing overheating.
8. Add RAM
Apart from freeing up memory, you can consider adding capacity to boost the performance of your laptop. This is especially true if you have an older device that contains 2GB of memory or less. Before you make this improvement, there is one point that I want to clarify. If your device runs on a 32-bit version of Windows, the highest amount of RAM that you can use in your system is 3GB. This means that if you currently have 2GB and add 2GB more, Windows will only use 3 GB. When it comes to memory, 32-bit versions usually have limits.
Back in the day, laptops used to have removable RAM sticks. This means that users could swap them out for upgrades or repairs. However, with more manufacturers prioritizing a thinner chassis for portability, RAM sticks are being soldered to the motherboard directly. And this makes upgrading or the repair process an impossible task.
Another factor that you need to consider before adding more RAM is the warranty. Opening up the chassis to upgrade the RAM will void the warranty of your device. If your laptop is slow and you are not bothered about your warranty, you should consider upgrading your RAM.
9. Install Linux
If you’ve tried everything to increase the performance of your device and nothing seems to work, you should consider installing Linux as your operating system. While this might not be the ideal solution for everyone, it is worth considering. This is especially true if you are a programmer or developer. Installing Linux means that you’ll be working with an operating system that consumes less resources.
There are a lot of versions that you can find on the market. And all of them have been designed to be gentle on your device. The only disadvantage of this option changing your current operating system to Linux isn’t a straightforward process. It is a process that requires you to dedicate a lot of time and energy. However, after the installation process, you are going to enjoy using your device. Linux is one of the best operating systems on the market. It is not only good for your computer but also easy to use.
10. Invest in a new laptop
While buying a new laptop is not cheap, it is a solution that is worth considering when nothing seems to work. There are a lot of high-performance laptops on the market that you can get at an affordable price. The new laptop will fix all the problems that you are facing with your current laptop. Before investing in a new device, you should conduct extensive research to find the device that will suit your needs. Some of the factors that you should consider when buying a new laptop include memory, processor, battery life, and graphics to name a few.
11. Delete unnecessary resources on the system
One of the easiest ways to make your system run smoother is by deleting the resources that you don’t use. You can use a file scanner tool to accomplish this task. This tool will inform you about the files and folders that you haven’t used for a while. It will also show you the cookies and temporary files that are affecting the performance of your computer. The tool does this by scanning the hard drive of your laptop and searching for files and folders that you haven’t used in a while. It will analyze the registry and spot issues that are slowing down your device. You can also uninstall unused programs through this tool.
One of the most important skills to have in our modern world is knowing how to speed up your laptop. If your gadget has started slowing down, there are a wide range of issues that could be causing this problem. By using the tips that we have discussed in this article, you’ll not only avoid expensive repairs or upgrades but also boost your productivity and performance.