Why Laptop Is Running Slow

An annoyed woman on a computer (symbol image): If the computer is too slow, various methods can help. (Source: cyano66/Getty Images)

Your laptop is noticeably slow? buy a new laptop or With some upgrades, you can speed up your device. Windows itself also offers some features for this. Five tips at a glance.


5 Reasons Your Windows Laptop Is Running Slow

If you are dissatisfied with your notebook or laptop’s performance, you don’t have to buy a new device right away. It is often worth turning on one or the other adjusting screw to make the computer faster. Five tips at a glance:

Buy SD card

Micro SD card

If you reach the capacity limit with a cheap notebook with about 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage, an SD card can be the solution. This can remain permanently as a memory expansion in the card reader slot. For less than 30 euros, an SD card can be used to gain about 256 GB of storage. However, you should not expect speed records from the memory cards. For example, if you spend twice as much on the 256 GB memory card, you’ll get a U3 speed class model that can transfer data much faster. 

Activate ReadyBoost

Using the SD card or a USB stick, you can check whether you can activate the ReadyBoost feature. This uses the space of the removable disk to expand the cache of the hard disk. This mainly benefits systems that have little memory. Also, you can only use ReadyBoost if your laptop uses a mechanical hard drive (HDD).

To use ReadyBoost, the removable disk must have at least 500 megabytes of storage capacity. To enable the feature, do the following:

  1. Insert the USB stick or memory card into the computer.
  2. Open the File Explorer. To do this, right-click the Windows icon at the bottom left and select Explorer.
  3. In the list on the left, search the removable media, right-click the icon, and select Properties from the menu.
  4. Click on the “ReadyBoost” tab at the top. If you can use the feature, follow the on-screen instructions.


Automatically clean up the hard drive

Windows 10 provides the option to free up space automatically. This means that users no longer have to empty the recycle bin themselves or delete temporary files by hand. To do this, select the “Memory Optimization” option. This can be found in the settings. To access the function, press the Windows button and tapMemory Optimization. The menu should now appear for access. Otherwise, do the following:

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  1. Press the Windows button or click the Windows icon in the taskbar (usually at the bottom left).
  2. Press the gear icon, which opens the Windows settings.
  3. ClickSystem.
  4. Locate the“Save” menu. Click on it.
  5. Here, Windows offers the option “Memory Optimization“. Enable the setting.

In the “Change Auto Share of Space” menu, you can specify which files you want Windows to delete and when.

Alternatively, you can immediately delete certain files by clicking on“Free-space now”. Caution: You may find files from the previous version of Windows there. These can consume several gigabytes of storage. Windows retains these files for some time so that users can return to the previous version. Delete these files only if you want to keep the current version of Windows.


Defragment hard drive

To reduce access time to files, it helps to defragment the hard drive. The system rearranges data blocks. As a result, contiguous but fragmented files are rearranged. This means that the computer finds the files in one place and not distributed over several, which reduces the access time.

However, defragmenting a drive is only advisable for HDDs. With so-called SSDs, you should avoid it. Read more about SSDs here. To defragment your drive on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Press the Windows button or click the Windows icon in the taskbar (usually at the bottom left).
  2. Press the gear icon, which opens the Windows settings.
  3. In the search above, type” Defragment“. The option appears: “Defragment and optimize drives“. Click on it.
  4. The system now displays all connected drives. The type (HDD or SSD) is also visible. With the Optimize option, you can immediately defragment it. In Settings, you can also specify whether and how often a driver should be “optimized”.


Reduce visual effects

Another option: Reduce graphical effects from Windows. This can help if the system responds slowly—for example when you click something or move a window. This is reported by “Heise Online”. To reduce the visual effects, do the following:

  1. Press the “Windows key” and “R“.
  2. The “Run” window opens. Type the System. Command here.
  3. The SystemPropertieswindow opens. Click on the “Advanced” tab at the top.
  4. Under the item“Performance“, click on “Settings“.

Windows provides the options to optimize visual effects for appearance or performance. You can also turn effects on or off yourself.


Stop autostarting programs

If the laptop drives its owner mad with a lame Windows startup, it may be useful to sort out automatically loading programs at system startup. This works via the “autostart“. To manage startup programs, do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl-Shift-Escape to call the Task Manager. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Ent and then select Task Manager.
  2. Click on the “Autostart” tab at the top.
  3. Here, Windows lists programs that start at startup. To deactivate it, select the program you want and click“Disable” in the lower right corner.
  • Pre-installed: How to free Windows 10 from advertising software
  • Windows 10: This feature automatically creates storage space
  • Prevent data loss: How Windows 10 automatically creates back-ups

Of course, you should not prevent the virus scanner or the touchpad driver from starting on the notebook because these programs must always be active in the background. In case of doubt: It is better not to change the respective entry.

However, from the Office package to the packaging program to the PDF tool, many applications certainly do not always have to start with Windows right away. You can confidently be set to “Disabled” with a right-click on the corresponding entry.

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I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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