Ah, remember those halcyon days when you first unpack your laptop. You pressed the ‘on’ button, and everything loaded up as it should. Aside from the obligatory updates, your laptop sprang into action with no lags or freezes. You scrolled from webpage to webpage with little problem. There were no troublesome sounds coming from the inner workings of this technological marvel. Everything worked as it should.
And then times changed.
Where once your laptop took less than 3 minutes to load up from the reboot stage, it now takes 10. Where once those web pages flowed seamlessly from one to the next, they now chug along and occasionally freeze. Where once your laptop hummed with the gentle purr of a cat, it now rumbles and wheezes like an asthmatic dog. Something is quite clearly amiss.
So, what do you do about the situation?
On a practical, yet expensive level, you might buy yourself a new laptop. Or if you only use your laptop for browsing the internet, you might use your slow laptop as a reason to buy a tablet. Particularly if your laptop is old, damaged, and has seen better days, these could be the better options. Still, don’t throw it out just yet. There may be simple solutions that will get your laptop (no matter how old it is) into better working order.
These are some of the possible reasons why your laptop is so slow.
1. Your broadband connection sucks
Here’s the first thing to look out for. Your computer might be entirely blameless, as your wifi connection or broadband provider may be at fault. If you are having trouble browsing from one web page to the next, and if your download and upload speeds are snail-like, then you need to run a speed test. Use the following link to test your internet speed , and then contact your broadband provider if your speed is slower than it should be. They may have a practical solution to put things right at your end, or they might rectify any faults caused by them. If they don’t offer a solution, ditch them, and go with a better company!
2. There are background updates taking place
If you have set up your Windows or Apple updates as ‘automatic,’ they may be running in the background without you being aware. While this is happening, you may experience slow down when running other programs, but you are just going to have to be patient. Updates are vital for minimizing the risk of new viruses, and some of your programs may need patching with new features. However, you can go into your settings, changing your update settings from ‘automatic’ to ‘manual’ or ‘ask me first’ (or some such phrase), as this will enable you to receive those (usually) important updates at times when you aren’t needing to use your laptop for anything important.
3. Too many programs are running at once
Simply put, when you have finished with an application or a computer program, shut it down. When you have too many running at once, your laptop will struggle to cope, especially an older model with limited processing power. The screen can become unresponsive, your mouse cursor might freeze, web pages will take a lifetime to load up, and your stress level will overload in time with your laptop. So, do as we said. Make it a habit to close down anything you are not using. And check Task Manager, as there may be programs running that you are unaware of, or which cheekily opened up on startup. Shut them down, and hopefully, your laptop will regain its composure (as will you), and operate normally again!
4. Your laptop has a virus
Remember that email link you clicked on, with the promise of free money? Remember that file you downloaded from an unfamiliar source? Remember that pop up you accidentally expanded when you were trying to do something else? Any of these things may be why your laptop has become infected with a virus. Unfortunately, it’s a little more serious than the common cold you may be prone to! When your laptop has been infected, your personal details may be at risk from malicious hackers, or your system may be so badly hit that it stops working entirely. It’s a nightmare, but this is why you should always allow updates on your laptop to protect it from harm. You can also buy antivirus software as an extra measure, but remember to keep that updated too. So, if your laptop is slowing down, and/or you are seeing more flash ads than usual, follow the advice here, and if there is a virus, you should be able to get rid of it for good. Just remember to follow safe practices from now on when using the internet!
5. Your hard drive is almost full
Should you have filled your laptop with games, movies, music, and more, you will experience some slowdown. When your hard drive is 95% full, your laptop can slow down by around 50%. This is because your hard drive can no longer accommodate the temporary files required for the programs installed on your laptop, and your operating system will go a little loopy (in non-technical jargon). It’s time to do a spring clean, so delete files you no longer need, or transfer them over to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. There may be hidden files that you aren’t aware of, perhaps remnants from programs you deleted ages ago, so go to ‘Properties’ on your laptop (hit the Apple logo on Mac or the Start button on Windows to get there), and then ’empty the trash.’ It’s also worth buying a tuneup utility to give your laptop the deep clean that simpler methods cannot manage.
These are some of the reasons why your laptop may be slow, but if you haven’t found the answer here, there may be other solutions to the problem. A Google search will serve you well, as will a visit to your nearest computer shop for some professional help. So, assuming you have managed to get to the end of this article without suffering from lags and freezes, thanks for reading, and good luck with your laptop.