There are just 2 things I hate when I am operating any computer: a slow running PC and a slow running internet. Recently one of my friends called me asking for some suggestions to speed up his personal laptop. His Windows 10 laptop, having an old but still respectable configuration, was finding challenges in performing basic tasks and system was running too slow in launching or closing regular windows application. Before coming to me, he went through some of his contacts, and all of them suggested him to upgrade system RAM capacity, upgrade storage to SSD or buy a new laptop altogether.
Well all these suggestions are worthy if you are ready to spend some money for the upgrade and don’t want to invest your time in troubleshooting issues in your poor old computer. But I was sure my friend was having a lot of free time because he was already wasting a lot of time in completing a minuscule task on his computer.
So I immediately threw a list of questionnaires on him:
Q1- Is your computer running slow after launching or closing any particular app?
Q2- Are you observing slow performance while browsing the internet? If yes, which browser are you using?
Q3- Is your C: Drive full?
Q4- Have you recently installed any applications or your Windows have been recently updated?
Q5- Have you opened any suspicious website or clicked on any link which you think you shouldn’t have?
Q6- Do you have any antivirus installed on your system?
After receiving my friend’s response, I suggested to him below steps that he can try to boost up the performance of his computer.
You can also try any or all below methods to try speeding up your own PC or laptop:
- Check for PC Infection State: If you are sure that your system is infected by any virus or malware, don’t connect it to the internet and don’t attach any external devices like USB drive or Hard Disk Drive. In many cases, computers are infected by Malwares, viruses, botnets etc. entered through the internet. If you are cautious about such attacks from the internet and are sure that your computer is safe, you can skip this step. Otherwise run an antivirus application to check if your system is in an infected state.
- Cleaning System Drive: If your system drive (usually the C: drive) is full try clearing space from it. Transfer your personal files from system drive to another partition. You can also try Disk Cleanup utility inbuilt in Windows OS.
- Run Disk De-fragmentation: You can run Windows Disk De-fragmentation applications. Go to Start>Type ‘Defragment’ and open ‘Defragment and Optimize Drives’. Click ‘Optimize’ and run the process to optimize your drives specially C: drive. This process will take some time to complete.
- Temp Files: Clear Windows Temp files by going to Run. Then type %temp% and click OK. Delete all files from Temp Folder. The files in the temp folder are safe to delete.
- 3rd Party apps: Try installing and running free applications like CCleaner on your computer. This application can identify any registry errors and clean up unnecessary files from the computer.
- Internet Browsers: If you are using a Chrome app for browsing, try using a different browser like Edge or Firefox. Chrome is notorious as a heavy memory utilizing app. Also uninstall any unused, suspicious or unwanted browser extension.
- Recently installed apps: If you have started facing speed issues recently, uninstall any recently installed windows app or windows update. You can also restore your windows to an early point of time using Windows System Restore utility.
- Installed Applications list: Skim through the list of applications installed on windows. Go to Control Panel> Programs and features. Immediately uninstall any unknown app or apps which you are not using now.
- Antivirus software: Disconnect your system from the internet. If you have any antivirus application installed on your system, disable it temporarily and then operate your system as usual.
- Disable Startup Programs: The issue of slow booting and slow running PC can also be dealt by disabling applications you don’t require running. Just open your Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shit+Del or Right Click on Taskbar> Task Manager), then go to ‘Startup‘ tab. Select application(s) to ‘Disable‘ them and thereby restricting their running in background.
If any of the above checkups doesn’t boost up speed then you can perform initial checkups to identify if Disk, Memory, CPU or Network is 100% occupied. You can quickly check this in the Windows Task Manager>Processes tab. You can also pinpoint the troublesome application or process from the task manager itself. From the same Task Manager you can also check if any unknown services are running in the background.
Issue with the laptop
Turns out, my friend had recently installed an application. During installation his laptop crashed but the new app was working somehow. This modern application was also running on suggested minimum system configuration upon the laptop’s old hardware. He uninstalled this new application from this laptop and after the reboot, he immediately found the difference in performance.
In the end I also suggested that he can upgrade the RAM capacity of this laptop. Windows 10 runs smoothly on systems with more than 4GB memory capacity. Usually there are two slots for RAM in the laptop out of which the second slot is unoccupied. Anyone can easily open the back panel of their laptop, find this second slot and upgrade the RAM capacity. Users don’t have many options in upgrading a laptop hardware and upgrading RAM is the easiest, convenient and affordable way to immediately improve system performance.
In case you find difficulty in upgrading RAM in your laptop, you can check out this video.
Anyone can perform basic troubleshooting of their personal computers. If you are having issues like a slow running PC, there is no need to break something. A simple search over the internet might solve your problem.
Comment down below if any of the above steps you did find helpful.
article image credit: depositphotos