Fix Slow Laptops: Have You Updated Your OS And Applications?

by Rod Dunne on October 18, 2011

in Laptop, Performance

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Slow laptop speeds can often be due to problems with your applications. In particular, the software can become out of date are contained old poorly-performing code. Here I’ll show you key areas where you should do updates to help improve performance and stability of your system.

The operating system programs and device drivers

If your laptop keeps freezing then this may well be due to damage to the operating system and/or device driver files. These files are prone to changing quite often (especially DLL files) so can quickly become out of date or corrupted.

Your starting point is to use Windows update service to get the latest operating system patches and security updates. This invariably includes DLL files and many device drivers.

The benefit of this is that your system will be more secure as well as having the latest code containing performance fixes.


On many occasions a slow laptop is due to specific third-party applications you are using. The trick is to identify which applications are going slow and then attempt to resolve their performance problems.

The starting point to identifying problematic applications, especially if your laptop keeps freezing, is to open the task manager (or resmon in Windows 7) on the processes tab. Sort the list of applications according to the ‘mem usage’ column (i.e. memory usage).

Review the list of applications and services and see which ones are using the largest amount of RAM memory. You should then evaluate how to resolve this individual program. Here are some suggestions you can try:

  • Check for updates to the program on the manufacturers website.
  • Remove the application altogether if you do not need it.
  • Replace the application with a competitor’s utility which does the same tasks.
  • Check user forums for details of any performance tweaks you could use to work around slow laptop performance.

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