Speed Up Laptop Performance | Top 5 Ways

by Rod Dunne on August 12, 2010

in Laptop, Performance

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If your PC is struggling to start up promptly, applications pause in the middle of operations or you find your computer running very slow while on the internet, then it is time to consider what improvements you can make.

Here, we’ll look at the 5 best ways to speed up laptop computer performance.

1: Speed up disk access times

It stands to reason that as you work on a computer your programs are saving documents and temporary files to the hard drive and caching information in virtual memory.

So, if you reduce the amount of disk access calls being made it will speed up your entire system. Likewise maintaining a suitable paging file (where documents are cached) should also help maintain PC speed.

  • Reduce the number of disk access calls by running a disk defragmenter tool (e.g. Regtool is a registry cleaner and disk defragmenter all-in-one).
  • Ensure the size of virtual memory does not diminish by keeping at least 10% of the disk empty for the paging file to expand as needed. Increase the paging file size if desired in the Performance options (via the Control Panel > System > Advanced). Our post on how to do a computer clean up details ways of freeing up disk space.

2: Maintain the software on your laptop computer

Software manufacturers regularly release programs with bugs, or ‘known issues’ as they are imaginatively called. Over time however, they should continue to release patch updates/upgrades that remedy coding issues and fix performance/threading issues.

So by using the latest updates and using optimum settings you can speed up laptop performance.

  • Keep your operating system files and device drivers current using the Windows Update site. This helps speed up my laptop by ensuring the latest bug fixes and performance improvements are installed.
  • Get updates for any frequently used applications (sign up for email updates or use the ‘check for updates’ menu-item which most modern programs have).
  • Keep system files fault free by scanning for viruses, adware, spyware and malware.
  • Repair registry file damage using registry cleaners (e.g. Registry Easy and XP Repair Pro).

3: Optimize the services/applications that are running in parallel

Your PC speed is dictated by the supply of processing power (your CPU and amount of RAM memory) and the demands that program’s are making.

So if you can reduce the number of applications that are running then you can reduce the strain on CPU/RAM. Better still, you can also speed up laptop boot times by stopping services from initializing as the operating system is starting up.

  • Open Task Manager on the Processes Tab. Close applications you recognize and which you know are safe to shutdown (do not close anti-virus update services).
  • Check the ‘mem usage’ column. For programs using a lot of RAM memory investigate if they have any known performance problems of if updates are available. Consider replacing it with an alternate program that can do the same task.
  • Use the startup tab in the System Configuration Utility to disable services initialized when your laptop computer is starting up. This tool is run via the Start bar, Run program, type in ‘msconfig’. For similar performance tips & information, see our post how to speed up my computer through upgrades, maintenance and repairs.

4: Optimize your internet bandwidth

Your laptop computer can appear to strain to process commands while browsing. This may be due to the browser maxing out the RAM memory or connection issues so both need to be investigated.

  • Double-check your upload/download speeds at speedtest.net . If you keep a record of this when the PC speed is good then you can compare it to when the laptop is going slow. If it is a slow connection issue then get in touch with your ISP.
  • Reduce the number of remote server calls and downloads being made from your laptop to free up some bandwidth. Start by disabling/removing add-ons to your browser. Then open your firewall configuration settings and block access to the web for certain applications (you will find that many programs are repeatedly pinging web servers for updates/downloads).

5: Add more memory

Finally, it is fair to say that the most effective way to speed up laptop performance is to add more RAM. This is not difficult to do and the price of memory has decreased in recent times, so it is a cost-effective option.

If your operating system supports ReadyBoost enabled flash drives then you can also consider plugging one of these devices into a USB port and making some of its flash memory available to the OS for use as additional RAM.

Related Posts:
- Why does my computer keep freezing?

- Are free laptop deals legitimate businesses or just a scam?
- Windows XP users should read our post on how to speed up XP for system specific tweaks.

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