Nothing is more frustrating than a slow or laggy laptop, and an unfortunate number of people are dealing with unnecessarily slow machines these days. The problem is that you might not even know what’s making your laptop so slow in the first place, and at a certain point, this lack of speed can result in decreased performance at work as well as an annoyingly stressful experience during your time off.
Luckily, there are all sorts of ways to make your HP laptop faster. The solution often involves ascertaining the cause of the slow speed because you can remedy the situation by getting rid of the root. Alternatively, your laptop might not have excellent specs, which means that making a few modifications will help boost speed considerably. Since there are so many variables that need to be considered here, we have decided to compile a list of ten ways to make your laptop run like a high-speed machine. You might even be able to start playing video games on a computer that previously couldn’t open a basic word processor! Most laptops are easily adaptable, so strap in for the methods we are about to show you.
Speaking of video games, check out our article on the best gaming laptops under $700, $1000, and $1500.
How to Make Your HP Laptop Run Faster
Get Rid of Unwanted Files and Programs
A cluttered hard drive can make your laptop run more slowly than usual. Also, heavy programs that you might not be using can take up a lot of processing power, too, even if they only work in the background. Removing these files can speed things up tremendously, and many of these files might not even be necessary for you anymore.
Your laptop accumulates various temporary files, and after a certain point, these files become unnecessary drags on your system. Doing a quick disk cleanup can get rid of most of these temporary files, although you will have to take matters into your own hands if you want to delete larger files that you downloaded yourself previously.
Check our guide on How To Get Rid of System Junk Files on Laptop to learn how to remove these unnecessary files.
Look through your system to find files that are taking up too much disk space, and if they are no longer of any value to you, get rid of them immediately.
Reduce Programs Opening at Start Up
Specific programs might ask you to make them run automatically as soon as your system starts up, but the problem with this is that it uses up too much processing power. While you might need some of these programs at some point or another, it’s unlikely that you would need all of them to be active simultaneously.
Go to the settings menu and enter the Apps section. You can find all the programs that are capable of running at startup in the Startup tab. To stop these programs running at startup, click the toggle to the right of each program to set it to Off.
Bear in mind, that this will make specific programs load more slowly when you first open them. Programs that run at startup do so because you can then open them instantly, but that’s unnecessary for software that you rarely use.
Switch to SSD
Sometimes your laptop’s slow performance can be attributed to inefficient hardware. Computer hardware has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past decade or so, and one of the best examples of this is the Solid State Drive which is quickly becoming the global standard as the now obsolete Hard Disk Drive is phased out.
SSDs can massively increase your laptop speed because it remains completely immobile. Instead of moving parts, SSDs use flash memory to store your data, which means they can instantly access said data. They can operate at many times the speed of old-fashioned mechanical hard drives, so replacing your HDD with an SSD is a surefire way to get the speed that you desire.
One thing to bear in mind about SSDs is that they aren’t compatible with all laptops, especially if your old hard drive has a unique form factor that prevents you from replacing it. Luckily, HP laptops have hard drives with standard form factors, so replacing them with SSDs shouldn’t be an issue.
Laptops are often shipped with the bare minimum amount of RAM, so you can try this option out if you haven’t increased your RAM yet. Anything less than 2GB of RAM would be insufficient for optimal laptop performance, and you should ideally strive for at least 4GB of RAM.
You might even need 8GB or more if you plan on using heavy software like digital audio workstations or graphic design programs. However, people that use 32-bit Windows might face a roadblock here because this version of Windows can use a maximum of 3GB RAM. An upgrade would still be worthwhile if you have less than 3GB, but anything more than that would be pointless in a 32-bit operating system.
That said, newer laptops are built with the RAM soldered onto the motherboard. Adding more RAM won’t be possible if this is the case.
Clean Up Malware
If you use the internet, a virus is going to try to penetrate your system’s defenses at some point or another. Malware can use up significant resources that can reduce your laptop’s overall processing power, so it’s crucial to run a scan if you notice your laptop’s running a bit slower than usual.
Malware often doesn’t even do anything drastic. Instead, it hides out of sight and uses up processing power to steal your data. Hence, a sudden drop in laptop speed might be the only indication that malware has compromised your system.
Luckily, this is a relatively easy issue to fix. Windows comes with a built-in antivirus now called Windows Defender, and if you suspect that you might have malware, all you need to do is run a scan. The scan will pick up any unusual software and get rid of it for you. That should instantly make your laptop run faster.
Change Your Antivirus
An antivirus is supposed to protect your system from malicious actors, but some do this more efficiently than others. That means that some antivirus software might require too much processing power to keep malware at bay, something that makes having them on your laptop less than ideal.
You might notice a dip in laptop performance when you install a new antivirus. That indicates that said antivirus uses a disproportionate amount of processing power, and you should try to switch things up by changing to a less resource-heavy option.
Some might say that a third-party antivirus is not as necessary as it used to be anymore. Windows Defender does a solid job of keeping your system secure, so it might be inefficient for you to have a different antivirus when your preexisting one does such a good job.
Defrag Hard Drive
One of the biggest problems with HDDs is that they often get fragmented, which means that the moving parts of your hard drive have scattered bits of data to random areas. That would slow your laptop down significantly, which is why Windows comes with a helpful tool that can help you defragment your hard drive.
Defragging your hard drive brings all of the disparate bits of data back together, so your hard disk would need less time to access all the data required to run a program. To defrag your hard drive, go to the “Optimize Drives” option in your system settings. The resulting analysis will tell you whether or not your hard drive is fragmented.
You can click on the defrag option and wait for the system to sort itself out if it is. Your system data will be compiled in a more precise manner, resulting in an immediate uptick in laptop speed.
Use a Different Browser
Your browser can often use a surprising amount of processing power to perform even the most basic tasks. Slow loading times for web pages can indicate that your browser is not up to the mark, and switching to a new one might help solve the problem.
Alternatively, you could try emptying your browser’s cache. The cache contains temporary files that help load web pages faster, but they can weigh heavily on your laptop processor after a certain point. Empty the cache and delete all cookies along with it.
Another thing you could check is whether or not you are using the latest version of your browser. Using an older version of your browser can slow things down, too, so make sure that you are updated and that your browser doesn’t have any unnecessary files that it doesn’t need. A lightweight browser works best in most scenarios.
Turn Off Heavy Graphics and Animations
A lot of work has been done to make operating systems visually appealing as of late, but these animations and heavy graphics can make your laptop quite slow. They all require a fair amount of processing power, and turning them off can immediately increase laptop speed and eliminate lag and glitches.
Things like translucent panels and fading might look good, but they don’t serve an actual function. Hence, turning them off would only do your laptop’s performance some good. You can turn these graphics off in advanced system settings in the control panel.
You don’t have to turn all of the animations and graphics off either. Keep some of them if you like, but limit ones that are entirely unnecessary or that you don’t find aesthetically pleasing. This is also a great way to optimize performance in a low end laptop without having to upgrade your hardware.
Cool Your Laptop Down
Overheating is a major cause of laptop slowdowns. If your laptop is lagging or functioning at a slow pace, check its base to see how warm it is. A little bit of warmth is standard, but if it’s too hot to touch, then there might be a problem.
There is a chance that your fan might not be working correctly, in which case you would need to replace it with a new one. Dust and debris can also get into your laptop and cause overheating, which is why it is so important to clean your computer regularly.
Check out our article on How to Check If Your Laptop Fan is Working to learn more.
If all else fails, invest in an external fan. Heavy software will inevitably overheat your computer, so an external cooling element is essential if you want your laptop running at maximum speed.
Why Is My Laptop So Slow?
Laptops might run slowly for lots of reasons. Inadequate RAM is a frequently faced problem, and old-fashioned HDDs will make your computer slower than an SSD. Also, you may have specific heavy programs opening at startup that slow your system down. If none of these problems apply to you, you might have some malware or virus that’s using up system resources.
Are Faster Laptops More Expensive?
While this is a common assumption, it’s not true. Expensive laptops provide a lot of premium features but speed is a different matter entirely. Improving RAM capacity and using an SSD can make your cheap laptop run much faster, and they aren’t overly expensive either.
A swift and efficient laptop can be a game-changer for you, whether you are trying to work or even playing a videogame for fun. People frequently assume that you can’t do anything about slower machines, but the tips we have provided above prove that this is incorrect. You would be amazed at how much faster your laptop would start to run if you used a combination of the suggestions mentioned above. Some might even notice their laptop doubling its processing power after just a few tweaks! Laptop optimization is not nearly as complicated as a few individuals make it out to be, and boosting your laptop speed is something you can easily do on your own.