10 Ways to Make Your Laptop Run More Efficiently
By on January 6th, 2010

Whether it’s for work or pleasure, a laptop can be a real joy. However, if your laptop is not running as fast as it did when it was new, it may be time for some routine maintenance and cleanup.

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Here are a few simple tips that you can use to make your laptop run faster, and last longer:

  1. Defragment your laptop on a regular basis at least once a week. Your computer breaks all of your files up into many pieces, and scatters them throughout your hard drive.  What defragmenting does is take all these mixed and scattered pieces, and re-organizes them neatly into a space where they can be easily accessed more quickly – The Best Free Defragmentation Tools.

  2. Cleaning your Registry is a must. One of the most important parts of Windows is the registry. Fatal errors to your laptop can occur from disfiguration or corruption of this section. The most common cause of registry problems is buggy software installation.  Keep your registry clean and consider getting and running a registry cleaner from time to time. There are many of these programs available online, and some of them are even free – Keep Your Registry Clean With Mr.Fix Registry Cleaner.

  3. Unclutter your hard drive of unnecessary programs and files such as entertainment, games, music, pictures, etc. If you allow them to add up, these files can clog the hard drive and slow it down. If your hard drive is too full, it can also cause problems with your computer’s RAM and processing capability. This can lead to significant slow-downs and frequent crashes – Windows Cleanup for Fast and Fun Cleanups.

  4. Get good virus protection. You need to run a good anti-virus program and spyware/adware program at least once a week, if not more. Many people do this every day at start-up. Most of these programs are able to run automatically on their own schedule without your assistance, which can save you a lot of time – The Best Free Antivirus and Malware protection.

  5. Empty the recycle bin regularly. It doesn’t do you a lot of good to delete all that unnecessary junk if it’s just going to sit in your Recycle Bin. No one likes taking out the trash but it needs to be done! – Recycle Bin tips and tricks.

  6. Erase temporary Internet Files. This cannot be stressed or emphasized enough. Every time you go to a site on the web or open a file, a temporary copy is made and kept in your hard drive. They may be called "temporary" but they’re there for a long time. The more you have on your system, the more they’re going to slow down your laptop. Whether you’re running Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer, find out how to clear your browser’s cache, and do it regularly – Delete Internet History, Cache and More.

  7. Get rid of unnecessary startup programs. Many programs want to start running as soon as you boot up your computer. Although these programs may not always be visible on your desktop, they’re still running in the background and sucking up your valuable RAM. This can significantly slow down the laptop as time goes by. Find out how to modify your "msconfig", and manually remove these programs from launching on startup. You won’t be removing them from your computer, just preventing them from running every time you start up your computer – The Best Startup Managers.

  8. Keep your laptop running cool. Avoid keeping your laptop directly on a soft surface such as your bed or couch. It needs to be able to breather freely and allow air to circulate. Otherwise, your processor might overheat, causing slow-downs, crashes and even physical damage to components.

  9. Uninstall unused programs. Any programs that are not being used are just taking up space on your hard drive. Please note that deleting a program folder is not the same as uninstalling. Make sure to properly remove programs using the Uninstall function in your Control Panel. Otherwise, you could just end up creating more problems – Best Uninstallers for Windows.

  10. Upgrade your RAM if necessary. If you have a tendency of having many large programs all opened at once, you may not have enough RAM on your system. Look into purchasing some new RAM. Prices are very reasonable, and it’s a cost-effective way to increase the speed and efficiency of your laptop.

If you follow the advice listed in this article, you can possibly get an extra 2 or 3 years of life from your laptop before you’ll need to replace it.

But remember… before doing any kind of work on your system, it’s vital that you create a backup copy of all your most important data. This way, you’ll be prepared in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Also Read:

This is a guest post by Patrick Jobin from Storagepipe Solutions, who is a leader in backup software for laptops and online backup for business servers. Want to guest post for us? Visit the Guest Post information page to read how you can submit guest posts to us.

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

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  • http://www.techylabs.com Rishabh Agarwal

    I'll give you a one stop solution. Stop using windows and start using Ubuntu or any linux. Your machine would run like a mad horse and you never have to search again on "How do I make my computer run fast"

    • http://www.williamsmendez.com Williams Mendez

      hahahhahhaha you're right!!!! :P:P

    • Martin

      I have vodafone -Australian- USB modem that will not operate on ubuntu.. Any idea's please? cheers

  • http://www.thecollectorsshop.co.uk lee

    good tips mine over heats and uses battery power like theres no tomorrow ill try ubuntu

  • http://www.jumpness.com bounce house

    RAM was key for me. I would have Photoshop open, many internet browsers, video editing etc. Once I got more RAM it acted like a new computer for awhile. Super cheap online too!

  • http://www.netage.co.za Net Age | Web Design

    Ubuntu is the destiny of my current laptop. It is an HP 9010 that is five years old already, and having served me faithfully through many adventures is due for retirement soon. Ubuntu seems like the logical step to take here, as the hardware is still fine, jyst battling a bit with modern software, that's all. Back to basics it is then, I have to experiment with Ubuntu at some stage of the fight.

    • http://www.xubuntu.org/ Mike

      Hi NetAge. You're on the right track with your plan to switch the old lappy to ubuntu. I switched my Atom processor netbook from WinXP to Lucid Lynx and never looked back. It runs so much faster that it makes XP seem somewhere between 'excruciatingly slow' and 'down right unusable'.

      Just a suggestion:

      The normal ubuntu's desktop manager (called 'Gnome') can be a bit too resource hungry to live happily on an older system, so you may see less performance gains vs Windows than you might have expected. check into some of the other flavors of ubuntu before you install (eg kubuntu, ubuntu netbook remix, lubuntu, xubuntu, mythbuntu). Some variations are geared toward lower-end hardware, viz xubuntu and lubuntu.

      My personal preference in this situation is to go with the 'xubuntu' variant, which has the same core ubuntu, but replaces Gnome with xfce, a similar but somewhat simplified interface. xubuntu also comes with it's own collection of software that is largely the same as in ubuntu, but some of the larger, more full-featured (i.e. resource-hungry) applications are left out or replaced with a lighter-weight equivalent. (For example, where Ubuntu installs the full OpenOffice.org suite for handling office docs, spreadsheets, presentations, etc, Xubuntu uses instead several small independent apps: gnumeric for spreadsheets, Abiword for word processing, orage for calendar, etc. These apps work fine for my everyday needs, YMMV.)

      I would recommend Xubuntu even if you do need some of the more powerful, heavier-weight applications. The free and open nature of most linux software means that you are in no way locked-in to the pre-installed apps, and installing new programs is eleventy billion percent easier and slicker than in windows using the new "ubuntu software center" program.

      One last suggestion: when you are ready to make the switch, try all 3 of these desktop environments from a liveCD or liveUSB before you install. That way you can try it out, and most importantly verify that it works with all of your hardware, before making any changes to your computer.

      Good luck!

  • http://www.mezzi.com/ Aluminum Laptop Case

    My laptop is on its last days, but based on your advice I will look into adding more RAM. I had assumed that it was tough to do any upgrades on a laptop. I do alright on your 9 other recommendations.

  • http://www.harshitsinghal.com Harshit Singhal

    Nice tips. Implementing them would surely boost up the performance of your laptop. Well Done.

  • http://www.psychegraphics.com Stephen Sharp

    It may sound odd but don't let dust build up inside too. Spray regularly with a can of compressed air through the heat vents to keep it at bay. Overheating will cause major component failures, my DVD burner went first!

  • http://www.samirdhakal.com.np samir

    ya, Nice tips and really helpful tips…

  • http://www.cardealera.com/ Himanshu

    I think every person should have knowledge for how to run their laptops more Efficiently. If you run lots of programms then it will be affect on the speed of your laptop.

    If you want to run faster then Go to Start, RUN, then enter “msconfig” into the box, and enter. This brings up the STARTUP CONFIGURATION UTILITY.

    Go to the tab startup, and you can see all the programs that are loaded into your computer upon bootup. Simply uncheck those that you do do want – this can be a tough task, as the names are probably not meaningful.

    Go to http://www.processlibrary.com, enter in the name of the process, and you can get a definition.

    having said all that, with an old computer, it is not unusual to have slow operation, since most web pages are designed as if everyone had a 2.5GHZ pentium 4.

    My old 500MHZ computer is agonizingly slow on the web, so I use it only for document processing and other offline tasks. I was compelled to buy a faster machine to surf.

  • http://www.elitewebservices.net Temecula SEO

    Great advice. Especially the points about removing old unused programs. I have tons of them, cleaning them now!

  • http://www.juicecleansemagic.com Juice Cleanse

    Keep up the great article posting. I really enjoyed this one.

  • petet

    can i get a product key for xp office prof.
    just thought i would try.

    • Solly Atwell

      petet asked “can i get a product key for xp office prof”

      Well yes, very easily actually. Just purchase a leagl copy of the software and one will be supplied with it.

  • http://reggeniereview.org Reg Genie Review

    We know the difference between a laptop and a netbook, but even with the list of tips still the netbook is slower than a laptop, the best way is to upgrade the RAM…

  • http://minh.haduong.com/ Minh Ha-Duong

    The title is only relevant to point 8. The other 90% of the article would be more appropriately titled “How to make WINDOWS suck less”.

    • André Neves

      Completely true!

  • jallen

    Very good tips here! @documentdefense

  • http://techx64.com Tushar Agarwal

    Laptop cooling pad really helps to keep the laptop running trouble free.

  • https://plus.google.com/111682818223525948069/posts Muntoo Meddler

    Terrible article. Inaccurate, filled with misinformation, and virtually useless. I’ve seen countless of these stupid articles on the Internet, but whoa, never seen one this terribly written. It seems to be designed for absolute beginners to *Windows*, not even remotely intelligent people.

    The part about the Registry shattered any credibility you had left after writing a ‘top ten’ list.

    “If your hard drive is too full, it can also cause problems with your computer’s RAM and processing capability.” You can’t be serious. A full harddrive (like >95%) should only slow down the speed of disk I/O, and not affect RAM or CPU whatsoever. And if I were you, I would have linked to the far superior CCleaner, which comes with one of those retarded Registry Cleaners as well, but won’t totally spyware the hell out of you nor cause BSODs, nor totally ruin your system.

    “Keep your laptop running cool.” Finally, some decent advice.

    “Upgrade your RAM if necessary.” You forgot to mention that 4GB is enough for 99% of people, and 8GB is pretty overkill for 99.9%. Even gaming doesn’t require much RAM.

    I’m wondering why I’m on Techie-Buzz. You reminded me how retarded this site is, so I’ll get off it now.

  • roger

    This is totally useless. I’ve had a Core2duo processor laptop with 2GB ram with Nvidia G force Video Card and I purchased a cooling pad for it before purchasing that loptop never use it on bed or sofa or any other thing but still there was a VGA death in just 2 months and I replaced the VGA Chip with new one but the same thing happened to me again in just 1 month.
    I have C Cleaner, Kaspersky Anti Virus and very much free hard every thing working but still this things happens to me to this is totally bullshit Article……..

  • http://www.cashforiphones.com/ Maristella

    Great read! I’ve had never considered erasing temporary internet files yet.

  • http://www.hopy1.com/ hopy

    a great article. I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends.. Thank

  • Stefano Izzo

    It’s a good tips to mantain your laptop at the max performance.Also I have written advice about laptop that do not enjoy much power. So it is always better to keep them efficient ,can take a look here for more tips http://www.guide-informatica.com

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