Hey there my Noob Alliance!

This one is for all the happy owners of laptops out there!

As a laptop owner, the chances are pretty good that you have faced the frustration of waiting forever for it to start up or for it to open a program.

This can be  mind boggling if your laptop is brand new or if it’s “internals” are supposed to be “fast”… So how can you make a laptop run faster without running to the store straight away to get upgrades?

Fear not, there is still hope for your laptop! Here are a 5 free frustration-busting tweaks that may help. Try these before losing all hope and fetching a hammer. (Just kidding, leave that hammer alone – 😉 ).

Noob Tip: Remember to check which version of Windows OS you are using because the instructions are slightly different for each version.

PS. Back up your computer before getting your hands dirty with changing Windows settings!

1. Squeezing as much as we can out with Power Plan settings!

Laptops are set up by default to change the power plan to conserve battery, but this is at the cost of performance aka “speed”. If your laptop is kept plugged in to a power source most of the time and/or you favour speed over battery life then try the following.

(Remember, you can always change the setting back to default if you want to, so don’t be afraid to make changes).

  • Click on the Start Button (The button that looks like a flag at the bottom left-hand side of your desktop)
  • Using your keyboard, type in “Power Plan”. Your PC will now display search results
  • Click on “Edit Power Plan
  • The Power Options Window will open
  • You will have a few power plans listed here, select High Performance
  • Close the window by clicking the “X” at the top right-hand corner of the “Power Options” window

     

Windows 10 Power Plan Settings

2. Close “Superfetch” (more like “not-superfetch”)

Superfetch is a Windows background program that was intended to help create a smoother computing experience for users.

However,  I remember suffering from serious slowness a while ago on a computer that had zero excuse to be slow – so I tried this advice I found online (because I’m a Google-geek) and it fixed the problem perfectly.

It was utilizing 100% of the processor! (Aka . the brain of a computer).

To close superfetch follow these steps:

  • Right click on the task-bar
  • Click Task Manager (This app displays all the programs running in the foreground and background of your computer)
  • Click on the tab at the top that says Services
  • At the bottom of this tab click Open Services
  • Sort this long list alphabetically by clicking on Name at the top the “Name” column
  • Go down the list and look for “Superfetch
  • Right click on Superfetch and click “Stop

This will stop Superfetch from running until you restart your PC. If you found that this tip worked for you, and you don’t feel like doing it every time you’ve restarted your PC, follow these instructions until the very last point and then:

  • Right click on Superfetch and click Properties
  • Change the startup type to Disabled and click Ok
Windows 10 Superfetch Service

3. Check & Disable Startup Programs

It is common for laptop manufacturers to include programs on laptops that start with Windows and run in the background.

As time goes on and you install more programs, some of these programs are set to start with Windows as well, even though you don’t need to have them running all the time. Silly right?

This can slow down your computer’s startup time and it can fill up your computer’s memory making things feel laggy!

Let’s close those pesky memory-hogs, follow these steps:

  • Right click on the task-bar
    Click Task Manager
  • Click on the Startup tab
  • The “Status” column indicates whether a particular program is set to start with Windows
  • The “Startup Impact” column indicates how much a particular program affects the speed at which your computer loads Windows.
  • Right click on the programs you don’t need loaded/running in the background and click Disable
  • PS – Don’t disable programs that sound like they may be related to your Anti-virus – see tip below!

Noob Tip: If you are not sure whether you need a particular program to start with Windows, do a Google search with the name of the program “Do I need “_______” to start with Windows?”.

Considering buying a new laptop instead of trying to get your old one to co-operate? Here are some budget-friendly ones I’ve picked out for my Noob Alliance – have a look!

Windows 10 Task Manager Showing Startup Programs

4. Do You Have Too Many Open Windows?

Every computer has something commonly referred as “memory” or RAM. Some have more memory than others.

We can think of this as work space. The more windows/programs you have open at once, the more the work space fills up and becomes cluttered. The computer becomes slower as it has to keep swapping items in its work-space back & forth.

A quick remedy to this problem is to close any programs you are not using at the time, and to only have programs running that you are actually using at any given time.

For example, you might have one or more word documents open that you want to get back to working on later. Rather, save and close it for the time being until you are ready to work on it again.

Take a look at your task-bar, you will notice the different tasks open at the bottom. Close the ones you are not using.

Noob Tip: 9 out of 10 times it is possible to increase our laptop memory! Nowadays it’s recommended to have at least 4 Gigabytes of RAM and 8 Gigabytes for really smooth sailing.  Now I know this isn’t a free fix – but for a relatively inexpensive fix it can make a big difference. Be sure to check your laptop’s memory specs and requirements before buying anything!

5. Is Google Chrome Running in the Background?

If it feels like your laptop is sometimes speedy and other times not so much, it might be useful to note whether Google Chrome is open when your laptop feels a bit on the laggy side.

Often Chrome may load a bunch of extensions, such as ad blockers etc, along with the main program.

Also, the more tabs you have open the more memory Chrome will consume.

If your computer has lower specifications, it is a good idea to only have Chrome open when you need to browse the web and to close it when you don’t need it open.

Chrome Screenshot

 Read more about what I use to keep my computers running as snappy as they can!

Always A Solution For Everything!

Hopefully some of these tips help ease your frustrations as they did mine.

There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that computer users aren’t aware of and a lot can (and does) go pear-shaped sometimes.

Luckily the fixes often aren’t difficult to carry out and even newbies can attempt it – plus it’s excellent practice to get those geek-skills flowing!

There are plenty more things to try if you haven’t found success yet! I will keep posting and sharing more helpful info and tips, so keep checking back for more. 😉

Here at Computer Noob Guru we find solutions, and destroy problems!

Sketch of minion

Now hit that comment section below and let me know if any of these tweaks worked for you? Or perhaps you have a question that I can answer with my geek superpowers?

Whatever the case may be, I love hearing from you – so leave me some love!

26 Comments

  1. Reply

    So helpful, thank you! I have a relatively old laptop, which runs soooo slow on Windows 10. I’m changing over to a newer laptop, but still have to access the old one to transfer files over. I’ll give your tips a go to see if they make the whole process a lot less frustrating 😀

    • Reply

      Ohh nooo, I feel your frustration Lotta – I’ve been there too! If you ever get stuck or need help with your laptop, please drop me a message, I love to help! 🙂

  2. Viljoen

    Reply

    I can see a lot of people benefit from this article on how to speed up your laptop. Startup programs and programs that run in the background and huge turnoffs for me and I like to keep it as limited as possible. 

    I use to run discord and other programs that take too much time during startup. What are your thoughts regarding CCleaner and Driver Booster 5 when trying to speed up your laptop? Do you think they are necessary?

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Viljoen! I feel the same about background programs, they’re resource hogs! 

      CCleaner used to be an excellent techie favorite and the reason the techies loved it was because it did it’s job of clearing out junk pretty well and for free too – but not so long ago they had a malware scare where hackers managed to package a virus with one of the CCleaner updates – it infected millions of computers. You can read about it here: CCleaner Attack.

      Since hearing that I have been weary to install it on my PCs again. Not only that, but I find System Mechanic does a much better job than CCleaner ever did for me.

      I love Driver Booster, it’s one of the easiest ways to keep drivers up to date! There certainly are cases where having an outdated driver can be the cause of a slow computer – however I would try the tweaks mentioned above first before looking into driver issues. I hope this helps! 😉

  3. Cath Anon

    Reply

    oh excellent suggestions!  My laptop’s not necessarily slow but there are times I do wonder whether it can be faster.  I’m tempted to follow some of your hints here to see if it makes a difference.

    Hope you come out with more hints and suggestions like these!  They’re a real help for the likes of me who really does not know where to start looking for solutions to a problem I don’t even know how to describe.  You know what I mean!?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Cath! 

      I know exactly what you mean, every time I delve into new tech territory I experience that water-over-the-head feeling. It feels like I’m speaking a different language and Google doesn’t understand what it is that I want lol! 

      And then hopefully I come out alive on the other end with the answers so that I can help others without them going through the same torture!

      It’s an awesome feeling to tweak settings and then get a good result. I would love to hear about your results if you do try out any of the tweaks! 😉

  4. Beauty In A Maze

    Reply

    This is one reason I love MAC computers so much, or maybe I’m not as much of a “noob” as I thought. I’ve been using computers A LOT ever since I was 11 years old and the settings and tweaks you mentioned have always been the way I’ve made sure that when I’m using my computer, it’s as fast as possible. I think it’s a good idea for those intimidated by their computer settings to consider a computer a really big cell phone with a keyboard. It makes things so much easier.

    Even though there are always new versions of computers coming out, the symbols pretty much remain the same and the only “tricky” part is figuring out where they are as opposed to the last version someone may have had.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Indeed, I couldn’t agree more with that analogy of a computer being just like a big cellphone with a keyboard! In fact I follow the same troubleshooting procedure with smartphones as do with computers because that’s exactly what they both are – computers! 

      I agree with Macs being awesome, especially for those who just want their equipment to work without much maintenance and roadblocks. I can’t wait to own my first Mac – I’ve been a Windows girl my entire life but it is time branch out now so that I can help more and more folks with anything under the sun!

  5. Barry

    Reply

    Hello dear. This is an awesome post to help increase laptop speed. I know how frustrating it is to have a PC that hangs. Gosh! Few years back when I was working in a cyber cafe, I experienced much slow Computer speed to the extent that I almost felt like I should hit it on the floor 😂

    These tips will help solve these problems.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Barry! Thank you for visiting and leaving me some love! I can relate to that feeling 100%, slow computers suck! In today’s busy world it’s very difficult to remain patient when we need our equipment to work. 

      I do hope these tips help, it would be great to hear your results if you decide to try them out! 😉

  6. Dale

    Reply

    What an awesome article.  Every time I turn on my laptop the swearing starts and its a relatively new laptop.  I have book marked your article so that tonight when I get home I can absolutely do the things you suggest here.

    You may have saved me from throwing my laptop out a window lol

    Thank you.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hi Dale, lol @ “the swearing starts”! I see myself in that statement – I think I built up my “colorful” vocabulary largely because of dealing with computers and all their nonsense! I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse!

      I do hope your laptop lives to see another day safely on the inside and not outside in the bushes below your windowsill! 😉

  7. Leah

    Reply

    Finally! A straight talking, no nonsense approach to helping people get the best performance from their computers!

    There’s been days where ive been trawling through google and other places to find tips on how to speed up a laptop and most places just to want you to buy and download a dodgy program which will supposedly speed it up…!

    The wording is fantastic as well, really easy to follow, so thank you!

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Leah, thank you for the awesome feedback, it inspires me to keep on posting more helpful content! I’ve also been through the mill when it comes to all those sites that suggest software as a solution! Very frustrating!

      Sometimes those programs are bundled with other unwanted and often unrelated software which can cause havoc, that’s why it’s so important to do thorough research before downloading and installing anything from the internet. I have found very useful programs throughout my time as a geek but to get to them was like walking through a mine field lol!

  8. Israel

    Reply

    Thanks a lot for the informative post on “How to make a laptop computer run faster”! Literally, I felt so excited when I first stumbled on this page for I had always been on the lookout long ago for the best tweaks to make my laptop computer run faster without getting any appreciable solution ever. Kudos for the 5 frustration-busting tweaks that you suggested in your post!

    I’m particularly guilty of opening multiple windows/programs together once when I’m surfing the web, though never knew this could be responsible for the too much load on the part of the memory and slow speed on the part of the system. Thanks for this exposure!

    Israel Olatunji

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hi there Israel, thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment! 

      I’m also guilty of having too many windows open! I hope these tweaks help to make your laptop run at warp speed 😉 

  9. Isaac

    Reply

    You have no idea how frustrating it, especially if you are doing work which require your internet and laptop performance to be great. I will try what you advice me to do, and hopefully it helps.

    Thanks for the overall information though, great read! Looking forward to reading the other articles you have posted.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Isaac, I feel your frustration and I do hope these tips help your situation! Always feel welcome to give me a shout if you need any advice/help!

  10. Chrissie Spurgeon

    Reply

    How great to find a post that really helps to move much of the frustration experienced by Windows users. I am sure that anyone who follows your tips will find that their computers run much more smoothly.

    Your post drew my attention to something that I am really bad at, that is closing tabs that I am not using, and I will certainly be trying to do that much more often!

    Although I am not a Windows user myself, my husband is, and I will certainly be drawing his attention to your post which I know he will find helpful.

    Do you have any similar tips for Apple users?

    Also, could you tell me what is the average life of a laptop, and how can one tell when that life has come to an end?!

    Very many thanks for a really helpful post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Chrissie! It’s my pleasure! 

      I’m guilty of the same thing lol, I have a hundred windows open right now as I’m writing to you! 

      Interestingly, Apple computers don’t need as much maintenance as Windows PCs do. I’m more of a Windows girl (but when I do get my first Mac I intend to branch out my geek knowledge and I’ll be posting about it often lol). If your Apple computer does feel laggy I recommend checking out Lifehacker’s simple guide on how to optimize a sluggish Mac.

      The average life of a laptop can vary greatly. 

      On regular laptops internals like batteries, are more likely to give in at around the 3 year mark (it is also  very dependent on usage and how well we take care of them. I have known laptops that have lasted just fine for well over 7 years but they were very “tired” when it came to running newer software.

      When we look at how long it can go before becoming “outdated” then I would say between 3 and 5 years. If you purchased a high end laptop with fast components it’s closer to 5 years, and if the laptop is more on the budget side then it’s closer to 3 years.

      It’s also good to note that Macs tend to retain more of their re-sell value than regular laptops because of their outstanding quality. 

      I would say by the 3 year mark we can consider our laptops as well matured. If we mostly use them for web browsing, emails and word-processing then the age of it won’t be as noticeable as when we use it for gaming or video editing.

      We can stretch out its usefulness lifespan by doing some minor upgrades like doubling the memory (RAM) if possible and changing the hard drive to a Solid State drive which will make it run a lot faster and is less likely to break than a regular hard drive. Batteries are usually not a problem to replace. 

      If the screen or motherboard inside goes, one has to consider the age and replacement value of the laptop to see if repairing it will be worthwhile as those repairs can be very costly.

      I hope this helped!

  11. Stefan

    Reply

    Thanks for these tips. I often think my laptop is not running at full speed.

    I’ll have to check every point on your list. The only problem I have is, my settings are in German and I use windows 10.

    I’ll figure it out this evening. Especially the power settings I think to remember having it seen not at high performance.

    I hope I don’t break anything 🙂

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Stefan thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! The power plan setting tweak is the one that is the most common problem – and it’s a usually something a lot of folks wouldn’t think to check. I was delighted to discover how fast my laptops felt after changing that setting – and I hope it makes a nice difference on yours too!

      I’m sure everything will be A-Okay lol – if you get stuck feel free to email me/leave a comment for help! 😉

  12. Paul

    Reply

    Dear Nadia,

    Wow thanks for the helpful post just few days before I had this problem. I felt really bad and you know how it feels when the laptop is very slow OMG!

    I got great insights from your post and the step by step guidance you provided is very helpful. I followed it and changed my settings while reading itself. Very informative post!

    I need to save your post for future reference and I am going to bookmark it. 

    Wishing you great success!

    Paul

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Paul! Thank you for reporting back some feedback! I know  exactly how annoying and frustrating that feels. It’s my absolute pleasure to be able to give helpful information and I’m so glad to hear you’ve bookmarked my post! 

      Wishing you lots of now-speedier laptop days ahead and also great success! 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *