June 8th, 2021

Why your laptop is slow—and how to speed it up

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Ways to speed up a slow laptop or slow MacBook

Whether you need to turn in a quick assignment or hop on a last-minute video call, a slow laptop can be frustrating. But don't worry. There are several ways to speed up your device, and they don't involve running to the store and buying a new one.

At Asurion, our experts help 300 million customers (and counting) diagnose and resolve their device problems and get the most out of their favorite tech every day. Wondering how to make your laptop faster? Check out their tips below to get your device back up to speed.

Why is my laptop so slow?

As you accumulate more files, apps, and programs on your hard drive, your laptop can start to lag or stop responding altogether. These issues don't pop up immediately; however, regular use, demanding software updates, and aging computer parts can stall your laptop over time and hurt its performance, making it harder to complete daily tasks.

Watch this short video where an Asurion Expert shows how to fix your slow laptop:

Asurion Video

How to speed up your laptop

Make your laptop faster with a few simple steps. Here's what our experts recommend:

Restart your laptop

If you haven't rebooted your system in a while, it may just need a quick reset. Restarting your laptop not only clears temporary files and shuts down programs, it can solve more problems than you may think. Try to restart your laptop at least once a week to keep it working at its best.

Check the memory

Your laptop uses hardware called random-access memory, or RAM, to load programs and open files quickly. It's essentially your laptop's short-term memory, and when it's running low, your system will take longer to open and run multiple apps at the same time.

You can find out how much memory you're using in your laptop settings. Here's how:

How to check your computer memory on a PC (Windows 10):

  1. On your keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+Del at the same time, then select Task Manager.
  2. Select Performance > Memory to see how much your laptop can support.

How to check your computer memory on a Mac:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then click About This Mac.
  2. Click Overview, then look for Memory to see how much is available on your laptop.

If you've had your laptop for longer than two years, it may be time to increase the RAM so it can run several applications and programs without slowing down. Have questions about the installation? Visit the uBreakiFix by Asurion location nearest you for fast help.

Make space on your hard drive

Your laptop's hard drive holds a lot of data—from photos and videos to music and other large files—and if it's nearly full, it can degrade your computer's performance. Find out how much storage you have left on your device, then see where you can cut things down. It's simple:

How to check hard drive storage on your PC (Windows 10):

  1. Select the Start button, then select Settings.
  2. Select System > Storage, and you'll see what space is available under Local storage.

How to check your Mac storage:

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen, then click About This Mac.
  2. Click Storage. The bar graph will show how much of your total storage is being used. You can click Manage to see a breakdown of specific apps on your hard drive.

Once you find out what apps and programs are taking the most space, consider deleting the ones you no longer need. If you have a lot of photos and videos, back up your files to the cloud or move them to an external hard drive.

Close unnecessary browser windows

Do you tend to keep multiple browser windows and apps running at the same time? Doing so can slow down your laptop. If you've noticed your device becoming sluggish—or can't stop asking yourself, Why is my HP laptop so slow?—take stock of the programs you have open and close the ones you can do without.

How to see what programs are running on a PC (Windows 10):

  1. On the keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+Del at the same time, then select Task Manager.
  2. Select CPU to sort the list based on processor usage or select Memory to sort by memory usage. Look for the app that's using the most processing power or memory.
  3. Close the apps you don't need, but don't close system processes, as this can make the computer unstable or shut down.

How to see what apps are running on a Mac:

  1. Open Spotlight Search by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the screen, then type “Activity Monitor".
  2. Under the CPU tab, look for the apps that are using the most processing power.
  3. Quit the apps you don't need.

Limit background programs

There are sometimes hidden programs that load in the background or automatically start when you log on to your laptop, and they can also slow down your machine. Fortunately, turning off those apps is easy:

How to remove apps from startup on a PC (Windows 10):

  1. Select the Start button, then select Settings > Apps.
  2. Select Startup, then turn off the apps you don't want to open when you sign in.

How to remove apps from startup on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, then click System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  2. Select an account, then click Login Items.
  3. Select an app and click the minus sign to keep it from opening when you log in.

Make sure your laptop is protected

Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan that covers all your favorite home tech. With Asurion Home+, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 assistance for your whole family with any tech care need—for less than $1/day. Learn more about Asurion Home+ coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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