Given how nimble a laptop is we often forget that we have limited resources to work with when you shrink a lot of the power hungry components onto a smaller form factor. Over the past few years manufacturers have overcome these performance barriers with improved lithography and specs on a smaller die package however we’re constantly finding ways to push these innovations to their limits. This tutorial will show you how you can enhance the performance of your laptop.
1. Delete programs you sparsely (or don’t) use. If you’re the proud owner of too many apps you’ve hardly used, it’s time you rethought your strategy and uninstalled those you don’t use and found alternatives whereby one app helps you accomplish more tasks. One given example is how people who have too many media players onboard. Installing K-Lite Codec pack helps deal with a wide variety of file formats when it comes to media consumption.
2. Monitor how many applications are in your Startup and remove them to speed up boot to GUI times. You can simply accomplish this by installing CCleaner, clicking on the Tools icon on the left pane, followed by the Startup sub pane will lead you to a list of apps that are meant to appear at system startup. We do advise upon keeping critical apps enabled but others like Adobe’s Creative Suite and so forth can be disabled. Additional note, disabling the app in question is good practice as opposed to deleting it since you may want to reinstate its privileges if it was a mission critical app in startup.
3. Use Disk Cleanup in your OS to free up space from your boot/storage drive. Simply open Run, type Disk Cleanup and hit Enter. You should come across a pop window asking you to choose the drive upon which Disk Cleanup may perform its run. Clicking OK will bring up another menu whereby you choose what sort of files to delete and free space from. Temporary files and offline webpages can be dealt with via this extension.
4. If you multitask on your laptop and or happen to run Google’s Chrome web browser, you will notice that it happens to take up system resources, more so from memory than CPU. In this instance, it’s advised to upgrade your ram. Now it’s ill advised to upgrade your ram when you’re on one stick by adding another stick of (seemingly identical) ram. It’s highly recommended that you try and max out your ram, as far as possibly accepted by your laptop, via the help of a ram kit. If your laptop has two slots (or more) find a ram kit that correspond to the ram slots and the maximum capacity, frequency and latencies supported by your laptop.
Respective ram makers offer a memory finding app to source a compatible ram for your laptop.
5. Those who have ventured into installing an SSD onto their laptop will never go back to an HDD as their boot drive. They will, however, return to an HDD if they ever required additional storage space. What I’m trying to get at is that the recent breakthroughs with SSD manufacturing techniques have given us better yielding SSD’s from respective manufacturers and the prices for such have come to amazing lows compared to a few years back. Even entry level SSD’s are much faster than an HDD. Although a little pricier than a conventional HDD, per GB, it’s still worth the investment since you can see as low as 7 seconds in boot up time (sans any additional drivers) on a laptop dating back to 2010. Apart from boot up times, it aids in bringing about fast app loading times.
This is a must have if you consider each second to be precious in any given week. Please be sure to update your laptop BIOS prior to upgrading your ram or to an SSD.
6. Do not defrag your system. It’s been shown that defragmentation on your HDD degrades the performance of your HDD and eventually brings it to its knees. You should also keep in mind that you should never defragment your SSD since it also kills the flash based device.
7. Turn off drive/search indexing. While on an SSD, indexing is a feature you must disable. On another note, drive indexing happens to draw more system resources in order to catalog and make content readily available for the end user. You can disable the feature by typing Index in the Start button search box, seeing Indexing Options, click on it, click Modify and remove the locations being indexed and if you so feel, file types too can be changed.
8. Turn off visual effects. This might change your entire computing experience but in effect if you have very limited resources and cannot perform the upgrades suggested above, this can be a life saver. The visual effects can be tweaked as necessary but be forewarned that they require resources to bring about the eye-candy visuals you’re seeing. Type Adjust Appearance in Cortana and hit Enter. You can choose between a couple of options or go full custom.
9. Stated prior, you can install CCleaner onto your system to manage the rest of the crud left behind by the OS. In the main GUI, with the Cleaner option selected, clicking on the Analyze button will scan for all unnecessary files brought forward via your web browsing. With the Registry option selected, Scan for Issues will bring out all anomalies that will affect your platform’s performance. Finally in Options>Monitoring, remember to uncheck both Enable system monitoring and Enable Active monitoring to not take up precious resources you’ve just freed up.
10. If you’re always connected to the wall outlet even though you’re on a laptop you may want to set your power profile setting to Maximum Performance. You can do so by going into Control Panel>System and Security>Power Options. Click on the drop down menu to bring up additional plans and click on High performance. If you’re on battery power though, having it on a balanced power profile will be a good call though be warned that the high performance option, when on battery, will cause the cells to drain faster.[/b]
Hopefully these pointers should help you see an improvement in your computing experience when on your laptop.