Is your laptop running slow? If so, you’re not alone. Many people believe there are certain things you can do to speed up your laptop; in reality, there are a number of myths about slow laptops. This article will dispel some of these myths and set the record straight. 35% of laptop owners complain about a slow bootup time, and 22% feel their program loading time takes forever.
Users with older laptops reported a degradation in performance, and 45% of users with laptops older than five years reported it to be fairly slow. The best solution for a sluggish laptop is to buy a new one but don’t toss your old laptop yet! There are always quick fixes and tricks to restore your laptop to its former glory.
To start, one should differentiate between myths and facts about slow laptops. This will prevent you from falling into traps that could result in a malfunctioning laptop or a waste of money. Keep track of these common slow laptop myths listed below.
1st myth: Hard drives get slower the more it is used
One myth about slow laptops is that hard drives get slower over time. However, the reality is that defective hard drives will suddenly suffer failures rather than gradually lose their juice. They will function well for one minute and suffer performance issues the next, no matter the age of the hard drive.
Typically, hard drives lose their efficiency when they’re full. If your laptop’s hard drive is getting full, you may need to delete some files or upgrade to a larger hard drive. The next best solution is to defragment your hard disk to boost efficiency and improve your laptop’s overall speed. Here is the official defragmentation tutorial from Microsoft.
2nd Myth: Excess of files slows down a laptop
One of the most common myths about a slow laptop is that too many files will bog it down. This may have been true in the past, but with today’s technology, it simply isn’t the case. A folder full of movies won’t interfere with how fast your Excel sheet loads. A laptop may run slow if it has multiple files opened at the same time and much slower if those file sizes are large, but files, in general, don’t determine how fast or slow a laptop runs.
The culprit may be registry and DLL files installed by programs that hog the laptop ram even after closing them. To ensure multiple programs are not running in the background, access the task manager from the taskbar and force close the unused programs.
3rd Myth: Processors slow down over time
A laptop is a big investment. So when it starts to act up, it’s natural to wonder if the processor is slowing down because it’s getting old. But according to IT experts, the idea that processors slow down over time is a myth.
“Processors are designed to run at a certain speed,” said Daniel Eran Dilger, an Apple analyst and the writer behind RoughlyDrafted Magazine. “If a processor was running at 2GHz when it was new, five years later it should still be running at 2GHz.”
The same goes for storage space. “If you had a 500GB hard drive five years ago and now it’s full, that doesn’t mean the hard drive is slower,” Dilger said. “It just means you have more stuff.”
So what can cause a seemingly slow processor?
The performance of the CPU gets affected if it is exposed to extreme heat. It may also be affected by the presence of dust and clogged-up dirt. In such a circumstance, the processor will slow down to prevent further damage to the laptop. The processor then returns to normal speed after it’s cool enough and performs at its peak.
A processor can seem slow for a number of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with the processor itself. One common reason is that the processor is being asked to do too much at once. A processor can only handle so many tasks at a time, and if it is overloaded, it will appear slow.
Another reason is that the computer may be low on RAM, which is needed for the processor to function properly. Finally, certain types of software can be resource intensive and cause the processor to appear slow.
The CPU is designed to handle a certain number of tasks at any given time (the “clock speed”). If it is asked to do more than that, then it appears slow, but the processor’s power doesn’t dwindle over time.
4th Myth: Malware and Viruses slow down a computer
This myth is perpetuated by users who don’t understand how their computer works and how to keep it running properly. Many factors can contribute to a slow computer, but malware and viruses are not usually the culprits. Contemporary hackers aim to run the malware stealthily without affecting the laptop’s speed so as to avoid detection.
Malware and viruses can cause problems on a computer, but they typically don’t cause the machine’s overall performance to degrade over time. If anything, they often cause sporadic issues that come and go.
The main reason why a computer slows down over time is simply because it’s being used more and more. As you install new programs, open more files, and browse the web, your computer has to work harder and use more resources.
5th Myth: Laptops run faster if you keep them switched on
These days, laptops are made to be used constantly, so we tend to leave them open longer than required. Most people view that keeping the device on makes it more responsive. However, that’s not the case, as cache accumulates the longer you use it, and the program’s resources linger in the background even though you’ve closed it.
In fact, a restart is the best thing you can do to your laptop. A restart fully shuts down all programs and resources and allows your laptop to start fresh, making it faster. Older laptops may experience slow startup time, which is inevitable, but disabling startup programs may offer a little percentage boost.
There are many myths about slow laptops, but the truth is that there are a few simple reasons why your laptop might be running slowly. By understanding the causes of slow laptop performance, you can take steps to speed up your laptop and keep it running smoothly.