10 Super Useful Tricks To Make Your Laptop Run Faster
I think we’ve all dealt with the case of an unyielding and slow laptop. And, there is no way out of this, other than taking care of it and maintaining it like you would your phone, car, or any other gadget for that matter.
This is why we’ve got a couple of pointers for you on how you can take care of your laptop to make it run much faster and smoother.
1. Get rid of ‘bloatware’
Bloatware is basically preloaded software that comes with the computer. So you know when we buy new laptops and there are a ton of applications on it that aren’t of use to you? Those. So, it’s best you delete such software to free up space that can be used for other more useful things.
How to Remove Bloatware
Bloatware is a type of software that comes preinstalled on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. It takes up space, reduces battery life, and cripples performance. Annoying at best, harmful at worst, bloatware is rarely useful and serves primarily as a revenue stream for manufacturers and distributors.
Bloatware is generally classified into one of the following four categories:
- Trialware: Trialware refers to initially free, time-limited software that comes preinstalled on a device. Once the trial expires, the software stays on the device clogging up space and potentially causing security vulnerabilities.
- Utility apps: Also called junkware, utility apps are a type of preinstalled bloatware intended to serve a purpose or solve a problem. It’s often the way manufacturers try to nudge you to use their particular version of a product. Think weather apps, calendar apps, and system cleanups.
- Toolbars: Toolbars are those annoying browser menus that are tricky to get rid of. Often clunky, and packed with random websites, preinstalled toolbars are never as good as their customized counterparts that base their menu items on your browsing habits. And toolbars will often hijack your browser, like the notorious Ask toolbar.
- Adware: Adware is pop-up advertising that floods you with spam messages while you browse the internet. Because adware is installed directly on the operating system, the ads follow you around from browser to browser, even after you clear your cookies. Generally not preinstalled by manufacturers (except when it is), adware chokes performance, is extremely annoying and can leave you vulnerable to security risks.
Bloatware slows down your device by silently running in the background. Even “well-intended” bloatware gums up your operating system because it needs computing power to work. If you don’t use it, you’ll want to lose it with a dedicated bloatware removal tool that speeds up, cleans up, and revives your device, leaving it bloatware-free.
The best way to get rid of bloatware is to use a dedicated bloatware removal tool. That’s the smartest way to ensure you clean up the junk and keep your system architecture secure.
There are multiple ways to clean up an iPhone, Laptop and get an Android working like new. But with a trusted cleaning product like Avast Cleanup, removing bloatware is a breeze.
See which programs are running in the background and remove them for good. The built-in, crowdsourced review system helps you know which apps are actually useful and which aren’t. Then you can decide if you want to offload the bloatware or if it’s something you’d rather keep.
Not only does Avast Cleanup remove bloatware, it also identifies ways to improve your machine’s performance, while letting you easily wipe away browser data, optimize disk space, and identify outdated programs.
Avast Cleanup is your one-stop automated shop for cleaning up your device safely and securely, without risking unintended fractures in system architecture. Try it for free today and get that bloat off your device.
How to uninstall bloatware on Windows 10
There are three ways to manually remove PC bloatware from your Windows 10 machine. Option 1 is the most straightforward, but won’t work for all bloatware. Option 2 involves using PowerShell commands to hide the bloatware. Option 3 is the most technically advanced yet also the riskiest approach, but it will wipe your PC clean of bloatware (and perhaps a few useful apps along with it — so be sure to back up your PC first)
Keep in mind that there are several Windows bloatware apps that can’t be uninstalled at all, such as Contact Support, Microsoft Edge, Windows Feedback, and Cortana. Cortana is the built-in personal assistant app on Windows 10 that helps you remove bloatware. But it’s also considered to be bloatware by some — wow, meta.
Option 1 – Uninstall
- Open the Start menu and click the Settings cog to open your Settings. Or, type Settings into the search bar and open the Settings app that way.
- Click Apps.
- Select the application you want to remove and click Uninstall. Follow any instructions or procedures that may appear, depending on the app you’re uninstalling.
Option 2 – Hide apps with PowerShell commands
PowerShell is a Windows-specific task automation function that gives you access to the file systems on your computer. By directly accessing the file system via the PowerShell command line, you can hide unwanted Windows 10 bloatware.
- Right-click the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) to open PowerShell with full administrative rights. Click Yes to confirm that you want to make changes to your system.
- Enter the following command into PowerShell — replacing NameOfApp with the name of the app you want to remove (then press Enter):
Get-AppxPackage *NameOfApp* | Remove-AppxPackage
Note that you can’t remove all apps this way, such as Cortana and Microsoft Edge. And since many of the commands don’t exactly match the app’s displayed name, we’ve put together a handy list of the commands you can use to remove apps in PowerShell:
|App name||PowerShell command|
|3D Builder||Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Alarms & Clock||Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Calculator||Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Camera||Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Get Started||Get-AppxPackage *getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Groove Music||Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Mail and Calendar||Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Microsoft Solitaire Collection||Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Money||Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Movies & TV||Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|News||Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Office||Get-AppxPackage *officehub* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|OneNote||Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|People||Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Phone Companion||Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Photos||Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Skype||Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Store||Get-AppxPackage *windowsstore* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Sports||Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Voice Recorder||Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Weather||Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackage|
|Xbox||Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage|
Option 3: Delete apps with the PowerShell DISM command
Rather than hide unwanted apps like we did in the previous section, you can use a different PowerShell command to delete them completely. The DISM (Deployment Imaging Service and Management) will also wipe unwanted apps from your system, but this is a more technical method, so we recommend it only for advanced users
- First, back up your PC. Accessing this level of the system can have irreversible effects.
- Open the PowerShell command line by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting Windows PowerShell (Admin). Confirm that you want to make changes to your system.
- Use the following command to get an overview of the entire system and all suspected bloatware.
DISM /Online /Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages | select-string Packagename
- Find the package name of the apps you want to remove and copy it. Be sure to copy the full package name. Then, enter the following command, replacing AppPackageName with the copied text:
DISM /Online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackageName:AppPackageName
Finally, press Enter to execute the command and delete the offending app. In this example, we’re deleting the Groove Music app.
2. Remove malware
I guess this is stating the obvious but, actually, a lot of malware can also include spyware. And both these things take up extra space that no one detects because, well, malware is hidden. So get a good antivirus (McAfee, Bitdefender or Norton) and make sure you run regular scans.
3. Disable automatic updates
This doesn’t happen with every update you receive. But, a lot of software is designed to update without even asking for your permission. This can lead to random software you hardly use getting updated with heavier and more space-taking versions.
How to disable automatic updates using Settings
Usually, it’s not necessary to disable the Windows Update settings permanently. If you want to skip an update, you can pause updates until the day you want to apply them. Using the Settings app, you can stop system updates for up to 35 days on Windows 10 Pro or Home.
To disable automatic updates temporarily, use these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Update & Security.
- Click on Windows Update.
- Click the Advanced options button
- Under the “Pause updates” sections, use the drop-down menu and select how long to disable updates.
How to disable automatic updates using Group Policy
On Windows 10 Pro, the Local Group Policy Editor allows you to disable automatic updates permanently, or you can change the Windows Update policies to decide when updates should install on the device.
To disable automatic updates on Windows 10 permanently, use these steps:
- Open Start.
- Search for gpedit.msc and click the top result to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Navigate to the following path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
- Double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy on the right side.
- Check the Disabled option to turn off the policy and disable automatic updates permanently.
- Click the Apply button.
- Click the OK button.
4. Delete your Internet browsing history
Not a groundbreaking tip as such, but yes, free up space even on your browsers.
How to Clear Your History in Any Browser
To clear your browsing history in Chrome, on Windows, macOS, or Linux, click the three dots menu > More Tools > Clear Browsing Data. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+Delete to open this screen on Windows, or press Command+Shift+Delete on a Mac.
To delete your entire browsing history, select from “the beginning of time” in the box at the top of the screen and check the “Browsing history” option. You can also choose to clear other private data from here, including your download history, cookies, and browser cache.
5. Tweak your mouse settings
You can also go ahead and increase the speed of your mouse cursor, according to your comfort of course. As long as it optimizes your speed.
6. Change your power settings to maximum performance
Even though this will switch your system into a mode where more energy will be consumed by it, it will also help the machine work faster. For this, you’ll have to go to the power options in your computer.
7. Disconnect unused USB devices from your computer
Staying connected to USB devices slows down the whole switching on and logging in process in computers.
8. Create multiple folders
Instead of having way too many files in a single folder, try and make multiple folders and evenly spread out the files withtin those folders.
9. If you don’t use Cortana on Windows, disable it
Again, if it is of no use to you, uninstall, disable, delete, remove.
10. Clean up the hard drive disk space
Since it is mostly taken up by temporary files, you can go ahead and delete whatever is of no use to you any longer
7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows
- Run Disk Cleanup
- Uninstall Space-Hungry Applications
- Clean Temporary Files
- Find Duplicate Files and Remove
- Reduce the Amount of Space Used for System Restore
- Nuclear Options – Disable Hibernation & Disable System Restore
- Analyze Disk Space & remove unwanted apps or software.
11. Remove Cache
Clearing cache also speeds up the computer because it is like getting rid of unnecessary clutter.
How to Remove Cache – Google Chrome
Go to the three-dot menu at the upper right of Chrome to select More tools > Clear browsing data. This will open a dialog box to delete your browsing, as well as your download history (it won’t delete the actual downloaded files), cookies, cached images and files (which help load pages faster when you revisit), saved passwords, and more. You can delete only the info from the last hour, day, week, month, or all of it from “the beginning of time.”
Chrome doesn’t give you the option to not collect your browser history. Worse, Google is collecting your web and app activity constantly. But you can delete it regularly. Navigate to myactivity.google.com, and click Web & App Activity. Uncheck Include Chrome History and activity and turn on Auto-Delete so that Google deletes anything older than three, 18, or 36 months (your choice). Also, click Manage Activity to delete even more.
12. Use your Task Manager
Use it to find which heavy programs may be running on your computer without you realizing it. Because they’re probably using way too much of your laptop’s energy and you can close unwated programs from there.
How to Launch the Task Manager
Windows offers many ways to launch the Task Manager. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager with a keyboard shortcut or right-click the Windows taskbar and select “Task Manager.”
You can also press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then click “Task Manager” on the screen that appears or find the Task Manager shortcut in your Start menu.
The first time you launch the Task Manager, you’ll see a small, simple window. This window lists the visible applications running on your desktop, excluding background applications. You can select an application here and click “End Task” to close it. This is useful if an application isn’t responding—in other words, if it’s frozen—and you can’t close it the usual way.
You can also right-click an application in this window to access more options:
- Switch To: Switch to the application’s window, bringing it to the front of your desktop and putting it in focus. This is useful if you’re not sure which window is associated with which application.
- End Task: End the process. This works the same as the “End Task” button.
- Run New Task: Open the Create New Task window, where you can specify a program, folder, document, or website address and Windows will open it.
- Always On Top: Make the Task Manager window itself “always on top” of other windows on your desktop, letting you see it at all times.
- Open File Location: Open a File Explorer window showing the location of the program’s .exe file.
- Search Online: Perform a Bing search for the program’s application name and file name. This will help you see exactly what the program is and what it does.
- Properties: Open the Properties window for the program’s .exe file. Here you can tweak compatibility options and see the program’s version number, for example.