Most people who have limited budgets end up buying low-end low-power laptops. Specs synonymous with low processing power include: Intel celeron or AMD processors, 2GB RAM, and anything less than 2.0GHz of cpu processing power.
It is true that laptops with specifications like that aren’t meant for gaming and rendering 3D animation, but if you find your PC freezing a lot while performing normal tasks like browsing the internet, typing a report, using photoshop, playing old low power games, or watching movies, then something is wrong somewhere. I am going to show you all the things you could do to increase the speed of your laptop and make it run faster.
Before you begin, open Task Manager by holding CTRL+SHIFT and pressing the ESC key. Look in the Performance tab to check your CPU and RAM levels. If they are reaching close to the top, you might have some running programs or background processes eating up your resources.
Disable Windows Update
This is the first thing I do when people come to me with a laptop hanging problem. By Disable Windows Update I don’t mean turning off windows updates checking or installation, I mean disabling the service completely from the Services program. Even if you turn of updtates checking, the service still runs in the background, taking half of your RAM hostage.
Remember, if you need to install windows updates in future, you must come back and undo this.
- Leave the Task Manager running if you would like to witness your RAM usage level drop. You could also note down the level your CPU and RAM are currently on so you can compare when you’re done. 😉
- In your start menu search box, type services.msc and click on Services. Or you could open Run, type services.msc and press Enter.
- When the Services window opens, scroll down to find Windows Updates in the list of services. If the status says Running, right click and choose Stop.
- Right click again and choose Properties. From the “Startup Type” drop down, select Disabled, then save changes.
- Now if you go back to your task manager window, you would notice your RAM usage had dropped like a waterfall. Fun times.
Your Browser Has Too Many Tabs Open
Each tab in your browser consumes its own share of CPU and RAM. The amount each tab consumes depends on the weight of the website opened in it. Heavier websites running too many scripts will use up more power. Facebook will consume more RAM than Wikipedia.
- Look for tabs you don’t really need, and close them.
- If you want to read an article or page later, you can either save it as a bookmark, screenshot the page, or right click and choose Save as to save the page as a html file in your PC.
- Firefox and Chrome are really heavy browsers. You can try searching for a lighter browser that won’t use up too much resources if you are willing to compromize on all the extra features which you probably never use.
- This might be unrelated, but did you know that browsing is 2 times faster when your PC is in Safe mode?
Adobe Creative Suite Programs
If you’re running a program from Adobe CS series (CS4, CS5, CS6, CS7) like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, or Premier Pro, check if you have too many tabs open.
- Each tab or open project in these programs consume its own share of RAM, CPU, and hard disk space. If you are done working on a project, save and close it in order to free up some computer resources.
- These Adobe design programs work with the free space on your hard disk. When you import a file or a vector art into your project, the program will not link to or reference the original file you imported, instead a new file will be created and temporarily stored somewhere in your disk specific for that project.
Use a Charger + High Performance Power Setting
By default, on a Windows PC, the power setting for battery usage would be Balanced. You could switch to High Performance if your PC slows down or freezes too much. This could also help if your computer slows down or hangs after you unplug the charger.
When your PC runs on battery, it tries to save battery power by decreasing processing speed. Plugging in a charger will ensure that your PC gets the most power possible. This is probably where Turbo Boost comes into play. This is why desktop computers are able to use stronger processors, because they are constantly run from a power outlet.
To change your power setting, click on your battery icon, then change your power preference to High Performance.
Turn Off Transparency Effects
This is the effect that makes your windows, tabs and taskbar see through. You can find this setting in the Display section of the control panel. Or you could right click on your desktop area and choose Display or Visualisation settings.