My old laptop is constantly slowing down. Tell me, can I make it work faster?

old laptop Hello.

I am often asked questions of a similar nature (as in the title of the article). I recently received a similar question and decided to write a small note on the blog (by the way, you don't even need to come up with topics, people themselves suggest what they are interested in).

In general, an old laptop is quite relative, just by this word different people mean different things: for someone old is the thing that was bought six months ago, for others it is a device that is already 10 years old or more. It is quite difficult to give advice without knowing what specific device is in question, but I will try to give a 'universal' instruction on how to reduce the number of brakes on an old device. So, …

1) Choice of OS (operating system) and programs

No matter how trite it may sound, the first thing you should decide on is the operating system. Many users do not even look at the requirements and put Windows XP – Windows 7 instead (although the laptop has 1 GB of RAM). No, the laptop will work, but the brakes are provided. I don't know what the point is – to work in a new OS, but with brakes (in my opinion, it is better in XP, especially since this system is quite reliable and good (still, although many criticize it)).

In general, the message here is simple: see the system requirements of the OS and your device, compare and choose the best option. I don't comment here anymore.

A few words should also be said about the choice of programs. I hope everyone understands that the speed of its execution and the amount of resources that it will require depends on the algorithm of the program and on what language it is written in. So, sometimes when solving the same problem, different software works differently, this is especially noticeable on old PCs.

For example, I still found the times when WinAmp, vaunted by everyone, when playing files (however, the parameters of the system manager now, kill me, I don’t remember) often jammed and “chewed”, despite the fact that nothing else was started besides it. At the same time, the DSS program (this is a DOS player, probably now no one has even heard of it) played calmly, and clearly.

Now I'm not talking about such old hardware, but still. Most often, old laptops want to adapt for some task (for example, look / receive mail, like some directory, like a small shared file exchanger, just like a backup PC).

Therefore, a few tips:

  • Antiviruses: I'm not an ardent opponent of antiviruses, but still, why do you need it on an old computer, on which everything is already slow? In my opinion, it is better to sometimes check disks and Windows third-party utilities that do not need to be installed on the system. You can see them in this article: https: //
  • Audio and video players: The best way is to download 5-10 players and test each one yourself. Thus, quickly determine which one is best to use. You can read my thoughts on this issue here: https: //
  • Browsers: In my 2016 review article. I gave several light antiviruses, they can be used quite well (link to that article). You can also use the link above, which was given for the players;
  • I also recommend that you start on your laptop some set of utilities for cleaning and maintaining the OS Windows. I introduced the best of them to readers in this article: https: //

2) OS Optimization Windows

Have you ever thought that two laptops with the same characteristics, and even with identical software, can work with different speeds and stability: one will freeze, slow down, and the second is quite fast enough to open and play video, music, and programs.

It's all about the OS settings, the 'garbage' on the hard disk, in general, the so-called optimization. In general, this moment is worthy of a whole huge article, here I will give the main thing that needs to be done and give links (the benefit of such articles on OS optimization and its cleaning – I have a lot of things!):

  1. Disable unnecessary services: By default, there are quite a few services running that many do not even need. For example, auto-update Windows – in many cases brakes are observed because of this, just update manually (once a month, say);
  2. Setting up a theme, the Aero environment – a lot also depends on the chosen theme. The best option is to choose a classic theme. Yes, a laptop will look like a PC of time Windows 98 – but resources will be saved (anyway, most of them do not spend most of their time staring at the desktop);
  3. Setting up autorun: many people turn on their computer for a long time and start to slow down immediately after turning on. Usually, this is due to the fact that the startup Windows contains dozens of programs (from torrents with hundreds of files to all kinds of weather forecasts).
  4. Disk defragmentation: From time to time (especially if the file system is FAT 32, and on older laptops it is often found), it is necessary to do defragmentation. There are a huge number of programs for this, you can choose something here;
  5. Cleaning Windows from 'tails' and temporary files: often when you uninstall a program, various files and entries in the registry remain from it (such unnecessary data are called 'tails'). All this needs to be removed from time to time. The link to the utility kits was given above (the cleaner built into Windows, in my opinion, cannot cope with this);
  6. Scanning for viruses and adware: Some types of viruses can also affect performance. You can get acquainted with the best antivirus programs in this article: https: //;
  7. Checking the CPU load, which applications create it: it happens that the task manager shows the CPU load by 20-30%, but the applications that load it do not! In general, if you suffer from an incomprehensible processor load, then here is everything described in detail about it.

Optimization in detail (for example Windows 8) —https: //

Optimization Windows 10 —https: //

3) 'Fine' work with drivers

Very often, many people complain about the brakes in games on old computers, laptops. It is possible to squeeze out a little performance from them, as well as 5-10 FPS (which in some games can take what is called a 'breath of air'), by fine-tuning the video driver.

ati radeon— an article about accelerating a video card from ATI Radeon

nvidia – an article about accelerating a video card from Nvidia

By the way, just as an option, you can replace the drivers with alternative ones. An alternative driver (they are often created by various gurus who have devoted themselves to programming for more than one year) can produce much better results and increase performance. For example, at one time I managed to achieve an extra 10 FPS in some games only due to the fact that I changed the native drivers from ATI Radeon to Omega Drivers (which have many additional settings).

Omega Drivers

Omega Drivers

In general, this should be done carefully. At least download those drivers for which there are positive reviews, and in the description of which your hardware appears.

4) Temperature check. Dust removal, thermal paste replacement.

Well, the last thing I wanted to dwell on in such an article is the temperature. The fact is that no one ever cleans old laptops (at least the ones that I have seen), neither from dust, nor from small debris, crumbs, etc. 'good'.

All this not only spoils the appearance of the device, but also affects the temperature of the components, and those in turn affect the performance of the laptop. In general, some laptop models are quite simple to disassemble, which means that you can easily handle cleaning yourself (but there are those that are better not to go into if you haven't dealt with it!).

Here are some articles that will be useful on this topic.

laptop components— checking the temperature of the main components of the laptop (processor, video card, etc.). From the article you will find out what they should be, how to measure them.

cleaning laptop at home laptop cleaning at home. Basic recommendations are given, what to look for, what and how to do it.

dust and pc cleaning a regular desktop computer from dust, replacing thermal paste.


Actually, that's all. The only thing I didn't stop at was overclocking. In general, the topic requires some experience, but if you are not afraid for your equipment (and many use old PCs for various tests), then I will give a couple of links:

  • – an example of overclocking a laptop processor;
  • – overclocking Ati Radeon and Nvidia video cards.

All the best!

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