How To Speed Up A Slow Vista Laptop

It works at a lightning-fast speed. Though a lot depends on the processor and RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity, usually everything opens up within milliseconds after the click of the mouse. However, as the laptop becomes old, its speed wanes, and the performance becomes lagging. #1 To speed up slow Windows Vista, you should disable or remove unneeded programs on startup. Lots of executable files, applications will be launched automatically on startup. Lots of executable files, applications will be launched automatically on startup.

When you buy a new laptop, it works at a lightning-fast speed. Though a lot depends on the processor and RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity, usually everything opens up within milliseconds after the click of the mouse. However, as the laptop becomes old, its speed wanes, and the performance becomes lagging.

This is a problem experienced by almost everyone, no matter how costly or efficient his/her laptop is. Working with a slow laptop can sometimes be incredibly frustrating. The programs may take ages to open, and you could be left waiting and scratching your head over the delay.

At times like these, it can be so tempting to dump your current laptop and buy a new machine. However, that’s not the best thing to do. After all, what’s wrong in saving some pennies when you can get your laptop working like new, literally, with just a little bit of efforts.

In this article, you will learn about some simple ways through which you can speed up your laptop and boost its performance. Though it’s unlikely that your laptop will start performing exactly like it did when you unpacked it, these tricks can help you continue with your machine for some more time.

For your convenience, we’ve divided the best ways to speed up your laptop into two categories – ways to instantly boost your laptop’s speed, and ways to revamp your overall laptop’s performance. Let’s have a look at them.

Quick Ways to Instantly Boost Your Laptop’s Speed

1. Delete Unused Programs

When you download an app or program, it gets stored in your laptop and takes up a memory slot. Over time, these applications grow in size as you run them multiple times on your laptop. The reason being, data accumulation and desktop customisation. It’s common to build up a large collection of such programs in your laptop which you may not use anymore.

However, you should be aware that these programs, which occupy a significant memory of your laptop, become a reason for its sloppiness. These programs might also keep running in the laptop’s background – without you being aware of it – and make your machine slow.

Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly audit the installed programs in your laptop, and delete those which you don’t use anymore. There might be some programs which you could have downloaded for specific one-off tasks. It’s better to uninstall such programs once you’ve completed your task. This will significantly boost up your laptop’s speed.

2. Limit Startup Tasks

When you turn your laptop on, multiple programs start running in the background automatically. These programs can affect the working of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and slow down your laptop. It’s because of these issues your laptop can sometimes take more than normal to turn on and get ready for usage.

However, with just a few clicks, you can limit these startup tasks in your laptop and get rid of the hassles of waiting for several minutes for it to open.

If your laptop runs on the Windows 10 operating system, all you need to do is simply head to the “Settings” menu, click on “Apps”, and then the “Startup” tab. The list of the programs or services that run in the background at the time of startup will be displayed on the screen. You will also see a label against every program, showing its impact on the laptop’s performance.

You need to disable the programs you don’t want to run in the background every time you start your laptop. After doing so, you will definitely witness an improvement in your machine’s performance and booting time.

3. Clear Unnecessary System Resources

Another common reason for your laptop to slow down is the accumulation of unnecessary files and folders you don’t need anymore. This extra data, consisting of internet caches, cookies, and temporary files, can eat up into your laptop’s storage space and affect its performance.

Therefore, it’s essential to clean this data regularly. The easiest way to do it is by installing a cleaning software or program. These programs automatically detect unwanted files and folders in the system and delete them permanently. Once this is done, you will notice an immediate refinement in your laptop’s speed.

4. Change Your Power Settings

Windows laptops come with several preset “Power” options to suit your requirements. By default, the power setting is set to “Balanced”, which keeps your laptop’s energy consumption and account performance in the equilibrium position.

By changing the power setting to “High Performance”, you can provide an immediate boost to your laptop’s speed. However, your laptop may consume a little bit of extra power for this.

To do so, you need to go to the Control Panel app, then select “Hardware and Sound”, and then click on “Power Options”. You can choose between Balanced, High Performance, and Power Saver options.

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How To Speed Up A Slow Vista Laptop Windows 10

Ways to Revamp Your Laptop’s Performance

1. Install an SSD

Unlike the traditional hard drive, an SSD, or a solid-state drive, stores the data in memory chips with no use of mechanical components. By installing an SSD in your laptop, you can significantly boost its operating speed and enhance the overall performance. Though it can be a bit costly, an SSD can prove beneficial in the long run.

For average laptops, a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD would be enough. You can either buy an SSD and install it yourself, or else you can visit a computer technician and pay him/her to get the SSD installed in your laptop.

2. Defrag Your Hard Disk

How To Speed Up A Slow Vista Laptop Screen

The traditional hard disks can often suffer from fragmentation which reduces the laptop’s speed remarkably. It happens when different bits, which make up a file, get scattered over the physical surface on the drive’s platter. And because the drive head has to travel to the distant parts over the disk’s surface to read the files, the laptop’s speed goes down.

Defragmentation, or simply defragging the drive, is a process which restructures the disk so that all the bits are regrouped in a limited physical area. This way, the drive head finds it easier to read various files, increasing the laptop’s speed and performance.

3. Upgrade the RAM

The Random-Access Memory, or RAM, allows the laptops to store large files and folders such as games, videos, programs etc. Typically, a laptop must have at least 4 GB or 8 GB RAM, depending upon the usage. In case the RAM is less than what is required, it results in lags.

So, in case you experience sluggishness or lags while working on your laptop, you should upgrade its RAM. However, not all laptops have the facility of RAM upgradation. Therefore, before buying a new RAM, it’s prudent to get your laptop checked by a technician to know if its upgradeable or not.

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4. Update your OS and apps

You must have heard that keeping your laptop’s operating system (OS) up to date is crucial for data security. However, do you know that by doing so, you can also boost your laptop’s speed and performance?

Yes, it’s true. By regularly updating your laptop’s OS, drivers, and apps, you can prevent its slowdown to an extent. Windows automatically send a notification to the users when an update is available. Alternatively, you can also check for the updates by going to ‘Start’, clicking on ‘Settings’, and then choosing ‘Windows Updates’ under ‘Updates & Security’ tab.

The Bottom Line

Like all other machines, laptops also require proper care and maintenance. Indeed, laptops can’t last forever, and their performance will eventually degrade with time. However, by taking some preventive steps and cleaning your laptop regularly, you can significantly improve its life-cycle. Remember, it’s not only the laptop’s hardware but its software components that need to be cleaned frequently.

Compared to Windows XP, Vista is a much heavier and resource-hungry operating system. It has lots of great features, like Aero, but they can slow down your computer, especially if it doesn't have enough RAM or has a weak CPU. Luckily, it's possible to speed up computer running Windows Vista by customizing its settings. So before you spend a lot of money on new hardware, follow these simple steps to improve Vista performance.

Use ReadyBoost to improve Vista performance

The good thing about Windows Vista is that it has several performance-improving. ReadyBoost is one of them. Basically, it lets you use a USB flash drive as secondary memory cache, which helps your computer to run faster. Keep in mind that it's no substitute for RAM, though.

Also not all USB devices are ReadyBoost-compatible. Here are the drive requirements:

  • It has to be USB 2.0
  • It must be at least 256MB (though it's pointless to use a device smaller than 1GB)
  • Minimum read speed has to be 3.5 MB/s
  • Minimum write speed has to be 2.5 MB/s

If you don't know whether your flash drive is ReadyBoost compatible or not, give it a try anyway. If it is, the AutoPlay box will give you an option to use ReadyBoost:

If AutoPlay is disabled, do the following:

  • Go to Computer, right-click on the removable storage device and select Properties.
  • If the drive is compatible, you will see ReadyBoost there. Click on it.
  • Select Use this device and set the amount of space to be used for ReadyBoost system file.
  • Click OK.

Disable Vista Aero Glass

Windows Vista Aero Glass looks really cool, but everything has its downsides. In case of Aero it's heavy RAM, CPU, and graphics card usage. Just to give you an example - Aero can consume as much as 15% of CPU. Also it's no good for laptops, because it greatly reduces battery life. When the Aero theme is turned off, battery life is equal or better than on XP computers.

How To Speed Up A Slow Vista Laptop Keyboard

Disabling the Aero theme is easy:

  • Right-click somewhere on your desktop free space and click Personalize.
  • Click on Window Color and Appearance.
  • Click Open classic appearance properties for more colour options.
  • Select any theme you like. The Windows Classic theme is best for performance.

Speed up external hard drives

Windows Vista operates internal and external hard drives in a different way. By default write caching is disabled for all USB drives. This means that you can remove them whenever you want without any risk of data loss. However, if you have a large external hard drive always connected to your computer, disabled write caching is not really necessary. Besides, re-enabling write caching will improve Vista performance.

To re-enable write caching:

  • Click on Start, then right-click on Computer and select Manage
  • Go to Device Manager
  • Expand Disk drives and find your external hard drive
  • Right-click on it and click on Properties
  • Open the Policies tab and click on Optimize for performance
  • Check Enable write caching on the disk and Enable advanced performance
  • Press OK and reboot your PC

Improve SATA disks performance

You can also speed up Vista SATA disk drives by enhancing write caching. Here's how:

How To Speed Up A Slow Vista Laptop Windows

  • Click on Start, then right-click on Computer and select Manage
  • Go to the Device Manager
  • Expand Disk Drives
  • Right-click on your hard drive and go to Properties
  • On the Policies tab check Enable advanced performance
  • Press OK and close the Device Manager

The only downside of enhancing write caching is potential risk of data loss in case of power cuts. So, unless you are a laptop user and your battery is there to save you, be careful and backup everything. Now you know how to speed up your computer running Vista operating system.

For more performance tweaks try out a comprehensive system utility - Auslogics BoostSpeed. With this program you will be able to tune over 280 hidden system settings to speed up your Vista's performance.