Why Your New Laptop Performs So Slowly

It’s disheartening when you buy a new laptop expecting lightning-fast performance, only to find it’s as sluggish as—or worse than—an older model. If your new laptop is frustratingly slow and still within the return period, consider returning it for a refund or an upgrade. You shouldn’t have to settle for a subpar product, especially not with today’s technological advancements.

Below, I’ll explore several potential causes of why your new laptop may be underperforming and offer practical solutions to help speed it up.

1. Remove Bloatware

New laptops often come loaded with unnecessary software known as bloatware, which can significantly slow down performance. Here’s how you can clean up bloatware and optimize your system:

  • Unnecessary Antivirus Programs: Your laptop might come with trial versions of antivirus software, even though Windows Defender provides adequate protection for most users. Consider uninstalling these redundant programs.
  • Unwanted Toolbars and Extensions: Check your browsers for any unwanted toolbars or extensions that can slow down your system. These can often be malware in disguise.
  • Manufacturer Bloatware: Laptops often come with additional software from the manufacturer that you might not need. You can uninstall these through the ‘Apps’ section in your system settings.

For a thorough cleanup, consider performing a clean installation of Windows using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. This will ensure you start with a clean slate, free from any manufacturer-installed software.

2. Manage Startup Programs

Having too many programs running at startup can delay your laptop’s boot time and reduce its overall speed. Manage these programs by:

  • Opening Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
  • Navigating to the ‘Startup’ tab.
  • Disabling programs that are unnecessary for startup.

3. Evaluate Your Primary Drive

The type of primary storage drive is crucial for performance:

  • Solid State Drives (SSD) are faster and more reliable than mechanical hard drives (HDD). If your laptop has an HDD, consider upgrading to an SSD for better performance.
  • Check the storage space availability. If your drive is nearly full, performance can be impacted. Make sure there’s ample free space.

4. Address Overheating Issues

Overheating can throttle your laptop’s performance. This might be due to poor design, low-quality thermal paste, or the environment where the laptop is used (e.g., on a bed or direct sunlight). Using a laptop cooling pad and ensuring it’s used on a hard, flat surface can help manage overheating.

5. Hardware Limitations

Sometimes, the hardware is just not up to the task:

  • CPU Power: An underpowered CPU can be a bottleneck. Unfortunately, in most laptops, you cannot upgrade the CPU.
  • RAM: Insufficient RAM can slow down your system. Upgrading your RAM to at least 16GB can significantly improve performance if your laptop supports upgrades.

6. Virtual Memory Adjustments

Incorrect pagefile settings can affect performance. Ensure that your virtual memory is correctly configured by checking the settings in your system properties under ‘Advanced system settings’. The rule of thumb is to have a pagefile size 1.5 times your RAM.

Internet and WiFi Issues

Slow internet can affect perceived performance:

  • Check the WiFi signal strength and ensure the router is not too far or obstructed.
  • Contact your ISP if issues persist or consider changing the WiFi channel to avoid congestion.
  • Ensure your WiFi adapter drivers are up to date for optimal performance.

Power Settings

Check your power settings in the Control Panel and select a plan that does not compromise performance:

  • High Performance or Balanced are good starting points.
  • Adjust settings to ensure your laptop isn’t limited by power-saving features.

Conclusion

If you’ve tried all the above and your laptop is still slow, it might be worth considering hardware upgrades or even a replacement if the current model does not meet your needs. Always ensure you have the appropriate tools and knowledge before attempting any hardware modifications like replacing a WiFi card or upgrading an SSD.

For those who are less tech-savvy, seeking professional help from a certified technician might be the best course of action to ensure your new laptop runs as expected.