Speed is one of the most important factors for Dell laptop users.
Often, older Dell computers start slowing down even just to deal with the most basic of tasks- nevermind if it is a newer model Dell that freezes without warning.
In this case, the issue does not seem to be specific only to Dell computers. Other Windows devices also suffer from it – regardless of whether they are aged or new, running on an outdated version of Windows 7 or Microsoft’s newest release of Windows 10.
How can I speed up my Dell laptop running Windows 10? A variety of reasons may be at play, some of which are difficult to figure out. That’s why we’ve put together this guide discussing 12 ways to speed up your Dell computer.
Dell Performance Issues (with Symptoms)
The first step to determining the cause of slow Dell performance is to determine what the problem is. Is it just a bug or is there something wrong with it? In order to figure this out, take note of these common symptoms when using your laptop:
- It is very slow and unresponsive
- It keeps freezing now and then
- It’s extremely slow to start up
- It runs hot quickly and overheats
- Other performance issues
It’s worth noting that knowing if your computer is running slow can be helpful. Is it always slow? Starts off fine, but then gets slower and slower throughout the day? Is there an issue when you connect to the internet or use multiple programs simultaneously?
Check out Tips 1 through 7 and 10 and 11 if your Dell is always slow. Your Dell may take a long time to start up if you follow these tips. Tip 8 may solve a sluggish Dell laptop that also has a high temperature, and Tip 9 may fix your freezing issue if it only happens when you’re running certain programs.
If you’re still unsure about what might be causing the problem, or if you’re working with a brand new Dell and suspect there may be an issue with hardware, it might be time to run some diagnostic tests.
Wait … Not a computer person?
Do you not have the time to test each of these manual techniques? Your Dell laptop will be automatically cleaned and sped up with Advanced SystemCare.
The all-in-one Dell Performance Optimization Software has almost every tool you’ll need to boost your productivity and protect the Windows operating system from spyware or viruses.
12 Ways To Speed Up a Slow Dell Laptop
1. Disconnect all external devices and restart
It’s easy to blame a slow computer on the machine itself, but just because something is plugged into your computer doesn’t mean that it’s automatically at fault. You can actually slow down your computer by plugging in too many devices!
An easy solution would be to unplug anything that is plugged in, like an external hard drive or printer. If the problem resolves itself, it could mean that there was a compatibility issue between the device and the PC; for example, using an old scanner with a new laptop. Another possible explanation might be that while one program is active – say, when setting up automatic backup on your desktop – another program running simultaneously might slow down the computer’s performance.
2. Check for malware and spyware
Hidden software that comes pre-installed or downloaded onto your computer after may be the cause of a slow machine. It is possible for spyware and malware to run in the background, consuming RAM without providing any benefit. The best way to keep this from happening is to use Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – the most powerful, user friendly security software available for PCs which will look through your Dell hard drive for viruses, adware, and malware; if any are found it’ll eliminate them straight away!
3. Defragment your hard drive
Over time, data can become scattered across your hard drive. If you attempt to read from this drive, your computer will take up space and slow down. The defragment process fixes this by putting all of the scattered data back together -but only for Dell computers with HDDs. If you have a PC with an SSD instead of a HDD, or if you’ve upgraded to one at some point, please do not run the defragmentation program; it won’t work for PCs running Windows 10 or higher.
4. Keep multitasking to a minimum
It is not uncommon for older computers to have difficulty running today’s more advanced programs because technology ages so quickly. The solution? Reduce the number of tasks you complete at once! The more tasks your laptop handles simultaneously, the harder it will work – slowing down its efficiency. Windows 10 can provide information on how much memory certain programs take up, so keep an eye out for one that seems to be consuming all of it. Occasionally switching from one program or web browser may solve this problem!
5. Clean up your hard drive
Although the computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) that stores all the data you’re currently using will cause your computer to function slower, a full hard-drive can also lead to performance lags. To avoid this from happening to your Dell laptop, make sure its storage capacity does not exceed 85%. Use CleanMyPC – an automatic app for keeping your hard drive clean – which quickly remedies the issue of excess files slowing down operations on laptops when they’re running Windows 8 or 10.
A second way to clean up your computer for free is by using an external hard drive or online storage service like iCloud or Dropbox to store files you don’t need. Furthermore, uninstall applications that you no longer use, go through Disk Cleanup, delete temporary internet files and clear browsing data from browsers like Chrome or Safari.
6. Clear system clutters and errors
Over time, hidden system errors can bog down your computer and make it run slower. But how do you find these errors? There are many ways to do this, but we recommend using Advanced SystemCare because it’s fast, effective and very user-friendly! It will scan for different kinds of errors automatically, so you don’t have to go hunting through the registry or any other part of your machine yourself.
7. Disable Intel SpeedStep utility
peedStep is a technology developed by Intel. It has been built into many Intel microprocessors (e.g. i5, i7). Basically it’s primarily designed to adjust CPU processing speed based on performance needs, thus aim to minimizing overheating issues. While the technology sounds fancy, it sometimes leads to serious slowdowns reported by many users who have SpeedStep enabled, according to this article from Dell Support.
Dell computers, such as the Inspiron and Latitude series come with a SpeedStep utility already installed. Turning it off may solve some of your performance problems you’re experiencing. You’ll need to go into BIOS before turning it off. You’ll have to shut down your computer first before pressing the Start button, then holding F12 key. Now select BIOS setup options > Performance > SpeedStep and disable the utility by hitting Apply and exiting when asked if you want to save changes.
8. Update outdated device drivers or BIOS settings
When you turn on your computer, the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) driver activates all of its hardware components. If this driver goes wrong and causes a problem with your Dell, it may start running slowly or even freeze up entirely. If you’re experiencing these issues, try following the instructions below to identify if there’s an issue with one of the many different drivers that are running within Windows.
9. Prevent overheating by with a fan system cleaning
Dust accumulates in the vents of your laptop if you don’t regularly clear it out. This affects its cooling system, making your laptop overheat and reducing its performance. To avoid this buildup, look for vents on the bottom of your laptop to find where the fan is located – usually near or around these vents. Use a can of compressed air to blow any dust away from there, which will reduce overheating significantly. However, for severe cases there might be some areas you cannot reach using this method so carefully examine how your laptop is made before attempting anything else.
10. Update software programs
Complete freezes are usually the result of outdated software, and not due to the computer itself. When your laptop is freezing or running slowly with a specific program opened up – it’s time for an update! There are two ways to go about this: updating Windows 10, and then upgrading all those individual programs that need updates themselves. The process will vary from one program to another – but you’ll probably see the update button somewhere when you’re looking at settings (Account Settings) or features (Help).
11. Upgrade the RAM
If you’ve exhausted all other options on this list, it may be time to move on to a bigger and better hardware replacement. It doesn’t matter how much RAM your computer has when there isn’t enough space for programs to load effectively – so if you have less than 4GB of RAM then chances are your machine can benefit from an upgrade. Thankfully, most Dell computers come with instructions that make upgrading easy! All you need is the right model number and go online for detailed instructions on what needs to happen next.
12. Replace an HDD with an SDD
Solid State Drives, unlike regular hard drives, have no moving parts and are thus significantly faster. If you own a Dell computer with removable panels at the back of your machine or laptop, then upgrading it will be easier than if you don’t because there’ll be fewer things getting in the way. If you’re daring enough to do this on your own- either taking it into a tech shop near you or doing it alone – here’s an awesome video tutorial!
Like any computer, Dell laptops and desktops can run slow over time. If your device is new and running slowly, Contact Support immediately to resolve this issue without incurring any costs. There are many methods that you could try to make it faster including: Cleaning up the hard drive, scanning for malware or even upgrading to an SSD will all increase performance of a sluggish Dell laptop or desktop.