Is your Dell laptop running slow? This will go over several common occurrences when it comes to your Dell laptop running slow. The problem can be caused by either software or hardware causes, so read on to determine the right solution for you!
This may seem trivial but a restart of your computer is the first thing you should try. This tends to fix some innocuous issues.
- Press and hold the power button for 10 to 15 seconds. If your laptop was powered on but not displaying anything, this will force restart it.
Make sure you are attempting to use your laptop while its charging. You can change the power settings after but your settings might lower the CPU output when the laptop is not receiving a charge.
- Launch Control Panel > search for Power Options using the search bar in the top right > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > Processor power management > Maximum processor state > change On battery to 100% if it's not set already.
Too Many Processes
Your laptop might be running too many programs and background services. Lower the amount of services and programs running at once.
- Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Windows start menu.
- Select a program you wish to close and click End task in the bottom right.
- You can get more information by click More details. The Startup tab shows what programs start with the computer, usually in the background. Disable any unnecessary startup programs.
Your laptop’s software settings may be not fully utilizing the laptop’s power.
- There are general power plans available to pick from (Balanced, High performance, and Power saver). You can select one by opening Control Panel from the Start menu and navigating to Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Switching to the High performance plan makes sure the laptop is running as fast as can be without considering the power usage. Of course, you can always manually adjust these settings once in the Power Options section of Control Panel.
The Dell Command utility is also used to alter power settings.
- You'll need to search your Service Tag or Serial Number using Dell's website to find a download link for Dell Command.
Incompatible Firmware Settings
The BIOS is software installed on a chip on the motherboard. This chip and its software initialize hardware related settings. Certain BIOS settings will have an affect on your laptop’s performance and energy consumption.
This menu exists before the operating system, so you will need to boot into the BIOS before the operating system loads to change settings.
- Power off your laptop completely.
- Press the power and repeatedly press the F2 key. It will boot into the BIOS menu where you can adjust various performance related settings and profiles to set.
- When finished, save and restart. Your laptop will boot into your operating system.
A BIOS update may be needed to increase performance. Although BIOS updates aren’t always needed, if you’ve never updated your BIOS there is a good chance you have at least one update needed.
- You'll need to search your Service Tag or Serial Number using Dell's website to find BIOS downloads as this type of update is for an exact model.
Check for viruses. Some forms of malware slow down the computer and make it difficult to use.
- Scan your computer with Malwarebytes or ESET Online Scan. These are free programs that provide some good malware scanning techniques.
Reinstall Windows. A full Windows reinstall may be necessary to restore the laptop’s normal function as malware infections aren’t always fully cleaned out post-quarantine.
- Use a known good and “clean” computer to download the Windows operating system to create a bootable flash drive.
- Back up any files, bookmarks, pictures, etc you wish to keep onto a cloud platform like Google Drive or Dropbox after you have run antivirus scans. This can lessen the transfer of existing malware onto your fresh install of Windows compared to plugging in a flash drive and infecting multiple computers.
Degraded Hard Drive
Typical hard disk drives (HDD) physically spin and move. After time, this type of storage media degrades and slows down. Most laptops are able to be upgraded to a solid state drive (SSD) which has no moving parts like HDD and overall are much faster. Installing an SSD is a common upgrade that you can do with an iFixit guide walking you through the process.
- Check out this video by Switched On Network that goes over the transfer process from a HDD to a SSD.
The laptop could be lacking Random Access Memory (RAM). A lot of Dell laptops allow you to upgrade the RAM but there is a cap on how much you can upgrade to set by the motherboard.
- Search your exact Dell laptop model to find out the maximum amount (it will be 4GB, 8GB, 16GB etc.) and the speed (1333 MHz for example).
- Dell Laptop Battery Draining Fast
- Dell Laptop Not Charging
- Dell Laptop Keyboard Not Working
- Dell Laptop Black Screen
- Dell Laptop Won't Turn On
- Check out this RAM replacement guide as an example of how easy an upgrade can be