The honeymoon period of purchasing and owning your laptop is slowly concluding. You’ve been enjoying playing all the games on it, alongside taking it with you to a coffee shop or even to a friend’s to take part in an old-school LAN party of Halo 1 in the Master Chief Collection.
But after a couple of months, you’re slowly picking up on a few files and processes that simply aren’t being done as quickly as they did when you first bought the machine.
It’s all feeling a little bit slower. There's even more of a wait for the login screen when you first boot it up.
But you may not need to take it apart and buy new components just yet. This may be a sign that you need to clean up some useless files and let your laptop get back to its normal self.
After time, it helps to spend an evening in cleaning up the cobwebs of your laptop. Problem areas can vary from renegade installation files for a game, to system restore files that Windows 10 has long since discarded but has left on the hard drive to rot. By checking the laptop every now and again, it helps make any future installations of games such as Resident Evil 3 that little-bit faster, and it saves time in making room for games as well.
There’s plenty of applications and recommendations on social media that can help or hinder the speed of your laptop. But instead, here are a few tips to help you gain some extra speed and storage for those times when you really need it.
Disable Start-Up in Task Manager
This is an underrated feature, but this is incredibly useful if you’ve installed a number of apps that have been set to appear when you switch on your PC.
Task Manager has become very powerful, growing from its humble beginnings of stopping applications from running. Now, it’s at a state where you can see the running-states of different hardware installed, while also seeing who’s logged in, and which user has an application currently running.
Sometimes, once you launch your laptop and log in to the Desktop, you notice that there’s a fair amount of applications running already, which can slow down the other programs you want to get into right away. Luckily, Task Manager has a way of stopping some applications from opening once you log-in.
Launch Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar, and go to ‘Start-up’.
Here, you’ll find a list of apps that have been set to open once you switch on your PC. You can tell by looking at ‘Status’ and seeing if it’s ‘Enabled’.
By right-clicking an app on the list, you can select ‘disable’, and stop it from ever starting up again.
It is recommended though, that if you have any cloud services such as Google Drive and Onedrive set to start up, to leave them be. Disabling this could confuse the service, as it may think that files you’ve deleted or moved from their folders, may be a mistake once you launch them on your laptop, which could delete them by error.
Use CCleaner to speed up your laptop
Sometimes you just need a utility that does all the hard work for you. You don’t want to spend hours upon hours in looking for certain files, across many folders, in seeing which files are taking up the most space, and doing nothing.
This is where CCleaner comes in, and it’s been a staple of utilities for a PC for years now, it’s not difficult to see why.
Made by Piriform, CCleaner is an app where it scans a single hard drive and highlights any files that it deems fit to delete if the user wishes. It can also do the processes at scheduled times. So if you like to leave the laptop on during your break, you can have CCleaner run while you’re not using it.
When you run a custom-clean in both versions, it will go through the following:
- Internet Browser Apps
- Windows Explorer
- System Files
- Installed Windows Store Apps
- Multimedia Apps
- Windows Apps
After the scan, it will show exactly what files it will remove, and you have full control on where these files are, how big they are, and if you want to leave some as they are, or just delete them completely. It’s incredibly useful, and incredibly fast, and it can help you gain back a lot of wasted storage.
There’s also a Professional version that features automatic updates and real-time monitoring, so it can check for any new files that simply don’t need to stay on the hard drive for an extended holiday.
Disk Cleanup - Clear Temp Files and System Restore
Over the weeks, months, or even years, there’s going to be a build-up of files that you’ve not used for a while. These could be remnants of game files or application files that have been missed when an uninstallation of the app or game has been done.
But it also goes to the internet browsers. Regardless of it being Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox, they all store cookies and internet files to help make the browsing experience a bit faster for you, and it’s mainly done by storing information onto the hard drive. If the browser is used frequently, which it often is, then these files can build up, eating away at the available space.
With this, there is another method from within Windows 10, where it scans through your hard drive of choice and lists many types of these files that you can delete if you wish.
Go to ‘This PC’, right click on the hard drive that you wish to free up space on, and select ‘Properties’. Select ‘Disk Clean-up’, and you will be brought to a window, listing the available files that the tool can delete.
- Downloaded Program Files
- Temporary Internet Files
- DirectX Shader Cache
- Recycle Bin
- Temporary Files
These are just a few examples of what will be listed, ready to be deleted, and the total amount that could be cleared, will be listed below this.
There’s even a ‘Clean up System Files’ option, where it can go deeper into Windows, and even look at deleting remnant Windows Update files. That alone can delete 1GB, and it calculates these extra files to the above.
There have been times where the total has gone from 2GB, to 35GB when selecting this option.
There is a reminder here to be aware of what you’re deleting. There’s a chance that you may select something, such as the ‘Recycle Bin’ or ‘Temporary Files’ that may currently be used by another program, so make sure that the files you want to keep, are safe in another folder or hard drive.
Overall, there's plenty of other methods to speed up a system, but these three can be a great start in making sure that the laptop can work to the best of its ability.