How to speed up an old Windows laptop?


I have an old Compaq Windows 7 laptop that everything works on, but it is so, so slow. I don’t remember it being that slow when I got it about 3 years ago, but it seems to have gotten progressively worse over time. This isn’t my only PC, but it’s nice to have a laptop that I no longer have to worry much about, if only it wasn’t so slow and laggy. I don’t really want to spend money on it, but are there any things that can be done to help it out at this stage?

Topic: Windows
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6 total
Vote Up (8)

Dump Windows 7 and go with a good Linux distribution like Linux Mint, Ubuntu or openSUSE. I particularly recommend Linux Mint Xfce since Xfce is a minimalist desktop that will probably run faster on your computer.

Vote Up (8)

Thanks for the advice. I think I will try to see if I can get Windows to run a bit better, and if I don't see much improvement, it might be time to try Umbuntu or Xumbuntu. 

Vote Up (7)

You can also go into msconfig (System Configuration) and use Selective Startup to stop unnecessary programs from starting on boot. It can make a huge difference.

Vote Up (7)

I got remarkable improvements on a much older laptop, an IBM Thinkpad X41.  Nice and compact, but Microsoft said it was too old, too limited even to upgrade to Windows 7 from XP.  I made the biggest possible changes in software (new OS) and hardware (HD to SSD). 


Now running Xubuntu Linux.  It's fast!  Boots up and shuts down in seconds.  It's a huge, dramatic  improvement over Ubuntu for my purposes, admittedly lightweight, no intense graphics, no games.  Email to my Yahoo account via Thunderbird runs much better too.  Watching web video is fine.  XP was a pain.  Windows 7 on a friend's laptop also seems clunky by comparison.


For hardware, I replaced the original hard drive with an SSD. The hard drive had been slightly damaged (too vulnerable for a portable device!) when I dropped the computer onto the floor, but still worked OK.  Now the only moving part is the tiny fan inside.

It's been computer life extension!


Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (6)

You can:

Defrag it
Delete unwanted files to free up hard drive
Buy more RAM or storage (they're cheap these days)
Run an anti-virus program
Remove adware
Clean registry using Glary Utilities or something similar

Swift Harrise
Vote Up (3)

Actually, there are many sides affecting the computer performance. So we can improve the system performance in many ways. For example, you can pay to add a SSD or spend time to delete unwanted programs and disable unnecessary startup programs. You can view different methods and detailed steps here

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