Picture this; it is the morning of your best friend’s engagement party, you need to finish the speech you left for the last minute. Now you are busy putting together a presentation for the party. All the pictures and memories are being added together in a masterpiece, a tastefully crafted presentation.
What you didn’t picture was your computer taking forever to load and mesh everything together. What was supposed to be a one-hour job has turned into four hours and is far from finished. The party is looming, and you are sweating.
We have all had this frustration at some point. Be it work, college presentations, or, like me, a presentation for an event. Nothing makes us more annoyed than waiting for your laptop to get with it.
This exercise led to me asking some questions in the hopes of finding an answer to the problem.
- Is my laptop out of space?
- Is my operating system the problem?
- Do I need to run updates that will fix the lag?
- And then there is the dreaded – Do I need to replace my laptop altogether?
That last one is bound to leave a ball in your throat. Buying a new laptop may not have been on your list of things to do, never mind in your budget.
Luckily for you, there are some things that you can try first before that last step of a new purchase. One of those steps is a complete reboot. Before we go there, let’s look at some other options that could help alleviate the problem.
Here are some tips on how to free up some space on your laptop.
- Check your laptop for any programs that start automatically. These programs use RAM and make your machine work slower.
It’s easy enough to find out which programs these are. All you need to do is go to System Configuration > Start-up. Here you can see which apps are running in the background and stop them from opening automatically.
On a MAC, go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor for the same solution.
- Get rid of the programs that you no longer use. We have all downloaded programs that we once had fun using and then neglect. These programs are hogging up some much-needed space on your laptop.
- Upgrade your operating system. It doesn’t matter which operating system you are running. If you have neglected to update it in a while, your laptop will be sluggish.
Try updating so that your computer is running with the latest info and not working harder with outdated configurations.
- Clear your Cache. Not clearing your cookies and cache at regular intervals will slow down your browser. Every website that you visit is stored temporarily in your cache using memory.
Clearing the cache memory will free up some of the space and data that your laptop needs to process.
- Check for viruses. As safe as we all try to be, hackers and viruses are even more determined to infiltrate our laptops and do damage. Check if there are any viruses, and then make sure that you have a decent anti-virus software package installed for future-proofing.
- Run a defrag. Modern Macs will automatically defrag, so if you have one, you are covered. If not, defrag the laptop to get rid of all the unallocated space.
Check if your laptop has an SSD card before defragging. If it does, you can damage the drive. A defrag is only applicable when you have a solid-state drive.
We have explored some options to see where the problem may lie. Still, nothing is working. We may need to do a complete reboot. This process is a little trickier, but fear not, you are in good hands.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is backup, backup, backup. You do not want to lose all your critical information so before we delve into the reboot, let’s discover the process of backing up first.
Backing up your data can be done in a few ways.
- Cloud Storage
Cloud Storage is one of the most effective ways to back up your files, and it’s also the easiest way to retrieve them. You can store anything on a cloud service like Google Drive.
- External Hard Drive
With this method, you transfer the files that you need to save to the external drive. The only glitch here is that you need enough space on the drive to accommodate all your files, and it can be time-consuming.
Yeah, prior to buying a laptop you should know that how much storage do you need actually? As it helps in avoiding these kind of issues lately. Basically, overloaded storage causes stress to the RAM as well as processor and it ends up slowing down your laptop.
- SSD Drive
Like the hard drive, an SSD will give you more space to back up to and, it is easy to use. These devices are inexpensive and available all over.
Now for the big question:
Will a factory reset make my laptop faster?
In short, yes, it will. The reason a factory reset will work is that you are erasing all the data and settings on your laptop and setting it back to its original form.
All the apps and programs that you have downloaded and saved which are not native to the laptop will be removed giving it more capacity to run as originally configured.
The factory reset will also make sure that resource-intensive programs are deleted, and malware risks are removed.
Once you have all the crucial files saved externally, a factory reset is a great idea for giving your laptop a facelift.
However, end result still depends on configurations & your usage frequency too. Yeah, if you’re using laptop for animation then it might not resolve the isssue completely. However, if your laptop is used just for streaming or surfing then this issue will get resolved in no time, after doing a factory reset.
Below is a guide on how to get this done.
How to perform a factory reset on Windows
- Go to the Settings option.
- Find the option labeled Updates & Security and select it.
- Next, click on the Recovery option.
- Look for the option that says Reset this Device.
- A list of files and programs that are going to get deleted will be outlined. If you are confident that you have all your pertinent data stored and do not need any of the items listed, click on Reset.
Doing a factory reset on a MacBook
- First, switch your MacBook off
- Reboot it and press the Command Key + R.
- Select the storage option called Mac HD and delete it.
- Switch the MacBook back on and reinstall Mac OS.
Your laptop or MacBook will now get reinstated back to the original manufacturer settings. All the files, data, and cache memory accumulated over the months or years of use are gone.
A factory reset is one of the better ways to give yourself some more time with that laptop and have it restored to its former glory.
You have effectively removed all the unnecessary programs, apps, and files that have slowed you down and freed up some space.
Once the factory reset is complete, you can start from scratch with a laptop that works like new and enjoy the benefit of all your important work or personal files saved remotely.
The only thing left to do is install any necessary programs and enjoy a faster, more functional laptop.