Want to squeeze the best possible performance from your refurbished laptop? These tips can help you push your laptop to the limit.
Refurbished laptops are normally a few years old (but not always), so the components may not be up to the task of running your favourite programs or games. If you want to get the best possible performance from a refurbished laptop, there are many free ways of boosting your laptop’s performance that don’t involve you “downloading more RAM” or any other such nonsense.
Eliminate Startup Programs
One of the biggest memory hogs for a computer is the poorly managed queue of startup programs whenever you need to use your laptop. Most software automatically installs to operating systems like Windows 10 with the assumption that you intend to use it every time you use your laptop. Add up a dozen or more programs to your startup list and you might experience massive lag when using the computer.
On Windows 10, go to the settings menu (shortcut: Windows key + “i”) and click “Apps” then “Startup” and toggle through block/allow for each individual program.
This tip alone can have drastic performance improvements, so try this before resorting to more specific tips.
Declutter Your Operating System
Similar to the above tip, your operating system might simply be bogged down from all of the clutter. Unused programs operating in the background can really slow down your experience and lead to lag spikes, so take some time to do a deep clean of all unused software.
Refurbished laptops might still have bloatware that came with the device when it was brand new, as the Refurbisher will have done a clean install of Windows, for example. This means that you’ll want to consider uninstalling all of this bloatware yourself. Removing bloatware can really speed up your laptop, just like controlling startup programs.
Use a Lean Operating System
Most refurbished laptops in 2022 meet the minimum specs for running an operating system like Windows 10, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get a smooth experience on your specific device. Windows 10 requires 1 gig of RAM to work, but if you’ve got an old device that only runs on 1-2 gigs of RAM, you’ll really struggle to do anything since Windows alone will hog up an entire gigabyte of that RAM. Even on newer machines with 8-16 gigs of RAM, you may wish to limit the intense resource usage of Windows by using an alternative operating system.
There are many free alternatives to the ever-popular Windows operating systems, such as Ubuntu and other Linux-based operating systems. Linux systems are quite lean and practical, but switching from a Windows OS to a Linux system does require some patience.
In terms of programs, you might also want to consider lean alternatives to popular programs. Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome can be real resource hogs, so consider Opera GX, a minimalistic web browser built for maximum performance (you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy fast performance).
Run a Hard Drive Defrag
If your laptop uses a hard disk drive (HDD) for memory, bytes of data can, over time, become sparsely grouped and lead to slow performance. Defragmentation (defragging) is a process that regroups bytes of data into a more readily-accessible format, thereby improving performance.
Windows 10 allows users to do this through the operating system. Simply go to “Settings” and optimise your drives in a few clicks. Third-party software can also do the same job, if you prefer.
Overclock Your CPU
One useful tip worth noting is for laptop users with old and less-powerful CPUs. Keep in mind, however, that overclocking your CPU can void the warranty and potentially damage your laptop and render it completely unusable.
If you wish to overclock your CPU, use an application that allows you to adjust the voltage of your processor and follow online instructions carefully. It’s better to be conservative with under-volting and overclocking and to iteratively adjust multiple times than it is to make significant changes, as too big a change can essentially fry your CPU.
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