How to speed up a slow computer

slow computer tips

Here are a few ways to speed up your slow laptop or computer.

As new computer software is released each year, the demands of computer speed rises. Many of us can’t afford a new computer every couple of years but there are things you can do to speed up a slow computer.

Computer speed is very important, whether you’re watching YouTube, working on your blog or editing videos. In the 25 years I’ve been working in the tech support industry, it’s still amazing to me how technology has progressed.

TIPS to speed up your computer

Most laptops and computers before 2018 do not use solid state hard drives. These computers were using the old standard spinning drives with sata connections. IDE connections are worse and much slower in desktop computers.

Moving from a traditional spinning hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) is the best thing you can do to revive an older computer. Older hard drives are limited in speed because they locate data on the disc via a spinning platter, much like a vinyl record or CD for music.

Old school hard drives actually spin, which is why they are so slow. A spinning hard drive takes time to retrieve the data you are looking for.

Data on older, slow hard drives is written to a metal platter, much like a vinyl record has grooves in it for reading music. The data is only accessed as fast as the drive can spin to retrieve the data. This is one reason spinning drives are bad. If the motor on an older spinning hard drives fails, you will lose all your data.

old slow hard drive
Old standard hard drive. Data is read off the spinning metal platter.

The disc must spin to locate the data, which makes your computer slower than a solid state hard drive. Solid state hard drives have no spinning motor. That takes time. This is why an SSD (solid state hard drive) is inherently faster than a mechanical spinning drive.

You can replace your slow out-of-date hard drive with a new solid state hard drive with no compatibility issues at all.

Make sure you’re not running out of hard drive space. Just because you have a 512GB hard drive doesn’t mean you can fill it up entirely. The computer needs at least 1/4 of total hard drive space available at all times in order to run smoothly.

If you’re filling up your computer’s hard drive space, it’s recommended to either purchase a new drive entirely or get an external usb drive to store data on.

I love external usb hard drives. I keep one hard drive to store all my photos and one hard drive to store the videos I create.

Being a professional photographer, I would never store all the thousands of photos on my main hard drive, as this will take up a lot of space. You want your main hard drive in your computer to have as much space as possible so it can run programs effectively.

I have 2 external usb drives; one hard drive for storage of files and the other as a backup (an exact copy of the first hard drive with the same files.)

I purchased the $150 solid state hard drive to speed up my slow computer instead of spending $1500 on a new Macbook.

Upgrade your computer’s memory. This is known as RAM. It’s recommended to have at least 8GB RAM. My iMac has been upgraded to 32GB because of the video editing and audio mixing and mastering I do. Each computer is different so it’s important to get the correct memory. Check make and model for proper specs.

If you’re blogging, writing email or watching videos, 8 GB of memory is enough. For photo editing or video editing, you need at least 16 GB memory. Any type of intensive graphics work requires 32 GB memory, especially if you’re editing 4k video.

BEST thing you can do to speed up your computer


Replacing your spinning hard drive technology with a solid state hard drive is a quick and relatively inexpensive fix. A new hard drive will breathe tons of life and speed into your computer or laptop, even if it’s an 8-year-old Macbook pro like mine.

There are tons of YouTube videos that walk you through the easy process of replacing a computer hard drive. I don’t recommend Geek Squad. Most of them are amateurs and have no idea what they’re doing.


Replacing your old hard drive with a solid state hard drive will make the largest impact in the speed of your computer. I highly recommend it.


There were 2 main speeds hard drives ran at: 5400 rpm and 7200rpm. 7200 revolutions per minute sounds fast, and it is, but not when data is involved. By removing your hard drive and replacing with a solid state drive, you will see a night and day difference in the speed of your computer. It’s relatively easy to replace a hard drive, but as with anything, remember the order you took things apart.

speed up your old computer
You don’t have to be a computer geek to upgrade your computer

A solid state hard drive has no moving parts and no spinning disc. This is why solid state hard drives are so much faster than the old traditional spinning drives.

Your Iphone, Ipad, smart phones and tablets all use solid state hard drives. It’s instant access to your data. Since there are no moving parts with solid state hard drives, there is no heat generated, which is a great thing. I cannot recommend solid state hard drives enough. I have installed solid state hard drives in all my computers, as well as for for friends and coworkers.

Check out the HIGHEST RATED solid state drive on AMAZON. The Samsung 860 EVO

how to make your computer or laptop faster
Samsung 860 EVO solid state hard drive

I recommend the brand Samsung, as they are the go-to for many, and a name you can trust. There are different storage sizes of hard drive and each come with a price. I would recommend 512GB for a great all around storage drive. This is plenty for your operating system, leaving plenty of space for music and videos.

  • Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology. Optimized Performance for Everyday Computing
  • Enhanced Performance: Sequential Read/Write speeds up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s respectively
  • Ideal for mainstream PCs and laptops for personal, gaming and business use
  • Hardware/Software Compatibility: Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (SP1 and above), XP (SP2 and above), MAC OSX, and Linux
  • Included Contents: 2.5″ (7mm) SATA III (6Gb/s) SSD & User Manual (All Other Cables, Screws, Brackets Not Included). 5-Year Warranty

Here is a link to the Samsung 512GB I purchased and installed in my 2010 apple Macbook pro 15″ screen. All connections are the same regardless of what size you buy. Simply remove your hard drive, install the new one, then reinstall the operating system (windows or mac os) and you’re done.

I hope this post on how to speed up a slow computer has helped you. A solid state hard drive will make a huge difference in your computer’s speed.

If you have any questions, let me know. If you’re in the Chicago area I can install for you. Contact me for a quote.

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