How do I make my old laptop like new?


Many people around the world have old laptops that are just sitting in a corner of their homes. They probably don’t use them because they need to buy expensive software or because it takes so much time to learn how to use one. Before you throw away your old laptop, you should consider giving it some TLC so it can work like new again! This article will provide several ways on how you can make your old laptop look and act like new again using only free computer programs available online for download.

1) Purchase a Linux USB drive  (such as Mint) which will allow you to run any Windows software off of the USB drive itself without affecting the contents of your current Windows installation. You can then this USB drive with you when you go to work or school, or anywhere that you want to use your laptop.

2) Uninstall unused software to free up disk space and speed up the computer in general. You can always reinstall this software later when you need it. However, if you do not use a program often (for example, Adobe Photoshop), then uninstall it. Be careful about uninstalling critical Windows components like Internet Information Services (IIS) because these are needed for everyday core functions of the operating system; however, most people will typically never need IIS unless they routinely host websites with their laptops.

control-panel-uninstall 3) Run an anti-virus scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This should be done at least once weekly, but you can make it a habit by setting this program to automatically run every day. This software is free and does not harm your computer; however, if you do not like it for some reason, you can uninstall it after the scan.

4) Run an anti-spyware scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Again, this should be done at least once weekly, but you could set this program to automatically run every day. Just like with step 3), feel free to uninstall the software later if you do not like it for any reason.

5) Empty all of your “Temporary Internet Files”. These are stored on your laptop in case websites need them when they are unresponsive. This is not detrimental to your computer and does not take long; however, if you do not like that they are slowing down your laptop, follow the steps below.

6) Empty “Cookies”. Cookies store information about websites that you visit; however, they can slow down your browser and make it generally difficult to browse the Internet.

7) Download CCleaner and install it on your computer. This will clean out temporary files and other junk like broken registry keys. You can find the program here:

8) Disable hidden functions and unnecessary start-up programs in MSConfig. You’ll find these programs in the task manager in the startup tab.

9) Get rid of any old programs in your task manager, and UNINSTALL anything you don’t use anymore.

10) Update all drivers through the Device Manager. This also speeds up your laptop.

11) Turn off every program running in the background that isn’t necessary for you to complete a task at hand (e.g., Dropbox, iCloud, Spotify, etc.). You can do this by going into each one’s preferences and turning them off from there.

12) Minimize any windows that are open unless they’re being used for what you’re doing. Several windows open can work against you when it comes to speed because your computer will need to get data from these other windows as whatever window you want to be opened in the foreground.

13) Delete any files in your downloads folder that you’ve already downloaded or in your recycle bin if they’re useless. This frees up some space for new things to be saved at a later time.

14) Remove unused software from startup by going into task manager and looking under the Startup tab. This speeds up load times when booting up your laptop by making it so these programs don’t load if they aren’t necessary for us right then and there. All you have to do is select the program(s) that you don’t need at startup and hit “Disable.” You can always enable it again through this same tab should I want them to automatically open up next time around.

15) Update outdated drivers by going to the website of your device’s manufacturer and looking for software updates. Drivers are necessary for your operating system to communicate with different components on your laptop, so you need to make sure they’re all up to date or your computer will run a little more slowly. This mainly applies if you have an older model that was made before certain types of drivers were pre-installed by default – but if there aren’t any available, don’t worry about it! It could still speed up your machine regardless.

16) Avoid downloading or installing browser extensions. Extensions are pieces of software that allow you to do certain things your browser doesn’t natively support, like adblocking. One extension might not cause big problems on its own, but if you install too many they could interfere with each other and slow down the machine. There’s nothing wrong with using them; however, it’s best to avoid having too many installed at once unless you know what you’re doing.

17) Reformat the hard drive. Formatting is a good way of getting rid of viruses or simply creating more space on your computer for new things. You can format the drive from the Windows installation disc.


18) Defrag your computer: You can do it straight from the computer by going to the “Start” menu, clicking on “All Programs,” and then opening up the “Accessories” folder. Click on “System Tools,” and choose the option that says either “Disk Cleanup” or “Disk Defragmenter.” This will reformat your hard drive, which could fix any computer problems you’re having.

19) Run Scandisk. Scandisk is a program that scans for errors on your hard disk. Your computer might be experiencing some errors without any noticeable effects on what you’re doing; however, these errors could be leading to decreased performance if not addressed.

20) Finally, you could always upgrade your hard drive to an SSD, put in more RAM. Call in and arrange a technician who can quote and help you with this issue.

That’s it! You’ve just fixed up your old laptop and got it running like new again. Even if your computer doesn’t work perfectly yet, over time these tips will help speed it up and make the experience much more enjoyable for you. If you still can’t find any improvement, then, there maybe some underlying issue but fear not as our Melbourne technicians excel at laptop fixes are just around the corner!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...