Can computers get better?

These five tips will get your laptop back on the road

Is your laptop noticeably slow? With some upgrades you can speed up your device. Windows itself also offers some functions for this. Five tips at a glance.

If you are dissatisfied with the performance of your notebook or laptop, you don't have to buy a new device straight away. It is often worthwhile to turn one or the other adjusting screw to make the computer faster. Five tips at a glance:

1. Buy an SD card

If you reach the capacity limit with a cheap notebook that only offers 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage, an SD card can be the solution. The can remain permanently in the card reader slot as memory expansion. For less than 30 euros you can gain around 256 GB of storage with an SD card. However, you shouldn't expect any speed records from the memory cards. Anyone who spends about twice as much on the 256 GB memory card receives a model in the U3 speed class that can transfer data much faster.

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Activate ReadyBoost

You can use the SD card or a USB stick to check whether you can activate the ReadyBoost function. The storage space of the removable medium is used to expand the hard disk's cache. Systems that have little RAM benefit from this in particular. In addition, you can only use ReadyBoost if your laptop uses a mechanical hard disk (HDD).

In order to be able to use ReadyBoost, the removable disk must have at least 500 megabytes of storage capacity. To activate the function, proceed as follows:

  1. Insert the USB stick or memory card into the computer.
  2. Open the file explorer. To do this, click with the right mouse button on the Windows symbol at the bottom left and select "Explorer".
  3. Find the removable disk in the list on the left, right-click the icon and select "properties".
  4. Click on the tab "ReadyBoost". If you can use the function, follow the instructions on the screen.

2. Have the hard disk cleaned up automatically

Windows 10 offers the option to automatically free up space. This means that users no longer have to empty the trash themselves or delete temporary files by hand, for example. Activate the option "Storage optimization". This can be found in the settings. To call up the function, press the Windows key and type"Storage optimization". The menu should now appear so you can call it up. Otherwise, proceed as follows:

  1. Press the Windows key or click the Windows icon in the system tray (usually at the bottom left).
  2. Press on the gear icon, that opens the Windows settings.
  3. Click on "system".
  4. Find the menu "Storage". Click on it.
  5. Here Windows offers the option "Storage optimizationActivate the setting.

In the menu "Change the automatic freeing of space"you can set which files Windows should delete and when.

Alternatively, you can click on "Free up space now", have certain files deleted immediately. Caution: You may find files from the previous Windows version there. These can take up several gigabytes of memory. Windows keeps these files for some time so that users can revert to the previous version. Only delete these files if you want to keep the current Windows version.

3. Defragment the hard disk

To reduce the access time to files, it helps to defragment the hard disk. The system rearranges data blocks. As a result, related but fragmented files are rearranged together. The computer finds the files in one place and not distributed among several - this reduces the access time.

Defragmenting a drive is only advisable for HDDs. You should avoid it with so-called SSDs. Read more about SSDs here. To defragment your drive in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Press the Windows key or click the Windows icon in the system tray (usually at the bottom left).
  2. Press on the gear icon, that opens the Windows settings.
  3. In the search above, type in "Defragment"a. The option appears:"Defragment and optimize drives". Click on it.
  4. The system now shows all connected drives. The type (HDD or SSD) can also be seen. With the option "Optimize", you can defragment it immediately. In Settings you can also specify whether and how often a drive should be" optimized ".

4. Reduce visual effects

Another option: reduce the graphic effects of Windows. This can help if the system reacts slowly - for example, if you click something or move a window. This is reported by "heise Online". To reduce the visual effects, do the following:

  1. Press the "Windows key" and "R.".
  2. The window "To run". Type the command"Sysdm.cpl" a.
  3. The window "System properties". Click on the tab" aboveExtended".
  4. Under the point "power" click on "Settings".

Windows offers the options here to optimize the visual effects for display or performance. You can also turn effects on or off yourself.

5. End the autostart programs

If the laptop drives its owner crazy with a slow Windows start, it can make sense to sort out automatically loading programs when the system starts. This works via the "Autostart". To manage startup programs, proceed as follows:

  1. Press Ctrl-Shift-Escapeto open the Task Manager. Alternatively, you can Ctrl + Alt + Ent Press and then select "Task Manager".
  2. Click on the "Autostart" tab at the top.
  3. Here Windows lists programs that start at system start. To deactivate it, select the desired program and click on "Deactivate".


Of course, you should not try to prevent the virus scanner or the touchpad driver on the notebook from starting, because these programs must always be active in the background. In case of doubt, it is better not to change the respective entry.

Many applications from the Office package to the packing program to the PDF tool certainly do not always have to start immediately with Windows. You can confidently click with the right mouse button on the corresponding entry on "Disabled"can be set.

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  • Windows,
  • Windows 10,
  • Laptop,
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  • SSD,
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  • Hard disk,
  • Digital tips