Why is My Lenovo Laptop so Slow?

I love my old Lenovo IdeaPad laptop, but not when it was running slow…or worse yet, it froze up to death and I had to give it a hard reboot.

After some trials and errors, I learned my lessons. That’s why I’m here to share with you some of the best tips on how to make your Lenovo laptop faster again.

Note: this troubleshooting guide is for those who are experiencing performance issues like or similar to below:

  • Your Lenovo laptop runs extremely slow on Windows 10.
  • It freezes randomly on startup.
  • Applications become unresponsive and freezing.
  • Web pages take ages to load.
  • The internet is very slow.
  • It’s slow to boot up or shut down.
  • Windows crashes randomly.

Warning: if your computer can’t start up or Windows 10 shows blue or black screen, stop using it immediately. Call Lenovo support or take your laptop to a local computer shop for further diagnosis.

Why is My Lenovo Laptop so Slow?

The possible causes may vary. Thus it’s hard to make a general conclusion here without deeper diagnosis. Nevertheless, most “culprits” fall into the following five categories:

  • Malware or virus infection.
  • Windows system problems.
  • Third-party software issues.
  • Improper using behaviors.
  • Outdated or failing hardware.

Is there a universal solution to fix it? Probably not. I’ve heard people say reformatting Windows and having a clean reinstall would help, but that is simply not correct based on my experience and it’s too much hassles especially when you’ve used the laptop for a while and have so many files and applications. The cost of a clean reinstall can be huge.

What to Do? Try These Speed-up Tips

I’ve sorted out a list of quick fixes (as seen below) — some techniques may work better than others. Therefore, use your common sense to selectively try out those you feel might work. You don’t have to take all of them and it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to do so.

1. Talk to Lenovo Support If Your Laptop Is Brand New

If your new ThinkPad/Ideapad/Yoga starts to act up, there could be quality issues. Therefore, I highly recommend you contact Lenovo support and let them handle the situation for you. Possibly they will replace it, saving you time and energy once for all.

I’ve had the chance to contact their customer success team and they were incredibly supportive. So go ahead and give them a call (visit this official page for more support information).

Pro tip: before you hand off your laptop to them, avoid anything that may endanger your warranty (e.g. open the computer case, install another operation system other than Windows 10, etc).

2. Remove Bundled Third-party Programs

I don’t know if it’s still the case in your region, but Lenovo was criticized for their unethical pre-installation policy for its laptops with some trial or ineffective programs. Most likely you won’t use most of these pre-installed software. Removing them for good or preventing them from auto-starting up is recommended.

If you are new to computers, I recommend using CleanMyPC to do so. It’s a very useful app that can keep your Lenovo laptop main drive clean automatically. A feature it has is “Complete Uninstall”, which not only supports uninstalling programs in batch, but it also removes leftovers these programs tend to leave behind.

If you are okay with diving into the tech stuff, you can also do this manually by going to Control Panel (or All Apps in Windows 10), find these unused applications and remove them. See this guide (Windows 8), or this one (Windows 10) for how to uninstall a program step by step. Not only removing these programs helps speed up startup times and prevent potential issues, it would also release a good amount of free disk space for you to save new files.

3. Make Sure Your PC Is Free of Malware

All Windows PCs are prone to malicious software (or viruses, so to speak). I bet you should have heard about the power of virus attack done by hackers. Be aware that many harmful malware usually start with dragging down your computer performance.

That’s why we’re advised to install a security software on our PCs. I have to warn you though, that some resource-hungry antivirus programs use more system resources than they should, which result in a more sluggish PC. So pick a light one like Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and run it to check your Lenovo laptop on a regular basis. Bottom line — keep your laptop away from any harmful threats.

4. Disable Auto-Startup Apps or Services

You want your Lenovo laptop to start up fast, unfortunately there could be many programs or services competing to join the fun the moment you press the power button. This is typical if your computer is loaded with bloated software, or you forget to uncheck the box “run on startup” when installing new programs — hate the trap those unethical software developers set!

Keep your eye on some programs have been given permission to start automatically on startup or in the background. To to so, go to Task Manager -> Startup and find them and disable them. Again, if you are new to Windows OS, see the step-by-step instructions from HowtoGeek.

5. Less Game Time, Less Multitasking

If you are like me, a gaming fan who bought Lenovo IdeaPad partially because of it’s on a less pricer side; then you’d better watch out. Why? Because playing PC games on a laptop could “burn” it — when you run a large game, lots of system resources (CPU, memory, graphic cards, etc) are allocated to ensure a smooth gaming experience, thus taxing your PC’s overall performance. If you are really into gaming, get a powerful gaming computer.

Meanwhile, computers are like humans, multitasking will simply make you inefficient. The reason is simple, human brain power has limitations, so does a computer brain. The more programs you run simultaneously, the slower your computer will all be. In short, consider change personal using habits and run less applications up at the same time.

6. Lighten Your Web Browser (IE, Chrome, FireFox, etc)

Modern web browsers are powerful, but they can drag down your Internet surfing experience if used inappropriately, e.g. you open too many tabs or windows at once, view heavy pages loaded with flash ads, install tons of plug-ins or extensions, etc. All these will add more burdens to the browser, causing it to run slower or become unresponsive — even worse, crash!

How to fix that? First, run Bitdefender to check if your browsers are injected with Adware. Then remove or disable those unneeded plugins; If you can, also clear off the junks such as histories, caches, etc which could take several GBs of disk space; Last but least, try not to open too many tabs at once; once you complete viewing the content, close that tab and then move on.

7. Perform Disk Defragmentation

Warning: this operation is for Lenovo laptops with magnetic hard disk drive (HDD) ONLY. If you are already using a new Lenovo that’s loaded with a speedy SSD (solid-state drive) or you’ve replaced your Lenovo hard drive with an SSD, DO NOT defragment the disk as it does no good to the SSD.

According to Microsoft, defragmenting a hard disk can improve your computer’s performance. Because it rearranges fragmented data stored on the hard disk thus make it work more efficiently. Depending on the Windows version your Lenovo laptop is running, you may schedule disk defragmentation in advance. Watch this video for how to perform defragmentation under Windows 10 or 8.

8. Clean up Hard Drive to Make More Space

Nothing slows down a PC more than having an almost-full hard drive (or solid state drive). Though it’s hard to define a certain percentage of free disk space you need to keep, the more the better!

Once again, I’m using CleanMyPC and it does a great job in keeping my Lenovo hard drive clean and fast.

If you are a power user, you can also do this manually. There are usually three ways to free up your Lenovo laptop hard drive. One is to run the Disk Cleanup (in Windows 10, right click Windows icon on bottom left -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Disk Cleanup), select the disk drive you want to clean and continue.

Second, manually check the “Pictures”, “Videos” folders (or other places) where some large duplicated files usually exist. You can either delete them directly or transfer them to an external hard drive. In addition, you can uninstall those large programs that you rarely use as they can take considerable amount of disk space as well.

9. Test Hardware Issues

If you are using an old Lenovo laptop, chances are outdated hardware is the culprit. A five-year-old hard drive will surely slow down your PC, as well as causing many other potential issues (especially unexpected crash).

Fortunately, Lenovo has developed a hardware diagnostics tool, basically it allows you to perform quick tests on various hardware components including HDD, CPU, RAM, and so on. Check out this official page for more information.

10. Get Real Performance Boost by Upgrading Hard Drive and Memory

This can be costly, but you get what you pay for — serious performance boost. If you are using an old Lenovo laptop, I highly recommend you do so, after all you still pay less compared to getting a new PC, right?

So what I am talking about here are: replacing your laptop HDD with an SSD, or adding more RAM (memory), or do both if possible. You can go to Crucial or Amazon to shop a desired SSD and/or extra memory chip. Then follow the video guide below to finish the installation.

Summary

A faster laptop is better than a slow one. Due to the nature of computer hardware and software, it’s sometimes inevitable that your Lenovo is going to run slowly with the passage of time. However, like a car, with proper maintenance it can still stay solid. I hope you find the speed up tips above useful.

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