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6 Fixes for a Slow or Lagging Dell XPS 15

Last Updated May 24, 2022
Dell XPS 15 Laptop close up to the keyboard

Do you own a Dell XPS 15 and can’t figure out how to speed up its performance? Is it keeping you from accomplishing basic tasks because it’s so hard to use? Some simple fixes can fix your PC woes and get you back to using your Dell PC like it was intended.

To save you as much time as possible, I’ve put together a list of six of the best and most effective tips for improving the performance of your Dell PC. Some of these tips you will find more useful than others, but I guarantee you’ll find what you need here to get your PC back up and running at its peak performance.

Do a Hard Reset

If your problem is caused by a temporary glitch in your system, doing a hard reset usually resolves everything. Perform the following:

  • Close all running programs and turn off your machine
  • Disconnect the power cable and remove the battery
  • Leave the computer turned off for 30 seconds
  • Within those 30 seconds, press and hold the power button in five to 10-second intervals
  • After 30 seconds, reconnect the battery to your laptop and connect the power cord

Turn it on at this point and see if the computer’s performance has improved. This should solve a large host of issues as this ensures the RAM is cleared.

Turn Off HDR

HDR can add to graphic quality when using certain programs such as Netflix but requires a large amount of your PC’s resources and for the most part, can be turned off with little functionality lost for most users.

To accomplish this using Windows 10:

  • Open the Settings app using Windows Search
  • Select System
  • Select Display
  • In the Windows HD Color section, untick Use HDR

This should greatly increase your graphic performance and allow your computer to run faster. HDR is a feature that is seldom used by most users.

Disconnect External Devices and Restart

It’s easy to blame your PC for performance issues, but sometimes that is misplaced. Anything that’s plugged into your computer could be making your computer work harder than it should, causing it to run slow.

Since this is an easy issue to fix, try this first: unplug anything that’s plugged into your Dell, like an external hard drive, SD card, or printer. Then, restart your PC without any accessories plugged in and see if the issue can be fixed. If it does, there may be a compatibility issue (like using an old printer with a new computer). Or sometimes the device is working in the background — for example, setting up automatic backups to an external hard drive will cause a PC to slow down while the files are being copied in the background.

Clean up Your Hard Drive

While the RAM that stores all the data you are currently using often causes computers to run slow, a full hard drive can cause performance issues as well. If your Dell hard drive is over 85% full, you’ll see a quick boost in performance after cleaning it up. Do this with a downloadable program called CleanMyPC — a tool that helps keep the hard drive clean automatically.

Another way to clean up a full hard drive is to use an external hard drive or online cloud storage to store files. You can also remove applications you no longer use, run disk cleanup or remove temporary files.

Clean the Fan System

If your computer is older and you’ve never cleaned out the fan, chances are that dust build-up in the fan is causing your computer to overheat. This, in turn will affect the performance. First, locate the fan by finding the vent on your computer. Use a can of compressed air to gently blow out the fan, clearing the dust. Be sure to do this when the computer is off to not damage the fan by spinning it in the wrong direction while it’s trying to move.

Customize Power Options

Another method that can be used is customizing the power options.

  • In windows search, type choose a power plan and select it from the options
  • Select the High Performance option to be your default setting
  • Click change plan settings to customize your plan, if you would like
  • Furthermore, you can click Change Advanced Power Settings to change additional settings for performance

Customizing these options is an easy way to fine-tune your PC’s performance and get your computer running much smoother.


There are many options to improve the performance of your XPS 15. Some critical items are a hard reset, disconnecting external devices, as well as cleaning the fan to name a few. Performance issues can be frustrating but taking some time to utilize a few of the remedies mentioned in this article will allow you to overcome them and get your PC working in peak performance again.

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