Tips on making an old PC last longer

If you have an old PC or are thinking of buying an older second-hand PC, You are in the right place because in this article, I will give you advice on how to make that PC last longer.

This guide is for computers with modern operating systems such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. It should work with older systems but I don’t recommend it because they are no longer supported by security updates.

So without further ado, here are 8 things you can do to keep your old computer running longer…

Please note!

I am not responsible for any damage caused by conducting these tasks, they are here as a reference only. If you are not confident doing these tasks please take your PC to a local repair shop!

1. Uninstall any programs you no longer use

Installed programs use up space on your hard drive and can run in the background using up RAM. Getting rid of them is a great start. The default Windows Uninstaller doesn’t always clean up everything the program has left. I, therefore, recommend something like Revo Uninstaller, which is a free utility that has advanced cleaning features.

Tip!

If you are unsure of what a program or file is, Google it. Uninstalling the wrong program can make your system unstable.

2. Clean your drive

No, I don’t mean taking your drive out of your computer and cleaning it physically, I mean cleaning it of any useless junk, such as temporary files. Windows has a built-in utility to do this known as Disk Clean-up which does a good job, but if you prefer something better, I would recommend Wise Disk Cleaner or CCleaner which are free and do an excellent job.

Tip!

If you are unsure of what a file is Google it first!

3. Defragment your hard drive

To begin with, it’s important to determine whether you are using a Hard Drive or a Solid State Drive which doesn’t need to be Defragmented.

The main difference between a Hard Drive and a Solid State Drive is that a Hard Drive is like a record player, it has a spinning disk and an arm that reads data. When the drive starts getting full it will write data wherever it finds space, meaning the arm will take longer to read data. Defragmenting your hard drive will fix this.

A Solid State Drive doesn’t have a spinning disk, it’s technically a chip. For this reason Solid State Drives or SSD’s are a lot faster and don’t need to be defragmented.

Windows has a tool called Defragment and Optimise Drives.

4. Disable startup items

Some programs are automatically set to start when you log in. You can save time by disabling these items. But be sure o only disable the items that you don’t use. Google is a great tool for checking what an item does.

In Windows 8.1 and 10, you can access your start-up items by pressing CTRL ALT DELETE, selecting Task manager and selecting Start-up from the bar. In Windows 7 or below search for “msconfig“.

5. Upgrade your Hard Drive to an SSD

As mentioned before Solid State Drives run faster. It will be criminal not to upgrade your Hard Drive to an SSD. But before you start…

Warning!

Your Hard Drive stores all data including your Operating System. You will need to transfer all of it when you upgrade to an SSD. You can either clone your Hard Drive using something like CloneZilla or reinstall everything manually. If you don’t feel confident doing this take your PC to a local repair shop.

6. Clean your PC

Over time, Dust gets inside your PC and clogs up the fans etc. Doing this will not speed up your PC, but it certainly should make it last longer.

This guide by Patrick Bisch from How-TO Geek shows a good way to clean your computer.

7. Upgrade your RAM

RAM or Memory is what allows you to run programs, without it you simply can’t run anything. It’s simple the more RAM you have the more programs you will be able to run without your computer slowing down. Not forgetting the fact that you should be able to run more demanding programs too.

Tip!

It’s important to check whether the RAM you plan to purchase is compatible with your Motherboard.

8. Upgrade to a less demanding Operating System.

This tip is great if you have an outdated system such as Windows Vista or XP. There are many free wonderful Linux Operating Systems opt there such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu that are not as demanding as a modern version of Windows.

Check out my Guide to installing Ubuntu: