We all have that old computer, something we got on a sale, or which has been with us through thick and thin. The good news is that having an old computer does not mean it must run slow, crash, or only use outdated programs. A few simple actions can give your old computer a new lease on life.
Although buying a brand new computer would be nice, it may not be an option because of financial restraints, time crunch, or just sentimentality. Fortunately, you can get nearly the performance of a new computer without having to fork out a lot of money, spend a lot of time, or get rid of a machine you are attached to. No matter the reason why you have an old computer, you can make it run with the best of them.
Tips to Improve Your Old Computer
#1. Change Your Hard Drive to SSD
If you are using an old computer, then you should consider switching your old spinning-disk hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD). It’s not only a good move for increasing storage space, but it’s also very effective at improving your computer’s performance because SSDs read and write at significantly faster speeds.
#2. Get a Better Graphics Card
This tip applies, particularly to gamers. Newer programs and games require higher graphic performance than what your old computer can handle. Rather than buying an entirely new computer, you could just upgrade to a more powerful graphics card. Depending on what programs you use, this could also help photographers and graphic designers.
#3. Get More RAM for Old Computer
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a hardware component that goes into your computer. RAM enables your computer to do more than one thing at a time or multitask. Your computer comes with some amount already installed, but the price of RAM generally goes down pretty steeply year over year, so if your machine is a few years old, you can likely get a significant upgrade for little cost.
#4. Clean Your Disk Space
As your computer operates, it creates temporary files like cache, cookies, and other (potentially) small files that can add up quickly in size, making your computer operate more slowly. Fortunately, they can all be deleted using Windows’ own Disk Cleanup tool (find it by doing a Windows search). Disk Cleanup looks up and analyzes all files a hard drive. It then picks out the files that are no longer necessary and deletes them.
#5. Remove Malicious Software
Malicious software like viruses, ransomware, and spyware can be disruptive and destructive to your computer. If you notice glitches in your programs, strange popups, programs you didn’t download, or anything else suspicious, then you might have surreptitiously picked up some malicious software. To get rid of it, you need to run a thorough scan using an updated anti-virus software program.
#6. Clean it Physically
Your computer’s components might be encased, but they do get dirty. You should clean the inside of your computer at least once a year. Don’t use anything like soap and water, though. Use an electronics cleaning spray to clean out dust and debris. The dust that collects inside not only disrupts moving parts, it also increases the heat in your computer. Increased heat forces your components to slow down to avoid overheating.
#7. Upgrade Your Windows
If you ask around about how to make your computer run faster and smoother, you have probably heard advice like defragging your computer or streaming your startup programs. Here’s a good tip Upgrade to the latest version Windows, and all of that is done automatically for you.
If you are on the latest version of Windows and your computer is still slow, then you should consider re-installing it. Windows is known for slowing down over time and hence the need to be re-installed. Remember to back up your files and have your product key ready.
#8. Get Your Computer Back in the Fast Lane
It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Whether you need to boost performance or repurpose your computer, the above tips will help you get there. If any of the above seems like a lot of work then you can take your computer for computer repairs. At the repair shop, professionals can use sophisticated tools to diagnose and fix a multitude of performance issues for you. So don’t despair or throw away your old computer. Just do a little DIY maintenance and it will be good as new.