How To Keep Your Old Windows PC Running Smoothly

It can be incredibly frustrating to have an old laptop that makes you feel stuck in history! It starts to perform so that working on it becomes next to impossible, especially in today’s world where newer versions and features are often released. In this post, we will share how you can keep your old Windows PC running smoothly.

OLD PC Running Smoothly

How To Keep Your Old Windows PC Running Smoothly

Old computers lag, and it gets irritating to know that the latest ones can do the same task in a few seconds. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep it up and to run. Let us take you through how to keep your old PC running smoothly. Keep reading!

  1. Upgrade to SSD
  2. Add RAM to Windows PC
  3. Remove Apps from Windows Startup
  4. Uninstall unnecessary apps and software
  5. Use an Antivirus or Security Software
  6. Keep Windows Updated

1] Upgrade to SSD

The first and foremost option will be installing a solid-state drive (SSD). It is a new generation of computer storage devices that uses flash-based memory. It is faster than a traditional hard disk. It not only boots Windows faster but also runs applications smoothly without any lag.

An external SSD with a USB 3.0 connection can also give you a speed boost in applications that use a lot of storage if you want to speed up your system. You need to install the applications/files in SSD storage to run faster without any interruption.

2] Add RAM to Windows PC

RAM has a simple logic; your laptop uses it as temporary storage to run applications. This means, as you keep exhausting the RAM, you will need more for the functions of your laptop to run smoothly. Your laptop slows down when you have a shortage of RAM. You can add more RAM to your old PC by buying an extra memory stick or new RAM to speed things up.  

Now the question is which RAM is suitable for you? RAM comes in different frequencies starting from 800MHz to 4200MHz, which is the latest one with modules starting from DDR2 to DDR4; the DDR2 RAM’s are found in the older version of PC, so before upgrading to new RAM, you need to check the module of the older RAM and upgrade with same.

E.g., If you have 8 GB RAM with a DDR2 module with a frequency of 2400MHz, if you want to upgrade to 16GB, you have to either buy a single 16GB DDR2 RAM or you can add more 8GB with your previous RAM. The higher the frequency, the faster your PC will work.

You will also need to check the type of RAM supported by the Motherboard. If there is a mismatch, your PC will not boot.

3] Remove Apps From Windows Startup

The first step towards breathing life into your old PC can be streamlining your startup. As simple as this sounds, it can be a game-changer in speeding your old PC up. Plus, before you take more drastic steps, this is a much safer option.

Windows Startup Programs

To begin with, open the Startup tab of the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc). You do not need to disable important things like Windows processes or your antivirus. Still, you can easily eliminate all other processes from launching at startup to prevent them from slowing it down.     

4] Uninstall Unnecessary Apps and Software

It’s time for a spring cleaning session! There will be many pre-installed programs on your PC that take up space, affecting the background processes. 

  • Click on the Start menu and type Settings, and then click on the settings icon.
  • Go to Apps > Apps & Features.
  • Here you can decide which apps to keep and which to remove. Click on the menu and then choose to uninstall.

Another good idea would be to get rid of the Temporary Files. Windows 11/10 comes with Storage Sense feature that can free up space automatically; sounds good, right?

This feature is handy for people who don’t want to clear storage manually. When your PC is running low on space, this feature will delete the junk files, including temporary system files and the items in your recycle bin, making room for other files.

How to activate or deactivate the Storage sense in Windows 11/10?

Windows Storage Sense

  • Open Windows Settings, and go to System > Storage
  • Locate Storage Sense, and toggle on.
  • To configure Storage Sense, click on the arrow.
  • Here you can choose when to run Storage sense that includes
    • During low free disk space
    • Duration
    • Option to Delete files from Download folder
    • Make the content online on OneDrive.

5] Use an Antivirus or Security Software

This tip is super important to keep your old PC working safely. Moreover, older versions of the Windows OS may not get the latest security updates. Without an antivirus, spyware scanner, or anti-malware, your PC is exposed to various threats online. This can also make your PC faster as it doesn’t have to spend time finding and eliminating bugs and spyware. 

For this, go for reliable and up-to-date antiviruses or firewall programs. Apart from that, you can also go for browsers other than Internet Explorer, which isn’t as safe as Chrome or Firefox for browsing the internet.      

6] Keep Windows Updated

Despite your PC’s old model, a fresh update can give it just what it needs to work like new again! These could also be the cure for software glitches and bugs that may have started to show with your laptop’s age. 

Open Windows Setting and go to Windows Update. Click on  Check for Update button, and install recommended update. Along with this, driver updates are also delivered, found in Advanced Options > Optional updates.

I am sure if you have the right drivers, your Windows PC will run smoothly.

Bonus Tips

  • Restart Windows PC once in a while. It can fix a lot of problems.
  • Too many open tabs consume memory, and if the OLD PC cannot handle it, close a few.
  • Use lightweight software instead of heavy applications. You may not need all the features offered by pro software.

Does Disk Defragment Help?

Yes, especially to keep your hard drive healthy. Disk fragmentation is when files are stored in one place instead of in a scattered way, and the unused space is kept separate. This way, it is easier for the PC to read and open files, unlike when they were fragmented. To understand it in a better way, think of it as arranging your pantry item-wise; putting the perishable and non-perishable items in separate storage spaces.  

However, this tip only applies to mechanical hard disks and not SSD Storage. It is neither required nor needed to defragment SSD as it will reduce life. You can use the OEM software to create Over Provisioning. It uses this dedicated space to increase performance for file operations.

Delete Extra System Restore Points to Free Up Space

System Restore is a feature in Windows which helps you fix certain types of crashes and problems. However, this could take up a lot of space, and this approach is not that effective. It is recommended to keep at least one System Restore point and delete the rest of them.

What Does Reinstalling Windows Do?

If your old PC is still running at turtle speed after trying out all the tips given above, then it may be worth its while to reinstall Windows. We say this because Windows has quite the reputation for slowing down after some time!

For this, the first thing you should do is to back up all your files and critical system data before installing a factory-new copy of the Windows OS to breathe new life into your old PC. Also, pro-tip backing up your files is a good idea on old laptops as they are more prone to hardware failures.    

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you are not able to Old Windows PC Running Smoothly.


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