11 of the best ways to give an older PC new life
With the massive rise in the cost of living it is no wonder that small businesses and home PC owners are looking at what they can do to extend the life of their tech. So, if you have found yourself utterly defeated by endless video and file loading times, or maybe your PC overheats, then our handy guide is the perfect place to find a few solutions!
How to update your ageing PC without breaking the bank!
1. Uninstall old programmes
If you have been using your PC for some time the chances are that you or fellow team members have added a lot of extra programmes. In recent years cloud-based software will have helped reduce the toll on your system’s capacity, but lurking behind your dashboard there could be several out-of-date programmes that could be uninstalled. This will free up system space for new files, making your PC faster.
2. Clean up your files, disk and defrag your hard drive
In a business office or home, it is all too easy to forget to spring clean your hard drive regularly. Take some time to sit with your team, or other home users to go through the files on your hard drive to see which you need and which you don’t. Deleting older files will often give you back more space than you imagined.
The other thing you can do is run a disk clean-up function and/or a defrag (defragment). The defrag process isn’t necessary on modern computers because they use flash-base storage, but on older PCs, you likely have a disk storage system. If you have deleted older files and programs the information saved on your disk storage finds itself in disarray (or defragmented), meaning your computer takes longer to read through everything as it starts up. Completing a defrag will sort those remaining files and programs into order again, giving you speed on start-up and use.
3. Swap your hard drive for a Solid-State Drive (SSD)
Whilst Solid-State Drives aren’t as expensive as they used to be, they are a worthwhile investment if you are looking to update an older PC. These drives use flash memory, rather than disk, making them quicker with no need to defrag.
The main benefits of using an SSD include:
Reading and writing speed of 7,500 to 15,000rpm
Capacity by the terabyte (TB)!
Faster processing speeds
Higher energy efficiencies
4. Add more RAM
Upgrading your RAM can be less expensive than swapping your drive to an SSD and can give you some great results in performance, especially when using graphic orientated programmes, or larger files.
There will be a limit of RAM you can add to your PC and this will depend heavily on your PC’s processor. For example, a 32-bit processer can safely utilise a RAM capacity of 4G. Whereas a 64-bit processor could increase capacity by terabytes.
5. Upgrade your processor
As long as you understand the process, swapping your PC's processor (CPU) isn’t too difficult and can make a huge difference to performance. An older PC is likely to have a processor speed of 32-bits (unless it was custom built). Swapping this to a 64-bit processor as we said can vastly change the game for what your computer can handle.
6. Improve the graphics card
Most business owners and homeowners are now using their PCs for image and video storage, more than they ever did before. They may even edit image and video media regularly using the same PC. If you are struggling to work with these formats on your older PC, updating to a higher-performance graphics card is a must.
You must remember though, that the performance of a new graphics card will be based on your processor’s capacity.
7. Try a new cooling system
Noticed your PC getting too hot? Maybe it crashes and shuts down?
The older your PC gets the more likely heat will be an issue for you and your fellow users. If this is a problem you are experiencing then it is time to change your fan and cooling system.
8. Use an external monitor for your laptop
Many of us are working in hybrid working environments now and we have either invested in or been given a laptop by our boss to work from each location (home or office). Whilst laptops are great for this situation, there might be times when you miss the multi-tasking and file definition a larger screen offers you.
Instead of buying a new computer set-up consider connecting an external monitor, so you can benefit from improved productivity.
9. Get a new keyboard or mouse
The older your PC becomes, the more likely your keyboard will need replacing. Keys get stuck, become marked (or unmarked!) and even fall off. Replacing your keyboard these days is a quick and easy job, requiring a flash drive or remote connection to operate them.
A mouse is much the same to replace, quick and easy.
It is surprising how much more productive and motivated you will become with better essential tools.
10. Back up your files on an External Hard Drive
Over time you will save hundreds of files to your computer’s hard drive and this can slow down the speed at which you work. Buying an external hard drive is a great way to combat the slowing of your machine. They aren’t as big as you imagine them to be either, meaning you don’t need the same space as an entirely new hard drive might take. Some are no bigger than a smartphone and can hold terabytes of information.
Backing up to external hard drives and refreshing your backup regularly, also means that when that fatal day comes and your PC gives up on life you don’t lose all of those important files.
11. Dusting, yes literally!
Your old machine has probably been in situ for several years at this point if you are reading this blog. Cleaning the screen, keyboard and PC surround will only keep so much dust away from your PC’s workings. Dust can damage your PC mechanics, as well as add combustible and heat problems.
Now it is time to open up your PC and using a gas duster, blow out the dust from your system.
Get help with your old office PCs today!
Don’t struggle with your older tech, let us help! We can offer you smart upgrade options that will have your PCs working as good as new. Contact us today to get an operative to your office pronto.