Will Windows 10 work on old computer?

How long should a desktop computer last

In case you have been thinking if will Windows 10 work on old computer, we’ll be going through the requirements to run it along with the methods required for upgrading.

Windows 10 has been around for over seven years now. It remains one of the most highly-praised versions of the OS from Microsoft.

Now that Windows 11 has been unveiled, Windows 10 has taken the backseat. Though upgrading to 11 is more of a hot topic these days, what about the ones that are still yet to update?

Predecessors of Windows 10 such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 are still somewhat around. However, the older versions stopped getting updates years ago.

Especially for a Windows 7 or 8 user, this affects the system performance and hinders productivity as it’s missing out on the latest features.

Ever since the updates stopped coming, a major fraction has updated to Windows 10. If you’re looking to climb the staircase too, the first question is whether your computer is capable of running Windows 10 or not.

Although it varies, most computers that have Windows 7 or 8 can easily run Windows 10.

Table of Contents

Will Windows 10 work on old computer?

Why you should update your computer to Windows 10

Before we get to the main subject, it makes sense to address why you should update to Windows 10 in the first place. Other than the halt of Windows Update service, you’re also looking at potential security concerns.

Windows security system is undoubtedly exceptional, such that if one doesn’t opt for an external antivirus, their computer can still be miles away from viruses.

However, this only works when your operating system is getting regular security updates, which is unfortunately not the case with Windows 7 and 8 anymore.

What to do with old computers that still work

You’re also missing out on dozens of new features and tools that come packed in Windows 10.

Despite its similar requirements, Windows 10 does bring a lot to the table. We’re talking about improved security, better design, faster startups, powerful internet browsing, and your very own Cortana.

Though there’s not much that you’ll be leaving behind in the predecessor versions like the Microsoft Office programs, bear in mind that you’ll be bidding farewell to Windows Media Center.

Nonetheless, the trade is still a win for you, considering Windows 10’s perks and features.

System requirements to run Windows 10

Windows 10 initially came with a light set of requirements, which is why it rapidly gained popularity. Most of its requirements were identical to its predecessors, which is why upgrading didn’t seem to be an issue.

As reported by the official source, here is the Windows 10 hardware requirement:

  • 1 GHz of processing power;
  • 1 GB RAM for 32-bit and 2 GB for 64-bit;
  • 16 GB of hard drive storage for 32-bit and 32 GB for 64-bit;
  • DirectX 9-compatible graphics card or newer with a WDDM 1.0 driver.

As mentioned before, these are the bare minimum requirements of Windows 10. To get the most out of the version, a few more additions to the criteria should be made.

In any case, if you compare these requirements to Windows 7 or 8, you’ll notice the difference to be insignificant.

Windows 10 only requires a tad bit more storage as it comes with heavy system files. Therefore, the only barrier between your old PC and Windows 10 might be small storage space.

Checking system information on Windows 7/8

Now that you know what your computer needs to run Windows 10, the next step is to check its system information.

  • Simply click on the Start button and type “Computer“;
  • Now right-click on Computer, then on Properties;
  • Here you’ll find your computer’s system information.

On the other hand, you can simply check your system’s existing storage capacity since that’s what matters the most in the requirements.

Launch File Explorer and under your drive’s icon, you’ll see how much storage you have available on your device.

If your computer lacks the storage space needed to run Windows 10, then an upgrade of the hard drive is needed.

Disk space full on Windows 10

Secondly, if your existing storage barely fulfills the requirements, we don’t recommend proceeding.

Installing Windows 10 regardless of the shortage of space will result in a poor and bitter experience. The OS won’t run smoothly and you’d be better off with Windows 7 or 8.

How to update to Windows 10

So, you’ve verified that your PC is eligible for an update, and now comes the installation part. Upgrading to Windows 10 is not that difficult, as you’re already running its predecessor.

In terms of cost, Microsoft did end its free-of-cost update offer a couple of years ago, but users can still have their OS and licenses renewed for free.

However, this only applies if you have a proper authentic license running Windows 7/8.

Note that before you decide to download and install Windows 10, you must back up your data in a storage drive or Cloud.

An OS update usually leaves your PC as fresh as a new one, literally. Though you do get asked whether you want to keep your old system files or not, some of the data just doesn’t make it through the update procedure.

Therefore, it’s not wise to take any risks, especially if you keep personal files on your computer.

You might be asked by the installer to delete certain Windows apps and programs because they might interfere with the installation procedure.

Don’t worry though, you can download them later on from the Microsoft Store. The same can be said about external hardware devices, so make sure to disconnect them from your computer before you hit the install button.

After you’ve backed up your data, head to Microsoft’s official website and download Windows 10 ISO file.

Will Windows 10 work on old computer

Once the download tool launches, follow the instructions provided in the window. You’ll be asked if your existing data should be kept or not.

Regardless of the option you choose, having a backup is necessary. The update will start and usually takes 60-90 minutes on average to adjust the new settings of the OS.

What if your computer cannot run Windows 10?

If your computer is from the 2000s, there’s a good chance that it won’t be able to handle Windows 10.

In such a case, your best bet is to buy a new machine. Considering that you’ve been using an older computer all this time, your base requirements likely won’t cost you more than $500 for a new computer.

Not to mention the fact that you’ll be getting Windows installation for free. Buying a new PC seems to be the best option if your current system is incapable of running Windows 10.

However, if your pocket doesn’t allow this update yet, there are other options too.

Consider another Operating System

Tired of Windows 7/8 but can’t update to 10? Consider opting for other operating systems such as Linux.

Linux doesn’t cost a dime and comes first on the list when alternates of Windows are mentioned.

Exchange your current PC for a slightly newer computer

If your budget doesn’t allow a new PC, consider going for a used one. You can exchange yours with a newer piece that can run Windows 10.

The difference in cost will be minimal and it would be a win-win situation for you.

Consider upgrading your computer hardware

This approach can be a major hassle, but it can give a temporary solution.

You can replace some components of your PC to fulfill Windows 10 hardware requirements but note that you’ll still be compromising on certain perks.

Wrap up

Windows 7 and 8 were great but let’s face it, the arrival of Windows 10 and 11 has left them behind. In this era, it makes sense to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest version of the operating system.

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