Operating Windows 8 Efficiently on Old Hardware

Technically speaking, any machine that has no problems running Windows 7 should also manage well with Windows 8, the latest operating system from Microsoft. This theory is further supported by Microsoft’s own release stating the minimum hardware requirements for running Windows 8 smoothly. But as is the case with most things theoretical, this theory too has some flaws in it. Although older machines will comfortably run Windows 8, problems like sluggishness usually arise when multiple applications and processes come to being.

win 8

Before learning about how to make Windows 8 operate smoothly on older hardware, make sure you have the latest drivers installed of all the different hardware components of your PC. You can use Microsoft’s inbuilt update feature for the same.

Look Beyond Microsoft

With Windows 8, Microsoft has gone a step further by including a lot of useful tools and applications that will help the keep the OS in optimum shape. Although most of these tools do a good job, they are often seen to fall short when it comes to optimizing the OS for older (read as less powerful) machines. Thankfully, there are a number of applications and tools from third party developers that do a better job or have more features than their Windows counterparts. Defraggler is a fine example of this fact. It is a disk defragmenting tool by Piriform and can be downloaded by users for free. It also makes for a great replacement for the inbuilt Windows Disk Defragmenter. Although defragmenting in most cases offers only an incremental increase in the overall performance, the actual difference experienced on older machines would be huge and worth downloading this program.

The other tool that helps immensely in keeping Windows 8 ticking optimally in older machines is CCleaner. Yet another product by Piriform, this utility helps you to clean out all the junk that accumulates within an OS with time. The utility also has an option to clean up all start items that help free up some valuable processing power. Firing up CCleaner every other week will ensure Windows 8 operates smoothly even on hardware that is a couple of generations old.

Tweak Windows 8 Settings


  • In the ‘Performance Options’ section of Windows 8’s control panel, you must select the ‘Adjust For Best Performance’ option. This would speed up the computer in a major way and help keep the OS operating smoothly.
  • In the paging file section, you can set a specific page size for Windows to use. Doing so allows Windows some extra headroom in terms of memory that can be utilized whenever you run more applications than normal.
  • Make it a point to disable all unnecessary processes and startup items. This also extends to all unused hardware and unimportant Live Tiles.

It is indeed a laudable thing that today’s technology has answers to even its indigenous problems. With its compulsive compatibility solutions in older hardware, windows 8 is sure to win many hearts for a long period of time.

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