I have a family member who hasn't updated her Windows machine via Windows update in years. She barely uses the computer. It is a low end model but not a terrible one; it's a Samsung from 2013 that came with Windows 8. It not only got really slow after at least 3 years of no Windows update, but trying Windows update won't even pull anything from the internet. I reset the entire thing to factory settings, and it persisted.

  • If a re-install without software did not work, it may simply be (age) that it is time to replace the computer
    – anon
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 5:57
  • Windows 8 was inherently slow
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:58

4 Answers 4


Download the latest available windows 8.1 (not 8) from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows8ISO

Or better download windows 10 from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Then do a clean install and check how it works, if still slow then replace the HDD with an SSD. And not regularly updating does not cause the computer to slow down.I also have a windows 7 desktop at home which I never update but it is still very fast (Core2Duo).PC's just do become slow over the years because of all the applications a user installs over time and thus doing a clean install will help. Also using a good antivirus is important and hardware issues also can cause the computer to become slow over time.


There's also perception.

Before SSDs people would expect a computer to take several minutes to 'pretend' it was actually ready to go, then it would take another 2 or 3 minutes before all the background tasks & startup items were fully loaded, long after the desktop was visible.

These days, if it doesn't start up in 15 seconds, we want to know why!

My current machine started out life with HD, now has SSD. I've got so used to it that if I try anything 'experimental' for which I need to drop in an HD instead, I rapidly run out of patience waiting for it to do what should be quick, simple tasks.


Computers usually do not slow down because updates have not been done.

It is most likely a virus, or some other issue caused by something the user did.

I suggest rebuilding with Windows 10 as updates (Windows and Drivers) will be automatically done.


If your hypothesis that the PC slows down only because time has passed was true, this would indicate the presence of some kind of obsolescence. However, to draw this conclusion the sample size has to be greater than 1.

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