The tech world is an ever-evolving space, forcing users to constantly upgrade their software and hardware to keep up.
However, if you’re not technically savvy or are happy with your old software and hardware, why should you update them?
For example, is it vital to upgrade your operating system even if your old one works fine?
You may wonder if upgrading to Windows 10 improves your performance.
Will Upgrading To Windows 10 Improve Performance? (5 Reasons It Can)
Upgrading to Windows 10 will improve your performance since it offers many features that increase your speed and productivity.
It has a faster bootup and wake-up time and has incorporated many features that make the operating system easy to use, removing all the clutter and confusion.
With new software support and optimization, you can play games and run apps much faster.
In addition, it’s more secure than its predecessors, especially since Microsoft has ended its support for Windows 7.
However, if you have an old computer with outdated hardware and drivers, you may not notice a significant performance boost after upgrading to Windows 10.
Improvements In Windows 10
Although performance depends on many factors and can vary for different users and devices, speed is one of the main factors determining performance.
According to benchmarks, Windows 10 has a faster booting time than its predecessors.
However, boot time may vary across different devices with different hardware specs, configurations, and apps installed on the system.
That’s why you may find Windows 10 booting slower than Windows 8 in some benchmark tests.
Windows 10 also has a faster wake-up time than Windows 8 and 7, which can be a big plus for office and business users.
The Fast Startup feature keeps the OS in the hibernation state to help it boot up faster.
Test results also show that Windows 10 can play videos and open different apps much faster.
The increased performance comes from software optimization for applications and gaming.
You can activate certain features, like the Game Mode, to allocate all resources to gaming and prevent other resource-intensive programs from eating up your resources.
Gamers can also experience a noticeable boost in speed thanks to DirectX 12 and 3D engine, which help developers optimize games for better performance.
The new features added to Windows 10 mean it’s faster than 8.1, although both versions have the same system and hardware requirements.
Although some users may still experience BSOD or other performance-lowering issues, Windows 10 is one of the most secure and stable editions.
The regular updates pushed by Microsoft address security bugs and threats.
These regular updates have turned Windows 10 from a simple Microsoft product into an ongoing service getting better through feature and quality updates.
Still, you can find many added features designed to boost security.
Secure Boot is an essential security measure that blocks malware, especially rootkits, from entering your computer when it boots up.
A traditional BIOS can’t differentiate between malware and normal Microsoft software, booting any software upon startup.
The Secure Boot feature ensures the BIOS and the UEFI understand these differences and prevent malicious software from loading.
Other security-boosting solutions in Windows 10 include the Windows Defender, Device Guard, Microsoft Password, Microsoft Hello, and Windows Firewall.
The Windows Defender is one of the best antivirus tools you can get for free and ensure your system is protected even if you don’t have a third-party antivirus tool.
Windows Hello allows you to log into your Microsoft devices using face recognition, fingerprint, or a PIN.
This way, you can have an added layer of security to prevent unwanted access to your Windows 10 devices.
You may have never felt the need for extra features in Windows 7, as it did the job quite efficiently.
However, the new features added to Windows 10 can improve performance by giving you things you didn’t know you needed!
These features can help you increase productivity by making your computing jobs easier and faster.
Here are some of the best performance-boosting features:
Voice assistants are almost everywhere these days.
From Apple’s Siri to Amazon’s Alexa, technology ensures you can have a seamless hands-free interaction with technology.
Cortana helps you perform many tasks without using the mouse or keyboard.
In addition to voice commands, you can get Cortana to control your IoT-run and smart home devices or stay in the loop regarding your areas of interest, including sports or weather.
It’s a great productivity booster that allows you to set reminders, open and search files, run applications, send emails, and much more, just like an assistant.
B. App Store
Microsoft Store is a great addition to Windows 10, allowing you to personalize the operating system by getting your desired apps.
You can download these apps and securely integrate them into the OS for a seamless experience.
These apps also have their own sandboxes, further improving their security.
In addition, since they’re integrated with the system, they have built-in sharing with other apps.
For example, you can share a photo that you’ve edited with a photo app on your Instagram account with a simple click of a button.
C. Microsoft Edge
Let’s face it: Internet Explorer was a pain, which was why many users preferred other browsers like Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
The new Windows 10 browser, Microsoft Edge, removes all the annoying features and replaces them with higher speed and compatibility.
It also comes with Android and iOS versions, making it usable on all devices.
Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer in June 2022, making it less secure than other browsers.
Still, you can use the Internet Explorer mode in Edge if you have a website that requires Internet Explorer to load.
Microsoft Edge has many exciting features, like reading mode, webpage markup, and sharing the page with other devices.
By logging into Microsoft Edge with the same Microsoft account, you can sync all your passwords and favorites across all devices.
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen makes the browser more secure by identifying websites with malicious intent, like phishing or cyber-attacks.
You can improve your browsing experience by using the privacy features, such as InPrivate browsing, accessibility tools like Immersive Reader, and organizing tools like Collections.
Windows 10 has integrated some gaming capabilities, making it more attractive to hardcore gamers.
The Xbox app allows you to work seamlessly with your Xbox Live account, streaming content from your Xbox One.
Another great feature is support for DirectX 12, making it ideal for game developers to render audio and video through the OS.
Xbox Game Bar is a new Windows 10 feature, taking the gaming experience to a higher level by offering a wide range of accessibility features.
However, the host of features provided by Game Bar transcends gaming as you can use them for other training purposes.
You can take snapshots, record your game or other applications, view CPU and GPU performance, and edit and broadcast your recorded videos.
It’s easily accessible by pressing the Windows key and G together, presenting you with a customizable panel over your current screen.
You can customize your Game Bar features via Settings > Gaming > Game Bar.
No device is complete without a Cloud Storage capability these days since it’s easy to run out of physical storage quickly.
Windows 10 comes with its own cloud storage, OneDrive.
Interestingly, you don’t need a Windows device to use OneDrive since it’s accessible on iOS and Android devices.
As a result, you can access your files and data and edit them in real-time across different devices and your web browser.
Depending on your purchased plan, you can get different features, such as support for the Office Suite, Personal Vault (an advanced security feature), expiring sharing links, expandable storage, PC folder backup, and many more.
4. Ease Of Use
Another important factor that affects performance is how conveniently you can access the features built into your operating system.
You can multitask by opening different windows next to each other using the Snap feature.
Every window fits the available space on the screen when you snap it.
Voice typing is another useful feature that makes your typing much easier.
Simply press the Windows key and H together to activate the feature and type without using the keyboard.
Here are some other features that make Windows 10 easy to use.
A. The Start Menu
The Start menu has been part of Windows since Windows 95, offering a sleek, easy-to-navigate user interface.
However, it has undergone many changes with each different Windows version.
You can access just about anything through the Start menu and enjoy the tile view, making it easy to use on touch devices.
You can see the recently viewed apps, the most used apps, recently added apps, and many more.
The menu also allows you to personalize the items you can see in the tile view.
Right-clicking the Start menu also gives you a wide range of items and power options from which you can choose to turn off the computer or put it into sleep mode.
The touch feature isn’t specific to mobile devices anymore.
As a result, every operating system should support it and make the apps easy to run using the touch feature.
In addition to the tile view in the Start menu and the easy-to-navigate user interface, Windows 10 offers features like the virtual keyboard.
You can use this keyboard like a smartphone’s keyboard on touch screens to type text.
C. Action Center
The action center in Windows 10 works like your smartphone notification panel.
Although it has been around since 2014, it wasn’t part of the desktop Windows until Windows 10.
Before that, it was only present on Windows 8.1 Phones.
The new Action Center has two parts—Quick Actions and Notifications—allowing you to see new messages and notifications from different apps and whether you need to take any actions in your system.
The bottom section of Action Center involves frequently used settings, such as Network and Internet, Airplane Mode, Screen Snip, and many more.
You can also customize what you see in the Notification section via Settings > System > Notifications & Actions.
D. Virtual Desktop
Another useful feature that allows you to declutter your digital workspace is the virtual desktop.
Although it was also available on older Windows versions, you needed specific software to enable it.
However, the virtual desktop is native to Windows 10.
All you need to do is press the Windows key and Tab together to open the Task View.
Then, click New Desktop on the top of the screen to start a new, clean desktop with new windows and tasks.
5. Microsoft Support
If you’re not convinced that Windows 10 greatly improves your performance by offering a host of new features, here’s the last reason: Microsoft doesn’t support Windows 7 anymore.
Microsoft’s support for Windows 7 ended in January 2020, and it’s going to discontinue support for Windows 8.1 in January 2023.
As a result, you’ll lose the chance to get security updates—although you can still use the OS—leaving your computer vulnerable to virus and malware threats.
In addition, you won’t get technical support from Microsoft customer service if you run into technical issues.
Even the services offered with Windows 7, such as Internet Backgammon and Internet checkers, have also been discontinued.
You may choose to run your computer on Windows 7 because Windows 10 doesn’t support many older apps, but you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 at some point.
Even some hardware components don’t support older versions of Windows.
For example, Ryzen CPUs don’t support Windows 7 anymore.
In addition, some Microsoft software, like Office 2019 and 2020, don’t work on older Windows versions.
Although you’re not forced to upgrade to Windows 10, it’s a vital security measure if you want to keep safe.
Can Windows 10 Slow Down Your Computer?
Windows 10 is a resource-heavy operating system, although it has exactly the same system requirements as Windows 7 and 8.1.
According to Microsoft, you need at least a 1GHz or faster processor, 1 GB of RAM for the 32-bit version and 2 GB for the 64-bit version, 16 GB of hard disk for the 32-bit version, and 20 GB for the 64-bit version.
One of the main reasons for Windows 10’s high resource requirements is the significant amount of bloatware bundles with the OS.
In addition, too many processes run in the background, hogging the system resources and slowing down your system.
That’s particularly the case with older hardware, which can’t handle the constant updates, visual effects, and new packages.
Although Windows 10 is pretty efficient in handling memory usage, you may experience slower performance after installing Windows 10 on an old computer.
The best thing to improve your performance is to upgrade to a modern system with higher hardware specs.
This way, you can enjoy all the OS’s performance-boosting features.
Still, you can do other things to speed up your computer if Windows 10 has slowed it down.
1. Get An SSD
Storage space is critical in boosting the performance of your system.
If you have a physical hard drive, it’s advisable to invest in an SSD, which can be faster due to its different technology.
Since an SSD doesn’t have moving parts, it can read and write data much faster, leading to faster loading and boot times.
The magnetic platters on a physical hard drive read and write data by constantly moving, slowing down the process, and increasing the chances of wear and tear.
2. Update Drivers
Keeping your drivers updated helps you run your system more efficiently.
Even if you have the latest operating system version, your hardware can’t work properly if its drivers are outdated.
Old hardware drivers may have bugs and issues that prevent the hardware and software from communicating effectively.
Even though you have the latest hardware, outdated drivers can slow down your performance.
3. End Background Processes
As mentioned, Windows 10 is notorious for running many background processes, which may not be essential to operating your system.
You can get a huge performance boost by ending these background applications which you can see through the Task Manager.
Right-click the Start menu on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
The first tab is Processes, which shows every program that is running on the system.
If you’re not sure about a specific program and whether it’s essential or not, search it online and see if you can terminate it.
Should You Upgrade To Windows 11?
Microsoft provides support for its operating systems only for ten years, which is why you don’t get support for Windows 7 anymore.
As a result, you should expect to stop receiving support for Windows 10 ten years after its release.
According to Microsoft, technical support for Windows 10 will end in October 2025, forcing Windows users to move on to Windows 11.
Windows 11 is already here, so should you upgrade to Windows 11?
The first thing you should consider is your hardware specs.
Windows 11 isn’t compatible with older hardware, and your system will let you know if you can’t install Windows 11 on your computer.
You’ll need a new Intel or AMD processor with TPM 2.0 support, a critical hardware security processor.
Even though you can install Windows 11 on old and unsupported hardware, you may not get security updates and technical support from Microsoft.
You can upgrade your Windows 10 to 11 through an operating system update.
If you choose to use Windows 11, you’ll get a performance boost by managing foreground processes and allocating resources to them.
In addition, you’ll have a faster wake-up time since it maintains power in the RAM while the computer is in Sleep mode.
As a result, it can wake up from Sleep mode 25% faster.
Here are some other performance-boosting features in Windows 11:
- Faster Edge browser
- The Start menu is placed in the center of the screen
- Android app integration
- Widgets accessible on the taskbar
- No Live Tiles in the Start menu
- No Cortana and search box in the taskbar
- AI-powered features, such as background blur and automatic framing