How to make an old laptop (or PC) faster

By Jon Bloor •  Updated: 30-Mar-24 •  3 min read

It’s not unusual for a Scout group to be offered an old laptop and PC – often because it’s an older bit of kit. This guide takes you through converting it to a Chromebook using a special download. It means that a laptop of PC which is too slow or not licensed any more can be used at the Scout hut.

Google acquired a firm called Neverware and have evolved their product to create ChromeOS Flex, a tool that helps you convert an old laptop into a Chromebook.

This guide will help you make your laptop faster

What you will need;

How to do it;

  1. You will need the home edition. Note the minimum requirements of your old laptop.
  2. If you are using a Windows computer to prepare this, click download the USB maker. 
  3. Follow the steps in that programme to prepare the USB stick for use.
  4. Once complete, you need to power up your old laptop. Here, the guide gives tips to enable your device to start up using the USB drive you created. 
  5. Note, you can use the stick plugged in, but that will be slower than a full installation. Useful to check though.
  6. The full installation will wipe irreversibly*, your old files and programmes, so do be sure you have backed things up. 
  7. Once you have completed the installation, you can remove and reuse your USB stick. 
  8. I would personally change the laptop to start up on the hard drive again (i.e. back to how it was) as this will make the startup quicker.
  9. When you boot up, you will be asked for your Google account. Note that you can always create a new one and have multiple accounts on the laptop. In another post, I will suggest how to make the internet safer at the Scout hut, but also look when setting up a Google account for children at the Google Family setup – whereby you can restrict, monitor and manage your children’s account.

A quick wipe down and you are ready to go. Covid secure and ready to work.

* In theory, it is possible to reverse the process and recover data but the cost will be prohibitive and results uncertain!

Jon Bloor

I'm a leader with more than 30 years of experience and I have run beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers. I was in a trial group for the scout network. Presently, I am group scout leader (or group lead volunteer) at 4th Ashby Scout Group.