How often should I buy a new computer?

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Buying a computer

The decision to purchase a new computer depends on many factors ranging from the necessity to improve performance issues to additional functionality features. Most total cost of ownership studies conclude that users should replace their computers at least every four years. Below are some different reasons that may help justify the new purchase, or why you may want to wait.


Is the computer(s) four or more years old?

Do you need (not want) better hardware (e.g., SSD (solid-state drive), Bluetooth, more slots for RAM (random-access memory), etc.)?

Does the computer(s) seem to be too slow for your needs?

Has the Internet gradually started to load more slowly?

Is new software barely meeting or failing to meet its minimum system requirements?

Do you want to upgrade to a more recent operating system (e.g., latest version of Windows)?

If you checked three or more of the boxes above, it's likely time to upgrade. If you were unable to check at least three of these boxes, you might want to wait a while to buy a new computer. Until then, certain upgrades may be a good choice.


If you are replacing an existing computer, the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, and other peripherals can be used with the new computer.


A slow computer can be caused by issues can be fixed without buying a new machine. Before you purchase another computer, we recommend you follow our troubleshooting steps. For more information, see: My computer is running slow, what steps can I do to fix it?