New Tiny10 – the streamlined Windows 10 OS – could be your best bet for bringing an old PC back to life

Tiny10 came out with a new version back in June, and now it’s been considerably improved by the developer, so those looking for a lightweight spin on Windows 10 to put on an old PC might be more tempted to take the plunge.

You may recall that the improved version of Tiny10 released a couple of months back was the 64-bit (x64) variant, which offers numerous advantages in terms of better security and performance over the old 32-bit incarnation. (This means you should run it, providing you have a 64-bit CPU, which is most likely the case – we cover this in more detail here).

That was the first release of Tiny10 x64 and now the developer, NTDEV, has pushed out a major refresh (the 23H2 version) which applies a lot of fixing work and more besides (as Neowin spotted).

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We’re told that Tiny10 x64 23H2 fixes “lots of nagging issues” and the rebuild of the OS ensures that it has full compatibility with “most” Windows components, meaning you can add bits and pieces back in post-installation, if critical parts of Windows 10 that you really want are missing.

Analysis: Sizeable improvements to a Tiny OS

While Tiny10 is all about streamlining Windows 10 and cutting everything right back so it’ll run on very old hardware, it’s good to have the ability to, say, reintroduce Windows Media Player into the mix if you want to. (Previously, the app didn’t work with Tiny10 x64).

This refresh of Tiny10 has also stripped back the Windows 10 installation provided even more, removing some little-used features such as, for example, OCR (optical character recognition).

The end result should be a smoother-running OS, and a slightly more compact one, albeit you do have more scope for reintroducing key Windows components should you want to.

In theory, Tiny10 can work on an ancient PC with as little as 1GB of RAM (although the official requirement is 2GB) and 16GB of storage space. The caveat with the OS (and Tiny11, the equivalent streamlined spin on Windows 11) is that you are using a modified Windows installation (ISO) file, and you cannot be exactly sure of the contents of that file.

You may want to be cautious in that regard, then, but both Tiny operating systems have been used quite considerably at this point with no complaints. Still, as ever with software downloads from the wild, you proceed at your own risk.

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Bring an old PC back to life with Windows 10 thanks to the new bloat-free Tiny10

A new release of Tiny10 is out, a version of Windows 10 that strips away all the bloat so it’s a lean, mean, multitasking machine (hopefully).

Neowin spotted that Tiny10 x64 is now available, slotting in alongside the existing Tiny10 x86 installation (and of course, Tiny11 – the similarly lightweight take on Windows 11).

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What’s the difference between x64 and x86? Well, the latter is 32-bit Windows 10, whereas the former and fresh version of Tiny10 is a 64-bit incarnation. This means it can run 64-bit software and is more performant in general, plus it’s more secure, too (though note that your PC must have a 64-bit CPU – which it should do, unless it’s really old).

In short, the new x64 version is the one you want unless your PC is incapable of running it (due to the processor not being 64-bit).

As the developer points out, the key element here is the inclusion of the component store (also in the x86 version), which allows for Tiny10 to receive Windows updates. That is, of course, vital to maintain the security of the OS.

Note that Tiny10 x64 is labeled version 23H1 purely because it has been released now – in the first half of 2023 – and this does not refer to the version of Windows 10 it’s based on (which, in fact, is Windows 10 LTSC 21H2, build 19044.3031).

Analysis: One tiny step for Windows 10

Tiny10 is designed to be installed on an old PC, as with its seriously streamlined and debloated nature, it’ll run fast enough even on pretty ancient hardware. And as mentioned, this x64 take has advantages for better performance and security over the previous x86 release of Tiny10.

You can run Tiny10 on a PC that only has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of drive space, that’s how lean it is – and it’s likely to work okay with less system memory than that (maybe much less, as previous experiments have shown). Indeed, 1GB should be enough.

While Tiny10 is a useful option to get some additional life out of an ailing potato PC, there are caveats to bear in mind. We can’t be sure of the exact contents of any modified Windows installation (ISO file), so if you download and install Tiny10, you do so at your own risk (grab it here if you’re happy to proceed). That said, the developer has been around for some time, with no complaints from users yet.

Also, this is still a Windows 10 installation – just a heavily tinkered with and stripped-back one – so you will still need a valid license key to run it (though a Windows 7 or 8 license should do fine, too).

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Need Windows on a really old PC? New Tiny10 has arrived (complete with tighter security)

A new version of a stripped-back Windows 10 installation has been made available, and it might be suitable for those running low-powered PCs who couldn’t otherwise get the OS on their computer.

Apparently this will be the final incarnation of Tiny10, which is being shelved in favor of the recently launched Tiny11, the latter being the same idea – a tiny installation of Windows 11 (hence the name).

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What these products consist of is a modified Windows ISO with a whole load of bloat removed, keeping just the core essentials of Microsoft’s operating system, with all that streamlining meaning it can run on a lesser spec PC as mentioned. Indeed, Tiny10 has been designed to work on a “truly old computer” according to the developer, officially requiring only 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

The new version, taking its final bow as the curtain falls on it for good, makes some useful changes to Tiny10.

That includes the introduction of a fully functional Windows Defender (now Microsoft Defender) as built-in protection from malware, saving you from having to go to the trouble of installing a third-party antivirus.

The developer also notes that the component store is back, allowing for updating Tiny10, and the remote desktop is now in the mix with the OS.

Analysis: How low can you go?

If you want to get an idea of how resource-friendly these pared-down Windows installations are, bear in mind that Tiny11 has been run on a Raspberry Pi 4. Granted, performance was very sluggish in many respects, but the OS worked on the compact board of a computer.

As a side note, Tiny11 can be booted on as little as a fifth of a Gigabyte of system memory – although in that case, it’s not remotely usable. But it’s clearly remarkable that the OS can even reach the desktop with such a minuscule amount of RAM available to meet its demands.

Doubtless you get the idea, then, and Tiny10 will surely work on very old PCs that otherwise wouldn’t be up to scratch for running Windows 10. It’ll likely work fine on a rig with only 1GB of memory, perhaps even less.

Just bear in mind that as ever with any kind of modified installation file, you can’t be sure exactly what tinkering has been done, so proceed with a healthy amount of caution with projects like this. That said, the developer seems trustworthy enough, and has had these ISOs out for a couple of years now with no complaints.

Note that you need a valid Windows 10 key to run Tiny10 – it’s still a Windows 10 installation, after all, just a heavily modified one capable of providing new options to very old PCs.

Via Tom’s Hardware

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