Jeffrey from Wooster, OH writes  “I plan on upgrading to a newer computer before XP is no longer available, but would like to continue using my old computer for storing programs and documents. It is still necessary to keep XP on it since I won’t be using it to access the Internet? This would help to free up memory space. Thanks!”


Hi, Jeffrey.  Thanks for the great question.

I will admit to being a bit confused by it, though.  The reason is that there is no direct connection between having XP and accessing the internet.  In order to access the internet, you do need some sort of a browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.  In order to run one of these browsers, you need an operating system such as XP, Vista or Windows 7 or 8. 

The next big question is how do you plan on accessing the programs and documents on your old computer?  Because unless you’re just planning on accessing the hard drive directly (which would render the programs useless) then you will need XP in order to access these programs and documents. 

Here is another possibility… is it possible that you were asking if it’s necessary to keep Internet Explorer on it if you’re not going to be accessing the internet, but just typed the wrong phrase?  If that’s the case, then no, you don’t specifically need to keep Internet Explorer, but it can’t be removed.  From XP on, Internet Explorer was considered an integral part of the operating system.  So if your question is “Can I remove Internet Explorer since I won’t be accessing the internet?” then the answer is “You could theoretically remove it because all that you really need it for is internet access, but Windows won’t let you actually remove it.”

So, in summation, let me see if this answers your question correctly… If you just want to store documents and pictures and videos on your old hard drive, then you don’t really need to keep the old computer at all.  Just yank the hard drive out, order one of the nifty cases from WorldStart that allows you to turn it into an external hard drive and have fun.  If you want to access the programs that you have on that computer, then you will need to keep XP whether you plan on accessing the internet or not, in order to run the programs.

Hope that this helps.

~ Randal Schaffer