Your personal computer might not include as high of a price tag or as much moving parts as your car, but laptops and desktops require just as much regular maintenance to keep running securely and efficiently. Desktops come with a lot of peripherals that need regular upkeep and cleaning, and compact laptops are susceptible to trouble a result of everything from dust to accidents.
Whether you primarily utilize your computer for work or perhaps for leisure, you invested lots of money in a higher-tech machine. While you know the technology may eventually be too old to maintain using, you would like to maximize your equipment’s life for the time being. If you fail to keep up with maintenance and instead operate a slow, dirty machine, it will be vulnerable to hacks and damage, and you’ll be more prone to making mistakes.
To avoid trouble, stay along with regular maintenance and follow these seven vital steps for healthy computers.
Help Your Hardware
1. Clean your computer and keyboard
Static electricity makes computers a magnet fordirt and dust, and debris. Because of the crevices that are included with keyboards and processing units, dust can be hard to reach, plus it may gather for months before you even notice a problem. These particles aren’t just unsanitary; they also clog up your cooling fans and keyboard, two of the most basic moving elements of your machine.
If you already own an air compressor, you can use it to quickly and conveniently clear the dust out of your computer parts. If not, you can get cans of compressed air at any office supply store (the GUST Easy Air Duster is under $10 on Amazon). Don’t let more than a month go by without blowing away everything that will not be screwed down. Even if you can’t see the dust at a glance, it’s in there.
2. Clean your monitor
Hopefully, you don’t ever touch your screen, and you encourage others to have their hands off your monitor too. Fingers always have dirt and oil upon them, and leave nasty smudges on computer screens. Even if you, your friends, and your family treat your screen right, monitors always find a way to gather dust nonetheless.
While smudges and stains might appear like minor annoyances, improper care can change them into major problems. Don’t just grab the glass cleaner from within your sink and spray down your screen. You can’t simply take a paper towel to your think and monitor it won’t get scratched. You paid a whole lot for that high-resolution flat screen for presentations, DVDs, and games, so wash it with a proper kit created for LCD displays. You can get a cloth and spray for under $10 (e.g. Vivitar LCD Screen Cleaner for $8), or pick up an eight-pack of disposable wipes designed for monitors. Clean your screen as needed, or at least monthly.
3. Organize your cords
Unless you splurge on wireless Bluetooth devices, every time you put in a new peripheral to your computer, you end up with increased data cords. Even if you buy wireless equipment, you’ll still need to connect more power supplies. microphones, Printers, scanners and speakers and cameras just keep bringing about cord clutter. Eventually, you’ll have a huge pile behind your computer, and it’ll berestrictive and ugly, and dangerous.
To actually get a handle on this wire wreckage, reserve ten or fifteen minutes to shut down and unplug everything. Separate all of the cords, and you’ll probably find a few that you don’t even use. Group them all according to which direction they run, and bind the cords together. I prefer cable housings that are split along their length, although you can use a twist-tie or rubber band. Unlike other cable ties, you could add and remove cords from the bundle without replacing and removing each tie. Using reusable velcro ties is also a good solution. If you feel like you’re running too many peripherals to control the maze of cords, invest in a USB hub or router so everything runs to 1 compact, central location.
4. Do a full scan for viruses and spyware
Software maintenance could possibly get complicated, but one of the most effective to take care of your pc is to run conventional virus protection and spyware detection software. Mainstream programs will safely run as background processes, protecting your computer any time you have it on. Every 2 to 4 weeks (more regularly if you’re extra-vigilant), you must open up your virus protection software and manually manage a full scan for viruses and spyware.
Microsoft offers their Security Essentials suite for users of registered copies of Windows, and many Internet companies offer their potential customers free anti-virus tools. Finally, you can trust established products like Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus and McAfee. All of these programs will walk you through the step-by-step process for performing a scan.
5. Uninstall any programs that you don’t use
If you’re fortunate enough to keep your computer running for many years, you’ll gather all sorts of programs that you may have needed at one time or another. Sometimes you may not remember or even recognize that you’ve installed them. Eventually, you’ll discover that you do not even recognize, much less use, every one of the programs installed on your computer. Every one of them, however, is taking up memory and processing time, so cleaning out your system will make some room for first time programs and speed up your pc too.
Audit your applications every 3 to 6 months. The place of your set of programs will vary depending on your operating system, but every computer has an easy to access list of all installed programs. You’ll even discover how big the files are and the before you accessed the programs, so you can decide if you really need to keep each one around. You’ll find a relatively simple interface that lets you uninstall and take away unwanted software. Whether you remove two programs or twenty, you must notice a complete difference inside your everyday experience.
6. Search for updates on all of your programs
Now that you’ve narrowed down your listing of installed programs, you can usually benefit from getting the latest versions from the ones you kept. Especially for programs you utilize frequently, select the “About” menu item or go to the manufacturer’s website to obtain the latest downloadable patch to upgrade each program. From your main operating-system to your everyday office software, the new versions will have beefed up security as well as major and minor bug fixes that can improve processing times. By way of example, you can go to the Windows Update site to scan your system and install updates, if you’re a Microsoft user.
7. Reinstall or change your operating system
Each and every time youupdate and install, or uninstall a software program, your platform changes in barely detectable ways. Viruses, spyware, and data corruption can further degrade your system’s performance. Then, after a long period of use, you’ll notice your pc running frequently and slowly freezing. If you’re an expert owner, you can run disc defragmentation programs, but if you’re like the majority of users and are uncomfortable with that measure of maintenance, you’ll eventually do not have choice aside from to reinstall your os. Should you reach that point, back up all of your data with an external hard drive, locate all of your original installation discs, format your primary hard drive, and reinstall your operating system software.
While this installation is cheaper and easier than buying a new machine altogether, it isn’t a job for beginners. If you’re not really acquainted with backing increase your files or starting your body over on your own, talk with an authority. If your budget allows it, you can take the opportunity to change your operating system to the latest version, alternatively. Installing Windows 7, for example, is surprisingly fast and simple.
If you’ve never experienced a frustrating moment with your computer, then you’re one of the fortunate few. Most people face inexplicable slowness and mind-boggling freezes at more than one point with every machine they own. While these troubles may seem inevitable, you can avoid them or at least scale back on their frequency. Just remember your computer needs care and maintenance just like any other piece of technology.
By finding the time to clean and organize your software and hardware, you can be sure that your particular computer can there be for you when you really need it. You’ll have the additional benefit of a chance to learn more about your machine and how it works, leading you to an even more educated user, through getting more involved with computer care. As you continue learning about your pc, you’ll discover new ways to take care of your machine, and following these seven tips will get easier.
What maintenance tools are you presently using to speed up your pc and help it stay longer?