Keep a Healthy PC: Maintenance Advice for a Smooth-Running Computer

Whether you use your computer for work or play, or whether you’re an expert or a novice, one of the most critical pieces of technology that you own is undoubtedly your computer. While prices in PCs have dropped drastically over the last five years, they’re still an expense that most people want to get proper use out of.

windows-operating-systemThankfully, maintaining your computer isn’t overly burdensome, and it doesn’t take much time. The benefits, however, are instant. If you have a bogged up machine, it’s going to decrease in productivity, and you could be left feeling frustrated. With these easy to follow maintenance tips, you can get the most out of your purchase.

Beware of What You Install

There is a considerable percentage of break-fix calls that IT specialists tend to for lagging computers, and more often than not, the result is because of a computer bogged down with third-party software. It’s vital that you consider everything that you’re installing because each software takes up space on your hard drive. The less space that you have available, the slower your PC is going to run.

You should also ensure that wherever you’re installing the software from is a trusted source, and if you aren’t sure, it’s crucial that you ask. Downloading software from an unknown resource could be inviting viruses, malware, and other dangers onto your computer. If you use one frequently, it’s good to have one that’s designated to play, while another gets assigned to work.

Protect Your Computer

Cybercriminal activity is becoming increasingly common the more things transition into the digital age, so it’s imperative that your computer has the right protection software installed. When you purchase a PC, it is going to come equipped with a trial version of an antivirus software that allows you to scan your hard disk and files for potential threats. When the trial expires, you are going to have to pay to keep it running and updated, but the cost is well worth the benefits that you’ll receive.

Monitor Your Operating System

When you’re using a PC, you’re likely running the Microsoft Windows operating system, which is reasonably easy to maintain. Part of the process of keeping your computer up to date means that you should be regularly checking to ensure that your operating system and security patches are up to date.

Clean Your PC Regularly

If you’re like the average user, there are going to be times where your computer gets crowded with information, programs, and documents that you no longer need. Doing a cleaning every few months is going to help you with this. You should be looking over the software that you have by visiting the “Add/Remove” programs portion of the control panel. Uninstalling unneeded programs is going to free up valuable space. However, keep in mind that you should only be uninstalling the programs that you know. If you aren’t sure what it is, consult with an IT specialist who can help you determine if you’re on the brink of uninstalling a critical operating system component.

Disk Defragment

Whether you realize it or not, you’re using the hard drive on your PC every day. It’s used to access your installed software, documents, pictures, music, etc. Another fact that you may not realize is that the hard drive doesn’t save files to a designated space and just chooses the first available area that it can find. It’s very likely that pieces of data are spread out around your hard disk, and if you’re a power user, your PC can become bogged down very quickly. The Windows operating system comes equipped with a disk defragging program. When you run it, the files get compressed together, and space gets freed.

computerMaintaining your computer is relatively easy, especially when it gets done on a regular basis, and depending on the amount you use it. It’s essential to understand that even if you do everything you can to maintain it, things still happen. Technology fails every day, and it’s just part of the process. However, making sure that you’ve backed up all of your essential data to an external hard drive, server, or even CDs/DVDs is going to ensure that you can recover from a possible crash, just in case you have one.

What PC maintenance tips do you recommend? What software slows down your computer?

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