Like anything else, computers run better and last longer if you look after them. So how can you keep your computer in optimum condition?
1) Install good anti-virus software
Install and maintain a good anti-virus solution to keep malware, spyware and adware from damaging, clogging up and slowing down your machine – not to mention keeping your data and systems safe from the threats of the world wide web. Schedule it to run automatically for optimum results.
Clear out email inboxes and set your email client to automatically archive older messages. Delete any locally stored files or documents that are no longer needed and remove programmes that you don’t use anymore. Screen savers, wallpapers and files downloaded from the internet can take up valuable space and slow down your PC so remove these too, if they’re not critical.
3) Keep updated
Keep your software updated. Most programmes, certainly Windows software, will allow you to do this automatically but if not, then you should check for updates once a week to make sure that security and compatibility updates are current.
Backup your files to a remote location, rather than keeping them on your local hard drive. Storing documents locally will result in your hard drive getting full and your computer becoming sluggish. It also poses a security risk – if your machine gets lost, damaged or stolen, any locally saved files will be gone.
5) Empty recycle bin
Get into the habit of emptying your recycle bin weekly. Documents in your recycle bin will clog up your system in the same way the locally stored files and folders would, filling up storage space and slowing down the running of your machine.
6) Delete internet files
Delete your internet files and cookies on a regular basis to keep your browser running nice and quickly. This setting can usually be found under internet options > safety (depending on which browser you’re using).
Regular defrags will keep your hard drive in order and improve your computer’s running speed. This will depend on which operating system you’re using – Windows 7 and Windows 8 will automatically defrag (depending on the type of hard drive you have). Check out When should I defrag my computer for a full explanation.
8) Keep it physically clean
Crumbs, dust, pet hair… it will all damage a computer over time. The particles get into the fans and slowly start to corrode the internal electronics. If you’re working in a particularly dusty environment – a factory or quarry for example, you’ll find that your machines tend to have a shorter life expectancy than they would in an office.
9) Keep it cool
Computers don’t like warm or humid environments. Keep them away from heat sources, steam or damp and leave plenty of space around them for air intake – don’t pile papers, files and books around them. Give them room to breathe.
10) Don’t ignore error messages
Error messages appear for a reason. You need to have your wits about you though …clicking on pop-ups introduced by viruses or spyware can of course, have devastating consequences, but you need to take note of any software error messages (Microsoft errors for example) and action them. If you’re not sure what they mean or what to do with them, contact your IT support company for advice.
If you’re looking for IT support in Macclesfield, or computer hardware advice, contact us here or give us a call on 01625 837800.