It doesn’t matter if you own a Windows PC or a Macbook; it also doesn’t matter if you have a desktop, a laptop, or a netbook. Computer maintenance is something that is required to keep your system in tiptop shape. And if you think that this task is best left to the professionals, you will be surprised to learn that there are many things you can do even if you have limited technical knowledge. The following computer maintenance tips are things you should consider doing to prolong the life of your machine.
1. Protect the Hardware
If you own a laptop or a netbook, then you should consider investing in a quality padded bag or laptop sleeve. For the desktop owner, you will benefit from buying a set of protective covers. These protective items help shield your computer from dust and other small particles that can damage the hardware.
2. Protect from Power Surges and Drops
If you don’t want power surges and drops from damaging your computer, then you should invest in a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). This device allows you to save your work and to shut down properly in cases of power surges or irregularities. You can also use surge bars or protectors to protect you from power spikes. You will still need surge protection if you are fond of plugging in your laptop.
3. Keep Proper Ventilation
The computer fans and vents are there for a reason. They are the cooling system needed by your computer or laptop to prevent overheating. You should make sure that the fans are working properly and that the vents are not blocked. Doing so will lengthen the lifespan of your computer and will keep it working efficiently.
4. Protect Your System Internally
Viruses, adware, and spyware can damage your system. They can corrupt your files, use computer memory, take up hard drive space, and use internet bandwidth. Some can even gather your personal information. Make sure that you install up-to-date anti-virus, adware, and spyware programs, as well as a firewall. There are many programs and not all are created equal so read reviews before choosing.
5. Keep Your System up to Date
It is best to keep your operating system, programs, and drivers updated. This will really help improve the security and performance of your computer. You can get system, software, and driver updates for free or for a fee.
6. Clean up Your System
Temporary files and cookies can speed up internet browsing. It isn’t really necessary to clean them up. However, cookies can cause information leaks and temporary files can use up hard drive space. You should also uninstall programs and delete files you no longer use to free up hard drive space and to improve computer speed.
7. File Documents and Installers
Don’t lose or throw away installer CDs, software, and drivers that come with your computer. You should also file documents such as license keys, receipts, and other official documents. All these are needed if you ever need to use your warranty, reinstall or update the operating system, and even when you want to resell your computer.
8. Back up Data
Backing up your data is important because it saves you from headaches and problems in case your system crashes. You can use DVDs, CDs, flash drives, external hard drives, and other peripheral storage devices. You can back up files manually or automatically so find a system that works best for you.
9. Shutdown Properly
Before you turn off your power switch, make sure that your operating system has completely shutdown. If you shutdown improperly, it can cause file corruption or even damage to your hard drive.
10. Consult a Trained Technician
When something goes wrong with your computer, don’t just ask any of your tech savvy friends. They may create further problems so it is best to ask someone who is trained to look at computers. You may also be tempted to open your computer to diagnose the problem. Remember that you shouldn’t touch anything unless you are absolutely sure about what you are doing. You can void warranty or further damage the system.
If you do not want to end up with a useless piece of machine, then you should think about learning how to maintain your system. The maintenance tips mentioned are easy to moderate in difficulty and can be applied to both Windows and Mac computers. You also don’t necessarily have to shell out cash. Maintaining your current computer is definitely cheaper than buying a brand new one. How do you take care of your computer?
Top Photo Credit: Steve Meyer Photo