Computers, much like cars, need constant maintenance to help keep them running quickly, quietly and efficiently. Without this constant maintenance your computer will end up with problems. Most of these can be done by the average home user and should be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Others can be done by some home users or by trained computer repairs specialists.
1. Keep your operating system updated
Keeping your Operating System up to date is as easy as it gets with Microsoft Windows “Set and Forget” style of updates. Once set up will allow you to keep your computer automatically up to date and the updates not only fix bugs with the operating system but constantly block parts of windows that allow certain viruses and malware to infect computers. To set up your Windows Updates simply open the Control Panel on your computer and select Windows Updates. Her you can check for updates, install updates and configure the Automatic Updates settings.
2. Keep your computer clean (Software)
Keeping your computer clean is very important. Installing every bit of software you can is not the ideal way of running a computer and will cause the computer to become slow and could even lead to common virus and malware infections. But how do you keep your computer clean of clutter? The best way is to simply REMOVE all the software you don’t use. This can all be done simply through Control Panel’s Add or Remove Programs/Programs and Features. Just remember to leave the Microsoft programs there. You may not appear to use them, but Windows does.
3. Keep your computer clean (Hardware)
Keeping the hardware of your computer clean will prevent some hardware failures. As time goes by the computer will fill up with dust and other things and it causes Air-Flow problems inside the computer, for desktops and even worse in laptops. This needs to be cleaned out on a 3-4 month basis or sometimes less depending on how dusty the computer is. Cleaning the computer out lowers the amount of heat the computer generates and can make desktop computers live a little longer and laptops a lot longer. To keep the computer clean make sure that it is kept raised off the carpet, that all dust is removed from the outside of the computer case and every once in a while have the computer opened and cleaned either by yourself or by a professional.
4. Anti-Virus Software
Always install an Anti-Virus program on your computer. Always. I can’t stress this point enough. There are a few things that everyone should do with their computer and I always try to get users to use and keep up to date a good anti-virus program. Sadly most of them still fail to do this and yes, we see those computers a lot. A good anti-virus is going to actively scan your computer and files, then notify you when it finds something that appears to be a threat. There are a range of anti-virus programs you can use and Computer Mechanics always recommends Avast Anti-Virus for home users. Just remember to make sure it is always up to date.
5. Anti-Malware Software
A good Anti-Virus program is a good thing, but they will not cover everything so additional programs are always needed (I know, it’s fairly annoying having so many programs but it helps keep you safe) for your computer. Computer Mechanics recommends MalwareBytes as an anti-malware program for home users. The program is not active like your Anti-Virus program will be be and should be run once a week to help keep your computer safe and clean.
6. Regular Maintenance
Treat your computer like your car. Get it serviced and checked regularly and not just when a problem starts occurring. Remember that it will always cost less to have it check on a regular basis against a serious problem later on. Regular maintenance includes cleaning both the hardware inside the computer of dust and other nasties, as well as cleaning the software on the computer to help keep it running strong. We can also update all the drivers/software on your computer, make sure you anti-virus and anti-malware applications are running and up to date. We can also advise you on how to keep constant back ups as well as take a back up for you while you are in our shop.
Keeping your computer clean and running is a far better alternative than having it fixed because something is now broken. It is always cheaper to stop the problem from ever occurring than to attempt to fix the wreckage after it has happened. And could you stand to be without your computer for a few days while it gets fixed or would you prefer a few hours to have it checked up?