10 Ways To Keep Your Computer Healthy
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is never more true than when applied to keeping your computer healthy. Not only will your computer perform better, but you are more likely to stop potential problems in their tracks.
It can seem overwhelming to think about everything you need to do on your computer, but following some simple ideas should make a big difference. Performing some simple checks and actions can significantly improve the way your computer behaves.
It may be worth outsourcing to a specialist company if you have a more extensive setup.
If you have a desktop or laptop, you can follow these 10 simple ideas to keep your computer healthy.
1. Restart your computer at least once a week
It’s easy to ignore this simple tip, yet it is essential. It may seem more convenient to leave your computer switched on, so your open tabs stay in place, but if you do not shut it down and restart consistently, you will invariably experience problems.
A regular restart will allow your computer to complete any updates and speed it up by unlocking memory.
2. Hygiene your Programs
It’s straightforward to go through your Add/Remove programs to identify any that are obsolete or unwanted. Removal will strip anything unwanted from working in the background and preserve some memory.
Word of warning. There are lots of programs that you may be unfamiliar with that are absolutely essential to the running of your computer. If you aren’t sure what a program is, do not remove it until you have taken expert advice.
3. Defrag your hard drive
Performing a defrag every six months is a great way to reorganise your files in an optimum way. The good news is that all you need to do is click on defrag for your computer to do all the hard work.
If you are wondering what this means, think about it as doing a Mrs Hinch style reorganisation on your computer filing system. When you delete, move, or copy a file, these actions create leftover fragments in empty spaces.
A defrag allows your computer to compact all your information into minimal space, eliminating all those timewasting shadows. You achieve a faster performance thanks to your CPU being more efficient when retrieving data.
Not only is this highly satisfying, but it will make everyday tasks more manageable. Just make sure that you have at least 15% of your disk space available before you do a defrag.
4. Investigate Startup programs
You will find Startup programs in your Task Manager tab. You might be surprised by the number of programs selected to load every time you start your computer.
Like antivirus software, some of the programs are essential when your computer starts up. Look out for other programs you know are not needed immediately.
Go ahead and disable all the programs you don’t need at startup, and you should notice that your computer boots up much quicker next time.
5. Install Antivirus Software
If you have recently purchased a laptop or desktop with Windows, it will come with Windows Defender. The Independent IT-Security Institute carried out a review in June 2021 that found Defender stopped 100% of viruses.
The advantage of Windows Defender is that it comes preloaded, and the design works seamlessly with the Windows OS. Unfortunately, whilst it will give you peace of mind about virus protection, it does not protect you from identity theft.
You will need to instal additional software to protect you from threats from spyware. There are some excellent options for free software, but to get the best performance, regular updates and reduce lag, you may want to look at some paid software.
6. Use an Anti-Surge Protection Extension
The problem with electricity is that as it moves from high to low voltage, you can get a surge that will damage wiring, interrupt supply, or cause harm.
Tech Experts suggest that while a surge is not an issue for low-value items, it is critical for expensive devices with intricate microprocessors. In the UK, electrical supply is reliable most of the time, but you can still experience a problem with household or office wiring.
For the relatively low outlay of a surge protector, you will get peace of mind in knowing that you are protecting your computer’s components and motherboard in the event of a power cut, interruption to supply or other electrical issues.
7. Back-Up Your Files
Regardless of where you choose to store your data, it is essential to make sure you back it up somewhere secure.
Nowadays, many of us store our files automatically in the cloud to access them online from anywhere. You can also store files on your computer, an external hard drive or an alternative cloud solution.
If you do not have automatic syncing enabled, you must set a date to back up your files regularly. Failure to do this can mean losing essential files if there is a problem.
8. Prevent Overheating
The best way to stop your laptop or desktop from overheating is to ensure you have plenty of airflow around them.
For desktops, inspect the area around the tower to ensure there is adequate air circulation. If you keep it in a cupboard, ensure you open the doors while it is in use.
Laptops often struggle even more, so it is preferable to use them at a desk or table where you can use a stand that allows air to circulate underneath it.
9. Clean your Fans
Since fans work to keep your computer cool, you don’t want to allow dirt to accumulate in the blades and prevent them from working. If you take a close look, you may spot dust, pet hair, and all sorts of dirt, which could cause temperature problems.
While your computer is off, you can remove the fans and take them out for a blast with an air compressor. If this doesn’t do the trick, you can replace fans early before overheating causes any damage to other components.
10. Stay Alert
The final way to keep your computer healthy is to use your common sense. You can significantly reduce the risks to your computer by being careful.
Change your passwords regularly to stop hackers. Consider things like checking your emails and not opening anything suspicious. Regularly download updates to drivers and software, especially security software.
Staying on top of your computer’s health will undoubtedly keep it working better for longer, but if you have trouble with performance, it’s a good idea to contact the experts.
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