Keeping your computer in tip top shape is very important, especially if you depend on it for work or for anything else equally important, the last thing you would want is a constantly crashing operating system or a fried hard drive. Not to mention your computer does a lot for you, don’t you think it should be treated well in return?
In this guide I’ll teach you everything you need to know to keep your computer healthy and happy…if computers had emotions, anyways!
Keeping it Clean
One of the most important parts of keeping your computer healthy is keeping it clean, this means clearing out the dust and wiping the case down. Dust can become very problematic if not cleaned out often, it can cause computer hardware to over-heat and malfunction, some times even frying hardware if the dust is really bad.
For cleaning out the dust I’d recommend using canned air to blow out all the dust from the case and fans, as it’s really handy and can be bought from about any store that sells computer hardware and peripherals. You can also use the canned air to blow out any dust or dirt in your keyboard as well.
Defragmenting the Hard Drive
If you’re using a Windows computer then your hard drive is susceptible to fragmentation, which can cause your computer to run much slower than usual and take longer to search for and find files on your hard drive.
To solve this issue Windows comes with a program you can use to defragment your hard drive, which can be found in the Control Panel. Be sure to run this program once every 1-2 weeks to keep your hard drive fragment-free.
If you’re using a Mac or a computer with a Linux operating system, then luckily for you, you’ll never have to worry about defragmenting your hard drive as Mac and Linux computers use a different file system than Windows for the hard drive, which is less susceptible to fragmentation than the file system Windows uses.
Using An Anti-Virus
Viruses, spyware and other forms of malware can all do serious damage to your computer and your operating system, from small things to slowing your computer down, to big things like being used to steal your credit card information. This is why it is very important to always have a good anti-virus program.
There are many free anti-virus solutions available, along with plenty of paid ones as well. As far as finding and removing viruses go, many of the free anti-virus programs will be as good as the paid ones, however with the paid ones you’ll usually get more protection such as e-mail scanning and other useful features.
Depending on your web browsing habits, you’ll want to do a virus scan about every week to be sure that your computer is completely virus clean.
Mac users and especially Linux users wont have to worry about viruses quite as much as Windows users, as there aren’t as many viruses that target Macs and Linux computers, but it’s still a good idea to have anti-virus protection for both just in case.
Cleaning Out the Junk
To keep your computer running as fast as possible, it helps to delete old files you don’t need anymore and uninstall old programs you’re not using. This helps with hard drive seek-times and also frees up space on the hard drive for more important things.
There’s also temporary files and old cache data that can be cleaned out to make some space on your hard drive, and there’s quite a few programs that can help you with this process as well, such as CCleaner for Windows (There is also a Mac version in beta) and BleachBit for Linux and Windows.
Hopefully with these helpful tips your computer will become much healthier and run faster than before, and if it could, I’m sure it would tell you thanks!