Computers are delicate tools that work in precise and complicated ways to allows us to do all kinds of everyday tasks. They are so complicated, in fact, that the vast majority of users don’t know how they work on the most basic level. Don’t worry, it’s nothing you need to be ashamed of. Not everyone can be a computer genius. However, there are certain things that are useful to know and they will save you many headaches. One of them is how to care for your computer. Below are three basic maintenance tips that you can easily do every few months which will keep your computer at top performance.
Do a Clean Up
Like a house, a computer’s hard drive has a lot of space, and like in a house, you start piling things up; videos, music, pictures, documents, games and different programs. Before you know it, your hard drive is full and you have so many things installed that your poor computer can barely function. It’s time to clean up. Go folder by folder erasing everything you don’t need or look at anymore. You will be surprised at how many things you didn’t even remember you saved. For files that you don’t want to part with quite yet but that take up a lot of space, consider uploading them to a cloud storage site. You will have access to them at any time and best of all, you can share and send files to your other devices or friends’ devices.
Get Rid of Useless Programs
Another thing that is making your computer run slower is having too many programs installed. Some you might have installed yourself, but often times, there will be others you haven’t. These come attached in packs to other things you did want and they just decide to make themselves at home on your hard drive. An example of these are search toolbars that come with browsers and downloading programs. So, take a look at the list of installed programs and get rid of anything you haven’t used in a few months or that you didn’t install yourself. You will see how your computer returns to its former speed and full function.
Running a complete virus scan can be a tedious task, but it’s something you have to do. Even if you religiously have your firewall and antivirus on, malicious spyware and cookies will skip past the defenses and effect the way your computer will function. Run a complete scan with your usual antivirus program and another scan with anti-malware software. You can find many anti-malware programs for free online, like Malware Bytes. Once the scans are complete, get rid of any suspicious and quarantined files immediately.
Once you have done all of this, it’s a good final step to de-fragment your hard drive. This process is similar to re-organizing a cabinet that has lots of little empty spaces and putting all of this free space together so you can better use it. This way, all of the space you liberated by erasing old files and useless programs will again be usable, leaving your computer will be in top condition.