Part of our daily lives
Computers and laptops have become a staple appliance in any home because of its usefulness. For households with children, computers are used to help them do research online for their school projects. For the parents, a computer could become a secondary means of earning money. Whatever its use may be, a computer is just as important as a microwave or even a television.
Now, what some people don’t know is that it takes a little bit of work to keep computers running at optimum speed. For those who don’t know a thing or two about computers, they may have a hard time dealing with the PC problems in the long run. A computer that keeps running without maintenance will eventually have performance issues, and it doesn’t matter if the computer you have is just for creating documents or for playing high-end games. Even systems like business telephone systems need a working computer for it to work.
People automatically assume that computers require a lot of maintenance. In reality, when maintenance is done right, it only needs to be done a few times. Despite how complex machinery the computer is, it doesn’t mean that maintenance is also going to be complicated. This makes it very intimidating for people who are not that quite “adept” in taking care of computers. The truth is, it’s very easy to do maintenance work on your computer and you don’t need to have a computer degree for that because you can choose to either do the maintenance task manually or you can download different kinds of software to help you with the entire process.
In this article, let us go over the different maintenance tips and tricks for your computer and find out why we need to do them.
1.)Back-up your files – When you have important files in your computer, like a scanned copy of your marriage certificate or a soft copy of a very important business proposal, the first thing that you need to do is to protect your files. This can be done by means of backing-up your data. This process may sound complicated, but it actually isn’t. It only requires you to have another copy of your files found in a drive or storage outside the PC. I suggest you take the time to purchase an External Hard Disk Drive. Storage capacity may or may not be relevant. If your files are mostly documents and images, you can do a lot with a 500GB External HD. If you have videos or other large files, you can opt for a 1TB. As for the frequency of backing-up your files, you can do this at least once or twice a month. This gives you enough leeway to have all of your updated files before your PC starts to malfunction.
2.)Defrag your drives – Disk defragmentation is the process of cleaning up your drives by removing the little bits and pieces of data that were left behind by uninstalled software and deleted files. When a file occupies data space, it occupies sectors. These sectors are divided into good and bad. The bad sectors are teeny compared to the good sector because they are unused. However, a multitude of files can leave out a huge amount of bad sectors and could lead to your computer lacking disk space without any reason. Disk defragmentation allows you to clean up all your files found in your drives and tries to keep them compact, giving you more storage space. The bad sectors are also removed when a disk defragmentation is done. For Windows users, defragmentation can be done by accessing the System Tools in your Windows Menu or you can download a separate software for defragmentation like Deep Clean.
3.)Uninstall or close useless applications – Part of the reason why our computer slows down from time to time is the number of software or applications that run in the background. Some of them, even if they are not used, will continue to use up RAM. A good example of which is Google Chrome. Despite being a fast browser, it takes up quite a good deal of RAM when left unattended. If you are running out of disk space or you feel that your PC is running at a sluggish rate, the best thing to do is to remove unwanted applications and software. Perhaps you can uninstall that video downloader you downloaded a few months ago, or you may want to remove that game that you finished 6 months ago. After you delete and uninstall these applications, perform a disk defragmentation to clean up after these software.
4.)Delete unwanted files – This usually comes after backing up your files because you can filter out the files that you need and the files that you don’t. For practical reasons, never delete document files because they occupy the smallest disk space possible compared to other kinds of files. This process of deletion applies to unwanted files like videos and images. Your call records from the business telephone systems should be deleted once they’ve fulfilled their use.
5.)Scan for viruses and malware – A computer’s worst enemy is a virus. Much like humans, computers can often break down because of these viruses, although these viruses are nothing similar to what we experience. A virus is a file or program that aims to break down your computer by overloading your processes and RAM, flooding your disk space, or worse, damage some hardware. Most of these viruses can come from files that you acquired over the Internet or they can come from unchecked foreign storage devices that were plugged into your computer or laptop. An antivirus software can help prevent your computer from being infected with a virus. You’ll find different kinds of antivirus programs and they can do basic tasks like scanning for viruses and deleting them, but some also come with added maintenance features like disk defrag and cache cleaning. Sometimes, a good antivirus doesn’t come cheap or free, but they are worth every penny. If you are aiming for a free antivirus that can keep up with the likes of Norton and McAfee, you can look up Avast! Antivirus over the Internet. Once you’ve installed your antivirus, perform weekly scans on your drives, preferably during the time when you don’t use your PC as it occupies most of your disk space.
These are the most effective ways to maintain your PC. At least, now you know how to perform maintenance on your PC and why you need to do them.