If you have a car, you want to take it in for regular maintenance, get the oil changed, and keep the tires inflated in order to make sure it’ll keep running as long as you do. The same applies with your computer (although with less oil). If you put time and effort into taking care of it, it’s going to be running for a long time.
Whether you have a laptop or desktop, there are still some essential things you should be doing regularly to make sure you are getting the most out of your computer. Here is a short list below of what you should be doing to keep your computer running smoothly.
Stay Up to Date
Everyone has experienced a moment where you turn on your computer only to be greeted by the blue screen that says “Windows is Updating”. It estimates 30 minutes but really ends up taking around 30 days. Even those are incredibly annoying, they’re also incredibly useful.
Many of those updates are adding security measures to your operating system in order to protect you and your data from intruders and hackers.
If you’ve just bought a new computer, make sure you go into settings and keep hitting that update button until it tells you that your system is up to date. It may take a few hours, but it will be worth it.
Get to Cleaning
Yes, you’ll have to add another item to your list of cleaning. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it as often as the living room, but cleaning your computer is still incredibly important for it’s longevity.
For example, you should be cleaning your keyboard every few weeks as lots of dust, food particles, hair and dirty fingers are all over the buttons. Be sure to shake out your keyboard every few days to dislodge any junk found in there. You’ll also need to clean the buttons with disinfectant when you can.
Also, you need to be on the lookout for your computer’s worst enemy: dust. Dust buildup can cause your computer to overheat and certain components to malfunction.
Every six months, you need to do a deep clean of your computer, even if you have a laptop. Make sure the vents and fans are clear of dust and debris. Cleaning a PC is much easier in this regard while with a laptop you may want to seek help.
Buy a bottle of compressed air and gently at an angle spray air into your PC and fans to clear dust away. Make sure your computer is off and everything is unplugged. A good clean will keep your computer running smoothly.
Backup Your Files
A hard drive failure can happen at any time and any time is the worst time. Make sure you’re backing up your photos, videos and important documents to a cloud service or an external hard drive.
No one ever expects a crash, but you always want to have your just-in-case ready. You don’t want years of work and memories to vanish in just a few seconds.
Get a VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network that provides a number of benefits for your home internet and data. It sets up your own private network that makes it more difficult for people to spy on what you’re doing and collecting personal information.
It’s especially useful in case you’re someone who is regularly connecting to public WiFi networks like in airports or cafes.
In addition, VPNs can spoof your geographical location, virtually moving it from one place to another. This is especially useful if you’re looking for entertainment on the web and are restricted by your geographical location. It’s the perfect combination for safety and entertainment.
Run Disk Defragmentation
Try saying that ten times fast!
Disk defragmentation is a process that is available on every computer. It helps to increase your computer’s speed by rearranging certain files. Many hard drives have spinning platters and information is usually stored in blocks. Sometimes, those blocks get split up and information takes longer to process because you have to “visit” those different areas to complete the blocks.
Defragmentation puts all of that information back in one single area, effectively speeding up your computer.
If you have an SSD, however, defragmentation is not a necessary step.