Computers are essential for businesses, research, and education, among others. In any task that requires a computer, a PC that performs at its best can save time and helps improve efficiency. But for your computer to run smoothly and efficiently, you must know how to do a proper computer maintenance.
Why Do You Need to Maintain Your Computer?
PC maintenance is a procedure some users often neglect. No wonder why their computers decline in performance just months after purchasing them. But did you know that if you consciously take care of your computer (both physically and internally), you can prolong its usable life while maintaining its optimal performance?
That’s because a computer is made up of several components that normally wear after some time. The top reason why these components wear out is because of the heat generated by the computer when it is in use. The more heat generated by your computer, the faster it will wear out. This is the reason why computers intended for heavy use, such as gaming PCs, have huge fans to cool them down. Some even have liquid cooling to help dissipate heat.
Although heat is normal to computers, excessive heat for an extended period is not.
Some of the reasons why computers generate excessive heat are:
- The computer works hard to process the tasks it is required to do.
- The heavier the task, the harder the processor needs to work. And the harder it works, more electricity is required. Hence, more heat.
- However, when your computer has not been properly maintained, it will work harder than it used to even on simple tasks. Generating more heat and prematurely wearing out the computer.
- The cooling system of the computer does not sufficiently dissipate heat from the inside.
- The cooling system plays out an important role in your computer. From the name itself, a cooling system keeps internal components cool and within optimal operating temperature. When a cooling system is working fine, it prevents your PC from overheating. Thus, preventing damage to its components.
- One drawback of cooling systems is that it sucks up air from the outside so it could blow it out on its outward vents. And as time goes by, dusts accumulate inside the computer. When dust and dirt are left uncleaned, they block the circulation of the cooling system – preventing it from dissipating all the heat from the computer.
Now that you know why computer maintenance is important, we will show you the things that you can do to maintain and extend the life of your computer.
1. Clean your computer and its surroundings.
Since dust and dirt could accumulate inside your computer, it is best to place your workstation in an area free of such substances. To keep it that way, make sure to keep the surroundings of your computer clean and dry. After use, cover your computer with a static-free cloth.
Additionally, avoid eating and drinking near your computer to avoid accidental spills. Liquid will surely damage your computer’s internal components.
2. Update your system software.
Windows regularly release updates and fixes. And your PC will often prompt you to update your system if one is available. These updates help fix glitches, bugs, and improve system security.
Click Start> Settings> Update & Security> Check for updates.
3. Install an antivirus.
A virus is a serious threat to your PC’s health and performance. Computer viruses do not only damage software and programs, but can also damage the entire computer system. Therefore, it is important to have an antivirus to protect your PC from potential virus attacks.
Installing an antivirus software will help recognize, block, and eradicate all types of viruses. There are numerous antivirus software packages available online.
4. Backup your files using cloud and external.
At times, computers encounter unexpected errors that could result to loss of important data. It is a good practice to always backup your files.
There are two ways to secure your data:
- Upload copies of your files to your cloud storage.
- Copy your files to an External Storage.
Moreover, you can also back up your entire computer by following these steps:
At the search bar, type Control Panel> System and Security> Backup and Restore> Setup backup. You will be asked to select the location of your backup and select Next.
5. Defragment your hard disk.
Defragmenting your hard drive can help speed up your system because it gets rid of any fragmented files or pieces of unnecessary files.
At the search bar, type and click Defragment and Optimize Drives> Optimize.
It is advisable to do this once a month. You cannot run any application while your PC is defragmenting. The process might take some time depending on how large your hard drive is and how fragmented the files are.
6. Uninstall apps or software that you do not use.
Another way to maintain the performance of your PC at its best is by unloading the apps and files that you don’t use. All programs installed in your PC use up processing power and memory. And no matter how little each program uses, when accumulated, the effects stack up.
Therefore, getting rid of old programs and files that you no longer use can speed up your computer as it has lesser programs to run on background.
Go to Control Panel> Programs> Programs and Features.
This will show the installed software in your PC. Find the ones that you have not used in a while or you will no longer use; and uninstall them.
You can also use the Disk Cleanup Tool:
At the search bar, type and select Disk Cleanup. Tick the boxes beside the following items:
- Temporary Internet Files
- Downloaded Program Files
- Microsoft Office Temporary Files
- Compress old files
- WebClient/Publisher Temporary Files
- Setup Log Files
- Recycle Bin
- Microsoft Error Reporting Temporary Files
- Temporary Offline Files
- Temporary Files
7. Use a Firewall.
Viruses can penetrate your computer over the internet and having a firewall can help provide additional security to your antivirus software.
Go to Control Panel> System and Security> Windows Defender Firewall. At the left panel, click Turn Windows Defender Firewall ON or Off. Choose Turn on Windows Defender Firewall on both Private Network Settings and Public Network Settings.
Proper maintenance of your computer can extend its optimal usability. All the tips mentioned above are basic methods that you can follow in taking care of your computer. And although some of these tips could be time-consuming, doing them will optimize your computer’s performance – making you more efficient in your work.
Most importantly, computer maintenance prevents premature wear on your computer and its internal components. This will help you save money on unnecessary repairs.