Manager who now runs his own computer support website
When it comes to computers, most people would prefer it, if their systems just worked, but if you want your system to perform optimally, then you need to maintain it regularly. When your system starts to operate slower, one thing you do not want to do is, get rid of it, as there are likely a few little things you can do to get it back to top condition. So, instead of going out and looking for an alternative, maybe you should consider adopting a couple of maintenance tasks, that don’t cost you any money.
So what are the kinds of things you need to do, to maintain your system? In this article, I have outlined a list of 7 essential tips that you should adopt, when looking to care for your system. All you need to do is apply them, then become accustomed to using them, over time, it should become second nature, making you feel like a PC pro.
- Unplug Your Laptop System
A lot of laptop users are unaware that overcharging their battery can decrease its lifespan. If you would like your laptop battery life to last as long as possible, then charge it to 100 percent, then unplug it, you want to resist any temptation that makes you want to keep it on charge. Another rule of thumb you may want to adopt, is to keep the level of your battery at around 40 to 80 percent. Depending on the type of laptop you have, replacing the battery isn’t too difficult a task. Still, if you want your battery life to last as long as possible, then try avoiding constantly having it plugged into the mains.
- Organise Your Cords
It can be quite difficult and confusing, having to deal with long cables, especially when those cables get all tangled together. It’s always best practice to organise all your cords, just to make them easier to locate. Decluttering them will prevent them from getting tangled up.
Here are some wire organisation tips you may waant to adopt:
Hide your power plugs and strips.
Consider investing in cable management, in the form of a cable box.
Use zip ties to group your cables together, this should prevent them from getting tangled together, and make it easier to find the cord that you need.
Group your various cords by type. For example, gather all your power cables, USB cables, etc. together.
If you can, consider labelling your different cords.
When it comes to cable management, a little bit of organisation can take you a long way.
- Backup Your Data
Your computer data can be damaged by hardware failure, constant system crashing and malfunctions. Thus, to minimise the impact of data loss, you can and should consider backing up your files, and on a regular basis. For a full backup, oftentimes external hard drives are used or a suitable cloud service. You want to have duplicate copies of all your data, just to be safe. Best practice stipulates that you should have your data in at least 3 different places, at all times.
- Carry out Regular Antivirus Scans
Malware attacks are capable of happening at any time and without notice, and in the event that an attack does occur, having the appropriate antivirus software installed on your system will ensure you’re protected from the ill effects of such an attack. Regular weekly scans will ensure your system is kept free of malicious software infections. A basic scan is designed to check the most common areas of your system for the most obvious threats and dangers. If you’re someone who frequently accesses the web, downloading files and programs alike, then you should consider running a virus scan at least twice weekly. It’s best to be cautious, especially when dealing with the internet, as there are an infinite number of threats out there.
A malware infection is capable of adversely effecting your systems performance, as well as exposing your confidential data. Some of the common symptoms of a virus are:
Your computer settings being altered without your knowledge.
Web browser performing slower than usual.
System frequently crashing.
Intermittent network connection.
Cybercriminals accessing unauthorised system resources.
The best way to prevent any of these symptoms is to simply scan your system on a regular basis.
- Reset Your PC
If you’re system has an issue, and you’ve tried everything to fix it, then there’s always the reset. If you’re regularly backing up your data, then you needn’t worry about losing anything in the process. Instead, your system will run much faster and without hiccups, after the reset has complete. In addition to the various maintenance tips outlined above, you can also consider upgrading your system. That means, adding addition RAM, along with other boosts, such as a new CPU, moving from a mechanical drive to an SSD. All of which should see you witness significant improvements.
- Clean Your System Case and Keyboard
If you take the time to clean your keyboard, you may be surprised by the amount of dust and debris that is living in it. All these dirty particles are capable of clogging up individual keys on the board. The end result is sticky keys or buttons that require you to apply a significant amount of pressure for them to work. In order to clean up your case and keyboard, you can do so by using compressed air canisters.
- Keep Your Computer Cool
All PCs are built with cooling systems, which are designed to dissipate hot hair, in order to regular the temperature of the various devices. If this cooling system fails, it will result in a number of symptoms, such as the system overheating, which will lead to other issues such as constant and regular system crashing and slowdowns.
Thus, to prevent your system from overheating, I recommend you consider the following:
Avoid playing programs that consume a considerable amount of system resources, such as computer games.
Make sure you have an appropriately rated HSF on your CPU, and that your case has adequate ventilation in order to prevent overheating.
Rest your laptop on smooth surfaces, such as desktops and tables, avoiding non-flat surfaces such as beds, as they block the devices air vents.
Make sure your case fans are working as they should. Consider cleaning them from time to time.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website