Tips for Computer Maintenance

1. Delete old files

Old junk files can build up on your computer. Often times, there are files you don’t use anymore that are just sitting there, taking up space, slowing down your device. Going through and manually deleting those files can help improve performance significantly. Be careful though, you don’t want to delete anything that you need or might use in the future.

2. Empty the recycle bin regularly

Items can build up in your recycle bin over time and still slow down your computer, even if you think you’ve already completely deleted them. Actually, until you empty your recycle bin, those files are still stored locally and can be restored at any time. Emptying the recycle bin on a regular basis helps ensure that those files truly are no longer taking up precious space on your computer.

3. Run antivirus scans

This step may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. If you suspect your computer may be compromised, it’s important to run a scan to find if your antivirus is reporting any problems. While this step is often helpful, it’s not always a sure indicator of malicious items on your computer. Some viruses can go undetected by your antivirus. Running your antivirus scan on a regular basis, not just when you suspect issues, can help you stay on top of your device and any underlying issues. Always be sure your antivirus is legitimate and not an infection disguising itself as a legitimate antivirus program! If you ever have any doubts, feel free to give us a call to ask.

4. Restart the computer often

We recommend users restart their computers often – at least a few times a week. Ideally, the computer would be shut down every time it’s not in use, but we know that’s not always practical. Shutting down and restarting your device helps the computer properly exit out of programs so they’re no longer running in the background, perform necessary updates, and take a break from being constantly powered on. This step is crucial and can often resolve other issues, such as network connectivity or printer problems. Restart properly and restart often! You’ll be glad you did.

Additional note: Make sure you’re not powering off the computer by physically holding the power button. If possible, always go to the start menu on your device and choose the option “shut down.” Every once in awhile under the right circumstances, physically powering down the machine won’t hurt. If you do it too often, it could cause file corruption.

5. Dust out computer

Physically dusting out your computer helps remove dirt and debris from the inside, which is often seen when devices are overheating, fans are running loudly and sound like they’re overworking, or even your device seems slower in performance. Be careful, though, this step takes some careful thinking. We recommend you use canned air to blow into the ports of the computer, whether it’s a desktop or laptop. It’s important to note that the device should be powered all the way off and not plugged in while doing this step. Sometimes you’ll even see a cloud of dust come out through the vents. That can be normal! Be sure not to breathe in the dust that comes out of the computer, either.