Computer Maintenance Tips for PC Users

  • Uninstall Programs No Longer Used
  • Delete Temporary Files
  • Clean Computer and Keyboard
  • Scan for Viruses and Spyware
  • Install Current Operating System Updates

Although computers still tend to intimidate many people, and the idea of fixing them on their own is even worse, learning some simple computer maintenance things can make life a lot simpler. Sometimes a computer may need the services of a qualified technician, but sometimes a simple fix or regular maintenance is all it needs. Here are 5 basic computer maintenance tips for PC users.

1. Uninstall Programs No Longer Used

An average computer user keeps a computer at least three years. In that time, a lot of programs get put on the computer. These programs may have been used only a couple of times, but they still sit on the computer taking up space and often using up memory if they’re running in the background. They’re also making the computer’s processor work harder than is necessary. Getting rid of old programs will not only allow more room for new programs but can speed up the computer. To uninstall programs, go to Control Panel, Programs and Features and Uninstall Programs.

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2. Delete Temporary Files

Many PC users don’t realize that every time they go to a site online the computer stores that information so the page loads faster next time the page is visited from that computer. While this all sounds good, storing all those unnecessary files can really slow down the computer and the time it takes to load other applications. Deleting temporary files regularly can free up a lot of the computer’s memory. The method may vary by browser. Chrome users and go to the upper right, click on the three dots, click on History and go through the process listed to clear the browser. Those using Internet Explorer should click on Tools, Internet Options and then Delete Temporary Files.

3. Clean Computer and Keyboard

The computer and keyboard may seem like they’re external parts that wouldn’t affect the performance of the system, but they can if they’re not kept clean. Imagine all the dust that would accumulate if a house was never dusted, and this is what the inside of a computer looks like if it’s never cleaned. Dust and dirt can slow down the computer and even ruin the fan. Cans of compressed air work great for dusting all parts of the computer and keyboard, including the cooling fan and vents.

4. Scan for Viruses and Spyware

Running conventional anti-virus and spyware detection software is probably the easiest and best way PC users can protect their computers. Viruses and malware can do a lot of damage to a computer and all its contents. Most programs will run softly in the background as users continue doing what they’re doing. Heavy computer users should run their virus software at least once a week. While anti-virus software offers users the choice of different scans, running a full scan offers the most protection. These software programs also offer users the convenient options of having it run automatically on a schedule. Anti-virus software is relatively inexpensive. A free program is even available through Microsoft.

5. Install Current Operating System Updates

Many computer users don’t understand the importance of keeping their operating system up-to-date with the latest software and patches. Every day new computer and cyber threats come out. If the system isn’t current with all the necessary software and patches, it becomes vulnerable to threats. To install updates manually, click on Start, select All Programs and then Windows Updates. If there are updates that need to be installed, they will show up there. Mac users can click on the Apple menu, select About This Mac an then select Software Update. Both systems give the option to Install Updates Automatically. This option will ensure the updates get installed automatically.

With the high cost of computer repair or replacement, why pay a professional if it’s simple PC maintenance a user can do on their own? Performing simple routine maintenance may also prevent a computer from crashing and leaving the user without a computer. By remembering these computer maintenance tips, users can learn to perform basic PC maintenance and add life to an older computer.