Most of us rely heavily on our computers and expect them to run smoothly. When it does not that can be an inconvenience, and may even cause a fairly big disruption in your daily routine.
Although the computers of today are a lot more stable and require less maintenance than they did in the past – they do require some. Hopefully, this guide will act as a primer to help you keep your computer (PC or Mac) running smoothly.
Safety and Security
Viruses and malware are a big problem and could affect your computer’s performance or cause more serious issues. As such it is important that you make sure your computer is as secure as possible by:
Scanning your computer regularly with an antivirus and malware scanner and keeping it updated.
Making sure that your operating system (Windows or OS X) is up to date as each new version has security fixes and performance improvements.
Using a firewall to protect against online threats.
Hard Drive Performance
Another potential culprit that could slow down your computer is its hard drive performance. In most cases, if a hard drive is too full it will slow down, and that could affect the speed of your computer as a whole.
Needless to say, it is important that you know how to check hard drive space on Mac or PC and clean out any unnecessary files. In particular, you should:
Remove any ‘junk’ files such as cache files, old logs, duplicate files, trash bins, and so on.
Uninstall apps and software titles that you aren’t using.
Delete localization or language options that you don’t need.
Simply put you should remove any and all files all your hard drive that you don’t require to maximize the amount of free space.
The one system resource that you need to be particularly aware of when it comes to your computer’s performance is your RAM. If you have insufficient RAM then your computer will start to be a lot more sluggish or may even crash.
On both a PC and Mac you can check your RAM to see how much of it is being used at any given point in time. Assuming a high percentage is in use, you may want to consider upgrading the RAM – but that will require you to purchase additional RAM and physically install it, so you may want to get help if you aren’t sure how.
Dust and Overheating
Most computers still use fans to cool their internal components, but if you aren’t careful over time the fans can be clogged by dust and may not be cooling down your computer sufficiently – especially its processor.
Ideally, you should inspect your computer fans regularly to make sure they are functioning properly and clean out any dust at the same time. It may help to have a can of compressed air handy as that can help to dislodge any dust that may be stuck or hard to reach.
As you can see none of these steps are really all that complicated, and you should be able to perform most relatively easily. By covering all these bases and keeping your computer well-maintained, you can ensure that it continues to run smoothly in the long term and extend its lifetime somewhat too.