11 Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Computer

Updated on February 21, 2017

Your computer is a valuable electronic investment that needs to be cared for. Here are some basic and simple tips to take care of your computer.

1. Get Padded Protection for Your Laptop

Pick up a laptop sleeve, laptop case or a laptop bookbag to carry around your computer. You can even consider making your own out of a sleeping bag or pillow. Dropping your laptop a couple of times could result in crashing it, and wiping out all your important documents.

2. Be Good to Your Battery

Laptop batteries will only last for a few years. So, try not to leave your battery charging all the time. When the battery is done charging, unplug the power cable, or remove the battery. You should also charge your battery fully before unplugging the power cable, and also use the battery fully before recharging.

3. Use Antivirus and a Firewall

It's important to use an antivirus program that's updated. It could cost over $150 to fix your computer if you get a virus or spyware. You also want to protect any confidential information you may have on your computer.

4. Defragment Your Hard Drive

If you use a Mac, your computer already maintains itself regularly. If you use a PC, you should defragment your hard drive regularly to get your computer to run faster.

To access your Disk Defragmenter:

  1. Click Start
  2. Programs
  3. Accessories
  4. System tools
  5. Disk Defragmenter

5. Declutter

Get rid of old files you don't need anymore. Use Disk Cleanup to delete temporary files, files in the recycle bin, and other files you don't need anymore.

To access Disk Cleanup:

  1. Click Start
  2. All Programs
  3. Accessories
  4. System Tools
  5. Disk Cleanup

You should also clean out your browsing and download history if you don't need them anymore.

If you're using Mozilla Firefox, go to:

  1. Tools
  2. Clear Recent History

If you're using Google Chrome, go to:

  1. Settings (wrench icon on the right)
  2. History
  3. Edit items
  4. Clear all browsing data

6. Reformat Your Computer

If your computer is wearing out, consider backing up all your files and reinstalling your operating system. I find that it's such a hassle sometimes but I do it for my own protection, especially after I delete viruses or spyware from my computer.

7. Be Careful With Food and Drinks

You won't believe how many computers are ruined with accidents involving food and drinks (especially coffee, according to hubber hotwebideas). Use a canteen or bottle with a lid to avoid spilling drinks onto your computer. Be careful when eating foods with sauces because a simple spill could cause a big problem.

8. Disable Programs You Don't Use

If your computer takes a long time to load, it's probably because it's loading programs that are set to run on startup. Check out which programs you don't need to run on startup by accessing System Configuation, and disable them.

To access System Configuration and check out which programs are running on startup, go to:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click "Run..."
  3. Type in "msconfig"
  4. Click the tab "Startup"
  5. Uncheck programs you don't want to load on startup
  6. Click "Apply" and then "OK" (may require your computer to restart)

9. Keep Your Computer Cool

Avoid using your computer on soft surfaces (like your bed) because that will prevent air from flowing through your computer. Try to find a cool and hard surface for your computer to prevent overheating, and to encourage airflow. If you have a usable and cool basement, consider using your computer there. You should also invest in a cooling pad or fan to prevent overheating.

10. Be patient. And Don't Run Too Much at Once

Every program requires a bit of your CPU. Be patient if you're trying to run a program, and it's taking a while. Don't immediately hit the power button every time your computer freezes for a minute. Wait a while and then use your intuition to assess whether or not you should reboot.

Try not to run too many programs and tabs at once. Close any programs and tabs you don't need to avoid freezing your computer.

11. Clean Your Computer

It's important to clean your computer to prevent dust from decreasing airflow, which can make your computer overheat. You can pick up Air Dusters to clean the dust regularly. Be very gentle when cleaning your computer.

How to clean your monitor:

  1. Get a soft cloth and dampen it with cool water.
  2. Wipe your monitor downward carefully and gently. Don't press too hard onto the screen.
  3. Don't leave any water drops that could damage internal components.

Make sure your computer ports don't get clogged up (usually from dust) to avoid having to hire professionals to clean them.

How to clean your computer ports:

  1. Shut off your computer.
  2. Use a fan or a can of compressed air (you can get this at home office stores like Staples or Office Depot) to blow away whatever dust and garbage you can.
  3. Use a toothpick or needle to carefully clean out the mess.
  4. Take the fan or compressed air to blow away more gunk.
  5. Rub alcohol onto a cotton swab or q-tip to clean the area around the port.
  6. Wait until your computer is dry before turning it back on.
  7. Clean your computer regularly.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        jimLF 

        8 months ago

        what is best care of 9yr. old iMac - leave on or shut on/off for use only?

      • profile image

        Sue Middleton 

        10 months ago

        Great Newsletter !!

        Several items go into my Computer How To file.

        Will stop by soon to see the new digs Congrats on a larger space.

        .

      • profile image

        EGHOSA OSAGIE RAYMOND 

        11 months ago

        NICE I REALLY LEARNT ALOT

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        13 months ago

        Thx for the tips my mom and dad are getting me a computer so I need to know how to take care of it!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        15 months ago

        thx for the tips

      • profile image

        Ui 

        17 months ago

        I love these ways of taking care of computers they are totally awesome

      • profile image

        TJ 

        18 months ago

        I like the way you put it, its totally awesome

      • profile image

        Sophia grace alicum 

        20 months ago

        Good sugestion you make me good to may computer so all day i clean my computer.......thanks for give tip to me and im glad today

        Thank Next week again.....

      • iguidenetwork profile image

        iguidenetwork 

        5 years ago from Austin, TX

        Every weekend I try my best to clean my computer, internally and externally. Thanks for your additional tips. Voted up and useful. :)

      • profile image

        john 

        5 years ago

        thanks?

      • profile image

        boy d-pack 

        5 years ago

        best idea but i need serial no bcoz my computer is already in bad situition

      • profile image

        cute gurl 

        6 years ago

        yeah your right ... your ideas is so good ...

      • breathing profile image

        Sajib 

        6 years ago from Bangladesh

        I am using my Desktop from the last five years and it is working well. I always take care of it. You have given many valuable ideas to keep computer well. Those ideas are fantastic. I have learned a lot of things what were unknown to me. Thanks a lot.

      • profile image

        Solomon 

        6 years ago

        Just what i wanted, gud job

      • puddingicecream profile imageAUTHOR

        puddingicecream 

        7 years ago from United States

        Mark, glad you liked the pictures.

        Anna, hope these tips will come in handy.

      • profile image

        anna 

        7 years ago

        I really appreciate this nice list of tips.

      • profile image

        mark 

        7 years ago

        Great tips. BTW, your choice of pictures is awesome!

      • hotwebideas profile image

        Bruce Chamoff 

        7 years ago from New York

        Yeah, as a web designer, I always have to declutter.

        Also, you forgot to add "Don't put coffee near your keyboard". I did that a few months ago and ruined my laptop and I killed the motherboard.

      • Jenne Joy profile image

        Jenne Joy 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Good suggestions, I use a Mac so I'm glad it does some of these things (#4); otherwise I'd definitely forget!

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