I love giving tips on how to maintain your computer so that it can run a long time.
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:
- Click Start
- System tools
- Disk Defragmenter
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:
- Click Start
- All Programs
- System Tools
- 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:
- Clear Recent History
If you're using Google Chrome, go to:
- Settings (wrench icon on the right)
- Edit items
- 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). 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 Configuration and disable them.
To access System Configuration and check out which programs are running on startup, go to:
- Click Start
- Click "Run..."
- Type in "msconfig"
- Click the tab "Startup"
- Uncheck programs you don't want to load on startup
- 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. 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:
- Get a soft cloth and dampen it with cool water.
- Wipe your monitor downward carefully and gently. Don't press too hard onto the screen.
- 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:
- Shut off your computer.
- 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.
- Use a toothpick or needle to carefully clean out the mess.
- Take the fan or compressed air to blow away more gunk.
- Rub alcohol onto a cotton swab or q-tip to clean the area around the port.
- Wait until your computer is dry before turning it back on.
- 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.
Chikaima Iyke-Metuonu on July 13, 2020:
Wow! Thanks for this. You just helped me with a project.
Anonymous on June 30, 2020:
Aanuoluwapo Dhikra on June 20, 2020:
i love this a;p it helped me with my assignment.
Tale on May 31, 2020:
Take for my assignment
mynameisjeff on April 06, 2020:
thanks for completing my IT assignment ; )
Lt Col Sofoluwe on November 28, 2019:
I am a lecturer in the department of computing and presently teaching on "Care & Maintenance of Computers". Please kindly assist me with relevant materials/updates on this issues. Best regards///
bah acyl on September 09, 2019:
thank you very helpful
kawooya hafizi on August 30, 2019:
keep it up guys its so cool
cathy on August 07, 2019:
Moch Djaelani Subekti on July 10, 2019:
for battery life, with 3 different laptop i've use there's never been battery problem (also different manufacturer). as a note i'm always using it fully charged and connected to power outlet all the time. usually i used each laptop for 4-5 years each
the problem were mostly monitor, i had to resort using external monitor instead. 2 has this problem (toshiba and lenovo)
and the other one is HDD, but this one is my fault though (asus). i was making it "standby/sleep" before carrying it around. and then my HDD broke down suddenly
swanky babe okeke on June 16, 2019:
Best way of taking good care of your computer
jimLF on June 14, 2018:
what is best care of 9yr. old iMac - leave on or shut on/off for use only?
Sue Middleton on April 20, 2018:
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.
EGHOSA OSAGIE RAYMOND on March 20, 2018:
NICE I REALLY LEARNT ALOT
anonymous on December 28, 2017:
Thx for the tips my mom and dad are getting me a computer so I need to know how to take care of it!
anonymous on November 21, 2017:
thx for the tips
Ui on September 10, 2017:
I love these ways of taking care of computers they are totally awesome
TJ on August 21, 2017:
I like the way you put it, its totally awesome
Sophia grace alicum on June 06, 2017:
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 from Austin, TX on June 21, 2013:
Every weekend I try my best to clean my computer, internally and externally. Thanks for your additional tips. Voted up and useful. :)
john on June 04, 2013:
boy d-pack on May 30, 2013:
best idea but i need serial no bcoz my computer is already in bad situition
cute gurl on February 12, 2013:
yeah your right ... your ideas is so good ...
TANJIM ARAFAT SAJIB from Bangladesh on January 26, 2013:
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.
Solomon on April 23, 2012:
Just what i wanted, gud job
puddingicecream (author) from United States on July 19, 2011:
Mark, glad you liked the pictures.
Anna, hope these tips will come in handy.
anna on July 18, 2011:
I really appreciate this nice list of tips.
mark on July 01, 2011:
Great tips. BTW, your choice of pictures is awesome!
Bruce Chamoff from New York on June 30, 2011:
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 from Michigan on June 29, 2011:
Good suggestions, I use a Mac so I'm glad it does some of these things (#4); otherwise I'd definitely forget!