11 Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Computer
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, 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:
- 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. 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:
- 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.