General PC Computer Maintenance Tips:
- Keep all of your working files in one folder. The My Documents folder is offered by Windows expressly for this purpose. The benefits of keeping all your files in one place are multiple. One, you know where all your files are, two, it’s easy to back them all up at once, and three, your machine will run faster.
- Don’t put your personal files on the root of the C: drive. If you store a large number of files in the root folder, you could corrupt your disk file table which could lead to a “NTLDR is missing” error message when you boot the computer. Very bad. If you have personal files on the C: drive now, move them to the My Documents folder.
- Uninstall programs that you are not using. But don’t just delete the program. Remove it correctly so you won’t cause Windows errors. Go to Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. Find the program you want to remove in the list, and click the Remove button.
- If you download a zip file and expand it, delete the original zip file when you are done.
- Store your hardware drivers and purchased software installer files off your hard drive. A flash drive works great for this purpose.
- If you aren’t already using one, get a good surge protector and plug your computer and peripherals into it. If you live in an area with bad lightening storms, unplug you computer and peripherals during the storm.
Practice safe computing. Don’t accept software or downloads for which you didn’t ask. Delete any suspicious email without opening it. And even if the email came from your best friend, don’t open any email attachments with the following extensions: * .exe, .com, .vbs, .bat, .mdb, .reg, and .js
Scheduled Computer Maintenance Tips:
Daily computer maintenance tips
- Update your anti-virus scan and anti-spyware definitions, if they aren’t being done automatically.
- Back up any critical files that you have changed today to your flash drive.
Weekly computer maintenance tips:
- Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs have been updated with the latest definitions, and run a full scan from both programs.
- Reboot your computer. (If you shutdown your computer each night, disregard this tip). If you leave your computer on all the time, definitely do this. It will reset the RAM, and your computer will run much better and faster.
Monthly computer maintenance tips:
- Clean up your temp files, your temporary internet files, and other junk files about once a month.
- Ensure you have the latest Windows updates installed. Go to Internet Explorer, Tools, Windows Update. Click on the Custom button. (I always use the Custom button so I can check what’s going to be installed before it gets installed). Windows update may ask you to download and install the latest version of itself. Go ahead and do that, then click Close when it’s finished, and then Continue. It will then check again for real updates and offer those. Choose which updates you want to install. Uncheck the ones you don’t want to install.
- Clean out your email, paying special attention to your Inbox and Sent box. The easiest way I’ve found is to sort your email box by size of the message, and delete the largest unneeded emails first.