What You Can Do to Improve Your Computer’s Performance
January 26, 2017
In an age where going digital is no longer optional, your home and office computers are essential and expensive assets. Computers are unique among office equipment in that they require both digital and physical maintenance. By paying careful attention to both from day one, you can rest assured that you will help keep your data safe and also extend the lifetime of each machine.
Eliminate and Prevent Malware
The first step to improving computer performance is to remove and prevent malware. Regarded as any type of malicious software, malware includes viruses, worms, adware, Trojan horses and spyware. Even the most harmless malware will slow down operating speeds, but at its worst, malware can mine confidential information or shut down your system.
To start, make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Many computers come with a trial version of this software. Once the trial expires, your system is left vulnerable to attack. Purchase a new subscription, and choose the recommended settings. If your computer is already running slow and you suspect that malware is the cause, it's time to bring in a professional. Schedule a software diagnostic & repair service, in which a certified technician logs in to your computer remotely, removes existing malware, reverses the effects on your system and installs antivirus software.
Clean out Old Files
Is your computer running slow even after malware removal? A full hard drive may be to blame. Software, websites and applications all leave behind a variety of files that can clutter up your computer and cause it to run sluggishly.
Start the de-clutter process by uninstalling unused applications in your computer's control panel. After, delete old files. Video, in particular, takes up a great deal of drive space. If you have a media streaming service, remove downloaded movies. If you want to watch them in the future, you can always stream or download them at that time. Make a backup of old files on an external hard drive, or use an online cloud storage system. Next, check and delete any files that you're not using.
Now you’re ready to use a PC cleaning program such as CCleaner Professional to delete non-essential files and clean out the registry. Cleaning programs may also adjust your settings for optimal speed.
Physical Computer Cleanup
In keeping with almost any piece of equipment, computers are affected by their physical environments. Dust is a key culprit. Dust buildup on fans, for example, can sabotage the cooling system, causing the computer to slow down or shut down as it overheats. Additionally, food particles, hair, pet fur and clothing or carpet fibers can also get into the hardware.
Every so often, it could help if you shut down your computer completely and disconnect the power source. Remove all cables from the back of the tower. Take the tower to a space with ample airflow, and vacuum the spot you’ve removed it from to remove excess dust. Wipe down the screen and keyboard with a computer-safe cloth.
Remove the back of the case, and take out the hard drive, memory stick and video card. With a can of compressed air, clean off dust and debris buildup from each piece and the corresponding receptacles. Repeat this step on all of the vents and the CPU fan as they are common locations for dust buildup. Use your compressed air to also remove debris from the keyboard.
Spills and condensation can combine with dust to form a sticky residue. For an extra-clean computer, lightly moisten a clean microfiber cloth or cotton swab and use it to wipe away the grime. This part of the computer clean-up process can be time-consuming, but it enables each system to operate at full power. Allow each piece to dry completely before reassembling the tower and reconnecting power.
Regular maintenance and cleaning of your computer's digital and physical operating systems can go a long way to improve speed and longevity. Proactive steps help you head off problems so that your system doesn't fall prey to a malicious attack or an overload of files.
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