Every year, without fail, the majority of us will make a host of New Year resolutions, which we will have little inclination of keeping! We all do it. We’ll spend countless hours running, exercising in the gym, dieting or trying to give up drinking in January but beyond that….
However why do we only think about ourselves? Doesn’t our PC deserve a little bit of TLC too? Having worked hard for us throughout 2012 – think of all that online shopping and social surfing you’ve been doing, as well as all your hard work of course – the new year should bring some justly deserved housekeeping for your computer to ensure it runs smoothly, at optimum speed and is devoid of any potentially harmful viruses.
First off let’s think about the easy stuff:
- All that software you’ve downloaded over the year that you don’t really use is slowing your system down, so it’s always good to clear out any unused software. To do this, go to ‘Control Panel’ and select ‘Programs and Features’ and uninstall all the junk you don’t need or use.
- Another good form of PC cleaning can be done in your start up services,where programs are housed that open as soon as you turn on your machine. The more of these we accumulate, the more there is to load up, which in turn means the more time waiting for your PC to boot. To stop these unnecessary services go to ‘Run’ and type ‘MSconfig’. Go to the services tab and un-tick any programs or services you wish to stop at start up, however do be careful not to stop any Microsoft services as these will either be important or necessary.
In addition, there are various programs out there that are designed for good housekeeping and maintenance of your PC:
- The free program called ‘CCleaner’ will clean up any temporary files and browsing history as well as cookies etc. Using this once a week will help keep on track of files that build up and slow down your system.
- Another piece of software that can help maintain your system is ‘Disk clean-up’ – it doesn’t need to be downloaded as it comes as standard with Windows. This can be found in all programs under ‘administrative tools’. To help speed things up browsers save copies of offline webpages on the hard drive; this is known as cache. Disk clean-up will clear any cache that builds up on your hard drive and is a key service for your computer since your browser is probably the most used program of all.
- Another important thing you want to do is scan for viruses and other malware. You should have some form of antivirus installed, whether it is AVG, Norton Antivirus or McAfee etc. It is important that when prompted you update these, as new malware may be created and your antivirus may have never heard of it. A good tool to use alongside your antivirus is ‘Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool’. This free program will check for prevalent malicious software and help to safely remove it. Another key part to maintaining your system is making sure you are performing scans.
- A final resource that is included with Microsoft Windows is ‘Disk Defragmenter’ which helps improve performance that declines over time. Imagine a bookshelf with the authors in non-alphabetical order; it would take much longer than is needed to find what you are looking for. The same applies to hard drives. Disk defragmenter works to put the data on the hard drive into a logical order, which increases performance of the system. The best form of this software is a 3rd party program called ‘Defraggler’, which is superior to the software included in your Windows package and is available to download for free.
All of these tips will help maintain the life of your system and enable your computer to run smoothly. If you feel that your business IT needs a clean-up or is in need of maintenance and support contact us on 0207 078 48 48 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently offering a FREE IT health check for SME’s throughout January.