Like any other investment, some regular preventive maintenance will keep your laptop or desktop computer working optimally for years to come. While much of the software in today's computers is designed to run automatically in the background, it's still important to check in to confirm everything is running optimally. Cleaning the computer's ports and keyboard is something you should do regularly.
Check Your Software Updates
Software updates are a vital part of keeping your computer running smoothly. Even if you have your operating system and apps configured to update automatically, monitor them in case your settings have changed or an update failed to load. Know when your anti-virus license expires, too. Finding out it expired a month before your computer was infected is a headache no one needs.
Take Out the Trash
Deleting files on your computer may get them out of the way, but it doesn't mean they're gone. If your computer's recycle bin isn't emptied periodically, all those files you deleted just sit there, taking up space that the computer could use to optimize its performance. Go through the apps and delete the ones you don't use anymore, or no longer need.
Back Up the Essentials
While performing your monthly maintenance, make backup copies of your important files. You can do this on an external drive, a USB flash drive, a blank DVD or any of the free cloud storage services available online. The computer backs up your files in the background while you do other things.
Clean Air and Fresh Water
A damp lint-free cloth and a can of compressed air can do wonders for any computer. Dust that accumulates in the ports causes problems with peripherals. Debris on the keyboard may render it useless in short order. A shot of compressed air and a weekly wipe down with a cloth dampened with computer cleansing solution prevents the damage that dust and grime can cause.
Photo Credits: Kris Robertson/Demand Media
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