Somewhat off my usual focus of articles, but if you are using a computer to read this (I am using one to write it) then you ought to give a little thought to the care and feeding of your machine.
Your PC’s BF has some great tips – they’ll handle it for you, too, but it might be tough for my American readers (read: my mom, also see: my whole audience) to get their computer over to Sheffield, England.
You can take your computer to Best Buy’s Geek Squad or get a PC Tuneup from Staples Tech Support, but honestly you can do a lot of the basic stuff yourself.
- Malwarebytes – free and really good. Download the free version from CNET (just search “Malwarebytes CNET” as any link I’d put up might be stale quickly), run it, and thenceforth run it every month or so.
- CCleaner or Disk Cleanup (already on your Windows computer, Control Panel –> Admin Tools –> Disk Cleanup). Some people prefer Disk Cleanup as it doesn’t tempt you to mess with Registry Files under the guise of cleaning them up. I am more devil-may-care in this regard. You’ll have to make up your own mind – but if you’re nervous, just start with Disk Cleanup and get a little space..
- Defrag your HDD (if you are a lucky person with an SSD, just go contemplate your own excellence for a moment). I had my laptop set to run it automatically and…it wasn’t. I got a real boost in performance speed by running this simple old-fashioned tool. Right click on your C: drive (maybe under This PC or My Computer) and select Tools and Defragment. It may take a while if you’ve not done it in a long time, so maybe run it overnight.
- Antivirus – this is a sticky topic, there are a lot of good ones and a lot of paid ones. All I’ll say right now is, try to make sure you’re not running more than one at the same time. It’s like letting two Italian grandmother’s in your kitchen at the same time – There Can Be Only One. More than one AV will really degrade the performance of your computer.
What are some of your housekeeping tips for the non-tech-inclined?