5 Practical Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe & Running Longer
Computers allow users to do many tasks quickly and easily, from basic word processing to video editing and games. With all the usefulness of your desktop or laptop computer, you owe it a little care so it can last a long time. Here are some basic care tips for your computer:
Keep it Clean
It’s easy to neglect this, but computer keyboards are some of the filthiest things you will ever find in your home or your office. A car vacuum cleaner can remove a lot of the debris that ends up getting stuck under the keys. Wipe the keyboard with rubbing alcohol or a recommended cleaner.
Using a vacuum with a small attachment or a can of compressed air can remove dust in your CPU. It’s typically easy to remove the cover so you can do this without the hassle. A soft brush can help loosen the dust on the fans. Be sure the unit is unplugged when you clean it.
Protect it from Lightning and Power Surges
Use a surge protector strip for your desktop PC to keep it from getting damaged if there’s a thunderstorm or power fluctuation in your area. Better yet, use a UPS so even if the power goes out. You have enough time to save your work and safely shut down your computer.
During a power outage, if your UPS doesn’t stay powered as long as it used to, the battery is reaching the end of its life cycle. You can buy an APC UPS battery replacement instead of a new UPS.
Keep it Cool
Modern computers have more effective cooling systems, but it’s usually bad for your computer if you’re working in a hot and humid environment. Air conditioning is advisable, but if it’s unavailable, at least use an electric fan if it’s hot where you are.
Buy a cooling pad if you use a laptop and it tends to get hot. Your laptop’s battery will have a shorter life if it is always running hot. Don’t worry about overcharging since newer systems automatically bypass the battery if it’s fully charged and it’s still plugged in. Don’t allow your battery to be fully drained, though, as that will shorten its life faster.
Update Your Computer
Enable automatic updates to your computer, so it can receive the latest protection against viruses and malware. Some updates enhance overall performance and, for laptops, power efficiency. Updates also eliminate many bugs or errors to keep your computer working more efficiently.
Defragment Your Hard Drive
When you notice that your Windows PC has become slower, try defragmenting the hard drive. In later versions of Windows, this is called Optimize. Search for “optimize” or “defrag” on the taskbar, select the disk you want to defrag.
If your PC has an SSD (Solid State Drive), however, note that it runs differently compared to a regular SATA hard drive. Newer Windows systems defragment SSDs automatically every month. It is not advisable to defrag it manually.
As for a Mac, unless you’re a power user (video editor dealing with large files) who knows what they’re doing, don’t bother trying to defrag (using a third-party optimization tool). MacOS automatically compacts files in your hard drive.
These are only a few ways to take care of your computer, but they can help prolong the life of your machine.