Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Computer

Friday, March 24, 2017/Categories: Tech Tips & Gadgets

Your computer could use a dusting right along with your home as we come into spring. If your PC is slow, these tips will surely help improve its performance. If there are no issues, these must-do maintenance activities will ensure that it remains that way.

Keep your PC clean

This doesn’t mean keeping it free from viruses and malware. You need to open up your PC cabinet and physically get rid of all the dust and grime that is likely to have collected inside.

Why is this important?

Dust particles can prevent the processor fan from working smoothly. It subsequently operates at a lower speed, and the processor gets hotter – the heat is not easily dissipated. To avoid overheating, the processor overcompensates by working slowly and generating lesser heat in the process.

You might be surprised by how this is often the main reason for poor performance. The dust particles also clog the vents and this causes other components to work slower as well. Therefore, you have a slow-running PC.

There are several tutorials online on how to clean your PC. Some parts need to be swabbed with alcohol (you shouldn’t use water for any reason), while a blow dryer may be required for others. Sometimes you might have to do both, blow dry the area and then clean it with spirit or rubbing alcohol.

If you are afraid of damaging the processor fan (this tends to happen), call in a professional to do the dirty work.

Ideally, your PC should to be physically cleaned every 3-6 months. Clean your keyboard and monitor as well. Dust getting trapped inside can prevent the keys from working or lead to the display becoming faulty.

Clean up your system

This is about the software part of your PC. If there are any programs that you do not use, uninstall them. The reason is that some of them might occupy a part of the computer’s RAM every time the PC is in use. This leaves a lesser amount of memory for use by other programs, specifically the ones that you use frequently. Performance is what suffers as a result.

A lot of people don’t uninstall programs that they haven’t used in a while, thinking there will come a time when they need them. Should that be your line of thinking, see if you have the original installation disks and product keys. If yes, keep in mind that you can always install them later, when you need to use them. If you don’t have the original installation disk, see if the installation software is available online. All you need to do is check the official website of the software manufacturer.

*Installation software available on unofficial sites may actually be malware in disguise, just waiting for you to download and install it.

Several software manufacturers do this for the benefit of their customers who may have misplaced their original installation disks. In some cases, the disks may have gotten scratched and subsequently become unreadable. Because re-installation of the software may be necessary at times when people get hardware upgrades, this is now an industry-wide standard practice.

There are also plenty of files that you don’t need. Like temporary files and Internet Explorer cookies, for instance. They tend to slow down the particular application they are associated with. You need to throw them out of your system as well.

You also need to download and install operating system updates regularly. They help a lot of programs to communicate seamlessly with each other. This will speed up performance.

Don’t install programs unless absolutely necessary

A lot of people install programs and uninstall them after they are done with it. The problem is that every time a software installation, upgrade or uninstallation happens, an entry is made in the Registry.

The more you do this, the longer the registry will be. And because it is a part of the operating system, it leads to longer application loading times.

So before you install a program, ask yourself – Is this really necessary? Or is there a web-based alternative that I could use?

Run a system-wide virus scan

Malware and viruses can slow down your system. Because the full scan might take 2-3 hours, a lot of users shy away from running this kind of detailed scan. But viruses and malware can also slow down your PC – they too are programs which run in the background and take up RAM space.

Update your antivirus definitions first, even if it takes time. Then run the full scan. You need to do this every week if the PC is connected to the internet.

**Your antivirus and firewall needs to be on all the time.**

These are some steps you can take to keep your computer running smoothly. If you are uncomfortable taking these steps, you may want to consider Premium Tech Support by Consolidated Communications. Premium Tech Support can assist you in running a full diagnostic, removing viruses, spyware and malware, and can also assist you with connecting your devices.

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