Whether you use your computer every day for work or once in a while to check your email, it is important to keep it in prime working condition. Over time, computers tend to slow down, but you don't have to let that happen! Keep reading to learn some simple tips for basic computer maintenance.

Tasks to Do One Time

While there are several maintenance tasks you should do on a regular basis, some of them need only be done once. Here are some maintenance tasks you can set and forget:
  • Set up your computer operating system to update automatically - this will save you a lot of frustration from constant pop-up messages about new updates.
  • Install your antivirus software properly and set it to update automatically.
  • Adjust all of your permissions and sharing between different users in your network so you can separate or share your files as desired.

Things to Do Weekly or Monthly

Once your computer is set up and running, there are some daily and monthly maintenance tasks you should work on. Here are a few:
  • Clean up your email inbox - delete messages you've read or replied to or file them away.
  • Organize your desk to keep things tidy - rewrap your cords and cables as needed and clean your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Perform a full-system backup to cloud storage or an external hard drive - set this to occur when you're not using the computer, so it doesn't slow you down.
  • Transfer photos from your mobile devices to your computer and back them up.
  • Clean up your web browser by purging your history and clearing your cache.
  • Delete the files sitting in your downloads folder - if you want to keep some of the files, store them in the appropriate folder before deleting the rest.
  • Go through your list of installed applications and programs then delete any you don't use.
  • Run a full scan using your antivirus to check for malware and other problems.

Additional Computer Maintenance Tips

Sticking to a weekly or monthly maintenance schedule is the best way to keep your computer working for as long as possible. In addition to performing the maintenance tasks from the previous sections, here are some additional maintenance tips:
  • Clean up your contacts lists and social media accounts once a year to keep things from getting too cluttered.
  • Go through your subscriptions for websites and mailing lists and close out and delete any accounts you no longer use.
  • Always keep your computer desk area clean and clear of clutter - you should also avoid eating or drinking around your computer just to be safe.
  • For laptops and mobile devices, don't leave them plugged in for longer than it takes to charge the batter - over-charging can reduce the battery's regenerative capabilities.
  • Be mindful of where you place your computer and laptop - you want to avoid blocking the vents because that could cause your device to overheat.
You don't necessarily need to be an IT expert to keep your computer in good shape. By following the tips above you can perform simple computer maintenance on your own computer at home.

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