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Computer Maintenance: 9 Ways to Make Your Computer Last Longer

Technology changes constantly, and if you’re not careful, your existing PC or laptop could become obsolete before it’s time.

With PC and laptop sales ranging from $500 to $700 on average, and up to $1500 for a Mac, the cost of an upgrade can be significant.

But what if you didn’t have to throw out your existing computer?

The good news is, you might not have to. Here are 9 computer maintenance tips you can use to keep your computer running for longer.

1. Clean Any Dust or Grime

Like every other item in your household, your computer isn’t immune to the scourge of dust and grime that can build up over time. That’s why it’s important to add cleaning to your computer maintenance checklist.

Dust plays a part in clogging up fans and reducing the effectiveness of the performance of your computer. A hot PC can deteriorate quickly, so it’s important to regularly clear out any fans or air vent holes.

Grim can build up elsewhere, too. Give your keyboards and mice a wipe down to stop them becoming frustratingly ineffective over time. Plus, they’ll look nicer!

2. Run Cleanup Software

It isn’t just the physical clutter you have to think about. The maintenance of a computer relies even more on keeping your machine free of file clutter that could be slowing it down.

Cleanup software can help you determine any problems that need fixing on your machine. Windows computers, for instance, come with the inbuilt Windows Disk Cleanup software that can clean your PC of any unnecessary files.

If you’re looking for an even deeper clean, optimization software like CC Cleaner will run a PC performance audit and fix any problems for you automatically.

Take a look at this list of the best PC optimization software you can use on your computer to help you get started.

3. Check for Malware and Viruses

You can’t always discount malicious reasons for a PC slowing down and seeming ineffective. If you’re looking into how to take care of your PC, you should never forget about the risk of damage due to malware and viruses.

Certain types of malware, like ransomware, won’t hide from you but other malware will. If you notice your PC suddenly slowing down, especially your internet connection, it could be a sign of an infection.

Install and run anti-malware and anti-virus software on a regular basis to make sure you avoid this issue. You can find a list of potential anti-virus software to install here.

Still not sure whether your machine is infected with malware or viruses? Check out these 10 warning signs to help you allay or confirm your suspicions.

4. Defragment Your Drives

Thanks to the way Windows stores and accesses data, over time your files can become ‘fragmented’. You won’t notice it when you look through your files, but they won’t be saved in an efficient order on your hard drive.

This can cause slowdowns and reduce the amount of storage you have available to use, so it’s worth running the disk defragmenter tool that’s provided with Windows.

One word of warning, however.

You should only use the disk defragmenter if you have a traditional hard drive. If you’re running a solid state drive (SSD), the disk defragmenter is unnecessary and could actually damage your drive over the long term.

5. Remove Unnecessary Software

Part of your regular maintenance of computer hardware and software should focus, especially, on the software.

And by software maintenance, we mean a good, old-fashioned clear out. Old, outdated or unused software doesn’t do anything but fill up your storage if it isn’t being used.

Every few months, go through your list of software and uninstall anything you don’t need or want. This will give you the space you need to install other software you might use in the future.

6. Install a Solid State Drive

One of the most important changes you should make to help your computer last longer is to swap out your traditional hard drive for a solid state drive, or SSD.

Solid state drives don’t rely on a spinning platter to access your data. It’s flash memory – similar to an SD card – so both reading the device and writing to it is much faster.

It’ll boot up quicker, too. A PC with an SSD should boot up in a matter of seconds, meaning you won’t be left frustrated with any slowdowns. If you’re looking for a boost of longevity, installing an SSD should be at the top of your checklist.

Don’t take out word for it. Hard drive manufacturer Crucial has a list of the pros and cons of a solid state drive versus a more traditional hard drive here.

7. Install Additional RAM

We’ve already mentioned the fast-paced change that comes with technology, but it doesn’t mean an old computer can’t learn a few new tricks. We’ve recommended SSDs, but there’s another hardware upgrade you could perform to help your machine last longer.

Adding more RAM (random access memory) to your computer could give it increased performance as you work on intensive tasks.

It’ll allow you to have more programs open at the same time without slowdowns, making it a great addition alongside an SSD for increased performance.

8. Check Temperatures and Install Additional Cooling

Our warning about the dangers of dust should still be fresh in your mind, but dust isn’t the only reason for a computer losing its cool.

Software like SpeedFan can help you check your computer temperature. If any part of your computer is running too hot, SpeedFan will usually display a little fire symbol.

During the heaviest usage, ideal temperatures for your computer should be around 50 to 60 degrees Celcius. Anything above that and your computer could burn out – quite literally – much sooner than you think.

Dust plays its part, but you might find that a fan has simply lost its effectiveness. Where possible, install additional cooling and reapply thermal paste to critical components like your central processing unit.

9. Reinstall or Reset the Operating System

Our last, and rather drastic, recommendation is one of the types of computer maintenance that can leave the average user concerned, but if all else fails, it’s a good option.

Simply reinstalling your operating system can make a computer seem fresh again. All the cleaning and tune-up software in the world can’t bring you the fresh speed that a reinstall can offer.

In many cases, you won’t even need the installation disks. Windows 10 allows you to perform a ‘reset’, similar to a full reinstall, that will return your installation to a fresh state.

Mac OS offers a similar procedure, allowing you to erase and reset your installation using the Disk Utility software in recovery mode.

Regular Computer Maintenance Will Keep Your System Working for Longer

No computer is going to last forever. Eventually, your machine will become too old to be much use, day to day.

But that day doesn’t have to be today. These computer maintenance tips should help to breathe new life into your computer and give you the chance to save you the immediate cost of hundreds of dollars on an upgrade.

With regular maintenance and component upgrades, especially a solid state drive, you should be able to keep your computer working for a lot longer.

Looking for professional help? Contact us for advice on maintenance and upgrade services for your computer.

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Community Computer Services
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OriMaster 261
OriMaster 261
18:27 08 Jan 20
Very nice and helpful people, love the store atmosphere, and fair prices.... Overall a very pleasant experience!read more
Tracy cook
Tracy cook
00:29 03 Jan 20
So far, it hasn't been that great. I took a laptop in almost 2 weeks ago and... haven't heard back from them. When I went in to drop it off, it was like they were getting ready to go out of business. The young guy who took my laptop said he would call me and hasn't yet. I know that we have had 2 weeks of holidays, but other businesses are open again. He made sure he got my $45 first though. I'm surprised by all of this, because I've gotten great service when the father was there. In this guy's response, he says that he can't get a hold of me. What he fails to mention is that he wrote my number down wrong and didn't check his caller ID from when I called last Monday or when I left a message the week before. I left a message last week and he never called me back then either. When he did finally found my number, he chewed me out for everything. He never confirmed anything about the computer, yet acts like he did. So my number is not out of service, but I will not be a customer of theirs more
23:48 22 Oct 19
I went with a problem on my tablet and that is not something they are very... comfortable with but for computers that are used you should check it outread more
Carol Lyle
Carol Lyle
16:43 13 May 19
Am new to the area having problems with tower computer at the time. Was... advised to seek a locally owned business doing computer repair. I did and chose Community Computer Services in Alexandria, Ky. 41001. Did diagnostics as I was thinking problem with hard drive. Wasn't which was great price wise. Was able to clear out all viruses and malware. Saved my pictures and other personal folders and reloaded to computer. Also installed free virus and malware programs. Runs fast!! Also they gave me a week to use to see if incurred any problems. I did not!!! While taking care of tower computer explained how slow my laptop was. So brought it in. Was going to do diagnostics see what problem was. He told me it would be like a new computer. Advised me to use chrome. He saved my files and reloaded them so where I didn't lose anything. Also downloaded the free virus protection and malware. The laptop is brand new to me. It is fantastic!!!! So fast it has to wait on me. I would recommend anyone having computer problems to see Community Computer Services immediately. Very reasonable, courteous and explained things to me where I could understand. Excellent more
Sara housypart
Sara housypart
18:44 03 Apr 19
We took our mac into their store. It was running terrible. They were able to... make it run like it was new. I was surprised on how affordable it was. We will be going there from now on for all of our computer more
Steven Noble
Steven Noble
21:07 01 Apr 19
They did a great job fixing our laptops. We will be using them from now on.
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
23:45 31 Mar 19
We have used Community Computer Services for many years now. They do a great... job! The pricing is great as well. If you need a laptop or desktop repaired in Northern Kentucky, then these are your more
Piles Chevrolet
Piles Chevrolet
15:36 20 Feb 19
This is a great place to have your computer or laptop repaired. They are fast,... honest and stand behind their work. I wouldn't go any place else. I recommend everyone to use this company. They give you pricing right up front. D. Hensleyread more
Joe Geiman
Joe Geiman
03:30 25 Aug 18
Always had a great experience dealing with these guys. My computer is running... faster than it ever has after being repaired there. Would recommend them to more
Penelope Kolb
Penelope Kolb
15:03 22 Aug 18
Community Computer Services provides a great services at affordable prices.... Over the past 5 years I have had to replace lap top hardware and treat viruses. Every time the knowledgeable team at Community Computer Services has provided fast diagnostics with a menu of solutions for me to choose from. I highly recommend keeping your technology out of a landfill and going strong with the support of Community Computer more
B Bailey
B Bailey
01:20 22 Aug 18
I have received great service from these guys on more than one occasion. The... prices are excellent as well. They have taken very good care of me over the years. Thanks!read more
Daryl Mullins
Daryl Mullins
04:08 28 Jul 18
My computer quit working just as my wife was in the middle of using it for... Vacation Bible School last night. She was panicking. I began to look online and saw Community Computers near where I live. I checked the reviews and it had a great rating. I called this morning and explained my situation. I was told to bring my laptop in and he would see what he could do. When I took it in I also shared with him another issue I had been experiencing, my wireless connection was not working . He said he would really try to find out the issue so we would have it for Bible School. About 2 1/2 hours later he called to give the good news that the problem was just a bad cord. When picking it up he also told me he gave it a good checking over and tried to repair my non wireless connection for over an hour. He then told me instead of trying to go into the laptop to change a chip which could be costly, he sent me to Staples for a solution of a $30.00 wireless adapter. I was very impressed with my experience Community Computers. I would encourage anyone who has computer issues to check them out. You will not be disappointed. Also, the price I paid was very more
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