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How to Take Care of your Computer: 9 Tips for Personal Computer Care

Research estimates that the average lifespan of a computer is about five years. However, to enjoy the full lifespan, you’ll have to take proper care of your machine.

Computers often crash due to malfunctions in the Operating System (OS), hardware components, or both. Nonetheless, a significant number of computer errors result from hardware wear and tear.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop that. But with good care and maintenance, you can maximize your computer’s lifespan.

Here’s how to take care of your computer:

1. Mind the Heat

One of the leading causes of poor computer performance is excessive heat. Too much heat causes your machine to slow down, lose data, or shut down unexpectedly.

As such, checking the ventilation should be a top priority on your personal computer care and maintenance checklist.

Dust particles, pet hair, and other daily grime are the most rampant causes of heat issues because they interfere with the fan’s functionality. If you’ve ever looked inside your computer, you probably haven’t forgotten that grungy sight and you know what your machine’s fans have to deal with.

To maximize ventilation, regularly check the vents, casing, and fans for any blockages. Ensure that they’re dust-free by cleaning them as needed. And if it’s extremely hot, direct a fan at your computer for a quick, temporary fix.

For computers whose heating issues keep resurfacing, having extra fans installed can be a long-term solution.

But before you invest in more fans, check the quality of the ones you already have. Quite often, pre-installed fans aren’t top-of-the-line. In such cases, it’s better to replace the fans instead of adding more.

2. Install Antivirus Software and Firewall

All Windows 10 computers come with a Windows Defender to safeguard against viruses in phishing websites and spammy downloads. Apple computers, on the other hand, come with a Unix-based operating system which offers built-in security features.

However, these security features may not be inadequate especially if you visit new websites often. For maximum protection, you’ll need paid options, which might cost about $50-$100. It may seem a little bit costly, but it’s cheaper than the sums you’ll pay to fix a virus-infected system.

In addition to antivirus software, you also need a Firewall feature to prevent programs and unauthorized people from downloading viruses and malicious code into your computer. Click here to see what we suggest for your anti virus. 

3. Keep the Keyboard Clean

Due to the need for multitasking, it’s common for many computer owners to eat or drink over the keyboard.

This leads to food crumbs and drink spills on the keyboard, where they cause all kinds of damage. And since the signs of liquid damage can be subtle, you may notice it too late when the damage has progressed to the internal components of your computer.

To avoid this, wipe your keyboard clean regularly. Don’t spray water or disinfectant on the keyboard as this can cause further damage. Additionally, avoid eating and drinking directly above your keyboard.

4. Sort Out Messy Cables

While tangled cables won’t directly affect computer parts and function, they can cause significant damage to ports and connections if you get tripped by them.

So, if you have lots of peripherals, start using a cable management solution. You can use twist ties or check your local office supply store for a full-out cable management solution.

Whatever solution you choose, it’ll neaten your work area and potentially save you several bucks in repairs.

5. Keep Magnets off Your Computer

You may not know this, but keeping magnets near your computer can damage your hard drive.

On some types of hard drives (especially older models), magnets can wipe your hard drive clean, resulting in total data loss.

On newer models, they can cause serious damage to the data stored. In this case, you may experience complications such as corrupted texts, disc errors, program crashes, and frequent error messages.

While it may take a powerful magnet to cause this kind of damage, it’s better to play it safe by keeping all magnets far from your computer.

6. Perform Software Clean Up

Every now and then, visit the “Add or Remove Programs” interface on your control panel and delete software you don’t need anymore.

This may include free games, browser toolbars, and any other unnecessary resource-eating fluff. Doing this will optimize your computer’s performance by freeing up space for more important programs.

7. Clean Up the OS

Operating Systems like Windows tend to save a large chunk of unnecessary data. These exist in the form of temporary files, recently searched items, and so on.

As such, you need to clean your OS using tools such as CCleaner and CleanMyMac X to free up space for important data and optimize your PC’s performance.

8. Defragment the Hard Drive

Mac users don’t need to do this because their computers defragment automatically. But if you use a Windows PC, you need to defragment your hard drive on a regular basis to improve performance.

Here’s how to access the Window Defragmenting tool: Start>Programs>Accessories>System tools>Disk Defragmenter.

9. Invest in a Surge Protector

A single power surge can fry your entire computer in a second. Even if your PC survives one, the surge may still damage your PC’s power supply, reduce the hard drive lifespan, and corrupt system files.

Thus, you should consider buying a surge protector and use it every time you plug in your PC. Better yet, get a multipurpose one that can serve all your electronics.

Don’t Know How to Take Care of Your Computer? Hire an Expert!

By knowing how to take care of your computer, you’ll be able to extend your computer’s lifespan significantly. If you have trouble doing some of the things outlined above, it’s better to seek expert help to avoid causing further damage to your computer.

For top-notch computer repair and maintenance, look no further than Community Computer. We’re a one-stop shop for all your computer needs with over 25 years of experience.

Contact us today for quick assistance.