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Housekeeping: Looking after your PC

As experts in computer software and hardware, we know how important it is to keep your PC clean and secure – and how frustrating it can be when something goes wrong! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to regular PC maintenance. Of course, we can do this all for you if you’re not comfortable with it, but it’s useful to know just how to clean your PC once in a while.

Updates

It’s easy to ignore those pop-ups reminding you to update your programs and security, but it’s far more effective – and much safer – to update as soon as possible. These updates are designed to optimise your PC so that it can keep up with changes to software – and viruses usually target vulnerabilities in older versions of common programs like Java or your anti-virus software. Update your programs and your drivers whenever prompted!

Security

Regular scanning of your computer is important even if you find there is no direct threat to your system – it’s a process that allows you to determine, by process of elimination, that there must be a hardware or software issue if a problem occurs. It’s very important to scan your PC regularly, to keep your files and your business safe.

 

Defragmenting AKA “defragging”

Defragmentation essentially rearranges the data on your harddrive so that it’s better organised. Much like rearranging your desk, this makes it easier for you (or rather, your PC) to find the right information, and it usually frees up some space, too.

Windows comes with a dedicated program for this; just run the “Defrag” program from your C:/ drive. Defragging can take a while to run, so it’s best to do this when you’re not going to need your PC for an hour or two.

Disk Clean

Disk cleaning searches through your hard drive for useless files – things like temporary internet files, cookies or items in your recycle bin – and deletes them all at once. This is a great way to clear out some space, but you should just have a quick look at the list before confirming, as you might accidentally delete files you want to keep.

Windows comes with a dedicated program for this called CleanDisk, but most PC owners opt to use the third-party software CCleaner, which is free and a little more intuitive.

Check Disk

Check Disk is a little more advanced, but very useful if you start to notice your PC “lagging” or slowing down occasionally. This checks your whole hard drive for bad or damaged files, or any errors that might have occurred during previous system failures.

Again, Check Disk takes a really long time – you might want to set it up to run overnight rather than during office hours.

If you don’t want to have to think about it, many of these tasks can also be automated. If you’d like us to talk you through automating your computer maintenance, simply contact us and have a chat with a member of our team.

 

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Communications Intelligence, IT Consultancy and Support, Brighton, Sussex