7 Easy Computer (PC) Maintenance Tips

One of the top reasons for PC users to replace their old system is poor and sluggish performance. Irrespective of your system’s configuration, you have to know that your PC will tend to slow down if it is not maintained well, over years of use.

You can try these easy PC maintenance tips if you feel your system has slowed down of late.

1. Uninstall Unwanted Programs

It is quite possible that you have accumulated a lot of applications on your PC that you just don’t use any more.  These applications will occupy memory on your disk. When your system runs out of RAM, the lack of memory on your hard disk can cause your system to slow down. So, if you have not used a program for more than six months, we recommend you to uninstall the program.

Another peeve with programs that you rarely use is that they might inconspicuously run in the background, hogging RAM and CPU resource at all times, even though you never really actively use the program in real time use.

You can uninstall programs from the Control Panel. Select “Programs and Features” from the Control Panel and click on “Install/Uninstall Programs”. Browse the list of applications listed and select the program you wish to uninstall.  Right click on the program and click “Uninstall”.

If you haven’t carried out the above mentioned process in a long time, you will actually be shocked to see many junk programs that you didn’t even know existed on your hard drive!

2. Update Your Software to Latest Version

Outdated software can cause your PC to perform slowly. It is important to check for software updates regularly and keep your system current. It is also important to update your operating system. Microsoft releases updates for Windows regularly.

The Windows update scans the system for latest service packs and security patches.  These updates ensure that your system is well-maintained. You can also schedule these Windows updates to run automatically.

3. Delete Temporary Files

It is a good habit to delete your temporary files regularly. When you browse online, there are a lot of temporary files that get downloaded to your system. These files help your web pages to load faster the next time you go online. The flip side of having so many temporary files is that your system tends to act sluggish.

Once in a while, clearing the caches will help you reclaim your disk memory. You can use “Disk Cleanup” option on your Windows PC to clear unnecessary files on your system. Click on ‘Properties’ and select Disk Cleanup and select those files you want to clear.

4. Scan for Viruses, Spyware and Malware

Unlike Macs, the PC is more prone to spyware, malware and virus attacks, especially if your computer always has access to the internet.

It is extremely important to invest in good security software for your PC. Keep your security software up to date so that it can detect the latest threats. Viruses, Spywares and Malwares not only compromise on your security but also slow down your system performance. Sometimes, the slowdown can be so severe that your computer does nothing but freeze!

Run your security software frequently to check your system periodically. Like other programs on your system, your security software must also be up to date always. This will keep your PC in good health and protect it from any potential threat.

Here are some great free downloads that will ensure that your computer wards off virus and malware threats.

Malware Bytes

AVG Antivirus

5. Defragment Your Disk

Defragmenting your disk will help you reclaim empty blocks of disk space that are scattered throughout the surface of your hard disk. It is easier and quicker to retrieve files that are stored in adjacent blocks. Over time, your disk becomes full and creates small pockets of empty blocks.

Take a back up of all your files and defragment your disk to improve system performance. Select Tools on your Properties Window and click on “Defragment Now” option. Please note that this process can take an hour or two, depending on the size of your hard disk.

6. Do Not Download Unknown Software From Internet

Even though you have security software installed, never install software from unknown sources on the internet.  Some of the software will infest malware to your system and also alter the registry key on your PC.

Tampered registry in Windows can cause a lot of errors. This could cause other programs to malfunction. Hence, always exercise caution while you download programs from the internet. It is better to install programs from trusted sources on the web.

Typically, programs like web tool bars, search tool bars and other gimmicky looking free downloads are just programs that are advertised cheaply, so they can be downloaded to quickly turn into malware or a virus that will pose a security risk.

7. Delete All System Restore Points, Except The Most Recent One

Create a System Restore point before you install any software. It will help you restore your PC’s file system to an earlier point in time when it was all working fine.

Windows also creates System Restore points periodically.  In case of any failure, you can safely roll back to a previous point. While it is important to create System Restore points, it is unnecessary to have many System Restore points. This will take up a significant amount of disk space.  Retain the most recent System Restore point and delete the old ones.

It is good to carry out these simple steps regularly. These simple PC maintenance tips will help you prevent your Windows PC from becoming slow. If your system has already slowed down, carrying out some or all of the above tips will help you improve system performance quite remarkably.


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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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