Clean your Computer: Software and Hardware

Why clean your Computer?

Hardware

Cleaning your computer’s hardware makes the entire system run more smoothly and keep it running longer. Regular cleaning protects not only your investment, but the important data stored on it as well.  Even simple tasks will reduce the risk of the hardware breaking and overall help the computer work better.

Software

Cleaning your computer’s software helps protect the data stored on it. Using antivirus software can ensure that hackers stay out of your system, but that software needs to be regularly updated.

Step 1 - Hardware

Dust your computer

About once a month, more if you live a dusty climate, you need to dust your the exterior of your computer. This is an easy chore and one you shouldn’t neglect. Keeping dust away from the outside of your computer will prevent it from getting inside your computer and damaging the hardware.

For a desktop, power the computer down. Use short bursts of canned air to remove dust from the inside of your case, keyboard and mouse. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your monitor, screen and the rest of your case

For a laptop, turn it off and unplug it. If you are able to, remove the battery. Use canned air or a computer cleaning putty to pull dust out from around the keys and in the ports. You need to be careful to not blow dust INSIDE the computer. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the case and the screen.

If your best employee moves to another company or retires, their professional experience will be lost, leaving a gaping hole in your workflow. Because of this, it’s important for companies to document the experience and technical expertise of senior employees so that the company’s knowledge isn’t lost when the employee leaves.

Keep Food and Drink Away

Food is full of crumbs and grease — both things you do not want on your computer. Drinks are well, liquid, which can be fatal to your computer if it spills. Since you spend a lot of time at the computer we understand how hard it is to keep food and drink away, but it’s important to keeping your computer healthy and kicking for as long as possible. One slip and your computer is toast. If you do need to eat or drink near your computer, keep it off to side where a stray hand is unlikely to cause a spill and use a lot of napkins. If you do find yourself in the midst of a liquid emergency, here are a few tips to keep the damage to a minimum.

Run check disk tool

To help detect hard drive issues before they lead to other problems, Microsoft Windows provides a Check Disk tool. The tool will scan for and repair issues such as file system errors or bad sectors. If you haven’t done this scan before, run a full scan, which enables automatic repairs. The process may take a few hours.

Check surge protector

Power surges can put harmful stress on your computer, and in some cases damage the power supply and other components. Did you know surge protectors can lose their protection after undergoing just one power surge? Even if they still appear “on,” they may not be providing the protection you need. So it’s a good idea to check them from time to time, especially after a notable power surge.

Keep PC well ventilated

Maintaining proper air flow inside and outside of your PC is important. Make sure you have at least three inches of space on either side of your PC that’s free of obstructions such as other computers, papers, or walls. Also make sure your room is large enough or well-ventilated enough to facilitate good air flow.

Another thing to watch is your CPU fan and fan blades. If your processor keeps overheating and forcing your PC to shut down, you may need to upgrade your CPU fan.

Step 2 - Software

Back up your hard drives

Backing up your data — especially important data — is a must. A laptop or tablet can be replaced, but the information inside it may be irreplaceable.

In general, there are two options for backing up data: You can make a copy in a physical location, such as on an external hard drive or thumb drive, or you can make a copy that is stored on the “cloud,” or online, in a secure location.

Whichever you choose, commit to backing up your computer at least once a week or more often if you’re working on a project or want to preserve recently stored images.

Uninstall unneeded software

It’s easy to forget about apps you no longer use. Clean up your computer and get rid of unnecessary apps in the Windows Control Panel. Click Programs, then click Programs and Features. Go through the list and uninstall anything you don’t need.

Update your software and programs

Make sure to update your software, especially high-use programs. Outdated software can be vulnerable to malware, because most updates are created to keep software safe from threats. Downloading and installing the latest versions of your programs might not only protect your PC, but can keep it working quickly.

Clear your browser cookies and cache

Your browser stores a bunch of small files that can quickly add up when you’ve got a lot of them. These include:

  • Cookies: Cookies are small files that share information about you with the websites you visit. Some cookies help websites remember your user preferences, but others track you around the internet.
  • Cache: Your browser stores elements of the websites you visit in its cache. This helps your browser load websites faster on subsequent visits.

 

Periodically delete your browser cookies and purge your cache to both clear space and protect your privacy. Clearing cookies improves your browser speed and performance, and it prevents people from collecting data from the digital trail you leave behind.

Meanwhile, emptying your cache forces your browser to load fresh versions of the websites you visit. This ensures that you’re seeing only the most current content while you browse.

While you’re at it, consider deleting your browsing history as well. This won’t speed up your computer, but it will help protect your privacy. Finally, use one of the best secure and private browsers to make sure all your personal info stays protected.

Make sure your computer is clean fast!

XEOX’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) database, which enables you to store all your information about hardware, software and user assets in one central location. Advanced search features allow you to use various filters to locate specific assets in the database.

  • Improve overview of IT resources
  • Minimize operating costs
  • Support IT management
 
XEOX let’s you know about most of the software problems you have to look out for to keep your computer clean.

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