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Tidy Up Your Computer

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

More than ever, we depend so much on our computers to work correctly and efficiently. And yet, it is an easy thing to forget that computers need to be regularly maintained to perform in peak condition. Some maintenance should be done by an IT professional, and your organization may require this, but not everyone has an IT department. Here are some simple ways that you can keep your computer in good order, both inside and out.

Tips for maintaining your computer’s hardware:

  • Keep the outside of your computer clean.

  • Dust your keyboard and mouse, using a damp cloth if necessary.

  • Dust your monitor with a dry cloth. For tougher stains you may need to use a special cleaner, depending on the type of screen.

  • For hard to reach places, such as computer ports, you can use a can of compressed air to blow dust out.

  • Organize your computer cords. Tangled cords are difficult to clean and troubleshoot, and if too many of your cords are plugged in to the same outlet, this can even be a fire hazard.

  • Keep your computer vents clear. Blocked vents can cause your computer to overheat.

  • Don’t eat or drink near your computer. We’ve all done this, but all it takes is one spill.

Tips for maintaining your computer’s software:

  • Install software updates. You can set up your computer to download and install updates automatically, but you should also check this on a regular basis.

  • Run regular virus scans on your computer. You can set this up to run automatically, but you should run these manually on a regular basis as well.

  • Empty your Recycle Bin and Downloads folder regularly. The files in these folders take up usable space on your computer. Your computer will slow down as the amount of usable space decreases.

  • Make regular backups of your computer. You can also move unused files (such as pictures) that you want to keep onto an external hard drive.

  • Shut down or restart your computer regularly – at least once a week, ideally every day. This allows your computer to update and helps increase its lifespan.

  • Uninstall programs that you do not need.

  • Clear your browser cache. Your browser cache stores data for websites, to load those websites faster, but this needs to be cleaned out often to remove unimportant data.

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