Seven Computer maintenance tasks you should be doing

1. Tidy up your hard drive by deleting old files

Whether you use your computer for work or just leisure, you probably have a number of files floating around that you are not using anymore.  This can be anything from old photos you have already uploaded to Facebook, music tracks you are no longer interested in, or leftover installer files left to rot in your downloads folder. Cleaning these files up will free up valuable space on your hard drive.  

2. Declutter your desktop with a little help from Windows or MacOS

A messy desktop is ugly. Nobody can argue with that. Getting your desktop nice looking, however, takes a little bit of know-how. Sure, you can simply click and drag the icons around until you have something resembling “order” but this can take time out of your day — and you probably have better things to do than fiddle around with a mouse for an hour.

3. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies

This is an essential part of keeping your computer (and web browser) speedy and safe. Even browsing the internet normally will result in a large number of cookies occupying your browser files, so taking the time to remove them can work wonders.

4. Clean your screen and keyboard (with the proper tools, of course!)

Now that you have tidied up on the digital side of your computer, it is time to have a look at the hardware itself. Neglecting to clean your computer on a regular basis can spell disaster to the longevity of your system. Just imagine, how many crumbs, skin cells, and pieces of dirt make their way into your keyboard.

5. Clean your ports so they last for years

Just like the keyboard, the ports of your computer are likely to get clogged with dust and debris after years of use.

As you may already know, there is a large variety of the types of ports that are found on most computers. Each of these has a slightly different shape, so getting inside and dislodging the dirt can present a challenge to the uninitiated.

6. Check your camera and microphone

Not every computer is equipped with these, but they are becoming increasingly common in modern computers. They are important ways to communicate with loved ones, and can even be moneymakers if you are a blogger or a YouTuber.

To keep these items clean and tidy, you can gently wipe the camera down with a lens cleaner, and clean the microphone with a soft, dry cloth. Do not use the compressed air to clean the microphone, as it can loosen or dislodge the components inside that allow it to pick up sound.

7. Update your software and firmware

This is one of the single most important things you can do for the longevity and security of your system. And rightfully so — you would not be able to get life out of your computer for years if it were totally bogged down by viruses, anyway.

Because of how tenacious hackers and cybercriminals can be, software and hardware developers are constantly releasing updates to keep the security of their systems as stable as possible. Besides operational updates, security patches are very important and should not be avoided.

Even older or outdated operating systems tend to get these kinds of security updates, so if you decide to skip on “feature releases,” still make time for your patches. It is critical.

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