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How to maintain your computer – beginner style

Updated on September 28, 2011

How to maintain your computer?

Computer running slow? Computer giving you problems? Would you like some beginner computer maintenance tips?

Okay let's face it, most of us are not equipped with the skill or knowledge when it comes to maintaining our computers. Until a few months back, the computer to me was only Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. It was not until I quit my real world job to become a full time freelance writer that I learnt how annoying it is to maintain the computer. No longer can I depend on the IT support desk that I had the privilege of harassing every time my computer threw tantrums in my old job. I am now equipped with some bare minimum basic knowledge that you should learn too!

Here are some easy beginner friendly tips on how to maintain your computer. Keep your computer running smooth and fast with these tricks.

For starters, get yourself a good quality computer table or a workstation and find a great spot in your home to keep it away from heat and dust
For starters, get yourself a good quality computer table or a workstation and find a great spot in your home to keep it away from heat and dust

How to maintain your computer: Remember the label - Store in a cool, dry place?

Whether it is your TV, radio, ipod or music system, all have one thing in common. Have you already guessed it? Yes, they are all meant to be kept away from direct sunlight, away from very high temperatures and away from water. Well ladies and gentlemen, your computer is no different. So if I were you, this would be step 1 of my journey towards effective computer maintenance – store in a cool and dry place.

How to maintain your computer: Keep your computer clutter free

Don't we like it when our lives are organized and free of unwanted clutter? Well your computer deserves the same! Okay I don't expect you to dig deep into the IT web of your computer system and its softwares, but the least you can do is clear up your desktop of unwanted icons and shortcuts. Go through your start menu and click on Programs. That is a list of all the programs you've installed. I'd suggest that you go through this list and remove all the softwares that are not required. The less clutter you have on your computer, the lesser the processing it needs to do.

How to maintain your computer: Protect you PC from dirt

Moving on, as important it is to keep your computer away from heat and moisture, it is vital to protect your computer from dirt. All machines have moving parts, and your computer is no different. I never thought of this until my friend who is a tech geek came over and ripped my CPU box apart. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the amount of dirt in there! How did it get in? Where did it come from? I couldn't find answers to those questions but I surely found out that I needed to keep my computer away from dirt and dust.

Use a trusted and branded anti virus software
Use a trusted and branded anti virus software

How to maintain your computer: Always use a good anti-virus software

Are you thinking that you don't need this because you don't let others use your computer? Or because you don't use any other external storage of media devices on your computer? Or maybe even because you don't surf porn and other dodgy websites? Say what you want, do what you want, the truth is that you'd need a good anti-virus software regardless of the above. As technology is growing, so are the ways and means to disrupt it. Malicious emails, cyber attacks in form of content downloaded from websites, virus attacks from pen drives, and the list goes on and on. I'd recommend buying a good branded anti-virus software like Norton, AVG, Avira or some of the other well known anti-virus software available in the market.

How to maintain your computer: Disk Defragmenter

Here's going into complicated waters. All the data on your computer is saved on your hard disk at random points which makes it harder for your computer to easily grab what you ask for. When you run the Disk Defragmenter on your computer, the program will automatically group all the data together which will make you computer much, much faster. Click on the start menu. Then click on All Programs.

Then find your way through to Accessories, then to System Tools and then finally to Disk Defragmenter.

Select the local hard disk and click on Defragment Disk and let the program run by itself. Let me warn you, this process may take anywhere between 5 minutes to a few hours, depending on how often this has been done on your computer before.

Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter

How to maintain your computer: Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is the mother of all tools when it comes to giving your computer a basic cleanup of clearing all the unwanted data that has been saved over time. Did you know, that the computer saves a lot of data, even without you having to ask it to do so? Think of all the websites you surf, all the data you enter and many other little tit-bits – all of that is saved in the memory of your computer. Disk Cleanup will clear the usual places of storage of such data.

Just like Disk Defragmenter, you can access Disk Cleanup by going to Start Menu.

Then clickon All Programs, then to Accessories, System Tools, and then finally to Disk Cleanup. Follow the prompts and click on OK to proceed with the cleanup.

How to maintain your computer: Don't use unlicensed software

This one is a no-brainer. You'd be crazy to use unlicensed software. Apart from the penalty you may attract for using an illegal copy of the software, the cracked versions often damage your computers. So stay away!

So you see, basic maintenance of your computer is not that difficult. Follow these tips and don't let your computer crash on you!

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    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi myi

      Although opening the box is a little too complicated for me, I'll keep the blower tip in mind. If I ever learn and do end up opening the box, I will write a hub on it. Thanks again!


    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      P, if you look inside the computer, there are small connector called jumpers. If you use a vacuum cleaner, there is a chance that you might suck them in. Using a blower is safer and I suppose cleaner than using a vacuum. However, if you are going to use a blower, chances are that you need a bigger space. Otherwise, the area that you are working on will have dusts scattered around.

      However, computer hardware nowadays utilises switches rather than jumpers for easy configuration and they look neater. But as I said, I do believe that blower would clean the PC much thoroughly compared to vacuum cleaner.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Thanks Kristy! Keeping it easy and simple was the whole idea. I'm glad you liked the Hub.


    • kristymckeown profile image

      kristymckeown 6 years ago from Havelock, Ontario

      Great work! Easy to follow. This would be helpful for anyone.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Thanks myi!

      I try to keep away from opening the cover, afraid that I might wreck something. If I'm lucky I try and get somebody to do it for me. Out of curiosity, why would you use a blower and not a vacuum?


    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      These are some really useful tips! Nice hub!

      Yeah, the computer box can get real dusty if the ventilation is not good or if you pc lives in a small space. I would normally open the cover and suck all the dusts using a vacuum cleaner. I know, I should use a blower but I guess I don't really care.