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11 Tips On How To Maintain A Healthy Computer

If you subscribe to the idea that time is money, then you believe and understand that a slow computer wastes both. The reality is that a well maintained computer will always perform as designed. Below are 11 tips on how to maintain a healthy computer.

  1.      Antivirus:

A Virus is the number one source for computer problems and a good antivirus

program is vital. Check that all the features and updates are current. Run a virus scan once a week.

 2.      Windows Update:

Microsoft releases their security patches the second Tuesday of every month and the release about 100 of them a year. It is important that that these are installed. In Control Panel set the updates to automatic, but also check that the box that says Notify Me But Don’t Automatically Download or Install Them. The reason for this is that Microsoft includes a lot of their other programs in the down load. Programs that you do not need and will slow down your computer. The point is to review the download choices and select what you need.

  3.      Firewall:

Security setting are very important to protecting your computer and your data. Identity theft is a big issue these days. Inside of Control Panel under Windows Firewall check that it is turned on. If you are looking for further protection go into Exceptions and Advanced. I would recommend that you have an expert work with you on these items.

  4.      Check Your Startup Menu for Unnecessary Programs:

You would be amazed at how many programs load up when you start your computer and the more programs you have running in the back ground the slower your computer will be. From Start go to Run and type in msconfig. Inside of msconfig is a tab called Start Up. When you look in there you will see what programs load up when your computer starts. You want to uncheck the ones that you do not need. The best example of what I am talking about is a program like Adobe that has will have an updater installed at start up. What it does is run in the background and check for updates through the internet and when an update is available you get a notice. You need to be careful here and not uncheck a vital program. You may want to have an expert do this for you.

  5.      Review Installed Programs And Delete Unnecessary One’s:

The reason computers are so cheap is that software manufacturers pay to have their programs install on new computers. Go into Control Panel and start AddRemove Programs. Review the list of programs installed and remove the one’s that you do not need.

 6.      Tune Up Your Internet Browser:

All internet browsers have similar features. Make sure you have popup blockers turned on. Under security the default setting are usually fine. I would clear temporary internet files, cookies and browsing history once a week. The more items your browser has to consider the slower it will perform. The same goes for toolbars and Add-ons. You only want installed and running what you need.

 7.      E-mail :

The web based e-mail programs like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail are managed by the companies providing them and your concerns about viruses and spam are usually covered by them. If you’re using an e-mail program like Outlook their are settings that help you control Security and Junk Mail. I would leave the Security settings under Tools / Options / Security at their default. When it comes to junk mail go into Actions / Junk E-mail / Junk E-mail Options and experiment with the changes till you find the settings that work best for you.

8.      Disk Cleanup:

Removing all the unnecessary files on your computer is important to performance. Go into Start / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Cleanup. Inside of Disk cleanup you want to check off Temporary Internet Files, Empty Recycle Bin and Temporary files. I would do this once a month.  

 9.      Defragment Your Hard Drive:

The hard drive is the storage system for your computer. A well organized file structure for a computer is like a well organized filing system in an office. It makes it easier to find things. By defragmenting your hard drive you make it easier for the computer to find what it wants. To do this go into Start / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Defragmenter and run it once a month.


10.  System Registry:

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. As you use your computer it collects information and stores it. By cleaning up your System Registry you are removing unnecessary entries and removing conflicts. There are tools you can buy to do this but the best approach is to have an expert do it.


11.  Review and Resolve Application, System, Security Log Errors

Your computer keeps a log of every time you perform a function whether it be logging into your computer, opening an application, printing a document or doing a backup. You can access these logs by going into Control Panel / Administrative Tools and opening up Event Viewer. When inside of Event Viewer you want to open up the System, Application  and Security Log one at a time and review the messages. The messages will be of three types Informational, Warning or Error. The ones with the Red X which are Errors are the ones that tell you about what problems you’re having. If left along and not resolved the errors will lead to a system crash. At any time you want to find out why something is not working on your computer go into the logs and you will find out. The logs eliminate the figuring it out on why something is not working.

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