Basic Computer Maintenance for Spring Cleaning!

 It’s spring time once again.  The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the cobwebs need sweeping.  As you do your annual spring cleaning in your shop or home, I ask that you take the time this year to do the same to your computer.  Maintaining a PC is very easy and regular maintenance will keep it in shape for years to come. Let’s take a look at a few things we can do to accomplish this: 


Remove Old and Unused Programs
Removing old and unused programs from your computer is similar to clearing out old inventory or donating old items from your home to charity (out with the old and in with the new, as they say!).  It frees up hard drive space, computer resources, and reduces clutter.  If you haven’t used a program in over a year, it’s probably safe to remove it from your system.  Once you have removed everything you are comfortable with, it comes time to defragment your hard drive.


Defragmenting Your Disk Drives
Adding and removing programs, among many other things, will cause your hard drive to become fragmented over time. What this means is bits and pieces of your data will be scattered all over the disk and takes your hard drive a longer time to get to the information.  Defragmentation tries to put all of this data at the front of the disk, which makes it easier to access.  Most operating systems have built-in defragmentation programs, but a favorite of mine is the free edition of Auslogic’s Disk Defrag.


Update Your Operating System and Applications
It’s always a good idea to keep your programs and especially your operating system up to date.  Patches for security holes and other vulnerabilities as well as program updates and features are released all the time for modern software.  If you find that you don’t regularly update your software, at least take the time to do it once a year!  Also, if you find that you do not make regular backups of your data…as you should be doing…now is a good time to do that too! 


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