Computer maintenance

10 Essential Computer Maintenance Tips

Basic computer maintenance can extend a PC’s lifespan by 5-8 years. That’s why cleaning a computer’s hardware, and software is vital – and smart!

Regular cleaning keeps your school’s and personal PCs running smoothly and helps prevent costly assistance. So why wait?

Author and digital marketer Robert Stark has shared with Acer 10 Essential Computer Maintenance Tips for PCs. Let’s take a look.

1 - Clean your keyboard regularly

How to clean your dirty and dusty keyboard? Did you know that a PC keys can be 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat? The best way to clean a keyboard is using a damp, lint-free cloth. A quick weekly wipe is enough to restore cleanliness and peace of mind!

Hard to press or sticky keys are likely clogged with dust, dirt or debris. In this case, compressed air is the solution. How to proceed?

  1. Turn your laptop off and unplug USB and power plugs.
  2. Turn the laptop upside down and gently tap its underside to dislodge any debris.
  3. Return the laptop to its original position and spray compressed air between keys from a distance of about 1-inch.
  4. Spray in short bursts moving from one side of the keyboard to the other and back again, if necessary.

2 - Keep cables organised

Ever noticed how cables seem to have a talent for tangling and mixing up? We’ve all been there. Thankfully, there are various solutions.

Organize cords by type, grouping them with zip ties. If they are particularly numerous, try labelling cords so you know what each is for at a glance. You might even decide that a PC cable management system, such as a cable box, is suitable for you!

3 - Wipe down your computer monitor

How many times do you and your students point at your laptop screen during class? You’re probably asking yourself how to wipe a computer monitor to remove fingertips. The answer is a lint-free microfiber cloth slightly dampened with distilled water.

Never use bleach or hash chemicals of any kind. Avoid using a circular motion when you clean. Long, gentle side-to-side or top-to-bottom strokes are best. And to avoid screen damage, never apply pressure!

4 - Tips to maximise computer battery life

Looking to optimize your battery’s lifespan? Avoid the common mistake of keeping it constantly under charge! Lithium-ion batteries last longer operating at a charge of 20-80% – so always unplug the charger when you reach 100%.

Also note that when a device is in storage, the battery drains… and can be damaged if it sits unused for long periods. So if you don’t plan to use your device for over a month, it’s best to unplug it – even though the best practice would be to charge the battery from time to time during lengthy storage periods.

Finally, be sure to remove the battery if the laptop is constantly plugged in.

Note: New laptops should be charged for over 24 hours before the first use!

5 - Run antivirus and malware scans regularly

Malware, viruses, and cyber threats can seriously damage your devices – particularly in schools. Running regular scans with good antivirus products will save you from ransomware, data loss, performance issues and headaches!

Read more: Cyber Security at school: best practices in the digital era

We recommend well-reviewed antivirus software such as the Norton Security Ultra or Microsoft Defender Antivirus – a valuable built-in option for Windows OS.

6 - Purge your system of junk files & programs

Finding your PC unusually sluggish? Then it’s time to get rid of junk files and unused programs to free up hard drive space and improve performance!

The first step would be manually uninstalling unused programs from your Control Panel then emptying the recycle bin. Secondly, remove browser cookies and empty your cache. Thirdly, you can run disk cleanup software such as CCLeaner and delete temporary files with Windows Disk Cleanup.

7 - Defragment the computer hard drive

Disk cleanup isn’t always enough. Next on your computer maintenance checklist is defragmentation to restore speed.

Adding and removing files can cause your hard drive to become fragmented, thereby spreading out files. In this event, the hard drive must work harder to access the files, resulting in a computer slowdown. The advantages of disk defragmentation are speeding up access again by rearranging and compacting files.

SSD drives don’t require defragmenting so much as older hard disks. However, the Windows Defrag Tool has you covered with both drive types!

Follow these simple steps to defragment your hard disk:

  1. Type “defrag” into the Windows taskbar search and choose Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  2. Select the drive to defragment and click Optimize.
  3. Set a regular defrag schedule – daily, weekly, or monthly – via Select Change settings.

We recommend defragging your hard drive at least once a month.

8 - Keep your computer cool

When a PC’s heat-dissipating cooling system malfunctions, the device can overheat, leading to crashes, slowdowns and other problems. The first defence against PC overheating is the fan. Make sure it’s working correctly, and remove dust using compressed air. These devices require adequate ventilation. The objective is to keep your CPU cool. Heavy programs such as games can use much CPU power, often overheating.

Pay attention to where you use your laptop! The portability of our devices means they can follow us onto the sofa or even into bed, but such surfaces can block vents. Keep in mind that flat, hard surfaces are your best bet. Try to keep at least two inches of free space on both sides of your device, avoid direct sunlight and always store in a cool, dry place.

9 - Update Windows OS and programs

The benefits of updating your PC software include improved security and performance.

The safest way to get driver updates in Windows OS is through the handy Windows Update. We also suggest installing the latest Acer driver software and firmware.

10 - Backup your data

Here’s the final step of your computer cleaning routine. One of the most common best practices for files such as assignments, student information, databases and legal papers is backing up data.

Cloud services such as Google Drive or OneDrive keep data safely stored off your computer. Those who prefer hardware can opt for a USB drive or external hard disk.

We hope you use this helpful information to improve the lifespan of your devices – a laptop or a desktop – and we encourage you to share these tips and best practices with your colleagues and students!

Source: 10 Essential Computer Maintenance Tips for Your PC (2022) | Acer Corner

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