A computer is a lot like a car, in that to get the best out of it you need to maintain it properly. You do not need to be a mechanic or expert to get the best life out your car. Similarly there are some simple checks and tweaks to get the best life out your computer.
Updates are essential to maintain your device and it’s software. These should be installed as soon as they are available or whitelisted for install. By leaving these languishing you increase your downtime when these pile up to be installed. Thus it’s better to schedule these in for times you don’t use the machine that let them pile up for when you really need it.
Driver updates are usually not required if your machine is fairly new. However, in older machines that are discontinued models it can be necessary to keep the machine working. Programs like Driver Booster can help automate the task of finding and updating drivers.
After windows updates software updates tend to be the biggest pain. Going through all your installed software to find updates can take a lot of time. But there are easier ways to do this. Programs like Ninite, Secunia PSI and App manager can scan your software and ensure you have the latest versions installed.
This is probably the least maintained task of all. However it’s essential if you don’t want to lose everything to a digital disaster. Windows 8 and above have a a feature called File History which like Apple Time Machine can automate this.
You can even backup online using OneDrive if you have a fast internet connection.
Mindful installing of software
I cannot count the number of times dodgy software downloads have caused a security or performance issue. While yes an AV is there to safeguard you against malicious threats, but it’s up to the user to be aware as well. Use reputable sites to download and scan attachments before downloading. Also, if installing software, read the windows carefully in case you’re installing bloatware with it.
Do not use default admin accounts
This can be a bad habit for some people. But unless you’re constantly doing admin work, you should setup your computer with a lower privilege account for everyday use. This will also prevent your whole system being compromised if the worse should happen.
Clear up clutter.
Internet Search history, caches, temp files… there is a whole plethora of files that are created by the system. Some need to be gutted out every so often to help speed up your system but also to save space. CCleaner is quick and efficient in this task and free as well. Clearing up all those shortcuts from your desktop too will speedup the computer. You may also find most of those programs can be uninstalled or moved to archive too.
Restart your machine more often.
You wouldn’t leave a car running all day even when you’re not using it. Similarly leaving a computer on standby does not do it many favours. You should turn off your machine when not in use or at least restart it once in a while.
What good habits do you like you like to give users on using their machines?