Toy clean up crew working on a piece of computer hardware

3 Basic PC Maintenance Tips

How to run a lean, clean, computing machine for years to come!

Computers are much like your car. Most of you wouldn’t go 10k miles without an oil change or 100k straight miles without a tire rotation… would you?  The same principles can be applied to your computer.  Here are some basic PC maintenance tips to help your computing beast run smooth as silk for years to come:

1) Clean out that junk in your trunk!

Issues: Computers can get bogged down with 100,000’s of  files, some of which we may not need or need to be properly archived:

SolutionCCleaner! This bad boy is an all-in-one free software tool used to clean out your computer. If you retain anything from this blog, let it be CCleaner. This is the equivalent of getting your tires rotated, oil changed, windows cleaned, and a full tank of gas all in one go.

Key Features:

  • Has the ability to clean out your internet files
  • Cleans out temporary files (freeing up disk space)
  • Can deactivate unnecessary start up programs
  • Easy to access your installed programs
  • Removes unused registry files
  • And much more!

Caution:  CCleaner has the ability to clean up registry files (which is good). Be sure to backup these files before doing the clean in case the program does delete something important (CCleaner gives you a backup option before it runs).

The picture below shows an example of CCleaner after I ran a clean on my temporary files and internet files. CCLeaner freed up about 1.3gb of information: That’s roughly 300+ songs worth of data.

ccleaner-example

2) Get an AntiVirus and… malware protection?

Issues: AntiVirus protection software such as Norton, McAfee, and Avast protect you from dangerous software that can take your system down and render it nearly useless. This is dandy (I myself use AVG AntiVirus) but there are smaller threats that creep up, install themselves on your computer without permission, and pull heavy computing resources, ultimately slowing your computer down. These little critters may not be stealing credit card information but they will suck up valuable computer space and even monitor your activity to ultimately sell to marketing companies. That’s a NO NO! source: LifeHacker.com
Solution: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This free malware destroyer will pick up what your anti-virus will miss. This software works much like your anti-virus. Update its database, run the scan, and remove any threats. It’s pretty straight forward.

Key Features:

  • Easy to use dashboard
  • Customize scan settings
  • History of past threats

I have been using Malwarebytes for years now and I am surprised every time it finds something. I always believe that nothing can get passed me, but Malwarebytes proves me wrong nearly every time.

Dashboard of Malwarebytes:

malwarebytes-example

3) Stop using Internet Explorer as your default web browser… please!

Issues: Internet explorer (at least any version below 10) is sluggish, outpaced by its competitors (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) and risky for your computer. If you are on Windows XP or Windows 7, you are limited to the older versions of Internet Explorer.  These old versions will no longer be supported by Microsoft and contain many security threats. Source: howtogeek.com

Solution:  Remove the Internet Explorer icon from your desktop, windows console, and toolbar. Then choose between Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari (for Mac users).

Key Features of the above 3 browsers:

  • You will notice a considerable decrease in page load time
  • Browser support from the respective manufacturers
  • Less security holes which means keeping you safe

Browser download links:

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Safari (will only run on Mac systems)

For those who just skipped through everything, here is what you need:

  1. Download and run CCleaner
  2. Download and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  3. Ditch Internet Explorer and choose between Google Google Chrome ,Mozilla Firefox or Safari (Mac only on the Safari option).

I hope this helps!