Issue No. 117May 2022
Tips to Keep Your PC Running Optimally
One of the questions IT professionals are asked most often is what your average user can do to make sure their PC is running optimally. In the article that follows, we’ll lay out some helpful tips and tricks that can keep your computer running smoothly for as long as possible.
The main source of poor performance on a computer is unnecessary software. Many times, a piece of software you’ve downloaded is what’s referred to as ‘freemium,’ and is supported by ads. Less than scrupulous software developers will go to greater lengths to serve up those ads, sometimes making changes to web-browsers or inserting ads directly into the operating system. The software will also set itself to start with Windows so that the ads start up immediately. All of this will contribute to the machine running slowly or becoming increasingly difficult to use. The best means of combating this is paying close attention to every option when installing a piece of software instead of just clicking next. Many times supplemental installs, like toolbars, can be deselected, and the option to have the software start with windows can be declined.
Another simple means of ensuring your computer runs at its best is exceedingly simple—frequently rebooting. Many cleanup tasks that the operating system performs can only be done during a restart or shutdown operation. Restarts also clear temporary files that can slow a machine down eventually, and allow updates to finish installation. While there is certainly no hard and fast rule about how frequently you should reboot your computer, monthly or weekly restarts will help keep the machine running well.
As a final tip, the biggest enemy to any electronic device is heat. Both desktops and laptops have eliminated many of their moving parts throughout the years, but cooling fans have and will remain. To prevent hardware damage, ensure that your desktop or laptop is properly ventilated. For a desktop, this just means that it should have good air flow around it, avoid putting it into small enclosed spaces. For a laptop, try to use the machine on a flat surface and prevent its vents from being blocked. Keeping any vents or fans clean is also very helpful but should be done carefully. Cans of compressed air can be used sparingly to make sure that vents are free of dust and allow as much airflow into the machine as possible.
Ensuring that your computer runs its best is deceptively simple. By following these best practices you can lengthen the lifetime of hardware and keep your computer running optimally for a good while.