You depend on your personal computer (PC) right? You rely on your PC to work when you need it and to help you successfully complete your tasks efficiently. But did you know that your PC also depends on you? That’s right. If you take care of your PC, it will in turn take care of you. Here are some best practices for PC management to follow, to optimize your computer usage.
10 Step Checklist: Best Practices for PC Management
If you manage your data correctly it will optimize available disk space on your hard drive and your PC will run more efficiently. Follow this checklist on a regular basis.
1. Remove Temporary Files
Start by removing temporary files from your computer that are taking up valuable space on your hard drive. There are programs on your computer that can help. If you are using Windows 10, you can use the “Storage Sense” feature. Start -> Settings -> Systems -> Storage -> Free Up Space Now. In older versions this feature is called “Windows Disk Cleanup”. Start -> Computer -> Properties -> General Tab -> Disk Clean Up.
2. Keep Your Data Safe
Use external storage to keep your data safe create a backup of your important files and store files that you do not need to access regularly. There are two options for storing your data externally from your personal computer: physical storage and cloud storage. Both as effective. Do your research to find out which option would best accommodate the amount of storage you require.
3. Uninstall Programs
Programs can consume a great amount of space on your PC. Even if you are not using a program, it is still on your PC until you “Uninstall” that program. Follow this path, Start -> Control Panel -> Uninstall to successfully uninstall a program. You can see which programs take up the most space on your computer by sorting the list of programs by file size by clicking the ‘Size header’.
4. Clear Your Browser Data
No matter what internet browser you use, there could be several gigabytes worth of cookies, internet history and caches stored on your computer. It is a digital record of what websites you’ve visited. The only way to remove these files it to clear your browser history. If you do not know how to clear your history, do a quick web search. The process is different for each browser.
5. Empty the Trash
Be sure to empty the trash on your desktop regularly. It’s a necessary part of PC management. When you put a file in the Recycle Bin, they remain stored there. That’s great if you mistakenly delete a file, because it gives you the option to recover it. But that also means that the files are still taking up space on your computer. To remove the files in your Recycle Bin, select files and right-click to delete them, or simply click ‘Empty the Recycle Bin’ to permanently delete all of the files.
6. Run Antivirus Software
Sometimes a virus or other malware can consume significant hard-drive space by corrupting your system files. If you suspect your PC is infected with malware, use an antivirus program like Windows Defender to run a virus scan and cleanup. If this doesn’t fix the problem, we suggest connecting with a IT support specialist.
7. Defragment your Hard Drive
Defragment your hard drive. When adding a new file to your computer, a portion of your hard drive is assigned to store the file. However, after repetitively saving and deleting files, a disk will become ‘fragmented’ affecting your computer’s ability to store your data in order, thus slowing down it’s speed. This can be solved by using the Windows ‘Disk Defragmentation’ tool. To find it, click Start -> search for Defragment -> click Disk Defragmenter. Follow these steps to defrag your Windows 10 PC. Note: Defragging a hard drive works for spinning disks. If you run a solid-state drive, you should not defrag it. SSD’s have a maximum number of read/write times.
8. Check your RAM
Checking that you have adequate RAM (Random Access Memory) can improve the general speed of your computer. RAM stores data which you use frequently, if you don’t have enough RAM, your computer will start to store information in your hard drive instead. This will slow down your PC. Find out how much RAM you currently have on your computer by going to Computer -> Properties.
9. Run Upgrades
There are many reasons why you should always run any upgrades on your computer and upgrade to the latest software. Upgrades are an important part of PC Management. Upgrading helps deter cybercrime and keeps your personal data safe, upgrades have new and improved features, and upgrades support the latest software and ensure that it runs properly.
10. Ask Bennett Office Technologies for a Free Assessment!
Have questions about data management? If you need help freeing up space on your hard drive and getting your personal computer or office computer running more efficiently, contact Bennett Office Technologies. We treat our clients as partners and treat your data security and privacy needs as if it were ours. For assistance planning your IT needs complete our Technology Assessment form and we’ll contact you to do a free assessment.