Well, it’s the weekend…actually Super Bowl Weekend…and it is time to wrap up my comments about maintenance. So, with a little help from Ronald Pacchiano and Small Business Computing.Com… we conclude…
Again, you do not have to be an IT professional to adequately maintain your PC, laptop or mobile device. The key is to be consistent, diligent and observant.
keep Windows Updated: I strongly suggest that you make sure your computer is running Windows Update. Windows Update scans your computer for the latest security and services patches. You are doing yourself and your devices a big disservice by not using this tool.
Keep your Spyware and Antivirus Software Updated: I cannot emphasize this enough, your spyware and antivirus software is critical in the fight to keep your devices operating optimally. Let’s face it, the online community is global and not all people accessing the internet are doing so with the best of intentions. Personally, since Window 7, I have been using Windows Security Essential and/or Windows Defender to protect my devices. The reasons are simple, Microsoft updates these applications daily, the products work and they are free. Look, there are other spyware and antivirus products available that do an excellent job. This article is not meant to endorse any particular product; the goal is to get readers to use something!
Keep your Applications and Utilities Patched: again, this is one of those things that seems obvious; but is often overlooked. Also, when we say “applications” it also applies to “apps” (may be obvious, but you would be surprised how many people ask me what the two terms mean).
Most, if not all, of your applications and utilities are subject to virus attacks. This means you need to periodically update your applications. Most applications now have a built-in update feature. Easiest way to find the update feature is by accessing your “Help” tab/menu item and click on “update”. If there is no update feature, I suggest mousing over the “About” menu item (again in the drop down menu for Help). Usually this will lead you to the application developer website, where you can use their “search feature” to access/download the latest update. Do this for all applications you run; or at minimum for the applications you use frequently (i.e. web browser, Skype, Facebook, etc.).
Remove unused Applications and other Junk: this requires you periodically reviewing your installed programs. Again, I use the built-in features found in Windows to handle this issue. Starting with Windows 7, Microsoft made this a very simple process. Forget having to download registry cleaners, application scanning software, etc. Just simply type “Troubleshooting” in your search feature. Once in troubleshooting, just follow the suggested task that best applies to your particular situation. Nice and easy and did not cost you anything…
Pay Attention to the Software you Install: let’s face it, you are going to download applications. When downloading, take your time and read. When you rush through an install, oftentimes you are allowing the application to install unwanted features/malware.
Create a System Restore Point: when installing an application, take the time to create a System Restore Point. Beginning with Windows 7, Windows often creates the Restore Point automatically. But, it does not hurt to check. It is better to be safe than sorry.
To create a Restore Point, using your search feature, simply type Control Panel. Once in Control Panel, look for Recovery. Once in Recovery, follow the instruction on the page to Configure System Restore. Again, simple task that does not require you to spend money…
Defragment and Check your Hard Drive for Errors Regularly. Again, since Windows 98, Microsoft has been allowing users to maintain the integrity of their data and hard drive. Each month, I check my hard drive (Drive C on my computers). I run two tests, both made available in Windows. First, open Windows Explorer (that is the folder icon on your task bar) and right click on the drive you want to check. In the menu window that opens, right-click on Properties and go to Tools. In Tools you will find both the ability to defragment your drive and the ability to check for errors. I run both; defragging the drive and then checking for errors. Depending on the size of your hard drive this could take a couple of hours….but, it get’s the job done…
Enough said about maintenance, now we can get back to Windows 10. 🙂
Note: For more information on this particular subject, there is an excellent article prepared by Ronald Pacchiano for Small Business.Com. It is from this article that the tasks mentioned above originate. Here is the link: