Every now and again, a computer device (such as a laptop, tablet, or phone) needs a good clean out to make them run nicely again; just the same way a car needs a service every so often to keep it in optimal condition.

This can be sometimes a very simple case of running some cleaning programmes, or it can be a more complex case, depending on how long it has been since its last good clean-out, at which point it would be a good idea to take it to a professional for advice.

Without further ado, here are some general tips to keep your computer in good health that you can do at home:

1) Restart Your Computer

It may seem silly, but a home computer can amass many small issues over time due to simply being either ‘on’ or in ‘standby’ mode. Restarting a computer can do a world of good. Simply head to Start – Power – Restart. Phones and Tablets can also be greatly aided by a restart.

2) Let it Breathe

Despite being an inanimate object, a computer still needs to breathe to keep cool. Blocking the vents up will cause the device to overheat. When that happens it will slow down dramatically, or just shut down unexpectedly. Examples of such issues are using a laptop on a pillow, or sticking a tower in a cramped desk.

3) Running a Suite of Cleaning Tools (or taking it to someone to do so)

There are many programmes out there on the internet that clean up your computer, making things faster and clearing out junk files. These programmes generally offer a free version with a very reasonably priced paid upgrade. Some antivirus companies have a cleaning system as part of their package, so it is worth opening your antivirus product and having a look. Always do your research on clean-up programmes and always get them from a reputable source as there are unfortunately many that actually make a computer slower in order to sell you a solution.

4) Remove Unwanted Programmes

You know that SatNav you got rid of in 2006? You don’t need the programme for it either then! Uninstalling an unneeded programme will free up hard drive space. If the programme turned on when you started the computer, it will be gone; therefore making the boot-up time faster. Don’t be tempted to download a ‘computer optimizer’ type programme unless it’s from a reputable source.  The same as the above point; many are simply not effective, or actively work against you.

5) Install Software Updates

It’s always important to install updates, both to Windows and other programmes you have installed. Updates are important for a bunch of reasons, but the main ones are that 9 times out of 10, a software update fixes problems such as security issues that can lead to viruses, or problems that make the programme slow or unstable. Many people don’t like having to do them because it ties the computer up whilst it is doing them, but it is worth it.

Bonus round!

6) Make a Backup of Your Data

Things go wrong, even if you do the above steps perfectly. Always have a backup, so even when faced with the worst case scenario, getting back up and running will be much simpler.

If there’s anything you’d like to see me mention in a Tech Guru article, feel free to drop us an email at info@thetechshop.es