4 ways to keep your computer running at its best

July 27, 2015

Computers vary in operating systems, memory capacity and software, but all share similar types of hardware and accessories. Here's how to keep them clean and in working order.

4 ways to keep your computer running at its best

1. Keep the cables organized

  • When something goes wrong with any part of your system, the first thing to check is the connections.
  • Mark the cable ends with pieces of tape that say "modem," "keyboard," "printer" and so on.
  • If you need more power plugs, but a power strip that has five or more receptacles in it with surge protection.
  • Your manuals will show you where each cable goes, but make note of where each cable goes in, and in what order, when you first set it up.

2. Maintaining a hard drive

  • "Cleaning" a computer's hard drive involves running an operation on the computer to reorganize the data stored on the drive.
  • Run programs that check the files and folders on the hard drive for data errors.
  • Over time, files break into fragments that are stored in different parts of the hard drive. Computers take longer to read fragmented files. Try defragmenting the drive to optimize performance.
  • Run a program every two months or so, or whenever your computer is getting sluggish, to check the hard drive for errors.
  • For Windows or Mac, follow directions in the Help index after running the appropriate program.

3. Keep the monitor clean

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth and glass cleaner to clean the monitor screen.
  • Spray a small amount of cleaner on the cloth, then wipe the screen. Do not spray cleaner directly onto the screen.
  • Vacuum the ventilation slots on the monitor housing periodically.

4. Moving a computer

  • Your computer's hard drive is most vulnerable to damage when it's on. Dropping or jarring the system can damage the hard drive at any time, but especially if the drive is reading or writing when the sudden movement occurs.
  • Always turn the computer off before moving it — even if you're just sliding it from one side of the desk to the other.
  • When moving a computer to a more distant location, pack it in its original packing materials.
  • If you no longer have the original packaging, don't risk damage by attempting to pack it yourself. Contact the dealer or manufacturer to see if you can get replacement packing materials.

Computers are an essential part of modern life, so it's important to keep them well-maintained. With some regular checks and cleanings, your computer can run faster, and even last longer.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu