Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Simple Computer Maintenence You Ought to be Doing

I'm not an IT person, but I'm often asked computer questions. (Behind every good amateur computer tech is :) Often the problem is relayed to me like this: "My computer is doing something funky."

Here are some things you ought to be doing to keep your computer from bogging down and doing something funky. (This is mainly for for Windows PC users). If doing these things doesn't fix it, you can google your specific problem and read computer discussion boards if you want to figure it out yourself, or then call the IT guy, but don't pay him to do these things that you can do yourself!

Computer Maintenance

  • Turn off your computer-A tech guy told me that a lot of times he makes a house call to fix a computer and basically gets paid to restart the computer.When your computer reboots, it's fixing its little brains. Shut off your computer daily, don't keep it on all the time. And if something weird happens, sometimes restarting is all that you need to do.

  • Clean out files periodically--Get rid of stuff clogging up your computer space.
Go to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup
Run this and get rid of everything, then...

  • Defragment your computer--Have the computer put  the pieces together instead of haphazardly for quicker running, don't do this until you cleaned out your files.
Go to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragment

  • Update your Computer - Updates make things run more smoothly and catch more bugs.

If Windows or Adobe or your Browser or other legitimate software ask you to install and update, do so, it's good for your computer.

Make sure you have your automatic updates turned on.
Go to Start>Control Panel>Windows Update>Change Settings (Turn on automatic updates here if it isn't already on)

Internet Browsing Maintenance

  • Use a Firewall - Helps block things you can't see
If you do not have a purchased firewall, use Windows Firewall
Start>Control Panel>Windows Firewall

After researching, I chose to purchase Vipre's firewall system. (Just FYI) I've had it for 2 years and am happy with it.

  • Avoid and Destroy Malware -- Malicious software hidden on your computer slows it down.
First, DON'T visit crazy sites--if sites look iffy and not professional, avoid them and don't download anything from this kind of site, download from legitimate sites that lots of people trust. Here's a good article on how to keep YOU from causing problems.

McAfee Site Advisor If downloaded, it will tell you if the site you are about to go on is iffy.

Periodically run a Malware destroying software (These are free downloads):

Malware Bytes
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Ad-Aware gets rid of adware that causes similar problems

  • Close Down or Try a New Browser - Just like needing to reboot your computer brains, sometimes restarting your browser is helpful, and sometimes a problem with a website is actually a problem with how the browser is viewing the web site. Also, if you are creating a website/blog, look in each browser to see if it looks right in all of them.
If you are using Internet Explorer, I'd advise switching


  • Clear you Browser's Cache and Cookies - These tidbits hold private information on you and collect like trash and bog down your browser's capabilities. This will, however, erase your automatic sign ins, passwords and fill-in forms, but if you only do it once a month, you won't have to reenter things too often on sites you visit most.

Each browser will be different but basically look here to clear cache and cookies:
Open Browser>Tools>Options>Privacy

You will work faster and more efficiently if your computer has been maintained in order for it to work fast and efficiently as well.


  1. Oh wow, Melissa! You really outdid yourself with these explanations. I know you claim you're not a computer genius, but I really think you are. :)Thanks so much!

  2. Great stuff that we so often forget to do. Thanks :)

  3. Thanks for the clear instructions! I'm forever thinking I should do these things, but then can't remember how...

  4. So sorry it took me so long to comment! My computer hasn't liked blogger for a few weeks and then today it's magically cured. See, even I get stumped, but thankfully the computer fixed itself, I think it had something to do with my firewall update, but I really don't know.

    I'm glad I could help!