After more than 2 decades of computer experience and knowledge, I’ve successfully devised working methods of maintaining your system’s performance. In this article we will be discussing a range of tips and tricks that every end user should know.
So if you’re new to computers or someone simply looking to expand their computer knowledge, then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Backup Your System
Due a wide range of potential happenings, such as system failure, it’s possible that you could find yourself in a situation where you are unable to access your computer and the files on it. For this very reason, you’ll want to have some backups of the most confidential files on your system, as a way of mitigating risk. Fortunately, backing up your system is a fairly simple process, something that can be done with minimal knowhow and in very little time. Your operating system should come with its own built in solution (Windows Backup), but there are standalone tools you can invest in. Depending on what you want to back up, when you want to back it up, and the regularity of your backups, you may or may not be better off with a paid solution.
When backing up your data, the best place to store it is either on the cloud on an external hard disk drive.
2. Understand Your System Specs
You should spend as much time as possible to learn about the different specifications that make up your computer. This way you’ll be able to better determine why it’s running slower, for example. There are system monitor tools that you can use, to find out your system specs, or you can simply access Computer Properties, to find them there. As a minimum, you want your system to be within the recommended specifications for your operating system, but ideally above those specs, as they are fairly low.
3. Command Prompt Is Useful
Command Prompt has been around since the very beginning, and for many people, it’s not something they pay much attention to. If you’re one of those, then you’re making a big mistake. Command Prompt today can be used for a wide range of things, from making folders, to copying files, to running program commands.
I recommend you take some time, going through all the different commands, and looking at the various ways it can and is typically used.
4. Create a Greeting during Startup
It’s possible, with a simple modification to make your system welcome you, every time to start your system up – this is of course, done in a typical mechanical voice.
In order to successfully achieve this, you will need to place a specific VBS script into your start up folder, and the system will do the rest. I suggest you do additional research, if this interests you.
5. Check for Viruses
One of the most common reasons why systems start to slow down is because of a virus infection. Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date and activated. You also want to be familiar with all best practices, so you don’t become the author of your own misery. You want to do your utmost to minimise virus infections.
6. Purchase an SSD
One of the most effective upgrades that you can make to your system is to install a solid state drive in it. With this, you should see a significant improvement in its performance, including while running programs and when booting up.
7. Limit Your Startup Programs
When booting up your system for the first time, there are a number of programs that will typically start up automatically. However, it is possible to, access your start-up folder and remove some or all of these programs.
8. Disable Your USB Ports for Security Purposes
Do you have a lot of people accessing your PC? Have you ever considered disabling your USB ports so that no one can access the flash drive on your system? If so, then there is a registry trick that you can use, to do it. However, one thing to note is that, disabling your USB ports, will disable all connected USB devices also.
9. Disable Your Old Programs
If you’ve had your system for some time now, you may be surprised to find so many old and unused programs lingering on your system’s hard drive. You should be able to find a list of all installed programs in Add or Remove Programs. Just cycle through them, and remove the things you no longer care for.
10. Always Shut It Down
It may be obvious, to some or even most, but one thing many people neglect to do is to turn their system off, after use, specifically at night. If your system starts to lag, then a simple restart may be all that is required to get it back up to speed. When shutting it down, you should consider unplugging it too.
11. Use Shortcuts
When using your system, it’s always best to use shortcuts. This is because they can be a bona fide time saver for most.
For example, let’s say you wanted to access Add or Remove Programs, the quickest way of doing this would be to press Windows Key + R, to open up the Run command box. Then type Appwiz.cpl into it and click on OK.
Or, let’s say you were trying to find a specific word in a document, the quickest way to do that, would be to press Ctrl + F to open up the search, then type your word into the box and click on Go.
There are hundreds of different shortcuts available for you to learn. Just visit Microsoft’s official website, for a rundown.
12. Keep Your System Cool
Anytime your system starts to heat up, a little too much, its performance will suffer. This is the most common situation on laptop computers. As we move towards the summer, you’ll want to ensure your system is kept in a well-ventilated room, somewhere it will not overheat.
Hopefully, the tips provided here taught you a number of things that you can use to keep your system in prime condition. If you’re on an Apple system, then the rules should also apply, as both operating systems have their similarities.
— AUTHOR INFO —
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk