We have it easy. We carry supercomputers in our pockets and data processing powerhouses in our shoulder bags. We are no longer tethered to a desk, or an internet cable, or even a power cord. Our freedom has made us more productive, but too often we neglect the basic maintenance these high-powered machines need to continue operating. We rely on our laptops to be there for us wherever we need them, but can they rely on us to care for them?
Here are five tasks you should perform on your laptop each month:
- Clean Your Hard Drive. Over the course of a month, how many files do you download and only need to review the one time? For most people, it’s a decent amount. Go through your files and delete the files you no longer need. Those you do need, move them in the folder where they belong instead of in your general catch all. If you’ve deleted programs, be sure to properly uninstall them.
- Defragment Your Hard Drive. After you’ve cleaned house, run your defragment program. Defragging rearranges all the small bits of data left in the drive when they’ve been moved, edited, and deleted. It puts them in order and optimizes the drive space. The more organized your drive is, the better it can process more data with less likelhood of crashes or freezes. It’s like cleaning your house. If there’s stuff all over the floor, it takes you longer to walk through it. If you put it all away, you can move freely without hesitation. (Solid State Drives do not require defrag)
- Clean the Machine. Now that you’ve cleaned the inside, it’s time to clean the outside as well. Use compressed air to blow out the fans, inputs, and keyboards. Wipe down the screen with microfiber. One report said your keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat…. Use a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol to sterilize it.
- Back Up Your Data. If you don’t already have an automatic back up solution, this monthly cleaning is a good time to manually backup the data on your laptop. There are lots of backup options. Read our blog, How to Choose an Online Backup and Recovery Solution, to find the one that suits you.
- Update Your Software. While we highly recommend updating software as the updates become available, there are plenty of reasons you can’t reboot at that moment. Use the monthly check-in to check for updates. These updates are mostly for your benefit and security. An outdated antivirus program is worthless.
Taking 20 minutes once a month to perform these five tasks will help ensure your laptop runs smoother and lasts longer.
If you are in need of laptop repair, or maintenance and service of any of your office IT hardware, contact Great Lakes Computer. The engineers at Great Lakes Computer are experts in computer, printer, server, and point-of-sale repair and maintenance. We offer several levels of service as well, from hourly to contract maintenance. Contact us today to get your computer problems fixed and your laptop back on its feet.