There are many factors that can affect the speed, efficiency and security of a PC. Computer owners should complete regular maintenance checklists so that any potential issues are stopped in their tracks. Ideally, this should be done on a weekly basis.
Update your anti-virus software
Viruses can cause extensive damage to a computer. Often, this will be irreversible. The latest malicious software finds flaws in outdated security systems. This is why it is essential that you are running the latest version of your chosen antivirus software.
Run anti-spyware/anti-malware programmes
It is also important to do a scan of the computer at least once a week. This will detect any invasive software and stop it before it can spread.
Empty your recycle bin
Some people think that when you move files to the recycle bin, they are gone forever. In fact, you need to clear the bin to permanently delete them. This is useful to do, especially when deleting confidential data.
Free up disk space
Sometimes a computer is running slowly due to disk space issues. This can be solved by manually going through the system and freeing up space. Alternatively, you can use disk and application/software cleanup programmes to scan through the computer and remove any junk files.
Defragment your computer files
Over time, files can fragment. This is when their parts end up being stored in separate parts of your drive. A fragmented file tends to take longer to open. Windows has a defrag tool that will run automatically every week unless disabled.
Ensure other applications are updated
Software cannot perform at its optimal level unless it is up to date. Running an older version can cause a plethora of issues. The main solution is to check windows updates regularly. It is also important that you update plugins and basic application software weekly.
Check file backup plan and create system recovery disks (if applicable)
Sometimes computers can suffer a catastrophic event that wipes all files. Weekly maintenance will minimise the likelihood of this. However, having an adequate backup plan in place is a smart way of covering all your bases.
Clean and dust internal computer parts and fan
Hardware can affect the performance of a computer as well. One of the main culprits for slowing down performance is dust. This accumulates inside the machine over time. This will not happen if your computer is dusted every week. Completing this task regularly will prevent any extensive build up.