Have you recently purchased a new computer or think you’ll receive one as a gift this holiday season? 

If so, you should pay special attention to what I’m about to say.  New computers are clean, fresh and orderly, but over time slowly fill up and can get damaged by a variety of things.

You must keep your new computer healthy to keep it running at its peak as well as increase its lifespan.  Let me say this one more time…You must keep your new computer healthy to keep it running at its peak as well as increase its lifespan.  Keeping your computer healthy isn’t as hard as it sounds and even beginners can do it.

I’ve listed a few simple ways to help maintain your computer’s health that don’t involve a large amount of time or resources.

  1. Think before you install – installing programs from the Internet or programs you’ve received from friends take up hard drive space and over time slow your computer down. Some of these programs can also leave you vulnerable to viruses that are carried along with the software.  Remember it’s your PC, make sure you only install programs that you are really going to use.

  2. Dump what you don’t need – every few months, review the programs on your computer and delete those you don’t use or don’t need as every program on your computer takes up valuable hard drive space.

  3. Remove unnecessary web clutter – Internet history files that accumulate when you visit different websites can take up sizable hard drive space. Use a Web cleanup program to help you remove web delivered files from your hard drive.

  4. Update your operating system – always make sure your computer is kept up to date with updates from Microsoft. These updates contain fixes and patches that can make your computer less vulnerable to viruses and keep security features working properly.

  5. Defrag your hard drive – run a utility program to defragment your hard drive. The utility will place your files in contiguous cluster and will optimize your hard drive, placing your most frequently used files up front for faster access.

  6. Install both an antivirus program and a firewall – for those with Internet connections, it’s critical to have protection between the Internet and your computer. Hackers can wreak havoc on your system and steal confidential information.

  7. Empty the recycle bin – the files that you delete from your computer are all still present in the recycle bin. This is helpful if you delete a file by mistake, however the files are just taking up room. Delete them.

  8. Keep paper and other objects off your computer remove all paper, post-it notes, decorative items and anything else that may be sitting on top or beside your computer. Air vents to your computer need to be clear to keep internal components cool and functioning properly.

  9. Keep food & beverages away from your computer – accidently spilling a soda or cup of coffee into your keyboard or laptop happens more often than people like to admit. As a precaution, it’s a good idea to keep all food and beverages away from your computer.