Speed is everything in business, and your computer is everything TO your business; it is your marketer, accountant, engineer, secretary, and more. However, it is a machine, and unless properly cared for, it can be become sluggish or break down. Here are some vital things you can do to speed up your computer and ensure it's running at optimum efficiency.
1. Backup EVERYTHING!
Your data is the lifeline to your business (and personal life). Avoid the dread of losing vital information for an important meeting, or a project you've spent countless hours working on, or those vacation shots that you treasure, by simply backing up your computer. To make sure you never lose any data, it is wise to purchase cloud storage, as well as external storage such as a portable hard drive, and/or USB thumb drive.
Fragmentation occurs when blocks of data are scattered out of order in the hard drive, making it do extra work to read a file. Running hard drive disc defragmentation cleans it up. If you have a Mac, you don't need to defrag the hard drive regularly, OS X writes small files, eliminating a lot of the need to defrag a Mac.
3. Delete unwarranted or unused software
Active computers fill up quickly with programs that take up valuable space and can potentially cause the computer hard drive to crash! Some manufacturers of pre-built machines contract with software companies to bundle tons of files that you’ll never use. Check what processes are running in the background when you’re working and note all the different programs that you don't recognize. To deactivate or remove those roadblocks from your machine, there are plenty of reputable software products to help maximize your machine's speed by removing unnecessary bundled software.
To keep your computer running well, check and remove unneeded software at least once every two months.
4. Antivirus and Firewall Protection
As wonderful as the Internet is, it is also polluted with unscrupulous behaviors that warrant the need for security on our computers and network. For this reason, it is imperative to keep security software up to date.
The companies that are successful in protecting private information are those that consistently define new threats and stay ahead of the hackers and their unscrupulous intentions. Always act on software notifications and update your software.
5. Keep your OS updated
Windows and Apple are very agile in the way they update or send out “hot fixes” to their operating systems. Windows does it almost daily. The best way to avoid dealing with pop up notices that “X is out of date, please update” is to set your computer to automatically update the OS. Set the time for the middle of the night so there is no disruption to your daily routine or business.
6. Never unplug peripherals when your computer is on
When frustrated by an unresponsive mouse or keyboard that isn’t registering your finger presses, you may be tempted to unplug and plug back in. Don’t do it! There is a risk of shorting out the connecting port on the machine, or worse, the motherboard. If something isn’t working, take a moment and reboot your machine.
7. Never turn off your machine until your operating system has shut down
Most computers, whether it be PC or Apple, have a power save utility that you can set the times in which your machine will power down and go into sleep mode. Fully shuting off your machine can jolt the mechanisms inside the machine and cause issues. If you need to turn off your machine, wait for the operating system to be fully off. One way to gauge this is to make sure the monitor goes dark and the computer isn’t making any sounds.
These are a few tips you can use to keep your machines operating optimally, and if you follow these to a tee, you could be saving on expensive service bills down the road!
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