Computer Maintenance Checklist

Here are 9 basic Computer Maintenance steps to improve your computer’s performance

Step 1: Anti-virus

Update your anti-virus software and run a scan.

Step 2: Anti-spyware/anti-malware

Most anti-virus programs do a basic spyware check too but do both just to be on the safe side.

Step 3: Empty your recycle bin (best done with CCleaner)

Just because you’ve deleted something doesn’t mean it’s actually gone, if it’s sitting in the recycle bin then it’s still on your hard drive and still taking up memory. Disc Cleanup (See Step 4) will empty the recycle bin automatically. We would advise emptying the recycle bin manually just in case any important documents ended up in there accidentally.

Step 4: Disk and Application/Software Cleanup

This is another easy step because it’s built into Windows. You can find it by going to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools. Pick the drive you want to scan (your main hard drive(s), any that are just used for data storage won’t have problems) and let it go.

Also look in the control panel for unwanted or unnecessary programs. Uninstall anything that has leached on to the system over time such as Internet Browser toolbars.

Remove any unwanted or unnecessary Internet Browser extensions, plug-ins or add-ons.

Step 5: Defragment

Again this program comes with Windows, it’s in the same place as the Disk Cleanup tool. It’s a straightforward process; pick a drive, ask for analysis and if it says it needs defragmenting let it do its thing.

Step 6: Configure your startup

Here’s how to change which apps will automatically run at startup in Windows 10:

  • Select the Start button, then select Settings > Apps > Startup. Make sure any app you want to run at startup is turned On.
  • If you don’t see the Startup option in Settings, right-click the Start button, select Task Manager, then select the Startup tab. (If you don’t see the Startup tab, select More details). Select the app you want to change, then select Enable to run it at startup or Disable so it doesn’t run.

Step 7: Check Windows Updates, Update plugins and basic applications

Check Microsoft Updates, including weekly scheduled updates as well as the latest Service Packs.

Step 8: Check file backup plan and create system recovery disks if applicable

Make sure to have a file backup plan and create system recovery disks if available. System images are always a good idea as well.

Step 9: Clean and dust internal computer parts and fan (check fans and computer temp.)

For more on Computer Maintenance, check out our infographic on three routine computer maintenance tasks to keep your computer running efficiently.

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