We all know that manufacturers want us to replace our computers every 2 to 3 years. They constantly release new models and badly need to sell them to someone. Oftentimes, even if your PC’s hardware is in good enough shape to last you for 10 years or longer, the software-based components (such as your operating system and various system and extra applications)will start to malfunction and slow your PC down only a few months after purchase. Here are a few tips that computer manufacturers would not want you to know.
1. Keep the inside clean
You’ll be surprised at how much dust and grime can accumulate on the hardware inside your computer’s case! It can lead to overheating, which in turn can cause your motherboard or other hardware components to fail. Be sure to clean the inside of your computer’s case at least once a year, or more frequently if it is used in a dusty environment. With a desktop computer case you can simply take the lid off and use compressed air to blow the dust out. Just be careful not to touch or break anything on the inside. If your computer is a laptop, you will be better off taking it to a service shop, as some laptops need to be almost fully taken apart to get to the fan and other dust magnets.
2. Keep the outside clean
When you use your computer in a room where there is a lot of dust or pet hair, when you constantly put your laptop on the carpet or blankets, when you have lunches and dinners at your computer or let your pets nap on your keyboard, a lot of this grime ends up inside your PC. If you only take your computer in for a physical cleanup once a year, this unclean environment will have enough time to cause damage to your PC’s hardware between cleanups. The problem is especially bad with laptops, where the keyboard is part of the case. If you clean your laptops too frequently, especially ones that need to be fully disassembled to clean, some of the screws and plastic fittings may get loose and cause the case not to be as tightly put together as before. So if you do want your laptop to last longer, try to ensure a cleaner environment for it.
3. Install maintenance software
As you use your computer, a lot of junk files, broken or obsolete registry entries, messed up settings and other issues will accumulate over time and cause your PC to slow down and/or produce errors. This is one of the main reasons users ultimately decide to replace their computer. The problem can be resolved and prevented with the help of a good computer optimization program. Don’t grab the first program you come across on the web, especially free software downloads, as PC maintenance and optimization software market is full of fake and downright dangerous products. Find a program that has good credentials, positive user and expert reviews and a record of effective performance. Something like Auslogics BoostSpeed, for instance, works great for Windows versions from XP to Windows 10.
4. Get good security software
A nasty virus infection can render your computer unusable in an instant. Some malware may get downloaded to your PC and snowball into a major problem gradually over a few months. You may not even know that there is a worm sitting on your hard drive inviting its friends over from all over the web. Having a good antivirus program AND an anti-malware program is essential for any PC these days. A couple of good programs are Bitdefender Antivirus and Auslogics Anti-Malware.
5. Don’t upgrade your OS
Oftentimes, an older computer may not have good enough hardware to allow it to run the newest operating system. As much as you may want to use Windows 10 on your 7-year old laptop, you should probably refrain from upgrading. Such components as your video or sound card, your USB ports or network adapters all use drivers, which are bits of software that help Windows recognize those devices and use them. When you upgrade your old computer to the latest Windows version, you may end up with a lot of different errors caused by device drivers not being compatible with the new OS. A lot of the hardware in your old PC may simply not be powerful enough to run the latest Windows version. If you want your older computer to work well for longer, you will probably want to stick with the Windows version that’s already installed on it. Your favorite software will most likely be compatible with it anyway, and you will be able to avoid a lot of headache.
Follow these simple tips and your computer may last you for as long as 5, 7 or even 10 years. When you think of how much money that could save you over having to buy a new PC every couple of years, the effort is definitely worth it!
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