New Year’s Resolutions: Give your PC a tune up too!

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎01-04-2012 01:33 PM (12,191 Views)

Keep your PC clean of clutter!

Over time, hard drive space can get used up by temporary files (from the Internet, program installations, and more). The easiest and safest way to get rid of these and reclaim disk space is to use the built-in Windows Disk Cleanup Utility. You can search for “Disk Cleanup” in the start menu, or find it under “All Programs” > ”Accessories” > ”System Tools”. Not only will this utility safely find the files unnecessary for your PC, but will allow you to select which of them to be removed.

 

Another source of frequent clutter on your drive are files stored by your Internet browser.  These files accumulate as you surf the net every day.  To clear these unnecessary temporary files in the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE 9, click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of your browser and select “Internet Options”. On the very first page/tab, you’ll see a “Browsing History” section in the middle of the window, with the option to “Delete.” On the next window, you get the option of deleting some or all of that data. Some of the information stored within Internet Explorer, like cookies, you may want to keep, as they help track when you revisit certain websites, preferences from last visits, however you can choose to delete all the information here safely. If you’re using another popular browser, like Firefox, you would find similar options under a “Tools/Preferences” menu, typically listed as “private data.”

 

Keep your PC healthy and up to date!

Updates are an important part to keeping your PC/Mac as secure and bug-free as possible. If you are using Windows, search for “Windows Update” in the Start Menu, or find it directly listed in the “All Programs” menu.  On a Mac, you can click the Apple logo in the top left-hand corner of your screen, and click “Software Update.” For both, it will scan your computer and check for any available updates. Once it has determined which updates you need, you can review them prior to installation, and determine if they appeal to you. If you’re not sure what something is, just use this rule of thumb: if the update is not listed as important, then you don’t have to install them; they’re optional. Anything listed as important, however, is vital to keep your computer as secure, and well behaved, as possible.

 

Keep your PC safe!

Antivirus or antimalware is another thing to keep in mind while maintaining your PC. If you have an active antivirus program, we recommend opening it on occasion to make sure it is up to date, and has scanned your PC recently. If you don’t have a current antivirus program installed, there are several recommendations we can make.  Norton, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky all make very effective products for a variety of terms and options.  If you prefer a no-cost solution for your antivirus, we can also recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. While lacking some of the features of a paid antivirus product, it offers you basic protection, and is updated by Microsoft themselves.

 

Keep your PC dust free!

Lastly, there is the physical cleaning of your PC. If your PC is over a year old, or in a dusty location, you may want to clean it with compressed air.  Keeping your PC clean of dust allows air to flow more freely, keeping the temperature down, and protecting the PC from overheating.  If you choose to use compressed air, be careful and follow the instructions listed on the can. Not doing so could result in damage to your computer from condensation (hold the can upright, spray in short bursts).

 

Geek Squad recommends performing these steps every 6-12 months, to keep your PC in optimal condition.  Not sure this is a project you want to undertake?  These are some of the same steps Geek Squad Agents utilize when performing a PC Tune-Up on your PC.  Agents are standing by 24/7/365 to keep your PC in prime condition.  Chat with an Agent today at GeekSquad.com or give us a call at 1-800-GeekSquad.

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