When your PCs perform at their best, your staff are more likely to as well. There are several key things you and your organisation’s computer users can do to protect your business assets and improve productivity through IT.
Here are our top tips for optimum PC performance:
1. Clean up your systems
Over time you accumulate clutter on your PC – too many files that are not archived properly, along with too many apps and programs that you’re no longer using. You’re too afraid to delete anything because you don’t know the consequences of getting rid of some of those programs. And you want to keep everything, even old files, on hand … just in case.
Have a look through the apps and programs on your PC by clicking on the start button and browsing through the list of programs that comes up. Have you installed any of these, but no longer use them?
Another thing you can do to speed up your machine is to defrag it. Defragging is short for defragmenting. It’s a type of maintenance you can do on spinning disk hard drives that cleans them and speeds them up.
You can do this yourself. Just go into your control panel, find Systems and Security, click on Administrative Tools, then Defragment and Optimize Drives. Alternatively contact us and we can talk about the best way to regularly clean and declutter your machines.
2. Install important Windows updates when available
Microsoft regularly updates its Windows software to improve things for users. If you’re running Windows on your PCs you’re entitled to these updates free of charge and should be making use of them to keep things running smoothly.
You can check for updates by clicking on the Start menu, going into your Settings, then selecting Update & Security. At the top of the list on the left, you’ll see “Windows Update”. Just click on this and you’re away.
3. Ensure your system has up-to-date anti-virus software
You know how important anti-virus software is, so we won’t lecture you on that one. But how do you know if yours is up-to-date?
Hackers move faster than Usain Bolt, with new ways of attacking unsuspecting users every day. So chances are the anti-virus software you purchased a year or two ago is no longer going to protect you against a virus or hack attack.
A good habit to get into is to check for updates to your anti-virus software on a regular basis. For most businesses, this means at least once a week. For others – particularly those heavily dependent upon sensitive and private data (e.g. any business dealing with banking or finances) – we suggest checking for updates every day.
4. Restart your machine regularly
This one may sound a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t actually turn their PCs or laptops off at night. Our rule of thumb is, if you don’t need it on overnight, then shut it off. For starters, your monitors will last longer and your power bills will thank you.
5. Limit the number of programs that run at start-up
For most people, when you turn your PC on, specific programs automatically open. If you’re not using all of these, they’re slowing you down and affecting the performance of your PC. So it’s best to limit these.
To do this, open the Task Manager by right-clicking on your Start button, or typing “Task Manager” into the search field beside the Start button. Next, select the Startup tab and you’ll see a list of programs that open when you start your machine, along with their Startup impact. You can disable any of these simply by right-clicking on them and choosing Disable.
If you’re not actually sure which programs you need at startup, contact us and we can talk you through it.
6. Clean your browser
Every time you use the internet and various search engines, your computer stores information about your searches. Over time, all of this stored data affects the performance of your PC. So a quick and easy way to gain back some of that performance and free up space on your hard drive is to clean your browser.
It’s completely safe to clear all of your cache, cookies, and history. Just be aware, however, that once you’ve cleared your browsing history, you’ll need to re-enter in full website addresses that you’ve used in the past.
7. Remove malware
Malware is short for malicious software. It comes in the form computer viruses, ransomware, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, adware, scareware, and other intentionally harmful programs. It’s the stuff that hackers live for. And anyone can be a target.
The best protection against malware is to have up-to-date anti-virus software installed (making sure, as we’ve said above, that you keep it updated). But a virus is just one type of malware. We recommend getting in touch with us so we can have a good look around to see where you may be getting attacked and whether you have adequate anti-virus and anti-malware protection in place.
We love sharing tips that you can implement yourself, but if you’d rather have us manage the techie stuff, contact us and book in for your free Tech Health Check.
You can reach us by calling 09 588 4065 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org