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Below is my top list of monthly MUST DO’s to ensure your computer or laptop runs smoothly, not to mention prevent most computer problems too:

 

Backup Data:

If you’re not backing up your data daily, at least do a monthly backup.  If you were to get attacked through a virus, or your PC/Laptop should have a hard-drive failure, then it is a lot easier to recover from a situation like this should you have a recent backup.

Update your Anti-Virus and Malware Definitions:

It’s important to make sure your anti-virus software and anti-malware software is up to date.  New viruses and malware are discovered every day!  These get logged into the definitions files which your software will download so it knows what it’s looking for.  Most software automatically checks daily, but make sure yours does, and that it is up to date.  The more up to date this file is, the better chance your computer will be able to defend itself against attacks.

Right-click the Antivirus or Malware icon in the bottom right corner of your screen > click on check for updates

Perform a Complete Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware / Spyware Scan:

When was the last time you scanned your PC/Laptop? If you’re not sure, then do it now!

Update Windows:

Microsoft regularly release system security patches. You should check this at least monthly.  Again, if you haven’t checked lately, be sure to run the Windows Update and install any patches sooner than later.

Type windows update in the search bar at the bottom of your screen to open the settings.

Update your Installed Software:

Along with updating Windows, you should also check your third-party software is up-to-date.  For example, Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.  Usually they will notify you that a new version has been released and will ask you to update, but if, like me, you are sometimes in a hurry and just click no – now’s the time to check and make sure you’re all up to date.

Clean up the Hard Drive:

Your computer will run much smoother and faster just by doing a bit of maintenance on your temporary files.  Disk Cleanup is a preinstalled utility to quickly remove temporary internet files, empty your recycle bin and your downloads folder, etc – all by simply ticking the relevant choices within the utility.

Type Disk cleanup in the search bar at the bottom of your screen to open the settings.

Delete and Organise your Files:

Chances are you’ve created or added lots of files throughout the month. Remove any files you don’t need and organise the ones you do so they are easily accessible for later use.

Uninstall old / unused Programs:

Keep only the programs you actually use. If you have programs such as games that you used once or any programs you don’t use regularly – it’s time to uninstall. This keeps your computer clutter free and optimised.

Type Add or Remove in the search bar at the bottom of your screen to open the settings.

Clean Out the Dust:

Keep your PC/Laptop dust-free to prevent overheating and hardware failure. I’m guessing this probably hasn’t been done for a while…if ever!  But it takes only a minute to ensure the vents are dust free.  Also, clean your keyboard – simply turn it upside down and shake lose any crumbs.  And clean your screen using a microfiber cloth.  To keep germs away, it is safe to wipe down your mouse and keyboard with some anti-bacterial wipes, so long as they are not dripping and only slightly damp.