How do I maintain my home computer for optimal performance?

Asked by Heather Davis on Thu 10/19/17 1:53 PM
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Heather Davis Thu 10/19/17 2:08 PM

Update everything.

Check for updates for your hardware and software. This includes running Windows Updates, checking for updated drivers, and checking for software patches. The easiest way to find these is to go to the manufacturer's website, to their support section, and then look for a 'downloads' section or search for your product's name. If you've been having problems with a piece of hardware or software, be sure to check for patches or updates - if other people have been having similar problems, it's likely the manufacturer has released a fix for it.

Clean out all the junk left behind by browsers. To do this, you can use the Disk Cleanup utility included on the Windows systems, or download a freeware program such as CCleaner to do it for you. In Linux you can use Kleansweep or Bleachbit. Cookies and cache left behind by browsers can amount up to gigabytes of wasted space, so it is imperative they're deleted.

Search and destroy spyware and/or viruses on your PC. There is a myriad of tools available to do this. Set up an automated maintenance schedule. Learn more at

Defrag your hard drive monthly to keep your computer running smoothly.

Uninstall programs you no longer use, and delete music you no longer listen to.The more free space your computer has, the faster it will go. You'll be surprised how much space you'll free up and how much your computer's performance will increase.

For Windows, use the msconfig command in the RUN command prompt to open up a window that will allow you to uncheck start up programs you don't use. This can up your start up and boot down times a lot. 

Use your computer's disk management systems.

  1. For Windows, select Performance and Maintenance and then choose "Rearrange items on your hard disk..." and "Free up space on your hard disk."
  2. For Mac, go to the Applications Folder, select Utilities Folder then launch Disk Utility.
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