Tips to Help Your Computer Live Longer
Computers are a part of daily life, we use them for business, school, and various other reasons. Many of us, our livelihood depends on having a working computer and when breakdowns happen, it can be a major inconvenience. We all try our best to take good care of our computers to keep them running well but there are things that we may not know we are doing that can significantly shorten the life of the computer. So what are some things you can do to give your computer a little more life and what are some things we do that destroy our computers?
Using a computer can be tricky and sometimes we do things that shorten the life of our computers. Here are some things users do that can kill that ever present and very important part of our day-to-day lives:
Don’t Skip the Antivirus Software:
Whether using a paid or free antivirus software, always have some form of protection on your computer, regardless of computer brand. Some Mac users operate under the idea that Macs don’t get viruses. Unfortunately this isn’t true, sure there are fewer Mac viruses, but they do exist. Always have a good antivirus installed on your computer and be sure to run and update the program regularly. It doesn’t do any good if your antivirus software never runs a scan or if it is never updated.
Unplug the Power Cord:
This one is more for laptop users. When you are moving your computer, be sure to disconnect the power cable from the computer. The power plug on your laptop often is connected directly to the motherboard of the computer. If the connection gets bumped and damaged you will be left with two options. First, replace the motherboard (which is an extremely pricey repair, sometimes more expensive than buying new) or find someone who does soldering work. The latter is not always ideal as the soldering doesn’t always hold. So best bet, just unplug the power cord from the computer when moving it around.
Power Off Correctly:
Sometimes the computer freezes or locks up. The first reaction when we can’t get this cleared is to just pull the plug or pull out the battery to shut off the computer. By cutting off the power to your computer this way, damage can be caused to the hardware like the power supply or motherboard. If your computer freezes and completing a proper shutdown isn’t possible you should instead do a “hard shut down.” To do a hard shut down, simply press and hold the power button on your computer until it shuts down completely.
Using All Your RAM:
Maxing out on RAM can cause issues with the processes on your computer causing it to slow down or run poorly. Think of the computer’s RAM like the counter space in your kitchen. If your counters are cluttered with various pieces of equipment, then there’s no room to work. Everything you open and run (i.e. word, multiple windows on your internet browser, various other programs) is like adding another piece of equipment to your counter. This issue is easily fixed though. You can look into upgrading your RAM or consider reducing the amount of multitasking to optimize your system.
Remember to Dust:
Keeping your computer completely free of dust is not possible, however, cleaning it up on a regular basis is necessary and will help keep your computer running better. Layered dust and dirt can trap in heat which will eventually cause damage to the computer. Enough dust in the computer can cause both the fan and the heat sink to stop working properly. Both of these parts are crucial to keeping the machine cool. If either of these parts stop working your computer will overheat destroying various components like the CPU (the brain of your computer). If these parts overheat, not only will it cause damage, but your computer has now become a fire hazard as well! By completing regular cleaning, dusting out of the internal components you can reduce wear and tear on the fans and promote better cooling. Before you decide to dust out your computer, be sure you know how to do this without damaging any of your hardware. If you are unsure, seek out the assistance of your local computer repair store.
Along the same line of thought as the last paragraph. Running your computer when your fan has stopped working is a really bad idea. Those fans area line of defense from overheating and potential fire! If your computer’s fan begins to run loud or suddenly stops working get it checked out right away. Don’t keep running your computer until it shuts down, it will damage components in the computer including the processor, the motherboard, and the hard drive!
Clear Off the Keyboard:
This is an easy way to damage your laptop screen. Many users will set something down on the keyboard just for a few moments. Something as simple as a flash drive or a pen but we forget that the item is on the keyboard. When you shut the laptop, CRACK! Now you have a broken screen. Leaving things on the keyboard makes your computer vulnerable to damage. Perhaps you don’t forget you have something on the keyboard but a pet or a child can come along and bump the top closed unexpectedly and goodbye screen. Best practice, keep your laptop keyboard clear at all times.
Take Care With Your Computer:
Computers can be delicate and it is important your computer is put in a place that is safe for its health. Be sure you are allowing plenty of breathing room for your computer. Both desktop and laptops need room to breathe. Also, avoid placing them in a precarious position where it can easily be knocked over. Laptops, never toss them, even onto a soft surface like your couch or bed, set them down gently.