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Here are five simple things you must do to lengthen the life of your beloved computer.
Avoid skipping Windows Update if possible. As the updates are pushed from Microsoft’s server to your computer automatically, install the updates as soon as possible and restart your computer if necessary. While this may be a hassle at times, it does keep your computer safer and improve its stability.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Regardless of which operating system you are using, Windows, Mac or Linux, there are always viruses out there. Because Windows is the commonly used operating system in the world, you will need an antivirus software to be running in the background. Please do not try to run multiple antivirus softwares on the same system as this will lead to system instability.
Here’s the good news though, there’s no need to pay for an antivirus, for you have Microsoft Security Essentials
to turn to. As a matter of fact, Microsoft Security Essentials is pretty great on its own. Findings from AV-Test.org shows it detects 98% of their enormous malware database, and AV-Comparatives.org found MSE to be one of only three products that did well at both finding and removing malware, including the leftovers. On top of that, they are the only free product to achieve an “Advanced+” rating – the top award for an anti-malware solution.
Nevertheless the technically inclined note that MSE does not incorporate fancy heuristics to detect viruses that aren’t already in the database. Whether this is a major weakness, it depends very much if you have the tendency to open files from untrusted sources. For the best defense against malware is safe browsing, with or without antivirus.
Back Up Your Hard Drive
Be it the simple Windows Backup or other automated offsite backup tool like Crashplan
, backups are crucial for any computer user. And it is not just about maintenance, it’s about having access to your files when your computer stops showing any signs of life. And this is one of the most important maintenance you will have to carry out.
Clean Up Your Temporary Files
It is normal for Windows to have a lot of temporary files stored on your hard drive, mostly from your web surfing, and it is a good idea to clean these up regularly. A great tool for this job is CCleaner
, and you can use this to clean up your PC manually or set up an automated schedule, keeping your computer free of all the temporary clutter.
Completely Uninstall Programs
While Windows’ Add/Remove Programs dialog is a useful feature, Revo Uninstaller
is by far better. Not only does it remove all traces of an application from your computer, but it also helps you uninstall apps you can’t locate, in addition to managing your startup processes which can speed up your boot up and run smoother once you do.