How to do maintenance on Windows – What to do and what not to do
Windows systems become slow over the use without proper maintenance. But when it comes to maintenance, people often don’t do it or do it just the wrong way. In this article we will see how you can properly do the maintenance by doing the right things and not doing the things which are not needed.
Things to do:
1. Windows updates
People often simply neglect the windows updates and disable it. There can be many reasons like using a pirated copy of Windows, people who want to save the bandwidth etc. But the fact is your system needs it. The people who disable it are the people who don’t know the importance of Windows updates. Windows updates, comes with bug fixes, security fixes and improvements, performance improvements etc. So if you want your system to be secure and faster, you MUST turn it on and update it whenever the updates come.
2. Antivirus software
Let me start off by saying, if you’re really good at being careful and know the hows and wheres you can get infected then you might not want an antivirus. But if you’re a typical computer user, then you must have one of it. And this in no way means you should have a paid one. The one which Microsoft gives for free is good enough. Microsoft Security Essentials has its ups and downs, but if you’re a bit careful enough then it’s good enough. In case you want an option, Avast home antivirus is good enough!
3. Cleaning temporary files
Almost all the third party applications you use will create some sort of temporary files and often it won’t be deleted even if you stopped using the applications. Worse yet, some apps’ temp files won’t be cleared even after uninstalling the said apps. So clearing the temp files manually is needed as it will save some space on your hard-drive and often it will make your system faster. But knowing all the locations of the temp files and then going there and manually deleting them is not an easy task. That’s why tools like CCleaner exist. I use CCleaner to delete the temp files and I guess you should too, of course if you have any other tool which you’re comfortable with you should use it.
The latest version of CCleaner will alert you when the size of your temp files becomes too large.
4. Back up your hard drive/important files
This one goes without saying. Everyone should bakcup their files in preparations for your worst day ever. Computers are not reliable, some day for some unknown reason something can go wrong and you might lose all your important files. So backing up the files is always a good idea. You can do it 2 ways.
1. Use a cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive etc to automatically sync all your important files and copy the rest of the files to an external harddrive.
2. Use a tool like Crashplan or Acronis to automatically back up all your files to an external drive/cloud so that you will lose nothing
5. Physically cleaning your system
No one likes a dusty computer, not even the Operating system figuratively speaking. Now cleaning the system physically will leave you with a better performing system. Cleaning the dust of your fans and other areas inside the computer will help it cool down much faster. And as you may have guessed the hotter a system gets, the slower it becomes. And if the air vents are too cluttered with dust, the system reaches a point where it simple reboots.
That sums up what to do section. Now let’s see what are those things which needs not be done, but still a lot of people keep doing it.
Things not to do:
The days of XP are gone. If you have Windows XP, then doing a defragmentation makes sense. But considering that it is not a supported OS anymore, you’re better off by using Windows 7 or 8 or 8.1. SO if you are using any of these operating systems, you can just leave it to the OS and it will do the defragmentation automatically whenever it is needed. And some of you may have SSDs, and SSDs don’t need defragmentation at all.
2. Cleaning the registry
I am not saying there is no use in cleaning the registry, but even if you do it regularly, you won’t see any noticeable difference. So you should leave it alone.
3. Deleting the prefetch files
The Windows keeps the prefetch files for a reason. The information in the Prefetch files are used for optimizing the loading time of the application in the next time that you run it. So deleting the prefetch files will in fact make everything slower. So don’t mess with it.
4. Installing toolbars for browsers
In my opinion, toolsbars is one thing you should avoid at all times. They bring more problems than it solves in almost all the cases. Of course the toolbar is from Google, it doesn’t create any problem. But most toolbars are not from companies like Google and it will create issues in someway or the other. So please avoid all toolbars at any cost.
This list could be endless as people always find one of the other ways to mess up their own computer. Do you have anything to add, please do so by commenting below.