Keep Your Computer Fully Patched
This might sound pretty trivial, but there is one golden rule when it comes to computer maintenance – keep everything up-to-date. Literally everything, from your hardware to every single software application. Why? Because technology keeps evolving and there are constant upgrades and improvements. Not to mention operating system and software security patches that can be issues as frequently as once a week.
Naturally, you can’t upgrade your hardware as soon as new technologies become available – that will cost a fortune and it doesn’t really make much sense. However, I strongly recommend upgrading your RAM if your computer has the capability and migrating to an SSD drive to get an unmatched performance boost.
Another thing you should do is make sure that your operating system, drivers, and software are always up to date. The performance increase might be insignificant, but other benefits are huge. Keeping your operating system updated will make it more stable and secure, help to eliminate compatibility issues, and even prevent crashes. Same goes for keeping your drivers up to date.
A lot of computer-related articles recommend enabling automatic
Windows update and letting it do all the work for you. Indeed, this is the best
solution for less experienced users who have unlimited broadband. You can check
whether your Windows update is set to Automatic by going to the Control Panel
and opening Automatic Updates in Windows XP
or going to the Control Panel and opening System and Security - Windows Update – Turn automatic updating on or off in Windows 7.
However, if you don’t have unlimited broadband and want to control
when Windows downloads and installs updates, I recommend configuring your
Windows Update settings to notify you of any available updates, but let you
decide when to download and install them.
In addition to having automatic updates enabled, it’s always good to check Microsoft’s website once in a while for anything you might have missed.
Update your drivers
Keeping your hardware drivers up-to-date is essential for stable and flawless computer performance. Outdated drivers can cause various conflicts and result in severe performance degradation. Luckily, it’s very easy to update your drivers.
And last but not least, make sure that your software is always
up-to-date. A lot of programs check for updates automatically, but you can
always do it manually. Usually the Check for Updates feature is located
in the program Help menu.
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