Empty The Downloads Folder
When you download a file from the Internet, it is typically placed in the Downloads folder. While there is no set limit on the size of this folder, most of these files are only needed for a brief time. For example, you want to use Skype to video chat with your family so you download the program and install it. Now that the program is installed, you don’t need the installation file in the Downloads folder anymore. Since you don’t need to keep files such as this, you can delete the files in the Downloads folder to save space on your hard drive. To do this, simply select the file or files you want to delete and press the Delete key.
Clear System Temp Files
Just like your browser, Windows stores temporary files throughout the course of its use. Periodically, these files need to be cleaned. While there are many programs you can buy to do this, Microsoft includes one with Windows. Please note, the following steps will empty the Recycle Bin so please check it beforehand to ensure there are no valuable files there. To access this maintenance utility, first open Computer and right-click on the C drive. Now, click on Properties, then Disk Cleanup. Check all the boxes in the Files to Delete section, then click the Clean up system files button. Once the process is complete, close the open windows.
Defragment The Hard Drive
Defragmenting the hard drive can help your computer run faster and more efficiently by optimizing files on the hard drive. While Windows 7, 8 and 10 perform this function automatically, sometimes it can be helpful to run it manually. To do this, open Computer, right-click on the C drive and click on Properties. Now, click on the Tools tab, then click Optimize or Defragment. Please note that if your computer is equipped with a solid state drive then the defragment option will not be available. This is because solid state drives do not suffer from file fragmentation and the process of defragmenting the drive will shorten its lifespan.
Eat Your Vitamins! I mean, Install Windows Updates!
Installing Windows Updates, like taking your vitamins, is very important. Why? Because the bulk of these updates (those marked Important) are security patches that, like vitamins, make your computer (or your immune system) more secure. So why do some people recommend NOT installing them? Because sometimes an update can be faulty and cause a problem on the computer it has been installed on. Why is it faulty? The most common answer is this; when Microsoft creates an update, it has to be written with certain parameters. Not all computers are exactly the same and with such an enormous volume of hardware/software combinations it would be impractical to test every update on every combination. The result is that when an update is created, it may have a conflict with a small number of computers. The results of these issues can be inconvenient but generally not nearly as bad as an out of date, compromised computer. If you happen to be one of those few people who does experience an issue with their computer after running an update, don’t panic, just give us a call!
Now that you know why they are important, here’s how to check for and install Windows Updates. Open the Control Panel, then click on System and Security, then Check for Windows Updates. If you’re running Windows 10, click on Start, Settings, then click on Update and Security. If there are any Important updates to install, simply click on the Install Updates button. Once the updates have been downloaded and installed, your computer may need to restart. If that is the case, close any open programs, save any files you may be working on, and then restart your computer normally. Please note that depending on the number of updates, the restart process may take longer than usual.DO NOT power off or unplug your computer during this time, even if it seems to be stuck. Doing so can cause significant problems with your computer and may even prevent it from starting normally. Remember, if you have a problem during or after installing Windows Updates, just give us a call!