When working (or playing) on your computer, you probably don’t think much about how you are going to clean up your files, backup your data, keep your system virus free, etc. However, these are tasks that need attention.
We’ve published useful article about different aspects of maintaining your computer. Below is a list our most useful articles about maintaining your computer, operating system, software, and data.
Organize and Manage Your Data
Before considering how you will regularly backup your data, it’s a good idea to organize your files and folders first so they are easier to backup. The following articles show you ways to organize your files, removing duplicate and old files, and securely delete files no longer needed.
- Zen and the Art of File and Folder Organization
- How to Use FileMenu to Manage Your Files More Efficiently
- Learn How to Securely Delete Files in Windows
- Fast Duplicate File Finder Identifies Extra Copies
- Automating the Process of Deleting Old Log Files
Clean Up and Optimize Your System
Once you have organized your files and folders, it’s time to perform some basic cleanup tasks to optimize your system. The articles below discuss using CCleaner to cleanup temp files, cookies, and internet history, manage startup programs, and even how to whitelist important cookies. We also show you how to schedule disk cleanup and disk defragmentation in Windows, use Check Disk, clean up old downloads automatically, and the best tips for speeding up your PC. These tips could help improve the performance of your PC, as well.
- Create a Shortcut or Hotkey to Run CCleaner Silently
- Setup CCleaner to Automatically Run Each Night in Windows 7, Vista or XP
- CCleaner 3.0 Adds HTML5 Cookie Cleaning, Drive Wiping and 64-bit Support
- How to Use CCleaner Like a Pro: 9 Tips & Tricks
- Make Your System Clean Up Old Downloads Automatically
- How to Schedule Disk Cleanup in Windows 7 & Vista
- Add Disk Cleanup to the Right-Click Menu for a Drive
- The How-To Geek Guide to Using Check Disk in Windows 7 or Vista
- HTG Explains: Do You Really Need to Defrag Your PC?
- Configure Disk Defragmenter Schedule in Windows 7 or Vista
- The Best Tips for Speeding Up Your Windows PC
Disinfect Your System
Before backing up your data (discussed later in this article), you should make sure your files are virus-free. We’ve covered various ways of disinfecting your PC, such as tools to clean your infected PC, how to scan files for viruses before using downloading and using them, and a simple trick to defeat fake anti-virus malware.
- How to Use the BitDefender Rescue CD to Clean Your Infected PC
- How to Use the Avira Rescue CD to Clean Your Infected PC
- How to Use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to Clean Your Infected PC
- Use Autoruns to Manually Clean an Infected PC
- Beginner Geek: Scan Files for Viruses Before Using Them
- Make Sure Downloads Are Safe Before Downloading Them
- Here’s a Super Simple Trick to Defeating Fake Anti-Virus Malware
Analyze and Reduce Your Disk Usage
If, in the process of organizing your many files, you’ve discovered that you’re running low on disk space, there are easy ways to determine what is taking up the most space on your hard drive. The following articles show you 10 free tools for analyzing your hard drive space in Windows and some simple tips on reducing disk usage in Windows.
- The 10 Best Free Tools to Analyze Hard Drive Space on Your Windows PC
- Beginner Geek : Simple Tips to Reduce Disk Usage in Windows 7
Tweak Windows to Improve Performance
Another way to improve your PC’s performance is to tweak Windows. The following articles show you how to disable startup programs and built-in Windows features you don’t use and make system restore use less hard drive space. We also list the 20 best registry hacks to improve Windows and even how to delete user accounts in Windows 7 so your system isn’t cluttered with user accounts you don’t use.
- How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows
- The 50 Best Ways to Disable Built-in Windows Features You Don’t Want
- Make System Restore Use Less Drive Space in Windows 7
- Beginner Geek: Delete User Accounts in Windows 7
- The 20 Best Registry Hacks to Improve Windows
Keep Windows and Software Up-to-Date
Part of computer maintenance includes keeping Windows and your software programs up-to-date. The following articles show you how to force Windows to find update for more than just itself, such as for Microsoft Office and an easy method of checking for updates to your software programs. We also explain when you need to update your drivers and how to do so safely.
- Beginner Geek: Make Windows 7 Update Find Updates for More Than Just the OS
- FileRex Scans Your Computer For Software Updates
- HTG Explains: When Do You Need to Update Your Drivers?
Back Up Your Data, Software Keys, and Drivers
Now that you’ve organized your files and folders and cleaned up, optimized your system, you need to consider your backup plan. Normally, when we think of backups, we think of backing up our data files. However, to make it easier to set up your system again, should the need arise, you should backup your software keys and drivers. This makes the process of re-installing software in a fresh install of Windows quicker and easier. The articles below show you how to recover keys for Windows and software programs and how to backup and restore hardware drivers. We also have collected the best articles we have published about backing up and syncing your data into one article.
- How to Recover Windows and Software Keys from a Broken Computer
- Backup and Restore Hardware Drivers the Easy Way with Double Driver
- The Best Articles for Backing Up and Syncing Your Data
Besides maintaining your Windows system and your data, we recommend cleaning the inside of your computer on a regular basis to prevent overheating and dust build up.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 06/2/12