Whether you are a business or home PC user, the health of your computer is all-important. Taking the necessary precautions – both in terms of security and good PC housekeeping – ensures your computer works as it is meant to.

This in turn allows you as the user to work online or offline with confidence, boosting performance and productivity. There is little more frustrating than battling with a slow, disorganised computer – but this problem can easily be avoided.

Take a look at our top five tips for keeping your PC in the best possible shape:

1.      Keep folders organised

Developing a filing system which works for you makes it easy to find files and documents when you need them, rather than following numerous dead ends or having to conduct a system search. Using subfolders, which are given appropriate titles according to the contents, can help in this regard. Carrying out a periodic ‘spring clean’ is also important. Removing the clutter from your hard drive is one of the best ways you can keep on top of your files – just decide which ones you no longer need and send them to the Recycle Bin.

2.      Clean the PC hard disk

Keeping data well organised is also advisable as you aim to keep your PC healthy and in good working order. Conducting clean-up and defragmentation tasks allow you to free up more space, which will provide an immediate boost to PC performance. In doing so, you will compress old files to free up space, and consolidate those which may be scattered across the disk.

3.      Update Windows and Office

New updates for Windows and Office are constantly being released, in a bid to deliver new functionality and ensure users’ systems continue to operate as designed. However, PC users can only benefit from the updates when they are installed, so it is good practice to download these automatically or ensure you carry out daily checks for upgrade options. This may be vital in order to keep your system secure against external attack.

4.      Use the System Restore function

Should you suffer a power outage or inadvertently download unstable software, this function could be a life-saver. You are able to restore documents, settings, and preferences to an earlier point in time when they were working properly. This essentially erases the data loss incident from history, allowing you to carry on working as before. Your PC is able to create restore points on a daily basis, meaning that if a technology disaster does occur, it should only have short-term consequences.

5.      Use anti-virus software

The use of anti-virus software and firewalls is a pre-requisite for having a healthy PC. Computer users should install a security package from a reputable vendor, preferably with the option of receiving real-time updates. Anti-virus software must be kept up to date in order to do its job, so ensure you subscribe following the expiry of any free trial. Microsoft Security Essentials offers comprehensive protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, enabling your PC to operate as it was designed.

Posted by Alex Boardman