If you want to keep your computer safe and running smoothly, all you need to do are some simple diagnostics and clean-up. Unless you’re having computer problems that require an expert to fix, these easy steps should help you keep your system in check.
This isn’t a required step, but analysis can give you some really good insight about what’s going on inside your computer. Webroot recently released a free system analyzer that can give you more information about the speed and security/privacy of your computer.
It looks at things like:
- Increasing speed
- Screen resolution
- Disk space
- What user accounts are set up
- If Windows is up-to-date
- History of system crashes
- Active processes currently running
- System security
- Installed Software
- Bootup Applications/Services
- Disk Fragmentation
It also runs a system anti-malware scan, which is super-handy. Here’s a quick video I put together showing how their system analyzer works. Watch it on YouTube or in full screen to see it in better detail.
Optimizing and Cleaning Your Computer
After running an analysis of your computer, next you should run a cleanup program. There are a couple of great options that are free and easy to use.
CCleaner is available for both Mac and PC and can clean your computer of all sorts of junk that you don’t need anymore, such as temporary system files, browser history, cookies and log files. For Windows users it can also clean up your registry. You can’t delete anything important with CCLeaner, but you can delete saved passwords and other things that make life easier so make sure to look closely at the boxes you check before running the program.
Another option for Mac users is iBoostUp, which works like CCleaner, but with additional features. I like to use both. These programs can seriously clear up some space on your hard drive. I ran iBoost up and CCleaner a few months ago on my sadly neglected Macbook and cleared up almost 7 GBs of space.
For Windows users still running Windows XP or older OS’s, you might also consider using a defrag program such as Auslogics Disk Defrag or MyDefrag. Vista and Windows 7 defrag automatically, so no need to worry if you’re on a newer system.
Simple maintenance like this can easily save you the frustrations of having a slow, bogged-down system. I would recommend running a computer analysis and optimization tool every couple of months to keep everything running smoothly. Or if you’re lazy like me, just set CCleaner on a schedule. Set it and forget it, baby!