We are on our computers all the time so why not give them a little TLC by year-end? We’ve been cleaning, fixing, upgrading and unboxing computers since 2002 so here’s what we see as the most needed gifts for the best computer care.
This applies especially to students and anyone who eats or drinks while clicking away. If you haven’t cleaned your computer in over a year, it’s time to freshen it up. Cleaning TLC can help extend its life and increase performance. Start by vacuuming the outside, particularly around the fan areas where dust, dirt, and hair collect the most. You can also wipe down the exterior of the computer and screen. We like using microfiber cloths slightly damp with water. For the keyboard, turn it over and carefully knock out any dirt, dust, and crumbs that have made their way between the keys. You can then wipe it and your mouse down with antibacterial cleaner to rid them of germs. Cleaning the inside should be left to a professional. We can also check the temperature to see if the thermal paste needs to be re-applied to heatsinks, a good idea every few years.
We suggest getting a professional checkup and tune-up every year. This easy, low cost service ensures you have adequate protection, maybe speed up your computer, and spot issues before they become a real problem. Antivirus is a must-have for most computer users, but most antiviruses don’t stop adware and other junk that aren’t true viruses but can certainly cause problems. Some anti malware is free to download and run a scan manually. It’s a good idea to buy premium editions to have active protection automatically.
We get a lot of requests for keyboards with larger print and high-contrast colors. Or perhaps a keyboard that’s backlit will help you see the keys in the dark.
Replace surge protectors
If it’s many years old, we suggest getting a new one to better protect against power and lighting damage.
If you have a small monitor or one of the old square ones, maybe look at getting a bigger, wide-screen monitor.
Windows 10 now or pay later
If you’re still using Windows 7 or 8, take advantage of Microsoft’s last offer to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. You’ll have to pay up to $119.99 (or $199.99 for the Professional edition) in order to do the upgrade after Dec. 31st. If you’re still using the unsupported Windows XP or Vista, we typically suggest just replacing the computer.
The old hard drives have moving parts that work slower, put off more heat, and consume more power. We suggest SSDs that have no moving parts inside and can give your computer a significant performance boost. We can check for free if your computer is worth the investment.
ClickAway has been servicing PC and Mac computers since 2002. Just opens in a new windowwatch some of technology issues we see every day.