How to Take Care of a Computer

Updated: 11/18/2022 by Computer Hope


To ensure you get the most out of your computer, you need to care of it. Keeping the hardware in good condition and software working efficiently is important to help your computer last longer. The average life of a computer is about 3 years, but with proper care, you can extend that life to 4, 5, or more years.

Select a care method from the list below. We recommend reviewing and utilizing each care method for best computer performance.

Clean computer hardware

Compressed air

Computers accumulate dust and dirt over time, which can reduce air flow. Case, power supply, and CPU fans can become clogged, reducing their ability to dissipate heat inside the computer. Dust and dirt on other computer hardware can cause heat to build up, and might result in damage to that hardware due to overheating. If the damage is severe enough, you may need to replace hardware components to make the computer function properly again.

Hardware components and areas of a computer that are most important to clean include the following.

Install operating system updates

Windows 11 and macOS operating system logos.

Whether your computer has Windows or macOS running, it’s very important to install operating system updates. Microsoft and Apple frequently release updates for one or more of the following reasons.

To get the most out of the operating system on your computer, check for and install any available updates. If your computer has Windows 10 or Windows 11, updates are automatically installed as they are released by Microsoft. Updates for macOS can be configured to install automatically or manually, depending on your preference.

Install software updates

Fictional Update key on a keyboard, in place of the left Shift key.

Like operating system updates, software updates are important to install. Software developers release updates to fix bugs, add or improve features, and fix any security-related issues in their software. Software updates are usually released less often than operating system updates, sometimes only once every 3 to 6 months.

Some software includes a feature to check for and install updates. Choosing between automatically or manually checking for and installing updates may also be an option. Other software may require you to check for updates on the developer’s website, then download and install any available updates manually. Regardless of the update method, it’s important to check periodically to see if updates are available for your software. Installing updates helps keep your software running correctly and minimize chances of your computer being compromised due to security vulnerabilities.

Remove temporary files

Optimize computer performance

Fix software errors

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