Everyone knows that an automobile needs regular maintenance. If you want your car to get you from point A to point B, you have to change the oil, rotate the tires and replace the air filter. But do you give the same level of care to your laptop? In reality, our high-tech gadgets have become such a predominant part of our lives, we take them for granted. Set your own maintenance schedule to keep your devices in perfect working order. Take the time to perform some basic upkeep every month. Here are four to-do’s that need to be on your device maintenance checklist.
Scan the Hard Drive
It used to take hours to perform a basic hard drive scan on your laptop or desktop, and even if the scan found a problem it could be difficult to tell if it had been fixed without consulting a tech specialist. Modern laptops make regular scans much easier. They take far less time and come equipped with an easy-to-understand diagnostics tool that is tailored specifically to your system’s architecture. You can also schedule the scans to occur once a month during the middle of the night so you won’t have to cut into your productivity to keep your hard drive bug-free.
Organize the Shelves
If your laptop is your primary work device then you most likely save, create or download new documents on a daily basis. It can be easy to let these new files stack up, but things can quickly get out of control if you don’t stop to organize and rename your important work every once in awhile. Take the time to develop a naming system and file structure that makes it easy to sort and search your work. Keep a file on your desktop called “Unsorted” and add all of your new stuff here. Once a month, pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and empty this folder. It’s a good chance to put fresh eyes on your documents and multimedia files while giving them their appropriate space.
Clean the Exterior
Laptops, tablets and smartphones are defined by their portability, and portability means greater susceptibility to dirt, dust and weather. Once a month, take some canned air and clean out all of the ports on your device. This can prevent moisture buildup and keep dust at bay, which causes hardware to run hotter than necessary. Avoid using water to clean your devices. You want to use an alcohol-based cleaner for screens and cases because it evaporates quickly and won’t causing rusting or electrical interference.
If you truly care about the contents of your laptop or smartphone then you need to keep an extra copy offsite. Once a month, after you organize your files, take the time to back up to a cloud service. Google Drive and Dropbox both offer affordable options for backing up documents, photos and videos. Dropbox will even monitor your local hard drive to ensure that it’s always backed up. The best part about backing up your work on the cloud is that it gives you access between different devices, so you can edit photos or update spreadsheets from wherever you are.