Basic Computer Maintenance for Beginners

February 20, 2010

Below you can read a few tips to help you keep your Windows-powered computer running more efficiently, classified by their recommended use frequency.

Daily Tasks

  • Empty the recycle bin.
  • Delete all temporary files.
    • Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Internet Options
    • Click ‘Delete Cookies’
    • Click ‘Delete Files’
    • Check the box labeled ‘Delete all offline content’
    • Click ‘OK’
  • Delete all old .zip files

Weekly Tasks

  • Run windows/microsoft updates.
    Go to
  • Update your antivirus and anti-spyware definitions and run scans at least twice a month.
  • Defragment
    • Open My Computer
    • Right-clicking the C: Drive
    • Select properties
    • Click on the tools tab

Monthly Tasks

  • Clean your screen, keyboard, mouse, and the inside of your computer (if you have a desktop) regularly to keep dust from messing up your system.
  • Make sure your hardware is working properly.
    If you have not used the CD/DVD drive in a long time, test it by running a CD and/or a DVD in the drive.
  • Run Disk Cleanup:
    • Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup

There are also some software solutions that will automate many of those processes for you.

  • CCleaner is a freeware system optimisation and privacy tool that erases all Internet history from different browsers and other unused files. It also cleans up orphaned registry entries on Windows computers.
  • Or you can get a toolkit such as Tech Toolkit that comes bundled with the following applications:
  • Antivir Personal  – one of the top rated free antiviruses
  • AppCrashView    –  reads application crash info from .wer files (W.E.R = Windows Error Reporting) Windows Vista, 7, and 2008
  • App Remover     – Removes antivirus/spyware/malware programs
  • Autoruns         – shows you everything that starts with your computer in registry,startup folders,services
    and allows you to remove or disable them
  • BlueScreenView     – scans all your minidump files created during blue screen of death crashes, and displays
    the information about all crashes in one table.
  • CrystalDiskInfo    – S.M.A.R.T./health information about your hard drive
  • Defraggler        – defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files
  • Device Doctor    – finds outdated drivers and updates Windows XP, Vista, & Windows 7 Drivers Automatically
  • DevManView         – an alternative to the standard Device Manager of Windows
  • ERunt            – Registry Backup and Restore for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP
  • FixWin            – utility to repair & fix Windows 7 & Vista problems & annoyances
  • GPU-Z             – utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
  • HWMonitor        – hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors : voltages,
    temperatures, fans speed.
  • JKDefrag        – disk defragger
  • Kaspersky Removal- Scans and removes viruses
  • LSPFix            – fixes loss of Internet access caused by buggy or improperly removed software or viruses.
  • MemTest            – RAM/Memory Tester
  • NTRegOpt        – Registry Optimization for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP
  • PCDecrapifier    – cleans the preinstalled crap from brand new computers
  • Revo Uninstaller- uninstalls programs and removes left over entries that are left behind
  • ShareEnum        – Enumerate shares on the network
  • SIW                – generate complete system report on hardware/software/network
  • Sysinpector        – diagnostic tool
  • Unknown Devices    – helps you find what those unknown devices in Device Manager really are
  • Windows Update Fix – utility will re-register the files, required for the proper functioning of Windows Updates.
  • winfo            – super small app to get quick system info from the computer