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How to Get the Most Out of Your Computers: Extending the Life of Your Business Laptops & Workstations Blog Feature
Anthony Salinas

By: Anthony Salinas on March 27th, 2019

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Computers: Extending the Life of Your Business Laptops & Workstations

IT Costs | Better IT Results | Training

A common frustration among business executives is that they’re spending all this money on computers for their employees and they keep having to replace them sooner than expected. Sometimes it’s because the computer’s performance has slowed down to a crawl and is hindering productivity; other times, the computer breaks due to rough treatment.

Regardless of the reason, you want to get the most out of your investment and extend the life as long as possible. After all, computers aren’t cheap and replacing them is no fun. We get it. 

So, what can you do to help keep your computers as long as reasonably possible? We’ve found that training staff on the following list of best practices exponentially saves organizations in productivity and technology costs.

You may know the basics of caring for computers – but it’s possible that your staff doesn’t.

Here Are Some Computer Maintenance Basics for You and Your Team:

1 – Keep Computers Up-to-Date With Operating System and Software Updates

One of the most important and often over looked steps for caring for your device is being diligent about performing regular software updates, sometimes referred to as patches. As monotonous as this chore may be, it needs to get done.

Those updates are there for a reason – they protect your device from known security threats and keep it functioning properly. They also add new or updated features in some cases.

Many times, IT departments and outsourced IT providers will push updates automatically to laptops and desktop computers on a regular schedule after hours to minimize disruption during business hours. That’s why it’s important to leave your devices on, but locked or logged off, when you leave for the night.

These updates generally don’t have a pop-up or notification, however, some of your software may have pop-up update reminders. It’s important not to ignore the pop-ups, click “remind me later,” or turn off those notifications.

2 – Maintain the Devices and Clean Them of Unnecessary Clutter

Much like how your desk slowly accumulates stacks of papers and other clutter over time, so does your computer. That’s why it’s important to perform regular housekeeping or maintenance to keep your devices from slowing down.

Two main areas to declutter are your desktop and your hard disk.

Sometimes, people don’t realize that keeping a bunch of documents, images, or presentations saved to their desktop screen can slow down performance. Keeping a tidy desktop reduces the amount of processes running in the background. When it comes to your desktop screen, less is more.

“But I use the desktop all the time for things I need to find really quickly, or things I only need temporarily!” No worries – that’s just fine.

It’s best practice to only keep things you need short-term on your desktop and move everything else to its appropriate home – i.e. documents folder, pictures folder, recycle bin, etc.)

Second, running a Disk Cleanup every now and then will help keep your computer running smoothly. This gets of unnecessary files that bloat your computer.

For Windows 10, you can search for “Disk Cleanup” in the search bar and the application will show up in the list. There will be several choices in the list of things to delete, so if you need professional help, don’t hesitate to contact your IT department or outsourced IT team.

3 – Treat Your Devices With Care and Protect Them From Physical Damage

Finally, protect your asset! No amount of updates or clean up can protect your device from external damage.

If you have a laptop, keep it in a case. Don’t set anything on top of it. If you’re carrying it in a backpack or bag, don’t squish it too tightly or toss the backpack around the same way you would if it just had papers in it. And do your best not to drop it or knock it off a table.

If you work with a desktop computer, be diligent about keeping a clean work space. Even the slightest impact or accidental spill can cause your device to stop working the way you want it to.

I hope these tips are helpful for you and your staff. Our clients whose staff routinely follow these best practices enjoy the benefits of faster computing and invest less time and money on avoidable tech expenditures.

Desktop computers and laptops have an anticipated lifespan of about 3-5 years. Let’s try to make sure you get the most out of those years.