Whether a desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, or all-in-one computer is being used, they all have fundamental features and properties in common that enables one to apply a universal type of maintenance template. With the rapid advancement of computer technology, whether used in the home or business place, maintenance simplification should be applied in order to make management of computers feasible — otherwise one will find themselves in “over their heads”, lost in a world of technical jargon searching through seemingly endless pages of online computer repair tips — many of which require some advanced degree of knowledge of computers. Keeping the following points below in mind will reduce the overall complexity of computer maintenance.
Internal storage, also called a hard drive, refers to the physical space where data is stored on a computer. Data is composed of the computer operating system that enables a user to interface with a computer, computer programs used to get jobs done, data/files generated by the computer programs, and various other types of data — including personal data such as documents, music, or pictures that could be downloaded to a computer. Hard drive storage has a finite amount of space and, generally, the more data one adds to the hard drive, the closer the hard drive gets to becoming full — at this point, one must start thinking about offloading some of the data to external storage such as a CD/DVD, flash drive, or perhaps an internet storage service. When a hard drive has less than 10-15% of free space available, the computer operating system will run into problems with its processing methods, causing sluggishness, freezes, and crashes. Since the operating system (like Microsoft Windows or Android) cannot be offloaded, the only choice is to offload documents, music, pictures, and various other types of personal data.
When a computer program such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, or an online game is running, the data is stored in RAM memory. Just as with a hard drive, computers have a finite amount of RAM memory installed. Any data that must be saved permanently is transferred from RAM memory to the hard drive or to online storage. Any program that runs on a computer requires a minimum amount of RAM to run — program manufacturers will typically specify both a “minimum” amount of RAM memory and a “recommended” amount of RAM memory — the latter obviously will allow the program to run more smoothly, especially if one is attempting to run multiple programs simultaneously. If one suspects that there is not sufficient RAM memory installed on a computer — after doing the research — RAM memory can be added to the computer relatively simply and without the help of a computer technician. Some types of computers such as smartphones and tablets have a fixed amount of RAM memory which cannot be upgraded — in some cases such as these, there are “hacks” that can be done to upgrade the RAM memory although, generally, it’s a very involved process requiring above-average knowledge.
Many computer users don’t use a computer for anything except for browsing the internet. The internet is accessed by use of a software program called a browser. Popular browsers include Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari. Like computers in general, internet browsers themselves must be maintained for smooth and optimal performance. Using updated versions of the browser to fix “bugs” is generally recommended. Disabling unneeded browser extensions should be done. Deleting temporary files should be done on occasion. Browsers typically come with an “options” menu that enables a wide array of tweaks where one can further tune the browser to liking.
One of the biggest problems that plague computers is “start-up” programs. These are programs that are explicitly (sometimes implicitly) enabled to run when a computer is powered on. It can be a convenient feature — however, the problem comes when there are more programs running at computer start-up than the computer has RAM memory for. Operating systems usually have a function that enables a user to disable selected programs from running when a device is powered on. Generally, the fewer programs that are running when a computer is powered on, the faster the computer will run. Use the internet to research how to disable start-up programs for the specific operating system being used.