Best Practices for Taking Care of Your Computer

Simple Maintenance Keeps Your Computer Safe

Care for your computer

no drinks near laptop

Turn off or restart your computer completely once a day

for MacOptionally, uncheck the box that makes everything come back up

Keep your desktop tidy – only essential programs and files

Organize files by placing them in other appropriate folders (Documents, Pictures, etc.).

Check for and run updates weekly

Make sure you have anti-virus installed

for MacSophos (free)
for WindowsAVG (free), Windows Defender (Win. 10, 8), Microsoft Security Essentials (Win. 7)

Keep food and drink away from computer

Keep your battery alive – start charging at 15%

If your laptop heats up when charging – don't charge past 80%

Use multiple browsers

FirefoxChrome Recommended: Firefox and Chrome

for MacClose the program, not just the document

[Cmd + Q] or Program-name menu item > Quit Program-name

Check the dock for the icon or a little light or a black dot below the icon

Clean your computer

whisk broom

Delete old temp files

Delete old downloaded files

Scan for viruses, spyware, and malware

for Windowsfor MacMalwarebytes (free program), or any of the free antivirus programs will also perform scans


Install all updates

Restart after installing updates and repeat scans

Back up or move your files

Save your work to your M: drive

Saving your files to the network means they are secure and backed up regularly.

for WindowsYour M: drive is found at \\fsrv\username$
for MacYour M: drive is found at smb://$

Find out how much space is on your hard drive (HD)

for MacFrom the menu select Go -> Computer, then Ctrl-click on Macintosh HD (or the name of your HD) and select Get Info
for WindowsOn the start menu, click Computer, then right-click on your Local Disk (C:) drive and click Properties.

Move things to an external hard drive

for WindowsRecommended: Seagate or Western Digital
for MacPlug in the external drive; the icon will appear on the desktop. Double click to open in Finder. Open the source folder in another Finder window, and highlight the desired items to move. Drag to an appropriate folder on the external drive. (This will usually only "copy".) Verify copies are in place and delete originals and empty trash.

If using a PC-formatted drive on a Mac, we recommend re-formatting (or partitioning) for Mac [Mac OS Extended (Journaled)]

Look out for large files:

  • TV Shows
  • Movies
  • Pictures

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