Category Archives: Windows

7 Tips for taking care of your PC or laptop

Here are some simple steps to keep your laptop or PC in tip top shape. Some of these may sound like common sense, but accidents happen all too easily.

1. Keep liquids away from your computer. Common sense, right? Believe me, it’s too easy to accidentally spill your coffee/water/tea on a moments notice. If you can’t keep your liquids away, then at least use a cup with a lid.

2. Allow plenty of airflow. If a computer gets too hot, it can fail to work properly. Too much heat makes for slower running time, and can burn out the computer. If you are using a laptop, it’s recommended that you get a fan mat. This helps to draw out the hot air, especially if you aren’t using the laptop on a flat surface. If you are using a regular desktop, make sure that you have plenty of space around the tower to allow it to ‘breath’ and let the cool air in and hot air out.

3. Clean with compressed air. Never use regular cleaning products or liquids to clean your computer. Using a can of compressed air helps clean all the dust out- which can also help to insulate the heat inside.

4. Don’t eat around your computer. Crumbs from the food can become lodged inside the keyboard keys, becoming an invitation for small bugs and bacteria. In addition, the crumbs can ruin the circuitry.

5. Never lift the laptop by the screen. Always hold it by the base. Trying to carry the laptop by the screen side, can damage not only the screen, but the components inside. This can make for a costly repair.

6. Don’t leave your laptop in your car. Not only is this an invitation for a thief, but cars can experience rapid changes in temperature, damaging the components inside.

7. Don’t stack heavy items on top of the laptop. These can damage the screen, and the inner components.


6 Easy ways to speed up your computer system

There are many factors that can contribute to the slowness of your computer system. Too many programs, lots of temporary files and cache, missing updates and too many running programs in the background. There are a few simple things that anyone can do to help speed up the system, not just ‘computer techs’.

1. One of the most important things to do is to keep up to date in Windows Updates. To make sure that you are up to date with your system updates. To do that go to your start menu and type in “update” and you will see a menu like this appear:


Click Windows updates and your screen should now show this:

update 2

Click the check for updates link on the far left and follow the prompts from there. All important updates should always be installed.

2. Another simple way to help speed up your system is by changing what programs start-up when you boot up your system. If too many programs are trying to start-up all at the same time, it can really bog your system down. To change what programs start running on start-up, go to the start menu and type “msconfig“, without the quotes.


Once you open the program, go to the start-up tab. Un-check any boxes of the programs you don’t need immediately upon start-up, like iTunes or your printer:


If you don’t know what the program is, leave it checked.

3. Uninstall any unused programs. Over the course of the time you have a computer, you install many programs. Some you use on a regular basis, some you may use once and never use again. Go to Control Panel, Programs and Uninstall Programs. Uninstall anything you do not use to free up some disk space.

4. Run and update your anti-virus program. There are so many to choose from, but the ones I use are Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes. Both are free and both do an incredible job of keeping my computer clean and getting rid of something that sneaks in.

5. Get an external hard drive and back up your important stuff: music, pictures, documents. Anything that if your computer were to crash, you wouldn’t want to be without. If they can be stored permanently off your computer, you have just cleared up more space on your computer; if not, at least you have them backed up.

6. Clear your internet data. Every time you search the web, your computer stores tiny bits of information, called the cache, on your computer. Eventually all these tiny bits of information add up, bogging down your system. Make sure to clean the temporary internet history to free up more space.

In Chrome, go to the top far right side of the screen to the menu button, select history, and then clear browsing data:


Firefox, go to the menu at top left, history, and clear recent history.


And for those of you using IE, go to the settings gear at the top right, and go to internet options


Once you click internet options, go to browsing history, and delete.


Making sure that you follow these steps on a regular basis will keep your computer running smoothly. For more tips, and what to do if your computer is already infected with a virus visit our main site.


Windows XP patches on the way out

Microsoft Update in Windows XP.
Microsoft Update in Windows XP. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you still running Windows XP on your computer system? On April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will stop issuing security patch updates. For those working in the healthcare industry, this makes it non-compliant with HIPAA and HITECH.

For more on this and what you can do to safeguard yourself, read the full article on TechRepublic here.