Many PC users do not think about maintenance as long as their system is running as intended. The issue here is that they might be able to resolve future issues, or mitigate them at least, if they would run a set of tools regularly on their PC. The following guide looks at some of the recommended programs - my recommendations - that should be run regularly on a PC. Not all are maintenance related though, you also find security and privacy programs in the list for instance.
Windows PCs these days are better protected than they were ten years ago. Microsoft is for instance shipping additional security software with newer versions of the operating system, and providing free downloads of tools such as Microsoft Security Essentials. Most users run at least an antivirus software on their system, others may have added firewalls, anti-spyware tools or sandboxing programs to that list. That's a solid setup, provided that the programs get updated regularly.
But even if your PC is Fort Knox, I'd suggest to run additional on-demand software to make sure the system has not been compromised.
Privacy is all about making sure that you do not leak information or data out in the open. On PCs, this usually comes back to removing temporary or deleted files.
Maintenance ensures that your system runs as smoothly as it did on the first day of operation. Even if you are a light user, operations eventually will take their toll on your system.
Some hardware related issues can be detected before it is to late. This includes hard drives that will likely stop working in the near future, or overheating issues of the built-in video card.
It is not really necessary to run all the tools all the time. Others can be scheduled to run them completely on the system without user interaction.
Do you think an essential tool is missing? Post your favorite tools in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.