Windows maintenance is essential if we want to ensure our computer runs smoothly and without issues. Even though it becomes easier with every new version, it's important not to neglect it. However, there are certain actions that we should avoid as they can cause more harm than good. In our guide, we present the biggest mistakes in Windows maintenance and how to prevent them.
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In case you are not familiar with it, Windows registry is a database that stores low-level settings and information for our operating system (OS). We can think of it as the DNA of our computer.
If you want to learn more about the Windows registry, our article will answer any questions you might have.
There are a lot of applications that promise to make our computer run faster by fixing registry errors and deleting old registry entries, which are supposedly slowing down our computer.
But cleaning the registry is one of the biggest mistakes in Windows maintenance. In most cases, it won’t make our PC run faster, and it can create additional problems.
It’s true that Windows registry can contain useless entries from applications that we no longer use. Still, those entries won’t affect the performance of our computer, at least not to a notable extent.
We don't need to clean the registry, and it’s better to stay away from this kind of software.
Using a RAM optimizer
Similar to registry cleaning software, using a RAM optimizer is a common mistake in Windows maintenance. Applications that supposedly optimize the memory of our computer are more likely to create new problems instead of fixing any existing ones.
RAM optimizers are based on a misunderstanding. We may notice that Windows withhold a significant amount of our RAM, even when we only have our browser running.
That can be surprising to some of us and make us think that something is wrong with our computer. We may wonder how are we ever going to run additional programs when our PC needs 50% of our RAM just to run a browser application.
In some older OS like Windows Vista, high RAM usage was an indicator that there is a problem with our PC or our OS. But that’s not the case anymore.
Nowadays, high RAM usage indicates that our OS can efficiently manage its resources. Our computer uses the available memory to store cached data and as a result, completes tasks and runs functions faster.
If our computer needs more resources to run a program, it can instantly delete the cached data and free up memory to run that application.
Moreover, the majority of modern computers come with more than enough RAM for the average user. Even 4GB of memory is enough unless we are doing some intense gaming, video editing or have tens of tabs open in our browser.
Neglecting Windows Updates
Neglecting software updates is a common practice for most of us. Why would we mess with something that works perfectly fine? Like Bert Lance said, “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.”
Updates can create new bugs, and they can be time consuming and inconvenient. Every so often, there is a bad patch that will turn our perfectly functional application into a mess.
But updating Windows is not the same as updating our applications. Windows updates are vital in Windows maintenance and can keep our computer safe from potentially malicious software.
They can fix security vulnerabilities which a malware software or a hacker can exploit, trying to get access to our PC. Moreover, updates can address bugs and improve the stability of our computer.
In any case, updates are mandatory in Windows 10. We can postpone them for a bit, but eventually, we will have to give up and install them. If you use an older version of Windows, like Windows 8, we will advise you to try keeping your OS up to date.
Not backing up our data
When you think about it, there are a lot of different situations that can make us unexpectedly lose our files. [σύνταξη πρότασης σωστή?]Virus infection, computer crashes, hard drive failure or physical damage, can happen anytime.
Imagine spending months on a project, only to lose all of your progress due to malicious software that caused data loss. Or being unable to access your summer vacation photos, because your hard drive suddenly died.
Whether it’s on the cloud or just on an external hard drive, an up-to-date backup can potentially save us from a lot of trouble and frustration. If we care about our data, it is mandatory to keep a backup.
Not using Windows automatic cleaning feature
Windows maintenance becomes easier with each new version of Windows. Using Windows self-cleaning feature can help us keep our OS stable and functional.
The defragmentation of our hard drive (in case we don’t use an SSD) and the erasure of our old and useless files can automatically occur in Windows 10. The only thing we have to do is enable the automatic cleaning tool.
We can run the cleaning tool by opening the Windows settings, selecting system and then storage. There, we can ask Windows to automatically delete the files that we don’t use anymore or clean the recycle bin for us. We can even see how much space we saved last month.
As to the defragmentation, it’s important to remember to only run it on HDDs and not on SSDs. Luckily for us, Windows can completely automate this procedure.
By typing "Defragment and Optimize Drives" in Windows search bar, we can set the defragmentation and optimization frequency for each of our hard drives. Then, we just have to make sure that the schedule optimization is active.
Neglecting hardware maintenance
Even though the majority of mistakes in Windows maintenance are software related, we still can’t overlook taking care of our hardware.
Dust, smoke and the hair of our beloved pets are our hardware’s worst enemy. They pile up inside our computer case, slow down our PC and even lower our computer’s lifespan.
It’s essential to clean our hardware frequently, especially if we use our PC for many hours per day. Moreover, it’s vital to reapply thermal paste in our CPU, at least once a year.
If you are not sure how and when to clean your computer, check our thorough article below.
How important is Windows maintenance for you?
Have you ever made any of those mistakes in the past? Were you unlucky enough to cause more damage than good? Share your experiences with us in the comments and write down your thoughts along with any questions you might have.
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- Windows Computer Maintenance with the Free Glary Utilities Pro
- How To Repair Windows 7, 8.1, 10 Without Format And Data Loss
- How To Create a Windows Virtual Machine in Linux and Windows
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