Like anything mechanical—your car, for example, or your washing machine—your laptop or desktop computer will benefit from being regularly maintained, it’ll last longer and perform better, and the regular jobs you need to do to keep it in the best possible condition won’t take you too long or need too much expertise.
The earlier you can start on these tasks, the better—if you’ve got a wheezing, sluggish computer that’s been neglected for years, it might be too late to bring it back to its normal state of operation. It’s also important to revisit these tasks on a regular basis: Maybe not every day, but certainly every few weeks.
If you’re noticing serious slowdowns on Windows or macOS, resetting your computer back to its original state is an option, as long as you’ve got all of your data backed up somewhere safe. You can find instructions for how to do this from Microsoft or Apple.
Windows and macOS keep nagging you to install updates because they’re so important: They fix bugs, optimize performance, patch security vulnerabilities, and more. You should always install operating system updates as soon as they’re available—the benefits are well worth a few minutes of inconvenience.
To manage updates on Windows, head to Settings from the Start menu and then open the Windows Update tab: From here, you can install any pending updates, check for new updates, pause updates, and see the update history of your computer. Click Advanced options, and you’re able to manage the times when automatic updates are installed and how you’re notified about them.
If you’re on macOS, open the Apple menu and pick System Settings. Head to General and then Software Update to see any pending updates that you can install. Click the small info button to the right of Automatic Updates, and you can make sure that updates for macOS are…
“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.” —William Arthur Ward