There comes a time in every person’s life where it’s time to let go of their computer.

It’s hard to know if your computer has a little more life left in it or if it’s time to upgrade. Maybe there are some things you can do to improve it! 

You can follow these guidelines to evaluate for yourself.

Clean it up

Like your car, a computer needs to be tuned up every few months. Can you imagine if you didn’t change your oil for years? Years of surfing the web or downloading files can leave thousands of small digital files behind, slowing down your device or worse infecting it.

Beyond the little files, there also could be really big ones that you don’t even know are there. Depending on what you use your computer for, there could be whole sets of applications you never even touch. Getting rid of them could give your computer some much needed extra space.

Scan for Viruses & Malware

You may be familiar with the word “malware.” Around our office, it’s one of those words we hate to hear.

Malware is a virus or bug your computer can get. They could be almost unnoticeable, or they could have serious consequences. Like your body getting sick, if your computer gets infected it only gets easier to pick up more malware.

Sadly, a lot of malware is downloaded by pretending it’s helping you! It’s like the story of the Trojan horse all over again. It says it’s one thing, but really it’s another. A good rule of thumb is to never download a foreign program - no matter how promising it looks. Always double check it’s legitimacy.

Even a computer that seems like it’s working fine may have some.

The good news is that most malware can be removed. If your computer is running particularly slow or it’s not acting the way you think it ought, malware is always a good first thing to check. We recommend a weekly malware scan for all your computers!

Don’t Be Afraid to Invest

These days technology is growing at lightning speed. If it’s over 5 years old, it’s probably time to replace it. You can clean out, upgrade, and optimize a machine only so much before you hit the point of diminishing returns. The last thing you want to do is wait until something breaks, that’s when saving your files becomes really difficult.

It’s easy to want to save a buck when buying a new device, but if you’re investing, make sure it’s one that will last years to come! We use technology more and more these days! If you aim high and get a great new computer, you may be surprised at how much it improves your life and how easy using technology can be.

Although these guidelines aren’t extensive, they are a great starting place for evaluating your computer and keeping it healthy. If your computer is broken or in seriously bad shape, it may be time to get a new one. If you think it still has some life in it, some cleaning out and tuning up may be all it needs. Either way, give us a call. Over at Neighborhood Nerds, it’s our specialty to help people like you with questions like this!