A computer maintenance checklist can ensure that your company's laptops, desktops, and mobile devices remain in top condition. With long hours of use and taking devices on the road, computers are subjected to extensive wear and tear. A regular computer maintenance checklist can help your IT department tune up computers when your team is in the office, and even provide guidelines to tech savvy users on how to take better care of their machines. Here's a ten point checklist to keep even machines with heavy use and travel in top condition.
- Anti-virus: Install an anti-virus and malware protection program. Run a full scan on the computer at the initial installation to identify and remove any existing problems on the system. Configure the settings so that the program updates its virus definitions daily to protect against the latest threats. Set up a regular schedule so that the program scans the machine at least once per week.
- Backup: Choose and install an automated backup program that connects the computer to a storage program in the cloud. Define which files need to be backed up and automate a schedule for daily backups whenever the computer is connected to the internet.
- Passwords: Improve your networks security by setting smart password requirements, with minimum lengths and character guidelines. Require that your users update their passwords every ninety days, and prevent them from using their last five passwords.
- Updates: Check for operating system updates, and ensure that the system is full up to date. It's also helpful to look for Microsoft updates if your computer is a PC and other software updates for critical packages.
- Memory: Check memory usage. Since free memory is critical both to system performance and the ability to store important work products, ensure that the machine's memory is adequate to the user's needs. If not, follow your company's procedures for upgrading RAM.
- Clean: Clean the physical computer. The most important part of this is blowing dust out of the system's interior with a tool designed for that purpose. If needed, clear crumbs out of the keyboard and disinfect the shell with a computer friendly product.
- Delete: Often users allow software and files to accumulate on their machines that they no longer use. Check your company's computers for software that is no longer in use and delete it. This will help free up space and improve the user experience.
- Update drivers: Today's computers interact with a wide range of devices, from external computers to hard drives to headsets. Often, manufacturers release drivers that enhance performance and eliminate potential security risks. However, users are unlikely to update their drivers once installed. Check the driver registry and install any relevant updates.
- Cache Cleaning: As you use your computer, particularly online, your computer acquires a significant amount of useless data. Running a utility such as CCleaner removes temporary files, purges your trash, looks for errors in your registry, and more. It's quick, efficient, and combines several system clean up steps into one.
- Defragment: If you've deleted a lot of files or made significant changes to the system and software, defragging the system using the computer's built in utility or a commercial application should be your final step. This will ensure that your overall system is in optimum condition before handing it back to the user.
Your IT team has significant responsibility for keeping a range of devices in top shape. A computer maintenance checklist establishes a baseline for the ongoing upkeep of your company's property. By taking a preventative stance, you'll lengthen the life of your computers and get a better return on investment for the purchases you make.