Keep your computer running smoothly

I get asked a lot of questions from individuals on how they can keep their home computers running smoothly. 

So on this page you'll find links to free software and services that you can use to keep your own machines running as trouble free as possible:

General Maintenance (Windows & Mac)

Windows based machines slow down as time goes by, mostly because the more you use a PC the more cluttered it gets and so the slower it runs.

The links below will take you to a list of software that can de-clutter your machine and restore to it's 'just out of the box' speed..or something close to it:
Mac's on the other hand require considerably less maintence to keep them running smoothly, however if you do own a mac you may wish to consider installing and running these free apps:

Software & Driver Updaters (Windows & Mac)

The links below will take you to free software which you can download that will automatically scan your machine and then let you know if there are any new versions for the applications and/or drivers you have installed on your machine, along with giving you the option of downloading and installing them - saving you lots of time & hassle in keeping your machine up to date:

  • File Hippo Update Checker - This will scan your machine for out of date software and then let you download any available updates for free.
  • Device Doctor - This will scan your machine for out of date drivers and then give you links to download the latest versions of any outdated ones that you have on your machine.
If you own a Mac and have purchased apps from the App Store then you'll be alerted automatically when new versions are out, however for applications that were not downloaded form the app store you may wish to consider downloading CNET's TechTracker software:

Anti-Virus Software (Windows & Mac)

Windows does not (yet) come with an anti-virus programme out of the box so it's up to you to ensure you have one installed on your computer.  Thankfully there are lots of great, free anti-virus applications out there, the link below will take you to some of the best:
If you are a Mac user then you can download the free Sophos Anti Virus software via the link below:

Malware Removal (Windows)

"Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses."

Data Recovery (Windows)

If you've accidentally deleted files and/or folders AND emptied the recycle bin then you'll need some data recovery software to get it back.  The links below will take you to software that allows you to recover files that might otherwise be lost...

System Restore Tools (Windows)

Sometimes you need to do more that recover the odd file or folder and do a complete system restore.  The link below takes you to software that lets you so a complete backup and restore of your entire PC:

Power Management (Windows)

If you have a laptop then you might be familiar with the concept of "Power Plans", these dictate how much power your laptop consumes and you can change them depending on whether or not your laptop is plugged into the mains or not.  On my machines I use Aerofoil to automatically disable power hungry settings on my machines when they are just running off the battery, when the machines are plugged back into the mains then Aerofoil re-enables these settings so that my machines are always running at optimal settings.