5 Monthly Maintenance Steps for Your Laptop or Computer

5 monthly maintenance steps for your laptop or computer

To keep your laptop running smoothly, it’s important to take care of some of its maintenance needs every week or month. Create a checklist of things you need to do on a regular basis. Here are five ideas:

Clean Out Your Computer

Clean out your computer at least once a month. A lot of junk files will accumulate, and storing too much data can slow down your computer. Uninstall unneeded programs and delete old files. Use the built-in disk cleanup tool to clean out your disk.

Clean Up Your Computer

Clean up your computer physically as well. Doing this on a monthly basis will prevent dust bunnies from accumulating in the fan and other internal areas, which can slow down your computer. In addition, wipe the screen so that it’s clear.

Update Your Software

Make sure that all of your installed programs are up to date. This will help keep your computer safe from viruses. In addition, check for any Windows updates that you may have missed and install them.

Do an Antivirus Scan

Do a deep scan of your entire system at least once a month. A deep scan will go through your entire system and check for any hidden viruses or Trojan horses in your system files. You can do a quick scan more often.

Backup Your Data

It’s important to back up your data regularly. Ideally, you should do it once a week or once a day, depending on the importance of your files and how often you update them. At the very least, do it once a month. This will let you recover your files in case your data gets lost to ransomware or for any other reason.

For more computer tips, contact us today!

5 Steps to Speed up a Chrome Browser

5 steps to speed up a chrome browser

As our dependency upon technology increases, so does the demand for faster and faster response times. Most of the time, our technology devices are very responsive. On occasion though, some of the most-used features of technology such as Google’s Chrome browser seem to become slower and slower.

Fortunately, there are a few easy things that individuals can do to bring back that lightning fast response time they enjoyed when their device was brand new.

Check for Malware and Viruses

One of the main reasons why browser response times become slower is due to malware and/or software viruses. Let your IT support team know about your slower browser response times. They can perform some extra security checks to determine if the reduced speed is due to a virus or malware.

Use Google’s Cleanup Tool

If your device is free of malware and viruses, and you are still having trouble with a slow Chrome browser, Google does offer a free Cleanup tool. Simply search for and download the Chrome Cleanup Tool, follow the instructions to run the file, and let it perform its cleanup work. 

Reduce Flash Use

Although web developers are definitely moving away from using Adobe Flash Player, there may be some older websites that still use it. To gain control over using Flash Player in the Chrome browser, simple enter the following into the browser address bar: “chrome://settings/content?search=Flash”. From there, click on the “Flash” tab and either select “Block” or “Ask first”.  

Optimize Image Rendering Speed

The world wide web is full of great images to view, but they tend to slow down user experience. For those who want to see if they can speed things up, try increasing the way the Chrome browser reads images by bumping up a flag entitled, “Raster Threads”. To change the setting, type in “chrome://flags/” into the browser address bar. In the search feature on the page, look for “Number of raster threads” and change the setting to “4”. Keep in mind that this particular feature is experimental and Google may remove it at any time.

Go back to Default

Lastly, if you’ve tried all the suggestions and are still not satisfied with browser response times, going back to the way the browser was originally set up could do the trick. From the Chrome browser, click on the 3 dots in the upper right corner. From the menu that appears, click on “Settings”. From there go to “Advanced”, then select “Reset and clean up”. Going back to default won’t erase any saved passwords, history or bookmarks, which are the items most people want to save anyway.

If you’d like to know more about keeping all your devices super responsive, please contact us!

4 Tips To Get More Battery Life from Your Laptop

4 tips to get more battery life from your laptop

No matter what you use it for, your laptop’s portability is what makes it your most important tool. The busy lifestyles of students and workers rarely allow anyone the luxury of staying in one place long enough to complete everything. A multitasker’s laptop serves as a workstation, a homework helper, and a source of entertainment. You can’t afford to be chained to an outlet all day, so try these tips to get more life from your battery.

1. Change the Battery Setting

Laptop manufacturers want to cover all the bases. Your laptop needs to work at peak performance to access important information. However, when it’s crucial to conserve battery life, you probably don’t mind some compromises. Windows uses a slider to allow you to decide how much functionality you are willing to sacrifice for the life of your battery. Mac has all of the same options in the energy saver window using a checklist. Choosing from these settings can decrease screen brightness, limit background apps, and prevent mail apps from syncing.

2. Close Energy Hogging Apps

The apps sucking up all the energy on your laptop may be apps you aren’t actively using. Check your downloaded apps to see which ones are using the most energy. The easiest way to do this in windows is to simply type what you are looking for into the search bar. Searching “See which apps are affecting battery life” or “See which processes startup automatically” will allow to you detect apps you might be able to deactivate. Mac users can search for Users and Groups and click the Login Items tab. Often apps you have forgotten to close are using a lot of power.

3. Use Airplane Mode

If you aren’t using the internet or Bluetooth, airplane mode can be a great battery saver. Disabling WiFi and Bluetooth also saves energy through the apps that constantly use them for updates and notifications.

4. Keep a Spare

A spare battery can be a lifesaver when you are somewhere you can’t plug in. Many laptop manufacturers even offer batteries that last longer than the original one that came in your laptop. External battery packs are also available.

For more information about how to keep your laptop at peak performance, contact us at 4 Corner IT. We are happy to answer all of your questions and meet all of your computer performance needs.

Dual Monitors Can Double Your Productivity

dual monitors can double your productivity

It’s no secret that cluttered work spaces not only stress employees but they also make it harder for an employee to be productive throughout their workday. Messes prevent professionals from completing their work as professionals. The same thing applies to a computer desktop, also. A screen that is littered with icons and other documents will make it hard for an employee to organize their work and remain productive.

Messes prevent professionals from completing their work as professionals. The same thing applies to a computer desktop, also. A screen that is littered with icons and other documents will make it hard for an employee to organize their work and remain productive.

However, there is one simple solution to a crowded desktop. That is simply to double the amount of screen space that a worker has by using a dual monitor. For example, dual monitors allow an employee to study one document while creating or working on another. Endless switching back and forth between windows and juggling tabs to find what is being looked for will decrease productivity and increase time spent hunting and searching for information.

While many jobs can be done with just one monitor, two makes it much more easy to do some tasks and much more enjoyable for the employee.

Two Monitors, Endless Uses

The dual monitor system can prove to be used for an endless amount of tasks. From creating a document or writing an email while looking at another source of information or a document to scrolling through various sources of data, dual monitors allow jobs to be done in a fraction of the time that it would take with only a single monitor. 

Other uses for dual monitors include graphic designing, image manipulation, and editing of certain documents.

Finally, using more than one screen allows you to stack one image on each screen and to look back and forth while making comparisons to make sure your work is being done as it needs to be. Organizing editing space is also made much more simple. Stacking tools and menus can also help you stay focused and finish the task at hand more quickly so you can maintain your productivity throughout your workday.

More Than Two Screens

It doesn’t stop at two screens for many professionals today. Any various number of screens can be used by professionals to help save them time from having to move from window-to-window and to save time toggling between screens rather than focusing on getting work done. For example, it’s not uncommon for stock traders or market analysts to have 6 or more screens opened at one time so they can view a variety of different information and make choices all without having to change the screens on the same monitor endless times to make a trade or to analyze an investment. 

Customized To Your Liking

When you have more than one monitor on at a time, you can set each monitor up to work the way you like it. You can decide what to do display on each screen at a given time without having to worry about going through and finding other information which can waste time that you would otherwise be used for further productivity. Many monitors can rotate to certain angles to allow you to show work to a coworker or someone you are working with. Others allow you to change the landscapes of the screen to see information in a way that is comfortable for you. In the end, the possibilities of using multiple screens are endless and you are the one in control of what you put on what monitor.

A Boost to Productivity

Saving all the time that would otherwise be spent toggling screens and looking for information can be saved, which boosts productivity. Getting more done in a day is always nice and it helps you get the work your employer wants you to do in a day done. Even a 10-15% increase in productivity is vital in the competitive business market of today, which makes the dual monitor system a worthy business investment for your company.

For more information on investing in a dual monitor system that can help boost your company’s productivity, please contact us at 4 Corner IT for further assistance.

Preserve Your Sanity This Holiday Season

preserve your sanity this holiday season
Preserve Your Sanity This Holiday Season

Isn’t it ironic that the most “wonderful” time of the year can also be deemed the most stressful? We are familiar with the challenges of long work days and endless deadlines, however, if you throw a family gathering or office party in the mix, it’s enough to send you crawling under a rock!

Although it can be chaotic, always remember to take care of yourself first. Preserve your sanity this holiday season by following these key tips:

Be Lazy

No, but seriously. Do it. Turn your alarm off and sleep in for a day if you can. Indulge in whatever unwinds you from a stressful work week.

Whether you binge watch your favorite Netflix series over a glass of wine or go out or get pampered with a deep tissue massage, you deserve it! No matter how organized or balanced you are, we all need to push the reset button sometimes. It will lead to increased productivity when you go back into the real world and most importantly, it just feels good.

Learn the Word “No.”

We have all been there. Sometimes saying “no” to friends and family social functions makes us feel guilty and instead, we overextend ourselves and become down right exhausted. The holidays bring more social gatherings than usual and it’s understandable if your schedule can’t fit them all. Be honest and upfront with those close to you and take advantage of the down time that you have for yourself.

Turn Off the Electronics

It’s no secret that we are addicted to technology. Whether it’s replying to e-mails or browsing social media, it’s a hard habit to break. But I challenge you to take a day or even just a few hours to put down your phone or laptop and really take a moment to embrace the spirit of the holidays. Reconnect with family or just take a moment to yourself and relax.

While the holidays can be stressful, it’s important not to forget about ourselves amidst the chaos. Enjoy spoiling yourself for a moment, speak up if you’re overwhelmed, and make a commitment to turn off your electronics.

And when it’s back to reality, alleviate the stresses of work by utilizing 4 Corner IT for your tech solutions. Be sure to contact us today!