5 New Year’s Resolutions For Your PC

With the start of a new year fast approaching, many people are making personal New Year’s resolutions such as to lose a few pounds or save some extra money.  Your PC is also looking for changes this New Year.  Here are 5 simple New Year’s Resolutions for your PC.

1) Upgrade your web browser

Upgrading your web browser is one of the best things you can do for your PC in the new year.  Believe it or not, many people are still using Internet Explorer 6 which is almost 10 years old.  An updated web browser is one of your first lines of defense against the malicious activities that occur on the internet.  Below are a couple of web browsers that you could upgrade to.

Firefox

If you looking for a customizable, stable and secure web browser, then Firefox is for you.  Having an extensive collection of add-ons to customize your browser makes Firefox a great alternative to Internet Explorer.  Firefox is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

Chrome

The newest competitor to the browser market, Google Chrome boasts superior Javascript performance over other browsers.  With the recent announcements of extensions for Chrome as well as beta versions of the browser for Mac and Linux users, Chrome has become a viable alternative to Internet Explorer.

2) Creating a testing environment

One way that your PC becomes slow and cluttered is from the parts of programs which remain on your hard drive after uninstalling the software.  Having a secondary PC for testing software and applications would be ideal, but not everyone has access to that luxury.

Setting up a virtual machine allows you to have a guest operating system running in a host operating system.  A virtual machine will allow you to install software without it affecting the operating system of your host computer.  Take a look here for some more information on what a virtual machine is and how to get started using one.  I also wrote an in-depth guide on installing Windows 7 on a virtual machine.

3) Change your anti-virus software

It is important to have updated anti-virus software installed on your PC to defend against viruses and other malicious software that thrives on the internet.  Many users are unaware whether their anti-virus software is updated and running properly.  This often occurs when 30-day trails or paid yearly subscriptions run out.  Switching to a free anti-virus solution will help to save money and keep your PC secure.  Listed below are some great free anti-virus alternatives.

4) Free-up space on your hard drive

With years of use, your PC’s hard drive can become cluttered with remnants of old software, duplicate files, and unnecessary software installers.  Removing these extra files can free-up space on your hard drive.  Below are a couple of programs that can assist with this.

WinDirStat

Running WinDirStat on your PC will give you a visual representation of the files on your hard drive.  This will allow you to easily spot large files and remove the outdated and unnecessary ones.  Read my guide for more information on using WinDirStat.

CCleaner

CCleaner will allow you to clean Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, History and Search results from all popular web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, along with temporary files from Windows and other third-party applications.  To find out more about CCleaner, read my guide.

5) Backup your files

Your computer has crashed, now what?  If you have backups, it’s no big deal.  Keeping a backup of your important files will make restoring your computer much easier.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a great way to keep a backup of your important files.  Offering 2 GB with the free version, Dropbox allows you to sync your files with other computers and devices such as the iPhone.  Read more about Dropbox here.

SyncToy

SyncToy is another way to keep backups of your important files by using a free application from Microsoft to copy, move, rename, and delete files between storage devices or computers quickly and easily.  Read our guide on SyncToy for more information.

These are just some of the things you can do for your PC in the New Year.  If you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

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Published by Dustin Patterson

Dustin Patterson is the co-founder and editor of Techerator and holds an Industrial Technology degree emphasizing in Electronics and Control Systems from the University of North Dakota. He enjoys technology, music, coffee, and all types of desserts.