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Avast Academy Bad Habits: 5 Ways You're Using Your PC Wrong

Bad Habits: 5 Ways You're Using Your PC Wrong

You think you got your PC fully figured out? Think again: In this article we’ll show you how you (probably) are using your computer wrong or following popular PC myths. These five tips will turn you into a real pro and could even prevent your PC from melting down.


Bad habit 1: Turning your PC off and on to solve a problem

Have you tried turning it off and on again? This classic meme has been true since the early days of Windows, back in the early 90s: Whenever PCs act up, you just reboot them and they’re good to go.

Hamburguer menu icon

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    However, modern Windows doesn’t actually fully shut down and re-initialize when you shut it down. A feature called Fast Startup actually makes sure that when you turn off your PC, it mostly enters a sort of hibernation mode, saving a huge part of its current working state to the disk and then picking it up again when you turn it back on — including potential issues you might’ve had. 

    To make sure you fully shut down Windows, you have two options:

    1. Reboot: Clicking on Start and selecting Reboot will actually perform a full shutdown and reboot. If you just click Shutdown, you’ll end up in fast boot. 

    2. Turn off Fast Boot: You can also disable fast boot. To do that, click on Start, and type in Power plan and hit Enter. Click on Power Options on the top.

      On the left hand side, click Choose what closing the lid does. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. Uncheck Turn on fast start-up (recommended). After hitting Save changes, you’ll actually be able to “fully” shut down your PC.

    Bad habit 2: Letting all apps run at startup

    After installing all your favorite and necessary programs when setting up a laptop, you’ll end up with many so-called “Startup items.” These add some functionality to your programs when you turn on your PC, but in many cases you can just disable them. For example, do you really need Steam or TeamViewer to automatically launch in the background, or can you just launch them manually when you need them?

    Startup items in your taskbarWe bet the latter is the case. Bonus tip: Use our App Optimizer (also known as Sleep Mode) in Avast One, which detects and optimizes startup programs and much more!

    Bad habit 3: Using your laptop in the blazing sun

    Especially in the spring and summer, folks want to use their laptops outside:

    Using a laptop in the blazing sun for prolonged periods of time could damage it

    Sure, this is fun, but your laptop and its batteries can become quite hot, reducing its lifespan. If you must, make sure to use enough ventilation, and put something under your laptop so that there’s some airflow coming in under your laptop.

    Bad habit 4: Not reading the fine print before downloading or installing software

    If you just hit Next, Next, Next, and Install when installing software, you’ll often end up installing unwanted products. This type of adware can be very annoying and in some cases even end up harming your PC:

    Driveby installers load software on your machine you never wanted

    Please make sure you read the instructions and uncheck any unwanted products, or select Skip and I do not accept when something is being offered to you.

    Bad habit 5: Using an old version of Windows 10 (or Windows 7, Vista, or XP)

    “Updates slow things down,” “Updates bring only problems,” “I don’t think my hardware or software will work after an upgrade,” “I don’t have time for updates now...they take so long!”

    I think I’ve heard just about every excuse for holding off major Windows updates. This is why some users are still on old versions of Windows, which have long been abandoned by Microsoft. A decent percentage of users out there are still on Windows 7 and even Vista or XP. This is simply reckless, because you’ll be the target of hackers as Microsoft is no longer supporting these aging operating systems. 

    The reality is: The latest versions of Windows 10 have a good track record of upgrading quite smoothly. When you hear any rumors around a major issue, it usually affects a very small percentage of users worldwide. You’ll likely be fine if you just bite the bullet and upgrade.

    Windows 7 desktop

    Watch this space for more tips on wrong habits. In the meantime, the tips above should get you in a good spot, help you avoid common misconceptions, and prevent you from harming your PC.

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