7 Time-Saving Tips for Using Computers

Few things have as much potential to make us feel ignorant as our computers. But don’t despair. The simple tips

Few things have as much potential to make us feel ignorant as our computers. But don’t despair. The simple tips below will save you time, money, and frustration–and perhaps make you feel just a little bit smarter.

1. If you have a Mac, when you buy something online, do not waste paper by printing the confirmation page. Rather, choose “Print” and then from the PDF pop-up menu choose “Save PDF to ‘Web Receipts Folder.’” You then have all of your PDF receipts stashed in one handy folder.

2. Windows users shouldn’t waste money on antivirus and anti-spyware software every year. Microsoft offers a good, free security program that can be downloaded from: microsoft.com.

3. You can highlight the address bar at the top of your Web browser just by pressing Alt+D. Then just type in the new address you want.

4. You don’t need to type http://www into your web browser when entering an address. Just type the rest of the address, such as google.com or rd.com. In Safari of Firefox, you can even leave off the “.com.”

5. Keep your computer from overheating by making sure air can circulate underneath and around it. If you use a laptop, you can find special laptop holders, or simply prop your laptop up with books on either side (so the bottom can breathe!).

6. Just like your car, your computer needs regular maintenance to run properly. Get a professional to remove unwanted applications, reduce applications needlessly using up memory, remove viruses and spyware, fix registry errors, and defragment your hard drive. If done correctly, this will make a dramatic difference in the speed of your machine.

7. Back up your data! Make sure you copy all of your important documents, photographs, music, videos, etc., onto an external hard drive, CDs, DVDs, or flash disks. An external hard drive is most reliable, as flash disks don’t last forever. Also, Mac users can back up everything online using Time Machine. With your files backed up, a crash doesn’t have to be a catastrophe.

Sources: The New York Times, PCWorld.com, PCAuthority.ca, techinsert.com

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest