One of the most important things to keep your computer running smoothly is preventive maintenance. Some of it is common sense, such as making sure there is no dust in the back of the machine, or that the heat extraction fan is not clogged up.
As mentioned in a previous post, it is also important to make sure that the machine has up to date anti virus software, but things do not stop there.
This should be a no-brainer, but many people leave bits of data running around all over their hard disk and this slows the machine down because it literally has to look for things when trying to open programs that need specific codes or files. Keep your documents and photographs all in one place, for starters.
Also, make sure that you run regular updates to not only keep your computer safe, but also to make sure that you have the latest versions of what you are trying to run.Operating system programmers are constantly tweaking things to make them work better and you should take advantage of that.
The same goes for drivers. What are drivers? That is the software that makes programs work. If you have the latest ones, you can be sure that your computer will be working at optimal speed. You can configure your computer to download drivers automatically, but you can also do so manually by logging into the specific website and searching for them yourself.
Another one that seems obvious is to shutdown or at least reboot your computer. Ideally, you should do this every 24 hours, but once a week is also fine. It is important to remember to actually shut it down, not put it on hibernate or sleep. You will see a marked difference in performance if you reboot because the computer will shed any background tasks that it is performing.