March 20 is the first day of spring. For me, just thinking about spring ignites energy and, as Marie Kondo would say, “sparks joy.” Afterall, spring is the season of “tidying up.” But spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to the physical items in your home or office. To feel most organized and prepared, we’ve put together some easy tips to tidy up your computer:
1. Clean Your Desktop
When you login to your computer, it’s the first thing you see. If you open up your computer to a cluttered mess of random documents, folders and applications, it makes you want to shut it down. Now’s the time to delete any copies of files, old apps, outdated documents, or things you no longer use. Organize your documents in appropriately named folders that are easy to access. Your desktop is your workspace, so it’s understandable that it would get cluttered while working on projects. However, just like anything else, you shouldn’t let it get out of hand. We suggest making it a habit to declutter your desktop at LEAST once every week.
2. Wipe Your Browser
After sorting through your files, check your internet browser for extensions and remove any you don’t recognize or no longer use. Deleting old or unused browser extensions can significantly improve computer speed and load-time. Along with eliminating extensions, clear your cache, cookies and history for an even faster experience.
3. Perform a Malware Scan
There are lots of malware software services on the market to keep your computer safe. The best way to avoid future problems with your computer is to be proactive. Properly scanning your PC for viruses and other malware is easy and could take several minutes or longer. The more files you have, and the slower your computer is, the greater the time the scan will take. One way to speed up the scanning process is to delete temporary files so that the anti-malware program doesn’t have to scan through all that useless data. Although it isn’t common, if the virus is being stored in a temporary folder, then doing this might even remove the virus right away before you start the scan.
4. Back Up Your Data
Back up EVERYTHING. Dropbox, Onedrive, external hard drive… No matter what method you choose, back it up. Maybe you want to free up some space on your computer by deleting some of your personal files (family pictures, financial documents, etc.), but you don’t want to lose them forever? You can move these files to the cloud or store them on an external drive. For all the data you do decide to keep on your computer, back that up too. Cloud back-ups are best for this purpose. If you only want to pay attention to one of our tips today, pay attention to this one.
5. Sanitize Your Computer
Like our smart phones that research says are ten times dirtier than toilet seats, our computers are heavily used and rarely cleaned. This is a great opportunity to sanitize your keyboard, monitor, and mouse (if you use one). Need more information on externally cleaning your computer? Here’s a reference for desktops and one for laptops.
If you are interested in making your spring cleaning even easier and automating many of these steps, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-939-8240.