Written by IEEE | February 8, 2016 | Updated: March 30, 2017
The thought of giving your computer files a clean-sweep may feel daunting, but in the spirit of Clean Out Your Computer Day, we’ve drummed up a list of 5 simple steps to make the process painless.
- Clean the Desktop: Take the time to organize files and images into specific folders to declutter your desktop. Be realistic about programs and files that you don’t use regularly, and delete the ones that haven’t been opened in six months or longer.
- Backup Data: Make the act of “backing up” second nature by snagging an external hard drive, and ensuring all files are saved there. If your computer doesn’t have a recurring backup option, use your calendar to set up alerts reminding you to backup every week.
- Protect Yourself: Software update notifications can be obnoxious, but they serve a purpose. Software vulnerabilities are discovered daily, and a simple patch release available by update can be what stands between you and your privacy. Set aside a time each week to update your programs — you’ll have an hour powered down, while your device remains fully protected.
- Organize your Inbox: Inbox Zero may not be realistic, but tending to your inbox with some TLC will save you hours of deletion time down the road. Sort through e-mails and file them in folders if they need to be archived, and look into an unsubscribe service to get off those mailing lists for newsletters you never read.
- Clean the Physical Computer: No one wants a computer virus, but what about a virus from your computer? The monitor, mouse and keyboard are germs factories. Use canned air or gentle cleansers and disinfectant wipes to clean the nooks and crannies where crumbs and grime hide. Don’t forget to dust the fans on the back or bottom of your computer. Dust can impede cooling and harm the internal components.
Your computer will thank you for celebrating this holiday with increased memory, RAM and speed. Keeping your technology clean and working great is the key to being productive and happy at work and at home.