Spring Cleaning Your Tech
You wash dishes every day. You do your laundry once a week. And every spring, you clean out the garage, get rid of old clothes, throw wide the windows and let in the breeze that blows the winter cobwebs away. But what’s the one place you spend most of your time that rarely gets this royal treatment? Your laptop! So this season, spring clean your machine like this:
1. Tidy your desktop. Just like a real desk, you’ll always feel more productive if you start with a clean slate, so delete any shortcuts or files you never use. Organize the files you do use into folders and back up everything in the cloud or on an external drive.
2. Purge the apps. In Settings>Apps and Features, remove any programs you no longer use. Anything you haven’t used in 6 months is probably safe for removal.
3. Update protection. This means installing or updating antivirus software and spyware to protect against malware and adware that can slow the speed of your machine (or worse).
4. Update applications. We often avoid taking the time to make regular or scheduled updates, but as part of your spring cleaning, click the UPDATES AVAILABLE banners on that pop up on your most often used applications.
5. Clear the cache. Your internet browser holds a lot of data you may only need once, so clear the cache of unnecessary files, cookies, history, and plug-ins that can slow progress. You may lose some passwords that typically autofill, but the benefits of a swifter browsing experience outweigh the frustration of creating a new password. You should also review your Downloads folder. Since many files open automatically from your browser, the Downloads folder may fill up without your even noticing.
6. Dump your trash. When you’ve finished purging files, shortcuts, downloads, and unused applications, right-click your Recycle Bin icon and select Empty Recycle Bin.
7. Dust it. Dust and other particles can get into the nooks and crannies of your machine, causing keys to stick. Regularly, give the keys a blast of compressed air and run a soft cloth over the screen. Never spray liquid directly onto the machine.