It’s spring cleaning time again. Here at LD, we love that there’s a designated season to tidy our cupboards, closets, dressers, drawers and more. Without it, we aren’t quite certain we’d ever tackle the mess.
While you’re at it this year, why not also clean something you likely use almost daily: your computer? We’re talking inside and out, including both those cluttered files and that physical grime.
We offer these tips to get you started.
Spring Cleaning Inside Your Computer
We mean ‘inside’ in the digital sense, of course. All those little ones and zeros sure can become a tangled mess.
1. Delete, Back-up & Update Files: The first step in digital spring cleaning is going through all your software and data files, keeping only what you need and use. Remember Marie Kondo’s wisdom from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: unless you love it, lose it.
[Need help knowing what you can do without? Ask an LD expert in store.]
One option for tidying away large but important files, like family photos, is to store them on an external hard drive. You can also back files up on “the cloud,” which is really just a hard drive in another location. For this, consider using iCloud, Google Drive, or a similar service.
Finally, many too often ignore operating system and software update requests. But spring cleaning season provides a great opportunity to start fresh. Oh yeah, and don’t forget empty the trash. On your desktop, that is.
2. Clear Cookies, Caches & Spyware: Slightly trickier than removing unnecessary or excess files you’ve added yourself, is eliminating those added by others. This includes tracking software like cookies and spyware. Don’t worry, there are easy ways to clear it all. Possibly the best approach is to run top-notch security software that monitors your computer for unwanted files. There are also free security programs that work in a pinch, like SpyBot.
Clearing your browser history is also a fresh idea for spring. Sure, some cached website data may actually improve your web experience, but too many from sites you rarely visit will slow you down. So it’s good to return to a blank slate. No matter your browser, you’ll find ‘history clearing’ options in the settings.
3. Run A System Optimizer: Let’s face it, we aren’t all tech savvy or patient enough to keep our computers running ship shape. Luckily, for those who prefer to resolve errors, crashes, and freezing automatically, while also speeding up their computers, there is system optimizing software available.
Spring Clean Outside Your Computer
A dirty computer is unsanitary and just plain icky. So cleaning your computer’s exterior is a must.
1. A Squeaky Clean Screen: It’s important to keep your computer monitor clean, but using regular glass cleaner or wet cloth is not recommended. Show your monitor some due respect by using specially-designed cleaning cloths and fluids. But also, don’t forget to give your computer’s entire exterior a good, old-fashioned soapy wipe down.
2. De-Crumb Your Keyboard: Especially if you’re the type to snack at or near your computer, your keyboard probably has more than a few crumbs stuck inside. These may seem harmless, but over time they can wear out your keys. To remove them, you can start by simply tipping your keyboard upside down and shaking, or by vacuuming if that’s easier. Afterward, wipe it down and consider adding an invisible keyboard shield.
3. Blow Away Internal Dust: This “outside” technique requires getting a bit deeper in your computer. If you have a desktop tower, it should be relatively easy to open with a screwdriver. For laptops, consider watching how-to videos or speaking to an LD Expert first. Once you’re inside, the best tool for getting dust out is usually a can of air. Don’t want to open your computer up? Blowing air into the cooling fans helps, too.
Happy spring cleaning, everyone.