It’s that time of year when many people are spring cleaning their houses. Why not “spring clean” your computer, too? Since we use computers on a daily basis, it’s easy for them to become cluttered with unnecessary files, programs, and applications that can slow down performance and make it difficult to find what we need.
Periodically taking the time to clean out your computer can keep it running smoother, while also improving your security and protecting your data. In fact, the United States Cybersecurity Magazine notes that “data can become corrupted if your hard drive fills up. Additionally, you will be unable to update your software. This means that all the antivirus software and regular patches and fixes that protect you from malware, hackers, etc, will be unable to function properly.” All the more reason to clean out your computer today!
Here, we discuss some of our top tips for spring cleaning your computer.
Organize Your Files
One of the first steps to cleaning out your computer is to organize your files. Create a system for organizing your files that works for you, such as by project, date, or type. Use folders to keep related files together, and delete any files you no longer need.
It’s also important to remove temporary and/or duplicate files, which can be created by various programs on your computer and can take up unnecessary space on your hard drive. To get rid of them, you can utilize a Disk Cleanup tool, such as CCleaner, CleanMyPC, and AVG PC TuneUp. You may consider Norton’s tool suggestions, too. Some computers may already come with one — for example, on Windows, you can search for a “Disk Cleanup” tool in the Start menu. This will help free up space on your hard drive and improve computer performance.
Remove Unused Programs and Applications
Over time, you may have installed programs that you no longer use or need. These programs can take up valuable space on your computer and/or hard drive and slow down your computer. We recommend reviewing the programs and applications you have installed on your computer and uninstalling any that you no longer need or use on a regular basis.
For a detailed steps on uninstalling unused programs and applications on PCs and Macs, refer to this guide from Popular Science.
Clean Up Your Browser
Your browser cache is where your browser stores temporary data, such as images and website data, to make pages load faster. However, over time, this cache can become backed up and slow down your browsing experience. Clear your browser cache regularly to keep your browser running smoothly.
We also recommend checking for updates. This is important to do on your browser, as well as your computer. As a general rule of thumb, running regular updates is important for security and performance reasons. Check for updates to your operating system, antivirus software, and other programs installed on your computer, and install any updates that are available. For one less step to worry about, you can turn on automatic updates whenever possible.
Backup Your Data
As a final “clean up” step, we recommend utilizing a robust backup software to ensure your most important data stays protected. If you already have backup software in place, you may want to consider cleaning out old backups to free up space.
Make Use Of offers the following advice in their “7 Tips to Give Your PC a Security Spring Clean” article:
“To keep your files safe and free up space on your PC, consider transferring files to an external hard drive that connects to it via USB. You can then encrypt the removable drive with BitLocker or your preferred encryption software and keep it separate for additional security. If you need more drive space on your computer, uploading files to cloud services like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox might be the solution. In addition, online backups are convenient; they can protect your data from theft, damage, and other physical threats.”
We couldn’t agree more! Without a fast, reliable data and operations data backup plan in place, you are at risk of losing critical business data such as financial records, partner information, member lists, and more.
Need Assistance? Connect With Varsity
Whether you’re interested in an extra pair of hands to help “spring clean” your team’s devices, or you’re looking for long-term technology support, Varsity is here for you. We provide a variety of Managed IT Services for nonprofits, education institutions, and healthcare organizations to help them grow and strengthen their mission impact.
From cybersecurity services to data backup and support, we have the technology expertise and industry experience to help your organization grow. Contact us today to see how we can customize the right technology solutions for you.