Spring Clean Your Computer This Season

by News Editor on April 2nd, 2014 in Security Tips.

Spring has just sprung and with the first days of April comes that welcome reminder that the worst had passed. With that, the necessary task of spring cleaning comes along too. This year, in addition to tidying your home, consider tidying your digital home as well.

Here are a few easy steps to spring clean your computer and eliminate digital clutter:

1.    Clear off your desktop
If your computer looks cleaner, it will feel cleaner. Start at the surface and organize desktop files into folders by category: pictures, screenshots, downloads, personal files, work files, etc. Then decide what is truly essential to keep on your desktop and what can be moved elsewhere. And of course, don’t forget to throw some things away! The more you can take off your desktop the better–every time you turn on your computer, it has to load up each of these files. The less you have on your desktop, the faster your computer will turn on.

2.     Defrag your computer
This is another way to help your computer operate faster. Click on the Start button, go to All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and finally Disk Defragmenter. Run the program on your hard drive to give your PC maximum efficiency.
Then download the latest free software updates for your operating system and  your favourite programs – such as a web browser, media player and computer games.These updates plug security holes and add functionality.

3.    Scan for malware
Ensure that your PC is free of any potential harm caused by malware. Sometimes, they are hidden within your hard disk or files. Remember to run a full scan so that your anti-malware program can run through all of files for potential threats. To ensure full protection, get our comprehensive anti-malware protection, Ad-Aware Pro Security at $10 OFF.

4.    Delete old screenshots
This is easy. Just do a simple search on your computer for files including the word “screenshot” and sift through the ones you can get rid of. You’ll probably discover that this is most of them.

5.    Sift through your downloads folder
Oftentimes the files we download take up a lot of space and we don’t end up needing them more than once. If you take a moment to go through this folder you’ll be able to toss out a lot of unnecessary stuff.

6.    Delete old drafts of documents
Once you’ve finalized a document, you no longer need to be holding onto each iteration it went through to get to the final copy. Delete all the old versions except the final (or if this makes you uneasy move them to an external drive in a folder entitled “Old Drafts”). This will save you time when you’re looking for the document later, and also conserve space on your computer’s hard drive. For the future, consider including _V01, _V02, etc. to the end of your file names so later you can easily identify which is the most recent version you worked on (it’s much cleaner than “workproject-NEW-NEW-NEWEST-FINAL.doc”).

7.    Re-organize files into folders by year

This serves two purposes. First, it allows you to search for files quickly and efficiently because you’ll be able to know when you used them. Second, it allows you to identify old files you are likely not using on a day-to-day basis anymore.

8.    Move old files to an external drive
Anything you haven’t opened in the last year can be moved to an external drive. Fortunately, it will be easy to tell now how old everything is because you’ve just sorted everything into folders by year. Chances are, anything you were working on over a year ago you don’t need so frequently that it’s necessary to keep it on your actual computer rather than on an external hard drive.

And lastly, empty your recycle bin! Do you have any other digital spring cleaning secrets? Share them here!