Computers, Mobile Devices

Spring Cleaning for Your Computer

When was the last time you cleaned your computer or other device? Cleaning your computer is an important step in maintenance, and includes tidying the storage, updating software, and cleaning the physical device.

Clean the Hardware

First off, turn off your computer and unplug it from power. If you have a case on the laptop, take it off. Get a microfiber cloth, dampen it slightly, and wipe down your computer. You can also use the damp microfiber cloth on the screen. If you keyboard is extra dirty (I’ve seen some keyboards that I didn’t want to touch), use a soft toothbrush to get between the keys. Lifehacker explains that you can use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser if you computer is greasy. Here are the official cleaning instructions from Apple.

Update your Software

Now’s a good time to update your software as well. I recommend that you do security updates as soon as they come out, but I know many people dismiss the reminders or save them for later. Update your apps on your computer, as well as your operating system.

Make Space on your Hard Drive

  1. It’s okay to delete apps that you never use on your device. You may have installed something for testing, or for a short time, and kept it installed. If you no longer need it, delete it.
  2. Clean out your old photos and videos, remove duplicates, and empty your trash.
    • export old photos to an external drive
    • save old photos to Google Photos or other online tool of your choice, as a backup
  3. Clean out your download folders. Either move files into Documents or delete them.
  4. Organize your desktop. Delete saved screenshots that you no longer need, and move files into folders in Documents. If you can’t see your desktop, it’s a good idea to clean it up. If you want to move a file but be able to quickly access it from the Desktop, make an alias/shortcut to the file on the Desktop after you move the file.

Bonus: Back Up

Back up your hard drive with the built in tool or on your computer, or copy your files over to a back up hard drive. It’s a good idea to schedule a weekly back-up time in your calendar.

Featured image from Unsplash – Made By Morro

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