Guest Guru: Eva Wallace – Spring Cleaning for Your Computer? 5 Tips to a Cleaner, Faster PC!
Spring Cleaning for Your Computer? 5 Tips to a Cleaner, Faster PC!
By Eva Wallace, Clutter Control Freak Blog,
By now, I’m sure you’ve either thought about or started some spring cleaning around your home or office. But have you considered your computer?
If you think about it, your computer has a lot in common with an office; it has a desktop, files and file folders, pictures and decorations. If your office is cluttered with piles of paper on your desk and disorganized files and sticky notes everywhere, you’re not going to be very productive and your office won’t run very smoothly.
Make a date with yourself to clean up that computer and save yourself a lot of time and headaches. The first two should be done weekly to keep you PC at top speed. Don’t be intimidated – these are surprisingly easy to do!
You can free up valuable storage space on your hard drive by using your system’s disk cleanup tool. This handy utility will identify files you may not need any more and safely delete them from your machine in about 15 minutes. This can run in the background while you are working on other things.
1) Click Start> All Programs > Accessories > System Tools> Disk Cleanup.
2) Select your primary drive (usually C 🙂 and click ok.
3) View the suggested files to delete, and uncheck any that you use frequently. Click Ok.
You’ll speed up your computer’s performance by using your system’s Disk Defragmenter utility. Searching for fragmented folders and files slows down the response time of your PC. Disk Defragmenter finds and groups them together, eliminating useless searches and enhancing your PC’s performance.
1) Click Start > All Programs >Accessories > System Tools >Disk Defragmenter
2) Select Defragment Now. If Analyze is available, select it to find out if your hard drive requires defragmentation.
Add or Remove Programs:
Now that you’ve gotten rid of all your unneeded files, you may also need to clean out some unnecessary programs as well. This can be done using the “add or remove programs” utility. It is a good idea to browse through the “add or remove programs” utility every once in a while just to make sure that all programs are of usefulness.
1) Click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (or”Uninstall a Program”, depending on your windows version)
2) If there are programs listed that are no longer used, you can simply highlight the program and click the uninstall button.
3) You’ll usually need to restart your computer when the first two steps are completed to fully remove all the files.
Cleanup your files:
Consider reorganizing your computer’s file system. On my desktop I only have two items; A To-Do folder and the recycle bin. In my to-do folder are all the current projects I’m working on. All other folders are under “My Documents”. These folders are organized by the types of projects I work on regularly; Banners, Social Media, Skymall, Web Updates, Instructions (I write a lot of those), and also Contacts, and Work Forms. Go through all your files and condense or delete any duplicates. Make sure folders are organized in a way that makes sense to you, are easy to find, and take the least amount of “clicks” to get to. The key: Keep it simple!
Cleanup your desktop:
As I said earlier, I only have one folder on my desktop (along with my recycle bin). As I’m working throughout the day, I save current projects straight to my desktop so they are right in front of me. But at the end of each day I cleanup all those files and place them in my to-do file if they’re still in progress, or in My Documents (under the correct file, of course) if they’re done. I also like to freshen up my desktop with nature photographs that I find online. I change them out often so it’s a refreshing treat whenever I close down a window.
What other tips do you have for a clean computer?
Eva Wallace is the Website & Social Media Manager for StacksAndStacks.com, purveyor of thousands of innovative products to simplify your life. She also writes for and manages their organizing blog, ClutterControlFreak.com; a fun place to find valuable organizing articles, tips and resources for every area of life.