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cleanup your computer

The month of January is “Clean Up Your Computer Month”. Taking steps to cleanup your computer might be a daunting task, but if you want your computer to run like new, these tips can make a huge difference.

How to Cleanup Your Computer

When we talk about a clean computer, we are talking not only about the actual computer, but the internal memory as well. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your computer is healthy and running like new.

  • Clean your physical computer – Turn off your computer and make sure the computer is free from dust. Dust and debris on or near your computer can have a huge impact on its performance. Your computer generates a lot of heat and has built in fans that take cool air from outside the computer and pushes it through your machine to cool it down. If you have any dust or dirt around your computer, most likely it is being sucked into your computer by these fans. Is dust really dangerous you might ask? If enough dust gets into your computer, it can actually clog the fans and cause them to not work. A lot of dust can actually heat up your computer instead of allowing the fans to ventilate it out.
  • Back up your files – Make sure you run a complete back up before you start to delete or rearrange anything on your computer. Once you know that you don’t need a particular file or program, you can delete at that point.
  • Take a minute to clean up your email – Delete emails you don’t need, and put the remaining emails in a file. This might take you awhile so if you take a few minutes every day to go through your email, before long you will have a tidy place to store your incoming correspondence.
  • Delete your cookies – Deleting cookies should give you more available hard drive space, resulting in a faster PC.
  • Empty your recycle bin – Most people don’t know that extra data is stored in their recycle bin. If you don’t have your recycle bin automatically deleting after 30 days, take a minute and delete files in there now.
  • Delete temporary files – A lot of computer users store data or temporary files on their computers without knowing it. When you are doing every day tasks like reading your email, temporary files get stored on your hard drive. This takes up space and can affect the overall performance of your computer. To delete, open “My Computer”, and click on your local drive. It is usually under C:/ – then select the “Windows” folder and open the “Temp” folder. Delete these temporary files.
  • Hard Drive – Make sure you do a quick clean up to clear space on your hard drive. If you have files that you aren’t using or that you have backed up somewhere else, you can delete them so your computer will run more efficiently.
  • Organize your files – Once you have deleted what you don’t want, take some time to name your files and organize items the way you want so you find them quicker. So much productivity is lost when we don’t know where things are and we spend hours trying to find them.
  • Uninstall programs you don’t use – When you purchase a new computer they usually are installed with programs you don’t know about. Look through the programs and delete the ones you don’t need. This will give you better performance immediately.
  • Prevent programs from starting up – If you are experiencing a slow start time on your computer, there is a good chance that your computer is trying to start to many programs when it is first turned on.Take a minute and remove the programs you don’t need to start up immediate.
  • Install a second drive – Sometimes we all need extra hard drive space. If you want to keep your computer running at its optimal performance, store things on a second drive.
  • Install more RAM – If your computer has a hard time loading programs, installing more RAM can help. Find out how much RAM you currently have and price out how much it will cost you to add more. Most of the time it is less than $100 bucks.
  • Run a disk fragment – Fragmentation makes your computer work extra hard and causes it to slow down. Disk Fragmentation in Windows rearranges fragmented data so your drives and disks work more effectively. To do this, follow these steps. 

Taking a few simple steps to cleanup your computer will help you be more productive and help your computer run at optimal performance. What cleanup tip have you done that has the biggest difference for you?