A lot of people I know are doing some de-cluttering and organizing this month, whether they've made resolutions to do so or not. The new year is just one of those times when people have the urge to DO things, CLEAN things, and ORGANIZE things. While you're in the mood to tidy up, take an hour or two and clean up your computer. You might even want to do it today since it's "Clean Out Your Computer Day". Here are some tips to help you get started.
Image Credit: IntelFreePress
Look for and run updates
Update your browser, (and don't forget your browser plug-ins). Update the programs you use regularly. Make sure you've updated java, flash and adobe. Most important, update your anti-virus program.
After you've updated your programs, run your anti-virus program -- and either set it up to run regularly or create reminders for yourself to run this regularly.
Uninstall programs you don't use
We've all got programs laying around that we don't use. Sometimes programs and add-ons have appeared on our computers without us even realizing it. And don't just delete the programs, uninstall them properly. Here's how, for mac users and PC users.
You might also want to take a peek at the programs that are set up to auto-run on start -- especially if your computer is slow to start when you turn it on in the morning. *Word of warning -- if you don't absolutely 100% know what those files are, leave them alone. Only deselect the ones you KNOW you don't need in order to start properly. Here's a link that explains how to take a look at the programs that run on start for PC and for mac.*
Clean up your files -- including your email!
Is your desktop littered with files and folders? Does it really need to be? Clean out your downloads folder. Get your photos (and music and videos) organized. Try creating folders for each year -- and within each year, create folders for each month. Then, name your photos with the date and the subject -- it will help you find photos you KNOW are there but can't find because everything's named "dsc0055" or "jmp1".
Tidy up your inbox. Consider archiving some email. This is a good time to create folders to help you keep your email tidy all year long. You might even want to take a few minutes and set up email rules so that your mail automatically lands in the appropriate folders. (That only really works if you CHECK those folders regularly. If you're an out of sight, out of mind kind of person -- rules might not work for you.)
Take a look at your bookmarks. Are you using all of those? Do those links still work? Would you use them more often if you pinned some of them to a fun Pinterest board?
You might be able to speed up your browsing by clearing your cache/internet browsing history.
Back up -- everything
And, set up regular reminders to yourself to do this throughout the year.
Most new PCs handle this for you but if your computer is more than a couple of years old, running defrag can help speed things up a bit. Here's how to do this for PC users. Mac users probably don't need to worry about this but if you're a big multimedia creator, it might help.
Clean Your Screen and Your Keyboard. Don't Forget Your Mouse
- How to clean your keyboard
- How to clean your screen
- How to clean your mouse
- If you use a mousepad, you probably want to clean that, too.
When was the last time you cleaned up your computer? Do you do it more than... once a year?~Denise
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