Spring is in the air. At least here in the Grand Valley it is. The early spring gives us a chance to get an early jump on that spring cleaning list. What better place to start than on your “lifeline to the world”, your computer.
Just like keeping your house clean for more pleasant maneuverability, living, and use; it is a good idea to keep your computer clean for the same reasons. Since it is the season of spring cleaning, let’s add our computers to the list this year. A few simple tasks, taking only a few moments of your time; can easily make your computer run and behave better for the rest of the year, or at least season depending on usage.
Here’s a short list of 5 simple things that you can do to spring clean your computer:
1. Dust the hardware
We covered the damage that can be done inside both a laptop and a desktop computer because of the buildup of dust and dirt. Using a can of compressed air, or an air compressor (if you have one), you can blow a good portion of this out and have a smoother running system.
Once again, a small reminder, never use a vacuum or hairdryer on your computer. The static produced could completely annihilate the delicate circuity, undoing all the hard work you are about to do.
2. Clean the software
Good rule of thumb: If the is a game or program you have not used or even thought about in 6 months or more, chances are that you won’t use it in the future. These unused programs and apps can actually slow down the work-ability of your second brain. Dormant programs left lying around the hard drive can also be a security vulnerability.
If, at a later time, you discover you need the app or program again you can always re-install.
3. Update the software
Check to make sure your anti-virus, operating system, and backups are up to date. As with keeping idle software cleaned up making your computer faster and more secure, so does keeping your active and most loved one programs up-to-date.
4. Scan the software
Now that your hard drive is clean and your software updated, it’s probably a good idea to run a malware/virus scan. Find all those little computer bacteria and get them cleaned out of there.
5. Back that data up
No matter what you use for backup, it is wise to actively keep an eye on what is making it to the file system and what isn’t. Checking your backup system and doing it manually at least once a year (ideally a little more often than that) gives you a clear and concise date that you can remember your system goes back to.
There are many different types of backup solutions (Local vs. Could, Automated vs. manual, etc.). If you don’t have one or are looking to upgrade, let us know, we’d be happy to advice you on what would work best, and even get you set up.
Now that all that pesky computer spring cleaning is done, you have more time to get to everything else on that to-do list.