It’s National #CleanOutYourComputerDay!
Start with a physical cleaning. Turn your computer off and unplug it. Remove all the dust, cat hair, coffee, crumbs, and whatnot from all parts of your computer. Turn your keyboard over and give it a gentle tap or two to dislodge whatever is in there. Take your mouse apart and clean out the dust. Use compressed air or electronics wipes. You and your computer will both feel better.
Do any of your Document, Download, or Picture files spark joy? Maybe not. Here are some questions to ask yourself about the files you’re keeping:
- Will you ever refer to them again? If those files include information that you have already acted on and no longer need, then you no longer need the files.
- If you need the information, will you be able to get it again? Sometimes you feel you might need a reference in the future. But if Google can find it for you again in seconds, it shouldn’t be taking up room on your desktop.
- Could you store it somewhere else? Pocket lets you store articles now and read them later on any device. Google Drive stores documents safely and also makes them easy to share. Google Photos or Amazon Photos are great places to store photos.
Using these questions can help you delete lots of things happily.
Once you’ve winnowed down what you need to keep, organize what’s left. Make new folders, name them clearly, and put your documents where they belong.
Backup any files that are really important.
Much of the software we use is already in the cloud. If you have programs on your computer, make sure you update them. Outdated software can be susceptible to malware and hacking.
If you don’t use all your software (maybe the games that came installed on your computer?), delete what you don’t need.
Automatic Disc Cleanup
If you use a PC, you have an app on your machine that will automatically cleanup files for you. Open Disc Cleanup from your Start menu and run it. Check the types of files you want cleaned up, and enjoy the extra breathing room.
Your website doesn’t live on your computer, but you’re probably on a roll by now. You might as well make sure that your company website is spick and span, too.
Ask your web team to check and make sure you don’t have plugins and themes you don’t need.
You may have pages and posts that aren’t in your navigation and don’t need to be.
Your online presence
Do you have multiple social media accounts all over cyberspace? Have you friended ten times as many people as you would actually recognize if you saw them out in the world?
Who cares? That’s the web, not your computer. Leave it for another day.
You’ve done enough. Enjoy your clean computer.