Observed on the second Monday in February, National Clean Out Your Computer Day encourages you to take a moment out of your busy day to clean your computer. Here are five ways to get to work:
- Cleaning out your computer case or the keyboard should be your first order of business. Use a cloth and some isopropyl alcohol to wipe everything down, and a can of compressed air to blow off accumulated dirt from the vents, fan, and keyboard. Just be sure to turn off and unplug everything before you start cleaning.
- Clean out the downloads folder. Your download folder is probably filled with things you no longer need. Go through your folder and delete anything useless. Many programs, including CCleaner, will empty your recycle bin, but won’t touch folders like this. It’s best to clean these out by hand so you don’t accidentally erase something important.
- Defrag, defrag, defrag. Have you ever looked at a bookshelf and thought, “With all the space between books, aren’t I just wasting space that could be used for even more books? I’ll push the books together and make more useful space!” No? Well, you should defrag your computer regularly anyway.
- Fix your start-up. When we say “start-up,” we don’t mean your entrepreneurial endeavor – though that probably needs fixing too. We mean, that period when you start up your computer and it takes forever to actually turn on and get whirring. Every computer has a list of apps allowed to run on start-up. In Windows, you can find it in the Task Manager. On Macs, it’s under System Preferences > Users & Groups. Linux users are on their own.
- Clean out your inbox. Your computer is not the only thing you own that may be cluttered up. Check your spam folder in your inbox sometime if you want to be overwhelmed with offers from Nigerian princes & suspect enhancement surgeries. Do yourself and your contacts a favor and clean out your inbox. Don’t just delete the spam either. Set up more filters that will ensure important emails stand out, and push junk to the edges until you have time to deal with it.