Most jobs in the modern digital age involve us spending way more time with our computers than we do with our partners or friends! Generally, the rule applies that if you treat your computer right, it’ll treat you right. It doesn’t take much – just a commitment to a few basic maintenance tasks. Doing these and your computer should run nice and fast and do what you ask when you ask it!
As January is officially “Clean Up Your Computer” month, there’s no better time to give your computer an extra bit of love and care. We’ve put together a list of easy tasks you can do to keep it clean and operating efficiently. Check them out!
Give it a Physical Clean
Nothing feels better than a hot shower at the end of a busy day. We’re definitely not saying you should take your computer into the shower with you, but giving it a bit of a physical clean will have it looking spiffy and smart. It also helps remove any accumulated dirt that could cause overheating. Use a soft cloth for wiping, and compressed air to clean the keyboard and ports.
Organize Your Files
Having a system in place that helps you keep track of your files and documents is essential to keeping a streamlined desktop. This will make you more efficient and your computer’s performance will improve too. Categorise everything, make folders to store them in, and delete anything you don’t need. Then empty your recycle bin!
Uninstall Unnecessary Programs
Has anyone else out there got ‘Program Buying Syndrome’? Some people get a serious case and end up with loads of programs they’ve never used sitting on their computer. If you’re one of them, go through and delete everything you don’t use and don’t think you’ll ever use. They’re only taking up extra space and could be slowing down your computer.
Update Your Software
Using outdated software makes you vulnerable to cyberattacks and can hamper your system performance. Go through all the programs you use regularly and update them to the latest version. That way you have up-to-date security patches to keep the bad guys out! While you’re there make sure you’re on the most recent version of your operating system too.
Clear Your Browser
Over time your web browser can get bloated with temporary files and cookies. These can lead to a slow and frustrating online experience. Nothing more frustrating than laggy browsing, so go into your browser settings and clear out the history, cache and cookies to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Keep Viruses and Malware Away
A clean and efficient computer is free of all viruses and malware, and a reliable antivirus program is integral in achieving this. It’ll run in the background to detect any threats, and you can conduct a scan of your files and folders regularly to check for any unwanted guests!
Optimize Your Startup
You sit down to start the day, turn on your computer… and wait. And wait some more, while it chugs in the background and churns through all the programs you have set to open on startup. It doesn’t have to be this way! You can optimise what turns on at startup time, limiting them to the programs you’ll immediately use. You’ll be up and working with a smile on your face in no time at all.
Back Up Your Data
Not only is it essential for your own peace of mind to have your data backed up, you want to be legally compliant with how you handle your client data. Regular backups are crucial in this regard, so in the event of a critical failure all your important data is safe and sound. Talk to your managed services provider about cloud storage and off-premises backup solutions.
Clean Up Your Email
It’s easy to lose control of your inbox these days. The more we rely on the internet, the more we subscribe to and the more junk mail seems to come in. Spend some time unsubscribing from everything that doesn’t interest you anymore or that you do not need. Clear out your junk and spam folders regularly and organise all your important emails into folders that are easy to find.
Establish a Regular Cleaning Routine
January is Clean Up Your Computer month, but we’d recommend you do the above steps more than once a year! Establish a routine and set aside some time every month to keep your machine in perfect working order, and you’ll have far more efficient and enjoyable days on the job.
We’ll leave you with that, and we hope you have happy cleaning and your computers enjoy long and productive working lives as a result! If you have any questions about managed IT services or any other IT support, get in touch with our expert Brisbane-based team. We’d love to help out!
When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!