How to keep your computer spotless
The 14th of February. This day is all about love. Love for your computer, because we’re talking about National Clean Out Your Computer Day! Just think about it: not a day goes by without starting up your device, and in most cases, they contain your entire life, both professionally and privately. It only makes sense to take good care of your computer. Let’s get started with a few practical tips.
Clean-up and declutter
- Clean your computer – literally. Dust it off, remove the fingerprints on your screen and give those buttons a good scrub. No kidding, do it, preferably more than once a year.
- Delete files you no longer use. Go to the storage manager on your computer to identify the folders and files that take up the most space, and delete those you haven’t opened in the past year.
- Go through saved data critically. If you store personal information from partners or customers, be aware of GDPR. You’re only allowed to store that data for a certain amount of time. Delete all data that passed the expiration date.
- Erase the downloads folder.
- Remove pre-installed programs and apps. Let’s be honest, there’s a bunch of them you never use. They only slow down your device. Get rid of them.
- Remember all those precious back-ups you saved? How about you only keep the latest and remove all older back-ups?
- Remove your browser history. You can easily do this in your browser preferences.
- Launch a simple clean-up tool to do the dirty work for you. It removes all temporary files, cached webpages and rejected items.
- Almost done! Empty the trash bin, and finally, reboot your computer!
Organization and structure
Now that your computer is clean – both in and out – let’s keep it that way, so you won’t need to go through this list all over again next year.
- Determine a structure of folders that works for you, and try to stick to it. Will you create separate folders for each customer or each project? Or perhaps date-based system with folders per month suits you best? Whichever it is, create those folders and subfolders and start organizing your files.
- Never – I repeat NEVER – store files on your desktop. Not only does this clutter your workspace, it’s also very risky for losing your files when your computer crashes.
- Don’t let downloads or saved files temporarily ‘sit’ anywhere. We get it, time is money, and sometimes you quickly save a file somewhere, or forget to clear out your downloads folder. But it only takes 5 seconds to store everything in the correct folder right away! This will save you hours of searching, cleaning, and decluttering later.
- Use meaningful names when saving files. Don’t use names like ‘screenshot’ or ‘invoice’ or even worse ‘xybseiqd’. Chances are pretty high you won’t remember the content in a month.
- Keep tweaking your system. It’s okay if you don’t find your structure right away. As long as you commit to it and keep adapting where necessary, you’re good to go.
Protect and secure
- The hardest work is done, but don’t forget to change your passwords regularly. Now is a good time to do this. Use a password manager to generate and store your passwords safely.
- How about a back-up, now that your device is all nice and clean?
- Download and install all your updates. Or better yet, make sure this is done automatically to better protect your device against possible threats.
After finishing the above lists, your device will be clean and organized. Some basic protection measures are in place, but it’s unfortunately not enough to guarantee absolute safety. Please reach out to us for more information on cyber security and how to protect your devices against threats.