Here are some of my tips for doing some spring cleaning work on your PC.
- Get a duster, and dust around the screen, keys, external speakers, printer, and any type of hardware you’ve got. Don’t forget the desk too!
- If you have a desktop with a separate hard drive unit, clean the dusty areas around the air vents. There’s tons of dust that accumulates there.
- Delete old files and programs that are not needed – Just trash personal files and programs that really aren’t necessary, and files you won’t regret destroying. Takes away some of the clutter, and allows more room for other files and programs.
- Delete browsing history – This is pretty important, if you don’t already do so. It’s a good idea to do this, maybe even monthly, to ensure security from all the nasty viruses and malware on the web. Cookies and temporary internet files can contain malware, your history may allow someone to know what sites you’ve been on, and saved passwords and form data can allow someone to access using your identity. If you use Internet Explorer 7, go to Tools > Delete Browsing History… > Delete All – NOTE: This will refresh your browser as if you never used it, but you’re favorites, toolbars, and whatnot will still be there.
- Delete old toolbars – Perhaps you have mistakenly installed a toolbar, or you just really don’t use it anymore. Wouldn’t hurt to just do away with it, by either checking the toolbar’s settings, or just going to Add and Remove programs or in Windows Vista, Programs and Features.
- Defragment your hard drive – This will free up space and makes files run more contiguously as possible. For XP, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. It will take maybe an hour or more, depending on your computer. It is suggested you don’t run anything else while it is defragmenting.
- Take time to reorganize media – Often times, I find really neat photos and videos on the web, and just download it quickly into my system without placing it in a specific place. You should make time to reorganize your media to make it easier to find and access. Create folders you find necessary to make, and drag and drop items into it. Add tags to media in Windows Live Photo Gallery for easier discoverability.
- Run your AV program or a free online scan – If you don’t run your AV program all the time (I have no idea why), then make a scan and see what it comes up with. If you don’t have an AV program, Microsoft has a free Online Safety Scanner with OneCare (not sure how long this will last) and Windows Defender for Windows XP. The free online scan checks for routine things, and while it will fix up some problems, it will not fix everything. Windows Defender looks out for spyware and pop-ups.
So these are some simple stuff to help spruce up your computer and the area around it. Good luck. Any other tips I should add? Leave a comment.