Regular usage will fill your computer with debris, clutter your workspace and slow down performance over time. However, you can improve the efficiency and extend the hardware life with some computer spring cleaning.

Cleanup your Hard Disk

Windows comes with a handy inbuilt tool to do away with temporary files and other miscellaneous data. It’s surprising how much space these kinds of files take up. You just need to type “Disk Cleanup” in the Search bar, open it and then specify the types of files to be removed.

You can delete just about everything listed in Disk Cleanup except for the “Windows ESD Installation files.” It’s recommended to keep those files around unless your space needs are critical.

Re-organize your Files to Free Space

Just like at home, with the books on your table and the papers littering your desk, your computer too could benefit from some organization. Especially media files that can quickly eat up space.

You can take advantage of cloud storage option like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. They offer ample free storage and additional storage for a relatively small fee. You can sync files to your computer or move them completely to the cloud. Such storage is particularly useful for businesses facilitating shared documents and collaboration. External hard drives are another alternative for offloading files.

Removing Unwanted Programs

All of us have some programs on computers that we never use. Some programs come installed by default and others are installed and forgotten over time. Removing these are a breeze – just click the program you want to remove and click Uninstall. Take care only to uninstall programs that you recognize and are certain of not being needed. There are those files that your computer needs to operate its essential functions. Deleting those files may cause unnecessary complications.

The Antivirus

No computer cleaning is complete without doing an antivirus checkup. Keep in mind the following as you review your computer security. Make sure that your antivirus software is enabled and up-to-date. Typically, your antivirus runs in the background, rarely requiring a dedicated scan. For systems running Windows 8 or above, they come equipped with Windows Defender.

The old “two is better than one” maxim does not apply in this case. If you have more than one virus scan running in the background, they can interfere with each other.

Dusting the System

Very much like dusting the furniture. It turns out that it works well for computers too. But no feather dusters here, instead arm yourself with a can of compressed air and a small brush.

With the system turned off and the cords detached, open up the panels and use canned air to blow out the inside of the machine. Especially those nooks and crannies where dust tends to gather. Fans, especially are notorious for collecting dust. Use the brush to remove stubborn deposits.

Not Just an Occasional Event

Before you finish and congratulate yourself, it’s wise to set up a regular maintenance schedule. Make computer maintenance and security checkups more than a mere annual event. This will save you headaches down the road, and you can rest easier. In addition, your computer will thank you by running more smoothly!

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