Spring Cleaning Tips for your Computer


It's that time of year again. Time for spring cleaning, but don't overlook your computer. Performing regular maintenance on your computer may not give you the same satisfaction as cleaning out your closet, but the time you spend optimizing your computer's performance can reduce stress and may even boost your productivity.

Don't know where to begin? Here's a start to get your PC or Mac running smoothly again.

PC Clean-up  101

Visit
www.microsoft.com to view step-by-step instructions for your specific version of Windows.
 
  1. Run Check Disk: Each time your computer crashes, it can create hard drive errors that will slow it down. The Check Disk program is a tool that comes with your operating system. It will fix those errors and speed things up.

  2. Run Disk Cleanup: As you surf the web, your computer creates temporary files that can bog down your system over time. Windows Disk Cleanup will delete these files for you.

  3. De-fragment Your Hard Drive: Ever wonder what it really means to have a fragmented file? Your computer stores bits and pieces of files in different sectors on your hard drive. De-fragmenting puts those pieces back in the proper order, allowing your software applications to run faster.

  4. Security and Software Updates: Hopefully you have your PC set up to automatically install or run updates. If not, be sure to manually install all updates on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance. If you skip this step, you may leave gaping security holes that could make your system vulnerable to viruses and other types of malware.

  5. Back Up Your Computer: Whether you are using a third party back-up provider or your own external hard drive, be sure to back up your data regularly.
Most of these functions can be found in the Control Panel, under the Performance, System, or Security areas. Each version of Windows is a bit different, so after accessing the Control Panel from the Start button, you may need to do a bit of hunting to find what you need. You can also use the Search feature to help locate the actions you would like to perform.

Mac Clean-up

  1. Run Disk Utility: This free Mac tool built into OS X ensures your disks are organized and performing well.

    • Click "Verify Disk Permissions."
    • When that is complete, click "Repair Disk Permissions."
    • Disk Utility may take some time (depending on how often you run it), so it's best to do this task when you don't need to use your computer for a while.

  2. Security and Software Updates: Hopefully you have your Mac set up to automatically install or run updates. If not, be sure to manually install all updates on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance.

  3. Back Up Your Computer: Whether you are using a third party back-up provider or your own external hard drive, be sure to back up your data regularly.
Taking these simple steps monthly may help keep your computer running more efficiently and reduce the calls to tech support.