Spring has arrived, which means it is time to clean up and get organized - not that anyone should have waited for spring to do that. Before you go into the more manual task of cleaning your home, you may want to consider spring cleaning your computers and laptops first.
The average laptop has a lifespan of about two to three years, but with proper care, it can be extended. Spring cleaning is just one of the ways to prolong its life. What is good about this is that its performance will be consistent and you will have less to worry about in terms of a sudden spending for repairs.
We are assuming that you are already taking care of your laptop and desktop by installing a reliable virus protection program and your systems are free of malware, so we're heading on to the next step with ways you can spring clean them.
1. Make A List, Check It Twice
One of the reasons why a laptop or desktop is quick to slow down is because of the number of files saved in its memory.
Set aside some time to go over all your files in every usable drive and list them down for easier mapping. The list will function both as a map for you and as a way to determine if you have a multiple copies of a file, in which case, it is best to delete the unnecessary duplicates or back them up in an external hard drive or cloud storage account.
2. Folders Are Your Friends
Create folders and sub-folders that will give you an immediate idea of where your files could be located.
Are you a working student? Create a folder named "School" with sub-folders for each subject or output type such as "midterm reports," "projects" and "lecture notes." Then create another folder for work with appropriate sub-folders. This way, you do not mix up your files and have a hard time finding what you need when you need it most. It also lessens the possibility of creating duplicates and bogging down your system.
3. Let It Go
Empty your trash bin. You probably deleted some of the files that you no longer need, but that does not mean you get extra space just by clicking "delete."
As long as any file is in your recycle bin, there is still the possibility of restoring it. This means it is still in your system, occupying the memory space as it did before you clicked "delete." Only, this time it appears in the trash bin instead of its previous location.
It's like an ex who hangs around even if you want them out of our life, so you need to let it go and empty the recycle bin.
Once you empty the recycle bin, this signals the system that whatever space the file used to occupy can now be overwritten. If you have a lot of items in your recycle bin, that means there is a lot of potential memory space waiting to be freed up for actual use.
4. Aim For A Deeper Clean
So you emptied your recycle bin, but your laptop or desktop still seems a little on the slow side. It's time to go for a deeper clean by deleting browser history, cache, cookies, broken or leftover items in your system registry, and other things that you may or may not have known exists in your computer. Fortunately, there is a quick solution for that.
There is a free little tool you can download and use called CCleaner. What this tool does is to go over your system and find items that need to be repaired or deleted. If an item is no longer in use or is a leftover from a program you have already uninstalled and no other program is accessing it, the tool will suggest its deletion.
It will also delete cache, cookies, browser history, as well as empty the recycle bin for you when you run it - like an all-in-one one-click cleaning tool. You can also choose to wipe your drive but do this with caution as you won't be able to recover files after doing so.
5. Defragment Your System
No matter how high-tech or state-of-the-art your computer is, it is not a neatly organized assistant. In fact, it is like a human whose room is in disarray, but knows where everything is despite the mess. Although, this means that locating a file, even if it knows where it is, will take time. This is why a system defragmentation is necessary.
The process of defragmentation is in itself the computer's way of spring cleaning its system and organizing its files - as if stacking them neatly. It also helps your computer to open files and programs quicker than before. All you have to do is to run the disk defragmenter by accessing the System Tools.
But it wouldn't be as easy if we did not have an extra tidbit for you.
Remember CCleaner? Well, it has a sibling called "Defraggler" and its purpose is to defragment your system faster than the resident system defragmenter. Take note, however, that defragmenting itself takes time, depending on the number of programs and files on your computer. If there is a lot in your system, Defraggler will still take a long time, albeit a little faster.
6. Install Updates
This is important because there are some critical updates that can reinforce your system's protection. If you are in doubt and confused with the advantages of an update, you can always contact the customer support hotline for your operating system so they can clarify things for you. You can also do your own research to see how a particular update you might be interested in fared with other users.