Spring is a time of renewal and freshness – a time to clear the cobwebs and breathe in the crisp, refreshing and clean air. It is also a time of organization and cleaning, the opportunity to shed ourselves, our lives and our homes of all the clutter and the grime and dirt that has managed to invade all the nooks and crannies. It is also the perfect opportunity to spring clean our computers inside and out and bring new life to the sluggish shadow of the former clean, sleek and new computer.
Now, if you are real geeky then have been paying attention to your computer all year so spring maintenance should be a snap! A good dusting, polishing and some file cleanup and the system should be good as new (well, almost new). If you have been a bad geek and have neglected you system all year then you have bit more ahead of you before your system is in tip-top shape again. But alas! Don’t fear it really is not as bad as it may seem to tackle the system and spruce it up – especially since I will provide a guide of what should be done and how it can be accomplished.
Below are basic steps to spruce up your system with links at the bottom of the article to additional information.
- Remove old files and software. Archive files that you need and delete the ones that you no longer use. If in doubt always keep a copy and delete it later when you are sure you don’t need it anymore. When finished don’t forget to empty the recycle bin so the files are completely deleted!
- Check the desktop and make sure all the icons that are listed are programs or shortcuts that you access frequently. Over time the desktop gets cluttered with icons and programs that you don’t use or are installed by the software by default. I find the best way to take care of icons is to create a folder on the desktop called programs and add all the shortcuts and programs into the folder. By doing this I still have access to but they are out of sight.
- Search for and remove all TMP files. Hopefully, this is a step that you perform frequently throughout the year.
- Clean laser and inkjet printers.
- Remove the dust bunnies from inside and outside the computer. I know the thought of opening up the computer might be scary to some but I assure you it is not as frightening as it seems. It is good to get inside at least once a year and remove the built up dirt and dust as these are bad for your system – this is especially true if the computer is on the floor or in a real dusty environment. I clean mine about twice a year and I usually remove some pretty hefty dust bunnies – once I even found a spider web!
- Clean the keyboard and mouse. Take a look at your keyboard. Take a REALLY good look – in between the keys – see all the stuff? Yuck! If you have condensed air you can spray the dirt out – if not take the keyboard outside (or over you trash) and shake it so remove the dirt and dust.
- Wipe the computer down with a lint-free cloth and a mild cleaner such as Windex. DO NOT spray directly on the system – spray on the cloth and then wipe everything down. I hope this is one of the steps you perform year round.