Pro Tip: Spring Clean Your Computer

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Don’t forget to clean your computer! We’re not talking about the hardware, you’ve already done that, right?  You’ve heard about things like RAM and Memory, and you’re well acquainted with the word “Loading.” Spring cleaning the digital portion of your computer (and tablet, and smartphone) will help keep your system user-friendly for as long as possible.

It doesn’t matter if you have a PC or Mac, your system is always vulnerable to clutter. While not malicious, clutter becomes frustrating in 2 ways. The first is that clutter slows your computer down, the second being that you have a harder time finding your stuff when you need it. Using the Search function doesn’t help when you didn’t rename photo IMG_7735 after you uploaded it from your phone.

Computers, devices, and smartphones have come a long way in the last few years particularly when it comes to memory use. Not only do they tend come with more memory and powerful processors, programmers have developed apps (a.k.a. programs) to use less memory. That being said it’s quite possible that your devices aren’t part of the internal memory revolution. Removing unused and outdated software and files will free up some of your memory and could allow your device to power up faster. Ignore your desktop for the time being and head straight to your Programs (PC) or Apps (Mac) Manager. Uninstall any programs that you no longer use by following the uninstall prompts. Simply deleting a program from your desktop or file manager won’t be effective, you need the official uninstaller to find all traces of the beast and boot it out. Delete software installers, too, you don’t need those anymore, and they’re outdated. (check your downloads folder)

Next, make the decision to read everything that pops up on your screen. Browser plugins, software, and operating system updates pop up on your screen and ask you to make the conscious choice to install the update, and it’s all too easy to say no, believing you don’t have time right now. The risk you run here is that updates almost always include security patches, and you want those! Hackers are always poking at older versions of programs and plugins like Adobe Flash and Java – apps you need to play videos – to find ways to use them to take over your computer . Responsible software companies are also looking for those vulnerabilities to protect you in advance, so heed their warnings and accept help.

But remember to read. Sometimes hacks are disguised as software updates. Read all of your pop-ups before doing anything, and if you are suspicious close the entire browser, open afresh and go directly to the program website to find out whether you’re due for an update. And make sure your pop-up blocker is enabled to filter out the unnecessary chatter.

Once you’ve been through the general system it’s a good time to take a look at your personal files. Since you’ve tidied up your apps, there are probably several shortcuts no longer taking up precious space on your desktop! Start there and move files into their proper folders. Rename and add dates. Delete anything you don’t need. Then do the same in your file manager.

Not feeling confident in your computer cleaning skills? Contact Polarverse to schedule regular maintenance and to talk about updates to software, operating systems, and hardware. Call us at 519-489-0646.

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