Time for a good spring clean

We are well in the middle of spring and every year, along with the good old house spring clean, it’s a great time for a little computer or device cleaning.

The new wave of clutter is digital hoarding, such as those 5000 photos you transferred from your phone to your computer, or those 10,000 emails dating back to 2007. Over time, if you don’t keep on top of your digital files they quickly get on top of you until it becomes just too overwhelming to deal with. You may scoff, but I have clients who, instead of facing the prospect of clearing out their unwanted photos, emails, data, music or documents will actually go out and buy another computer, only to fill that one up quickly too. Some of them have more than four computers on the go. It’s just not necessary, as there is a better (and cheaper) way.

Why don’t you take this opportunity to give your computer and/or device a good clean out and be ruthless. Go through folders and see if there is any reason you are keeping so many photos. Do you really need to keep your emails dating back 10 years?

If it’s only once a year, those few hours spent cleaning out your computer is time well spent. There is also some great cleaning software to clear out those built-up temporary files that are made during general day-to-day use. “Ccleaner” provides both a free and paid cleaner that monitors apps that use system resources, cleans up unwanted system files and sorts out any errant registry entries that may be slowing down your PC.

There’s a Mac version for macOS users on systems that may be running at a snail’s pace. You can also use Windows own inbuilt Disk Clean-up to remove old system files. Look through the programs you use and delete the ones you no longer need. On Windows 10, click on the Start Menu > Settings > System > Apps and Features, then select the App you don’t use and click Uninstall, but only the ones you know. If you don’t recognise it DON’T delete it, because it could cause complications down the track. If you have just bought a new PC, the manufacturers “conveniently” fill them with what we affectionately call bloatware, and while some of it may be useful for some users, for many it’s just wasted space, and often intrusive in the way that it pushes itself on you. If all else fails, there is the nuclear option of a complete system reinstall. Make sure you carefully back up everything beforehand, and have the Windows 10 install and any registration codes for the operating system and apps. Even though it is for a more seasoned user and at your own risk, it often delivers a system that runs faster than you might even remember than when it was new.

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