If freeing up hard-drive space and ensuring your computer is running at maximum speed and efficiency is top of your New Year’s Resolutions list… we’re here to help! (And, of course, even if you think New Year’s Resolutions are rubbish, and you haven’t considered the state of your hard drive for some time, we would still urge you to read on!)
With January officially dubbed Clean Up Your Computer Month; here are some easy ways to clean up your laptop or desktop and get organised for the new year:
Number one priority: Backup your computer
Sometimes when we start cleaning, we can get a little gung-ho with files and something important can be inadvertently deleted along with the ‘trash’. (It’s a bit like vacuuming – the job is going so well that you don’t see those Lego pieces until it’s too late…) So – the first priority of any clean-up is to ensure you do a computer backup first. A backup can involve mirroring your hard drive on an alternate disk, duplicating files to the cloud or backing up your data to an external hard drive. For more details, see our computer backup blog.
Organise your photos and your files
Okay, so we all know that organising photos is never a quick process; reminiscing over that Thailand trip can take hours, after all – but slotting those images into a dedicated Thailand folder (and ensuring they’re backed up to the cloud) will save searching time in the future. Likewise, ensuring your important files are correctly named and placed into a logical folder structure is a kindness to your future self. (Remember: if your computer desktop looks like a giant virtual toddler has scattered documents and folders across its entire surface, this is the place to start. A clean virtual desktop is just as practical and advantageous as a clean and organised desktop IRL. Oh, and while you’re at it, why not check that your physical desk setup is ergonomically sound?)
Delete what you don’t need
Downloads you don’t need? Delete! Files that are no longer relevant? Delete! Programs and applications you haven’t used for months or years? You know what to do! (Actually, with programs and applications – make sure you actually correctly uninstall these, rather than just hit ‘delete’, otherwise they may still be there running and taking up space in the background.) Oh, and when you’re done with your delete-athon, don’t forget to clear your recycle bin as well.
Straighten up your online self
All of this productivity enhancement will be curtailed if you still have 10,077 unread emails in your inbox and no less than 43 tabs open on your internet browser. Make your email attack a three-pronged approach. First, delete old emails that no longer require your attention. Second, create a folder system that will work for you, allowing you to prioritise and differentiate between work, family and friends. Finally, get busy unsubscribing from email lists you know that you don’t need – time spent now will leave your inbox much clearer in the future.
Cleaning up your cookies and deleting your browser history can help improve your internet experience. Further enhance your online browsing by also tidying up your bookmarks (delete those you don’t need, rename and assign to custom bookmark folders those that you do use). And, if you’re feeling really inspired, you could even jump into your social media accounts, ensuring your security and other settings are tailored to your requirements.
We wrote a blog last year about the importance of physically cleaning your computer and computer accessories – for your health and for the health of your equipment. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Clean Up Your Computer Month should be an excellent catalyst to do so!
January might also be time to take stock of your hardware and to get rid of those items – laptops, computers, monitors, tablets, mobile phones, printers, chargers, cords or other accessories – you no longer need. Remember that up to 95% of materials from recycled electrical goods can be recovered for reuse, so check out Planet Ark for details on what can be recycled and where.
Make sure your cybersecurity is up to scratch (all of this cleaning will be for naught if your system is invaded by a virus or malware) and reach out if you need assistance. The experienced team at Geelong Technology Group can help; backups, anti-virus protection, managed IT support solutions, computer repairs, Ubiquiti phone systems and new software or hardware. So, don’t hesitate to give Geelong’s technology experts a call. 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or stop by our showroom at 166 Francis St, Belmont.