While spring cleaning may only come around once a year, PC cleaning needs to happen a lot more frequently. Decluttering your PC frees up storage space, helps your computer run faster, and improves its security. It can even extend your computer’s lifespan. Of course, this begs the question, “how do you declutter your PC?”. Let’s have a look.
Doin’ the Digital Declutter.
The good news about decluttering your digital life is that there is no heavy lifting, dust mites to deal with, or vacuuming required. The bad news? Well, there really isn’t any. Plus, if you do it frequently enough and use the right tools, the process gets quicker and easier each time.
Start by going through all your documents, files, apps, and programs and deleting the ones that you no longer need. Resist the urge to save files just in case, or to deal with later. Pay special attention to deleting images you have no use for, as they can take up a lot of storage space and significantly slow down your computer. Don’t forget to remove all of those unnecessary apps or program shortcuts as well.
You’ll also want to delete the temporary files on your computer. These are the files that get created by your computer when you use programs or files. They help your computer more quickly retrieve the information you need. Although temporary files are useless after they’ve done their job, many of them get left behind on your hard drive. Removing them is another effective way to free up needed disk space and improve your computer’s performance.
Eliminate duplicate files on your hard drive. Sometimes duplicate files are created by your operating system and sometimes they come from saving the same file multiple times in different locations, or from downloading the same file multiple times. Whatever their origin, redundant, duplicate files can build up over time. Deleting theme, just like deleting unnecessary files, can free up much needed space on your hard drive and improve your PC’s performance.
But How Do You Find All These Superfluous Files?
One of the best tools for finding all of the superfluous files on your computer is Reason’s “Should I Remove It?”, which is now a premium feature in Reason Antivirus. “Should I Remove It?” helps users decide which files and programs they should remove from their PC, scanning for items that pose a security risk as well as items that are just needlessly taking up disk space. The software works by providing technical advice and feedback-sourced ratings about which files, programs, and downloads are good to keep and which ones should be removed. This means it also looks for adware, crapware, bloatware and more.
More Digital Declutter Steps.
Use an antivirus. If you use the Internet, then antivirus (AV) software is a massive must have! AV software protects your computer and data from all sorts of computer malware such as viruses, Trojans, ransomware, etc. by detecting them and removing or quarantining them as needed. There are plenty of free antivirus protection programs available, but they don’t all have the same features. Make sure you’re using one that is reputable and powerful enough to do the job like Reason Antivirus. Reason Antivirus offers real-time protection against malware, a VPN for a more secure and private network connection, regular updates so the signature database is always current, a firewall to prevent malware from downloading on your PC, and camera and microphone security, plus much more.
Empty the recycle bin. When you delete items from your computer, they are stored in your recycle or trash bin in case they need to be recovered. These files can accumulate, taking up valuable space and posing security risks if they happen to contain confidential data. You should periodically empty the recycle bin to gain back valuable disk space and make private data inaccessible.
Remove cookies. Cookies, even though they are quite small, can slowly accumulate on your system and slow its performance. Deleting them every so often will speed up your computer and free up space on your hard drive.
A Final Word…
While home decluttering sensation Marie Kondo might take a more zen approach to decluttering homes and lifestyles than we can take to decluttering our PCs, the objective of improving efficiency and performance are the same. Indeed, a clutter-free computer is also a more secure computer and might even help create a stress-free professional environment much the way a clutter-free home helps create a more stress-free home environment.