It seems there’s a holiday for every day of the year, sometimes there are two or three. National Clean Out Your Computer Day is one of those holidays and it falls on the second Monday of every February. Started by the Institute for Business Technology in 2000, the purpose behind this holiday is to remind you to clean up your computers, smartphones and tablets to keep them clean and running. Have you been putting off cleaning your tech device? Now is a great time to get started.
1. Physically clean your computer, Smartphone and Tablet.
Use a microfiber cloth and a 50-50 mix of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the exterior of your devices and a can of compressed air to blow out accumulated dust from the vents, fan, and keyboard. Make sure you turn off and unplug everything before you start cleaning.
2. Backup your computer, including all your files, documents, and pictures. Your data needs be backed up at least once every 24 hours in two separate places. The method I recommend is to an external hard drive and to a cloud backup service. If you don't have a system like this, put one in place. iOS devices, use iCloud to backup all of your information. Android devices, use your Google Account to backup your stuff to Google Drive. If you want a free option for backing up your photos on your smart devices, consider Google Photos. For external hard drive backups on a Windows computer, use 'File History', Macintosh users can use 'Time Machine'. Windows and Macintosh users, 'Carbonite' backup is the best for cloud backups.
3. Eliminate excess apps and programs. On your computer, you can use 'Should I Remove It' to discover which programs you can safely take off. On iOS devices running iOS11, users can take advantage of a new feature called 'Offload Unused Apps' which can automatically delete rarely used apps on Apple devices.
4. Update your software. Your devices will love you if you take the time to stay on top of your updates. It's easy to get behind on updates, because they can take a while to download. For Clean Out Your Computer day, take the time to download and install any available updates for all of your tech, this includes operating systems and apps. Updates keep you safe from the latest threats on the Internet and take care of any bugs in the software.
5. Delete Junk Files. No one wants junk on their devices, but are you sure which devices are junk? CCleaner is an awesome tool that will remove all of the junk files on your Windows, Macintosh and Android devices. Just download this free program and it will search your device and remove any files you don't need.
6. Restart your device. You should restart your device at least once a week, especially if you use it a lot. Restarting your device is a good way to clear out its memory and ensure that any errant processes and services that started running get shut down.
Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.
I'm Burton Kelso and I'm a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org