Spring is right around the corner, which means spring cleaning! While many of us tackle our living spaces, we forget about our electronics. Cleaning your computer (inside and out) can be beneficial in many ways and can help your computer run smoother, increase longevity and in the long run, possibly save you time and money.
Here are a few internal computer cleaning tips from Norton.com:
How to clean your computer, Step 1: Hardware
Run check disk tool: To help detect hard drive issues before they lead to other problems, Microsoft Windows provides a Check Disk tool. The tool will scan for and repair issues such as file system errors or bad sectors. If you haven’t done this scan before, run a full scan, which enables automatic repairs. The process may take a few hours.
Check surge protector: Power surges can put harmful stress on your computer, and in some cases damage the power supply and other components. Did you know surge protectors can lose their protection after undergoing just one power surge? Even if they still appear “on,” they may not be providing the protection you need. So it’s a good idea to check them from time to time, especially after a notable power surge.
How to clean your computer, Step 2: Software
Back up your hard drives: Backing up your data — especially important data — is a must. A laptop or tablet can be replaced, but the information inside it may be irreplaceable. In general, there are two options for backing up data: You can make a copy in a physical location, such as on an external hard drive or thumb drive, or you can make a copy that is stored on the “cloud,” or online, in a secure location. Whichever you choose, commit to backing up your computer at least once a week or more often if you’re working on a project or want to preserve recently stored images.
Get antivirus software to protect from malware: Antivirus software helps prevent viruses and malware from infiltrating your device and messing with your data or stealing information which could lead to identity theft. Paid and free versions of antivirus software are available, and most programs can be set to work automatically in the background.
Update your software and programs: Make sure to update your software, especially high-use programs such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Chrome, and Windows. Outdated software can be vulnerable to malware, because most updates are created to keep software safe from threats. Downloading and installing the latest versions of your programs might not only protect your PC, but can keep it working quickly.
Declutter your software programs: While you do updates, check to make sure you’re using the programs on your system, and consider deleting any programs and files you no longer use. Decluttering helps ensure that your computer doesn’t get bogged down with unnecessary data. It also limits the number of programs malware might “hijack” to gain access to the system.
Lastly, don’t forget to clean your keyboard and computer screen! Happy spring cleaning!