8 WAYS TO CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER SOFTWARE

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14 February 2022

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IT'S NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR COMPUTER DAY!

We all know how frustrating it is when our computers are cluttered and running slowly. So this February 14th, why not give your most-used devices some TLC.

Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day marks the time to delete any unnecessary files, uninstall unused applications and manage heavy-duty programs which will help make your life easier, quicker and more organised.

This National Clean Out Your Computer Day, we’ve put together just 8 ways that you can clean up your computer software…

1) RESTART YOUR COMPUTER

As obvious as it sounds, rebooting your computer will help keep your device running smoothly and efficiently. It can often speed up performance-related issues, such as loading time if you’ve been having problems. It can be due to a combination of things, such as unclogging the RAM and clearing temporary files and processes which will help keep away “computer cobwebs” from forming, this will result in your computer performing at top speed.

2) DELETE OLD FILES, DOWNLOADS, PICTURES AND VIDEOS

Downloading files to your computer can quickly fill your hard drive. Removing files that you no longer use will make finding files easier. If you're concerned about what downloads and files you may be deleting, you can run a disk cleanup to take care of any lingering temporary files that will be clogging up your hard drive. You can practise good computer maintenance by deleting downloads and files on a regular basis as it won’t harm your computer.

You can free up a lot of memory space by uploading old pictures and videos to the cloud or an external drive. By moving pictures and videos to cloud storage, you can keep a balance between accessing files and freeing up hard drive space on your computer, it will also back up memories that you don’t want to lose.

3) EMPTY YOUR RECYCLE BIN

When files are sent to your recycling bin, those files are still technically on your computer until the bin is emptied. Emptying your recycling bin will permanently delete files from your hard drive, freeing up more space on your computer.

The recycle bin should not be a part of your filing system, and you should make a routine of emptying your trash on a regular basis (just like you would with an actual bin). Emptying your trash is the only way to get rid of files permanently. We recommended that you empty your trash ONLY when you’re sure that you won’t need those files again.

4) STOP LARGE-SCALE TASKS AND PROGRAMS

You can stop heavy-duty tasks and programs by right-clicking on the process you want to close by clicking “End Task”. Doing this will drastically reduce the drain on your CPU and this will likely speed up your computer's performance. If you’re also using a laptop this will extend your computer battery’s lifespan.

Whilst stopping a programme will most likely stabilise your computer, ending a programme can completely close down an application or crash your computer. This means you could lose any unsaved data. We recommended that you save your data before killing a programme, if possible. If there are any programs that you don’t use anymore, deleting and uninstalling these will also free up more space on your computer.

5) REMOVE UNUSED BROWSER EXTENSIONS

Browser extensions can be a privacy nightmare, most people don’t realise how dangerous they can actually be. These small tools often have access to everything you do online. So there’s more chance of them being able to capture your passwords, track your web browsing, insert advertisements into web pages that you visit and much more.

Just like Android apps, Chrome extensions can hide malware or other malicious content, even when you install them from the official Chrome Web Store. Popular browser extensions can be sold sometimes to shady companies or even become hijacked, and automatic updates can turn them into malware.

Find more information on why browser extensions can be dangerous and how to protect yourself by How to Geek.

6) CLEAR BROWSER CACHE, HISTORY AND TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES

Your computer generates a lot of temporary files every time you boot up and use applications. These temporary files, such as internet history, cookies and caches take up a considerable amount of space on your hard disk, further slowing down your system.

It’s a good idea to make a habit of regularly clearing your browser cache and cookies as it will prevent you from using old forms, websites tracking you and stop targeted ads. This will protect your personal information and help applications run better on your computer

A disk cleanup can clean up hundreds of megabytes by deleting temporary files, unnecessary system files and even just emptying your recycling bin.

7) ADD MORE RAM TO YOUR COMPUTER

Random Access Memory (RAM) is temporary storage memory used to run programs. The more programs you use, the more RAM you need; and if you don’t have enough, your computer will slow down.

Adding more RAM to your computer will increase the processing speed, which will speed up the memory transferring process to other components, making your computer much more efficient.

You can easily add more RAM by buying an extra memory stick, but you can also replace or buy a completely new RAM if necessary.

8) CHECK FOR MALWARE, ADWARE AND SPYWARE

Always install antivirus, spyware scanner, and anti-malware software on all your devices. This software can keep hackers from remotely taking over your computer, accessing your personal and financial information and tracking your location. Your computer will be able to run faster if it’s not spending time trying to manage bugs and viruses. Install free verified antivirus apps such as Bitdefender, Norton Mobile Security and McAfee.

Find more information on how to recognise, remove and avoid malware by The Federal Trade Commission.

LOOKING FOR MORE HELP?

If you’re still looking for more ways to clean up your computer, we specialise in network security, remote desktop support and much more. We can help you and your business protect you and your devices by simply getting in touch with us today.