It's that time of the year, when you have to (hopefully) clean up the mess that your house and car have become during the freezing months of winter, although this winter was a bit wacky in terms of temperature. Unless you are lucky enough to stay somewhere warm during this time, spring means one thing; time to do some tidying before summer. And while your house and car get this special treatment, what about your computer? Doesn't it deserve some love too? I think so!
Clean the dirty hardwareGive your computer, monitor, and keyboard some love. All it takes is a compressed air canister and a screwdriver! Most people (who don't know much about their computers) cringe at the thought of opening the computer up in fear of breaking something, but it's actually a very simple process. Check it out!
- Take the PC outside (Unless you want MORE dust in your house!)
- Remove the side panel (Screwdriver needed)
- Using your compressed air canister, blow out as much dust as you can. Focus on fans and the CPU Cooler first, then blow out all the remaining dust. All Clean!
- Take your keyboard outside, or do this over a trashcan. Flip the keyboard upside down and shake, apply some compressed air as well. All clean!
- For the keyboard, get a soft cloth (I don't recommend any form of paper, as their may be residue left over) and gently wipe your monitor down DRY to remove dust.
- Your hardware is clean!
Clean out the bugs (Windows and Mac)Next you need to clean out the bugs. The cyber bugs. Mainly, all you need to do is run a virus scan. I recommend SuperAntispyware to run a complete scan of the system and remove all of the potential viruses, and especially the spyware. And if you don't already, install a form of AntiVirus. The best free ones to get would be either Avast! or Microsoft Security Essentials. Once you complete the scan, make sure your AntiVirus is up to date (or install some!)
For Macs, I recommend MacKeeper, which will clean up all viruses, spyware, and issues that could be occurring within your machine. Download and test out the 15 day free trial, and run the program. If you want to (and I recommend it for complete coverage 24/7), you can also pay for the basic version for $40. Bottom line, you should at least run the trial version to clean up your machine. (It will also be used in the next step!)
Speed up your machine (Windows and Mac)The final step is to clean up your machine's software and data. This is done in three steps.
- Clean up your programs. Go to Control Panel ->Programs and Features (Or Add/Remove Programs) and remove any programs that you are not using/don't use. For Mac, if you aren't using MacKeeper, use AppZapper, a free program to completely remove programs.
- Clean up your Temp and Registry Files. The best way to do this is with CCleaner (See this post). For Mac, do the same, as Priform has released CCleaner for Mac!
- Defragment your PC. Download Defraggler, and schedule it to run after you go to sleep, and by the time you wake up, your hard drive will be nice and defragmented! You can do it on a Mac, but it's necessary in most cases.
- Check your RAM. Right click on "My computer" and select properties to see how much Memory you have. If you have less than 2 Gigabytes (GB), you could experience some slowness.
That's it! Spring Cleaning is done! Your PC is ready for the trials of the next year!