Keep Your Computer Clean: 7 Tasks in 7 Days

Computers are like closets and drawers. We put things in them and we don’t always pay attention to where they go or even what they are. They get cluttered and messy fast and the last thing we want to do is clean them out. But if we do a simple task every day and get into a routine we can help keep our computer clean and running smoothly. Here are 7 daily tasks you can do to get on the path to cleanliness.

Day 1: Clean off your Desktop! The Desktop is where the Start Menu resides. It’s also where clutter collects. It’s an easy storage space because it’s so convenient. But too many icons, shortcuts and files slow your computer down. Clean it up by deleting unwanted shortcuts and icons and moving files and folders to their correct locations.

Day 2: Now it’s time to tackle the Documents or My Documents folder. Go through and delete the stuff you don’t want and sort out the stuff you do. Putting things in their right spots makes it easier for you to find them when you need them.

Day 3: Here’s an easy one, empty your Recycle Bin! It really isn’t storage space so remember to empty it on a regular basis. If it’s not on your Desktop, right click on your Desktop, go to Personalize and click “Change Desktop Icons”. You’ll see the option to check off “Recycle Bin”. That will put the trash can front and center. Also run the Disk Cleanup utility in your Start Menu under Accessories and System Tools. This will delete all the temporary files you don’t need.

Day 4: Back up your important files and folders. You can use a free online drive like SkyDrive (part of Hotmail) or Google Drive (with your Gmail account) or you can use a USB thumb drive or external hard drive. You can even burn a CD or DVD if you want.

Day 5: Now it’s time to sort all the pictures, movies and videos. Just create file folders and drag and drop these files into their new homes. These should be backed up as well.

Day 6: Go into your Control Panel and use the Uninstall Programs tool to remove programs you don’t use and toolbars you don’t need.

Day 7: Now it’s time to defragment your hard drive. You’ll find this in your Start Menu under the Accessories menu and System Tools. Set this up just before you are done using the computer for the night. Make sure if you’re doing this with a laptop, that it’s plugged in. Defragmenting will eat your battery power very quickly.

Don’t forget to print these steps so you’ll have them. If you get into a routine cleaning up your computer won’t take very long and you’ll be happier because your computer will run faster and more smoothly.

Happy cleaning!