We are just 5 days away from the first day of spring! The spring season is most famous for its call to cleaning, and what better place to start than your computer!

We all forget how computers, just like our desks and closets, need to be cleaned; externally and internally.

I’ll be going through a few tips this month on the best practices to start cleaning up your computer.? Follow all these tips and you’ll be on your way to a cleaner, faster and better computer experience!

The first tip we’re going to use is to get rid of unnecessary files, programs and data from your computer!? With the massive amounts of space we’re given in our computers today, we tend to forget how easy it is to accumulate massive amounts of information and data on these hard drives.? It’s axiomatic that a hard drive that is full will not run as fast or last as long as one with more free space!

Start with your programs.? Go into the Control Panel and Add/Remove Programs (Windows) or the Applications folder (Mac) to view all the installed programs on your computer.? Scroll through each program and give it some serious thought about how much you use that application.? If you haven’t used it in a 3-6 months, there’s a good chance you will not be using it again, so remove it!? I usually download a number of programs for a one and done use, and then forget to install it later! Why should I even give it the opportunity to take up space on my drive?

Your second task is to go through your documents, files and data.? If you don’t use it often (3-6 months) then back it up to an external hard drive or get rid of it.? I’m not a huge fan of deleting documents completely, therefore I prefer the back up method.? This is a great rule for movies or large pictures you don’t view on a daily basis, since they can be sent to an external drive and still be viewed by connecting to that drive or server.? If you do buy an external drive, you can learn how to protect it here, or you can build yourself a cheap home server for the house, which can simplify and automate the back up process for you!

Stay tuned for more tips on cleaning your computer.? If you find your computer is running slow and sluggish and haven’t run any scans for spyware or viruses, I highly recommend the forums here to start that cleaning process immediately to make sure you’re running a secure computer.