5 Computer Cleaning Tips to Save Space and Improve Performance
When was the last time that you cleaned your computer? Just like cars need regular maintenance for optimal performance, so do computers. Neglecting to clean your computer on a regular basis will result in less storage space and sluggish performance. So, follow these five computer cleaning tips to keep it running properly.
#1) Defrag Your Hard Drive
It’s not uncommon for a computer to contain anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 files. Each time a file is created or deleted, it splits the data farther apart. This means when you open the file, your computer’s operating system must search in multiple areas of the hard drive, which slows down its performance. Defragging your computer’s hard drive, however, organizes the data so that it’s closer together and easier for your operating system to find. Most desktop operating systems, including macOS X, Windows 7 and Windows 10, have built-in disk defragmentation tools specifically for this purpose. If you’re going to defrag your hard drive, though, you should set aside several hours for the process to complete.
#2) Uninstall Unused Programs
If you don’t use or need a program, there’s no reason you should keep it on your computer. Doing so will only consume hard drive space and potentially slow down its performance. By removing unwanted programs, you’ll clean up your computer’s hard drive, allowing you to install other, more useful programs. For Windows 10 PCs, you can uninstall programs by accessing Settings > System > Apps & features > Uninstall. Keep in mind that once a program has been uninstalled, you can longer access it without reinstalling it. So, only uninstall programs that you don’t plan on using.
#3) Delete Temporary Files
Regardless of how often you use your computer, chances are it’s loaded with temporary files. Featuring the .TMP and .TEMP extensions, these files are created automatically by certain programs and processes. When you use the internet, for instance, your web browser logs the sites you visit in a temporary file. While typically harmless, temporary files can consume a significant amount of space on your hard drive, especially if you fail to remove them. If you have a Windows PC, you can delete your computer’s temporary files using the Disk Cleanup tool.
#4) Perform Data Analytics Remotely
If you use your computer for data analytics purposes, consider performing it remotely. Data analytics software is resource intensive and consumes valuable processing power and memory that could be used for other applications. There are ways to perform data analytics remotely, however, including the use of Google BigQuery. The search engine giant’s managed data warehouse service allows users to harvest and analyze data as the data is created. Best of all, Google offers 1TB of monthly data analysis and 10GB of data storage for free. Using a service such as this is a great way to free up resources on your computer.
#5) Organize Your Desktop
If you’re guilty of creating a shortcut icon on your desktop for every new program you install, you should consider cleaning it up. A simple solution is to create folder shortcuts, instead of individual program shortcuts, on your desktop. Rather than placing five shortcuts to five different video editing programs, for example, you can place a single shortcut to a folder with these programs. Using a tiered folder system is an effective way to clean up an otherwise cluttered desktop.
These are just a few ways to clean your computer. You can also download third-party apps and programs to save space and improve performance. Following these tips will allow you to get the most use out of your computer.