One of the biggest New Years Resolutions is to improve our health. Whether it is to lose weight; get more sleep; get more exercise.
All of those things are good, but we should also consider the same things for our computers. Think about it, we spend hours upon hours each day on them creating documents, down- loading files, deleting files, adding programs, removing programs and the list goes on and on.
The New Year is a perfect time for a little computer fitness or tune up, as well. Why not start the New Year off with a little PC once over?
Here are a few tips that will help you get going.
Check out your backup plan, that is if you have one in place. If you don’t, this is a good time to get one going. Do you back up your critical files to a local external drive with some sort of software? On a PC, you could use GoodSync or, on a Mac, the built in Time Machine.
Make sure these systems are running and you do in fact have a good back up in place. The worst time to find out you have no back up is when you really need to restore something.
Do You Have An Offsite Backup Plan?
It’s always a good idea to have a back up outside of your office or home. You can do this with Cloud storage of critical files. Consider looking into iCloud or Carbonite or even syncing your files to DropBox or similar services. You could use GoodSync on your PC to sync those files to the cloud storage and on a Mac, a good application is Carbon Copy Cloner.
The next thing I would check is a clean up utility such as CCleaner. This is an application I’ve used for many years and is available on both PC and Mac. It will help clean up temporary files and Internet cache and free up needed space.
Finally, I highly recommend you look over your files and reorganize when needed. Start by looking at your default downloads folder. Through- out the year, we’ve downloaded tons of files; many of these are “one time” files, meaning you only used them once and never need them again.
Maybe they were software updates, a file from a friend they wanted you to review and so forth.
Create “Files” Folders
I like to create a “files” folder either on my computer or external drive. I put all of like-type files together so I can find them easier down the road.
For Example, as I’m looking through my “Downloads” folder and find stock photos that I’ve purchased, I move those to my “stock photos” folder. I also have a “spreadsheet” folder. Word documents go in my “Docs” folder and so on. And I always delete non-needed files. You will be amazed how many un-needed files are just filling up space.
After deleting a lot of files on your PC, I would recommend running a program called Defraggler. This is a free application and will help your PC run faster. On a Mac, this application is not needed since the Mac OS does it behind the scenes.
The final recommendation is to clean up your email inbox. We generally have mail we planned on going back to read and never did. Now is a good time to clean up and trash those messages to start the New Year in better shape.
Honestly, I recommend doing these steps at least every other month, but many times we get so busy and neglect our computers and then grumble when things don’t work as fast as they once did. By utilizing these quick tune-up steps, I hope you can start off the New Year with a happy computer!