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5 Tips to Clean and Speed Up Your Filthy PC

Originally posted by Bob Al-Greene/Apr 02, 2013 for: http://mashable.com/2013/04/02/clean-pc/

Our computers rarely run as fast as we want or expect them to. Whether you’re a Mac or Windows user, it’s maddening to sit in front of a taunting hourglass or spinning circle of death, especially when you have work to do. In the spirit of spring cleaning, we invite you to clean the dust bunnies out of your PC (literally and digitally). Here are five easy ways to get started.

1. Organize Everything

Your computing experience could seem slow if you spend eons clicking through endless subfolders or waiting for search to retrieve files. The first step toward a smooth-running PC is to remove human error.

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That means setting up an intuitive filing system for your documents to make sure they’re always where you want them, when you want them. Clearing and reorganizing your dekstop is an incredibly cathartic experience and will leave you with more peace of mind. Have fun with it — maybe use a grid wallpaper to organize icons precisely before switching back to your usual background. Image courtesy of Flickr, kleuske

2. Cut Out the Unnecessary

Run disk cleanup. It will free up space on your hard drive and improve the performance of your computer. Picture your PC as a hiker with a heavy backpack — you can help him move faster by unloading all the unnecessary junk you’ve accumulated — temporary files, duplicate files, downloads — as well as the crapware and trialware that came installed on your machine.

Check out PC Decrapifier to get started culling the herd of useless files bogging your PC down.

3. Fight Back
This is a simple proposition but an easy one to overlook: Invest in programs that target spyware, adware, malware and any viruses your computer might catch. This is about finding the right antivirus software for you.

If you do a lot of web surfing, for example, you might need some serious muscle to back you up. Or do you prefer a simple, unobtrusive program to keep your system running?

The Internet is flush with lists of decent, free antivirus programs. Whatever you choose, don’t forget you have it — scan as often as possible. Yes, it can take hours to do a full system scan. So set it up to work overnight, while you’re asleep, maybe. Getting into a cycle like this will keep your PC running healthy.

4. To Defrag or Not to Defrag?

As you use your PC, files get scattered across the system in bits and pieces: fragments. Defragmentation brings them all back together. And while this may not have a noticeable effect on your system speed, it’s good to make sure your files are all in one, correct place.

Unless you’re using a solid-state drive, you should probably defrag about once a month just to be on the safe side.

5. Start Over

There may come a time when your best hope is just to save all your data and wipe your hard drive, then reinstall Windows. This is the scorched earth option. But don’t forget to back up all your data beforehand, so you don’t lose anything important.

You may want to choose this time to upgrade to a newer operating system, like Windows 8. You should also double-check that you’re running the most recent version of your software. If you aren’t updating Windows constantly, you can set your PC to do it automatically.

Do you have some PC cleaning tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section.

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Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life

Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life Including Social Media, written & posted by Actionable Marketing Expert, Heidi Cohen, for heidicohen.com

21 Tips To Unclutter Your Digital Devices & Social Media Presences

Spring is in the air making everything seem fresh and new. But open one of your digital devices such as your computer, your smartphone or your tablets, and there’s lots of stuff that’s accumulated over time.

Just as you give your home a through spring cleaning, now’s the time to go through your digital inboxes, files and profiles on digital devices and social networks to get rid of the information that’s irrelevant, reducing your effectiveness.

Here are 21 tips to help you clear out the information you no longer need. The objective is to remove as much clutter as possible from your digital and social media life. This advice applies to both the personal and professional aspects of your life.

1. Scan hard copy documents for online storage. Want to keep your information easily accessible? Create a digital version and file it appropriately. (Keep originals where necessary!)

2. Unsubscribe to email newsletters that are no longer relevant. For each newsletter you receive, consider if the information is still relevant and useful? Did you only sign up for a one-time sale or white paper? Is it an old project? Is the information redundant with other sources like Twitter or LinkedIn feeds?

3. Delete or archive your email inbox. Does your email inbox contain hundreds of emails waiting for future actions? If so, they probably distract you every time you open your inbox. Take the time to ruthlessly go through them.

4. Stop alerts that are now irrelevant. Assess the alerts you’ve set up. Are they still relevant to your job, projects and other interests? Stop them to remove inbox clutter.

5. Add or change email filters. Are your current email filters working for you? Are regular newsletters and alerts automatically filed and reviewed in batches.

6. Check email signature file(s). Is the information up-to-date? Are you announcing events or promotions that already occurred?
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7. Organize digital documents into folders. Take time to systematize your digital content to help you find it faster when you need it.

8. Delete redundant documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Many people keep every version of every document they create during the development process. But once you’ve finalized the content, purge the interim versions.

9. Examine your download folder for clutter. It keeps information you may forget about once you’ve used it. Go through this folder to free up space on your computer or other device.

10. Check software updates. Most software signals users to install the latest updates, but if you’re like me, you put them off since it’ll interrupt what you’re doing at the time. So, take time to ensure you’ve got the latest software version.

11. Review your mobile apps and uninstall those you don’t use. Mobile apps have a way of expanding since you want to test new things or your spouse, partner or child wants something. It’s useful to get rid of those apps you no longer use and lose the clutter.

12. Transfer photos and videos from your mobile device(s) to your computer. While everyone likes to have a few special photographs of family and friends with them, you don’t need your entire photo library on your phone or tablet.

13. Back up your digital devices. Do you feel you’d be lost without the information on your computer, smartphone or tablet? Then make sure you back it up either to another computer, external drive or the cloud.

14. Clean out your RSS feeds. If you’ve got an RSS reader, go through and eliminate feeds you’re no longer interested in. Also, get rid of feeds where you receive the information via another format.

15. Arrange your bookmarks whether they’re on a social sharing site or your browser. Organize and delete bookmarks that are no longer useful or available.

16. Give your social media profiles a new spring look. Use a new photograph. Edit and update your profiles, keywords and links.

17. Check privacy settings, especially on Facebook. Determine who you want to see the information you share. Remember your family and friends may be less stringent with their settings than you are. As a result, your updates and information may be available to others you don’t know.

18. Eliminate third party applications on social media you no longer use. Third party apps often request a lot of information and may have access to your data. Therefore, if you’re not using them, delete them.

19. Un-tag yourself from social media photographs that reflect badly on you. Since you never know who’s checking on you, ensure you present a consistent image. Start with the oldest photographs first and work your way forward.
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20. Purge your social media inboxes. Delete old requests, invites and conversations.

21. Sift through friends and followers. If you’re no longer interested in receiving information and engaging with the people to whom you’re connected to, get rid of the connection. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Think in terms of having a more engaged following. (To understand the rationale for this tip, read Why Isn’t Anyone Listening to Me on Twitter?)

While spring cleaning your digital life can be time consuming, the process can be cathartic. More important, it ensures that the information you receive via your digital devices and social media platforms are relevant. By eliminating the messages you no longer need, you remove distractions that keep you from being your most efficient.

Stop procrastinating…get ‘er done!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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