Things to do in the new year: Clean up your computer

By Alan Haskvitz

Everything from dust bunnies inside your computer to unwanted programs and other data that are slowing your processor can be cleaned easily. Here are some links and suggestions on how to do this quickly. However, remember that every computer has different applications and hardware so read the information carefully as I cannot take responsibility for these sites and procedures.

1. First update your virus detection or download one.

Free virus detection and clean-up sites

General technology links

Technology grants

Excellent computer links and lessons

Clear your browser cache to keep sites current.

2. Clear your inbox to zero messages and get it organized

3. Clean-up your desktop.

4. Creating a cleaner desk top

5. For windows users

For Mac users

General how to site

6. Clean-up your dock with Overflow or AppZapper. Get rid of applications you no longer need.

7. Review your contacts

Take a look through your email contacts. Get rid of those that are no longer valid or of no use. There are software programs that can enable you to put these in order by importance such as for Macs and

8. Take a moment for iTune culling

If you download music take the time to organize them by section such as jazz or best of the 1980’s and get rid of the songs you no longer want.

9. RSS improvement for blog users

Blogs take time and need to be kept current. Here is a how to site that will enable you to make the task easier.

10. Backup your data

On a dramatic note, the worst thing that can happen to you is data loss – so backup now! Buy yourself an external hard-drive and archive/backup all your documents, pictures, movies, and sites from the previous year using a tool such as SuperDuper! If you don’t want to fork out for a new HDD, connect your iPod to your computer and drag your most important data onto its icon; this will create a copy of it on your iPod to use as a backup.

Buy a large zip drive/external drive and download everything, including all applications, to it. Try using to help and to recover broken systems as well.

11. Rid your machine of unworthy programs.

Get rid of them carefully. Here is a program that is worth checking out that helps you remove them.

12. Clean up your start-up section as well as dealing with cookies and registry issues. If your computer is slow to boot-up it might be because you have too many programs that are opening.

Here is a how to for start-up issues

This is a free program that helps with that.

and others

13. Work on bringing order to your documents

14. Every time you use your computer the files are stored for future use whether or not you use them again. These temporary Internet files enable anyone to follow what you have been doing on the computer forever unless they are automatically deleted. Here is how to easily do this:

15.Sometimes you forget what you have downloaded such as music or photos. The best way to avoid these and other duplications that you might have on your computer is with WinMerge, It is ease to run and you’re probably going to be surprised as the duplicates you have onboard.

16. Take the time to map your hard drive. It doesn’t take much time and it reveals where you are using your disc space.

17. Clean out what you thought you had cleaned out

You may not realize it but when you delete files from your hard drive, the data is still there. You need to run a program such as Eraser to permanently get rid of this information. Make absolutely sure you don’t delete what you need. And, make equally sure that when you donate or junk your old computer you wipe its hard drive clean with a program such as Eraser or formatting.

18. Five steps to clean your computer files

You need to register to enable this software to look for unneeded material in your hard drive. As usual with downloads, beware.

19. How to clean-up after someone has broken into your computer

20. How to clean-up a computer registry

Six ways to clean up your computer

21. Finally, get rid of the dust and hair with this the information from this site:

22. After you have done all this to into the systems tools section of your computer and defragment it. This is essential for a better running computer. Other systems features include a disc cleaner which you can use to find unneeded material on your computer, too.

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