As a writer, you know your computer isn’t just for watching videos of cats and TikTok dances: It’s an important tool for both creating and submitting your poems, short prose, novel, or memoir. In the course of all the writing, file creating, tracking, and submissions—plus everything else you use your PC for—your computer will accumulate a lot of unnecessary files and junk. The tech experts at Web Design Relief have some easy hacks and tips on how to clean out your computer so it runs smoothly.
Clean Out Your Computer To Improve Performance
Give Your Computer A Break. Don’t leave your computer running all the time—give it a rest! Like you, your desktop computer benefits from some downtime. Before turning off your desktop computer, be sure to close any programs or browser tabs you have open. Turning your computer off also gives it a chance to launch updates when it’s turned back on.
And while leaving your laptop plugged in all the time won’t hurt the battery life, running a processor-intensive program or having many programs running simultaneously may cause your laptop to run hot and damage the battery.
Declutter And Remove Unwanted Files. To keep your computer running smoothly, it’s a good idea to regularly review your files to find and remove clutter. If you save multiple files to your desktop, it can soon become a cluttered mess. Remove files you no longer need and be sure to back up any important files.
Check your hard drive for old, cached files that can cause errors. And keep in mind that whenever you launch and run any application (Spotify is just one example) or browse the Internet, temporary files are created that could be taking up space on your computer. Also look around for files containing unneeded downloads, abandoned video projects, or games you no longer play. Deleting these files will free up disk space on your computer.
Back Up Your Important Files. Once you’ve removed all the clutter, it’s time to back up the files you want to keep. Here are two ways you can back up your files:
- Cloud Backup: Cloud backup services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are popular options and offer both free and paid plans. Choose the plan that works best for you depending on the number of files you plan to save.
- External Hard Drive: Be wary of saving your files to a USB flash drive. While portable and convenient, a flash drive can be easily damaged, which could result in your files being lost. Instead, invest in an external hard drive with enough storage to meet your needs.
Run Software Updates. It’s important to run software updates on your computer. Not only will these updates give you access to the newest software features, but they’ll also help protect your computer from malicious attacks and other security weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers. When it comes to computer security, it’s always good to err on the side of caution.
Defrag Your Hard Drive. Defragmenting, or defragging, reassembles your hard drive by putting related data back together. Recommended monthly, this process frees up space on your computer by organizing your files more efficiently and improves the overall performance of your desktop PC or laptop.
Run A Virus Check. It’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for viruses and other malware that can cause poor performance, software crashes, and other problems on your computer. To check for a lurking virus on a computer using Windows, you can right-click the Windows taskbar and select “Task Manager.” By default, Windows 11 (the most current version of Windows at the time of this writing) is always scanning your computer with its application known as Microsoft Defender. To perform a scan manually, you can open Windows Security to do a quick scan. Another option is the anti-malware software Malwarebytes, which is free and provides Microsoft Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS with an added layer of security.
By following these maintenance tips to remove all the junk cluttering up your computer and taking steps to clean up your hard drive, delete unwanted files, and detect any viruses that could be affecting overall performance, you’ll help your computer run more smoothly.
Question: Which of these tips will be most helpful in maintaining your computer’s performance?