Can’t see your desktop wallpaper because it’s covered by icons? Don’t remember where you saved that one document on your computer? Haven’t checked the Recycle Bin lately?
It might be time to spend some quality time with your PC. In honor of National Clean Out Your Computer Day, we sat down with Geek Squad Agent Lindsey Schnase to discuss easy ways to organize your computer and help improve its performance.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times – don’t store documents on your desktop. Too far gone? No worries, we got you.
The first step for clearing off your desktop is to get rid of items you don’t need (shocker). Take some time to go through the documents on your desktop and drag the ones you no longer need into your recycle bin. Then, for all of the items left on your desktop, go to your “User Library” and drag your files into the appropriate folders. Storing documents in your “User Library” not only clears desktop space, but also can improve the time it takes for your computer to boot up.
When’s the last time you went through your browser bookmarks? We thought so.
Open your internet browser, go to the menu and open “Bookmarks” or “Favorites.” Start deleting duplicates and ones you no longer use. Then, click on each link that you are keeping to make sure the webpage loads correctly. Websites are frequently changing, so it’s best to check that you’re connecting to the correct site. While you’re at it, take your organization to the next level by categorizing your bookmarks. You can do this in the bookmark/favorites manager of your internet browser of choice.
Clear out your control panel
Chances are you’re no longer playing your favorite video game from 15 years ago for eight hours a day. Thus, it should be uninstalled from your computer.
Each time you install a new program, thousands of pieces of data come with it. Free up your computer’s storage by uninstalling programs you no longer use or installed by accident. Find the folder in your computer’s “Control Panel” that houses all of its programs and features. Do some research on programs you’re not sure if you should keep before uninstalling.
Those files you downloaded from the internet are camping out in your computer.
The “Downloads” folder is the place that stores every file you download from the internet – and it’s eating up computer storage! Find the folder located under “Computer,” select all, delete and say buh-bye.
Empty the recycle bin
Taking out the trash has never felt so good!
You’ve loaded the bin up, and now it’s time to empty it out. Right click on the “Recycle Bin” and select “Empty Recycle Bin.” This may take a few minutes depending on how many items you recycled. Easy-peasy!
Wipe it, wipe it good
See what we did there?
Just like your car, bike or fur friend, your computer needs a bath from time to time. You’ll need three items to complete this task: Canned air, screen cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Blow the canned air on the keyboard and in your fan, being careful to watch for flying dust and crumbs (Ew!). Spray the screen cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe down your desktop monitor or laptop screen. Don’t use any other solution other than screen cleaner to wipe down your screen. Ever.
If you’re looking for a deeper computer cleaning or more expert advice, there’s always Geek Squad. Find a helpful Agent online or stop in to your nearby Best Buy store.