Spring Cleaning: Clearing Digital Clutter

Spring cleaning. Maybe you want a fresh start. Maybe you need to clear your house and your mind of things you don’t need. Perhaps you’re just really bored during the cold Pittsburgh winter. As you attack your closets and carpets, don’t forget to clear out the digital clutter in your life!

We promise it’s not that hard and you’ll be happy you did. You don’t need to buy a new computer to have a computer that runs like new.

What is digital clutter?

There are many different platforms out there, and they install their programs or apps on your computer. It is common to install programs for only one use. However, this means there is an entire program, plus its temporary files and applets.

Maybe you downloaded the video meeting app your doctor’s office uses and never opened it again after your appointment. Perhaps you tried a program and didn’t like it or used it only for one project or until the free trial period expired. Or that program you used every day for a job you no longer have or a class you’re no longer taking. Just because you’re not clicking on them doesn’t mean they’re not cluttering up your memory. 

Throw Away What You Don’t Use

Just like purging the out-of-style clothes in your closet, you should look at your program files and see what you use frequently and what is outdated. Go through the list of programs and delete or uninstall what you are not using. 

On a Mac 

  1. Open a new Finder window on your Mac. 
  2. Select Applications on the left panel. (You can also open the Applications folder by pressing the Command + Shift + A keys on your keyboard at the same time.)
  3. Click and drag an app on top of the Trash icon in your Dock.

In Windows 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Control Panel and select it from the results.
  2. Select Programs > Programs and Features.
  3. Press and hold (or right-click) on the program you want to remove and select Uninstall or Uninstall/Change. Then follow the directions on the screen.

Refresh What You Do Use

Sometimes you need to throw away something you still want like those old jeans that don’t fit anymore or your favorite Steelers sweatshirt that has too many wing sauce stains on it. The best thing to do is refresh those staples. The same thing is true for your computer with digital clutter.

Deleting and reinstalling an app or program that you use often, can give your computer a refresh. Save your files to the cloud, delete the program, and reinstall. What’s even better for your computer is reinstall your entire operating system – save your files to the cloud, reset your computer to factory settings, and reinstall your operating system.

FSA Consulting always supports when a client wants to reinstall system software. Then you will know that you have the most up to date and often most efficient programs running.  

Empty The Trash Can

Deleting an application or removing a program removes about 80% of the digital clutter it created. Just like how you’ve taken everything out of your closet, hung up only what you want to keep, put it all in a bag for donation, but it’s still sitting by the door. Remember to take your digital garbage to the curb and empty your trash can.

Not quite done with all your spring cleaning? Keep an eye out for next month’s post: “Refreshing Your IT Infrastructure.” In the meantime, if you are unsure how to improve your office technology’s efficiency and spring cleaning on digital clutter, consult with a professional-managed IT company like FSA Consulting!

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