Spring cleaning tips for your digital devices

digital spring cleaningLots of people take advantage of this time of year to declutter the house, air everything out after the long winter, and get everything clean and fresh for spring.
Well, the same applies to your devices, and this is a great time to do just that.
We’ve got a few suggestions of things that you can do to help keep your devices running great and clearing up space.

Computer (Laptop/Desktop)

  • Actually clean the hardware! Get a can of compressed air and clean between the keys of your keyboard, buy some wipes or spray cleaner that’s made for electronics. It’s tempting just to use your standard glass or surface cleaner, but do you really want to risk damaging your valuable computer with the wrong chemical?
  • Make sure all the connectors are tight and secure; Take that compressed air and clear out connections, make sure everything is plugged in tight.
  • Check for software updates and run anything that should be updated; also see if there are any applications or games you aren’t using anymore, and uninstall them.
  • Back up your photos and important documents! This should be something that you do on a regular basis, but if you don’t, now is the time to start! You can set up cloud-based storage that will automatically back up for you, every few days or so, or buy an external hard drive and use that back everything up. We can’t stress the importance of this enough.
  • Organize your files and folders. Do you tend to accumulate files on your desktop, even though there are things you don’t need, or that could be stored elsewhere? A nice clear desktop will help keep you focused on the task at hand, and you’ll save time looking for the things you need.

Mobile Tech (Phone/Tablet)

  • Use those wipes or spray you got for your laptop and clean the screen really well; chances are, you don’t even realize how grubby it is until you really clean it off.
  • This is also a good time, as long as the screen is clean, to apply a protector to it. You can pick them up online or at an electronics retailer, and it’ll help protect the screen from cracking.
  • How about a new case? If you tend to drop your phone, or have kids who ever use it, go for a really protective one that will keep it safe and secure. If you aren’t as worried about that, go for pretty! Your favorite color, sparkly crystals, sports teams… the options are endless!
  • Remove all those apps you don’t use anymore; there are probably games you don’t play, or you already finished. They’re just taking up space.
  • Back up your photos! Save them to a safe location and then free up space on the device. It’s also a good time to go through and delete the bad photos, or just select your favorites from those 37 picture bursts you made while trying to get the perfect selfie.
  • Clear the cache of apps; there are some apps that take up more and more space as they create cache files, and the only way to make them smaller again is to delete and reinstall them. On an iPhone, you can see what’s taking up how much room by going to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage. Some things, like Music and Photos, will be huge but that’s because those files take up a bunch of space. Other things *cough Facebook cough* just grow and grow, so deleting and reinstalling will get rid of that bloat for you.

How often do you clean up your digital life? Did we miss any tips you love?

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