Monday, February 8th is declared as National Clean Out Your Computer Day. Why should you? Because over time computers can get bogged down with unwanted files, temporary files and folders, duplicates files, downloads and more. You would be surprised how much space you can recover in just one sweep of getting rid of stuff that you no longer need.

There are several ways that you can go about cleaning. Manually, by searching around, or you can use a tool like Iolo Technologies System Mechanic. See this page for a few tips from them about keeping your computer running up to par. A few that you should definitely be doing include:

  1. Delete unused, old or duplicate files, emails, email addresses, bookmarks and favorites. With System Mechanic’s “Remove Junk Files”, “Remove Internet Debris” or “Find Duplicate Files” tools, you can recover a lot of lost space – and a lot of time wasted while looking for files on a cluttered hard drive.
  2. Organize your files. Make sure to use a logical file naming system and put them into folders that make sense and are easy to remember and access.
  3. Uninstall programs that you no longer need or use. To make sure they are completely uninstalled and do not leave any residual clutter, use System Mechanic’s “Remove Installed Programs” to uninstall even the most stubborn components.

I also recommend periodically dumping your downloads folder, or moving any installs that you need to keep off to CD or DVD. Also be sure that your virus software is up to date.  I recommend  AVG Free. Or if you are with ATT or Comcast, you can get the full McAfee suite from their download sites. Also be sure to install a good spyware checker. I like Spybot. In some cases, like if I am trying to find a problem, I will also run Ad-Adware.

Happy Clean Out Your Computer Day!