Computers perform better when they're clean physically and file wise.
Kristin Demoranville is a member of Best Buy's Geek Squad. She says computers can collect a lot of dust and other crud. "Well, basically most of the time people just take their PC and they just throw it into a cabinet under their desk or something crazy like that. And over time, just from dust buildup, pet dander, things like that, it just cruds up."
To clean up, blow a little canned air into the fans and other openings on the back, not straight on but from an angle. Demoranville says, "If you don't, it will actually blow into the machine, so you have to make sure it's unplugged."
On the hard drive, you may have a lot of extra files, many of them temporary files that you don't need anymore. A good way to fix the problem is to use disk cleanup under your computer's accessories programs. It analyzes the hard drive, tells you how much space is being taken up by unnecessary files. And you can choose to delete them.
Another spring cleaning necessity is defragmenting the hard drive. As old programs and files are deleted sometimes the new ones are added in open spaces, not always together. That means the hard drive has to look in more places to bring up the full program. Defragging brings programs together, making things run faster.
The Windows operating system comes with a defragging program under accessories, but you should turn off a few things. Demoranville says, "You want to make sure that you turn off anti-virus and anti-spyware problems, anything you're not using, just shut it off for the most part." She says you should also turn off your screensave for the defragging operation.
Be sure the operating system, anti-virus, and anti spyware software is updated and you're good to go.
How often should you do spring cleaning? Every four to six months say some experts. More often if you fiddle with a lot of programs.
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