- Install updates
The very first thing to do is to take a close look at the programs and apps. It is best to simply install all the necessary updates – and confidently delete any programs that are not being used.
- Delete old files
We all have obsolete files on our systems. The color palette that you downloaded when redecorating, the photo montage for Aunt Betty’s birthday… documents you’re attached to for nostalgic reasons are better off on an external hard drive or in the cloud than on your computer. All other unused documents can go to the recycle bin – which can also be emptied today. Another tip: the download folder is often a real treasure trove of useless files!
- Organize folders and desktop
It is said that there are people who store the majority of their documents on the desktop or in a folder called “My Documents”. If you think we’re talking about you, you could use today to organize your documents and give the folders meaningful names. An initial breakdown into “job,” “vehicles,” “finances and taxes,” “insurance,” “housing” and, if necessary, “family” has worked well for some. Further folders can, of course, be created as needed – after all, the folder structure should fit your life and not vice versa. However, caution is advised with folders named “Miscellaneous” or “Other”. These often lead to the folder structure not being adhered to.
- Delete emails
The fact that e-mails also have an ecological footprint should be well known by now. The Guardian calculates 4 grams of CO2 equivalent per e-mail; a comprehensive e-mail with attachments can add up to 50 grams. The most crucial point for the e-mail’s CO2 footprint is its storage on servers because these consume electricity around the clock. So, if you delete unnecessary e-mails – and empty the trash folder afterward – you’re not only doing something for your personal organization, but also for the climate.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters and set notifications
If you want to make your inbox even more climate-friendly and organized, check your newsletter subscriptions. Hand on heart: which newsletters do you really read? These are allowed to stay. For all others, simply click on the unsubscribe link. This is in every newsletter – usually at the very end. If you want to stem the flood of e-mails even further, check your social media profiles’ notification settings. Here, you can easily define which information from social media should really be sent to you in an extra e-mail.
- Run virus scans
Of course, you can’t neglect a virus scan today! Just start the program manually – the scan may take a little longer, but the effort is definitely worth it. After that, check the antivirus program settings: the software should be set to automatically scan the system once a week.
- Clean hardware
Last but not least: the hardware also deserves a little TLC today. After all, the average keyboard can harbor up to four hundred times more bacteria than the average toilet seat! First, the computer should be shut down and disconnected from the power. Now you’re ready to go: turn the keyboard over and shake it so that crumbs and dust fall out; then you can get to work on the microbiome on the keyboard and mouse with a disinfectant wipe. A cotton swab dipped in disinfectant solution has proven effective for cleaning the spaces between the keys. The screen is best cleaned with a damp microfiber cloth. If the computer regularly runs very hot, it is worth checking whether the fan is clogged with dust and fluff. Those who are confident can clean the fan themselves with the help of a tutorial; all others should rely on professional cleaning services.
With this in mind: happy cleaning and happy Clean out Your Computer Day!