- October 13, 2017
- Posted by: Chad Gniffke
- Category: Tech Tips
We can all relate to dealing with clutter. When your closet or a drawer is filled with junk it can be impossible to locate the things you are trying to find. The same can be said for your computer. When there are so many files, applications, and folders it can cause your computer to slow down and not perform well. This can also happen to your phone. However, there are ways of clearing the clutter and getting your productivity back!
This “kill switch” is definitely the quickest way to get back to the way your computer or phone was performing when you first received it. It’s a little scary to perform though, and you have to be ready. When you reset your device back to factory defaults, it erases everything you’ve added. This means applications, files, settings… everything.
Make sure you have a backup of all of your files and the data from any application that could be stored locally on the device. Many services store your data in the cloud, so you don’t have to be concerned about losing all of your contacts out of your phone if you have them all saved to your Google or Office 365 account. If your files are stored in a cloud service Google Drive or Dropbox, you should be safe as well. Find out which applications store your data in the cloud, and which ones are stored locally and backup anything that is local.
You may also want to write down which applications you have installed and make sure you can reinstall them once you have reset your device. Most apps purchased can be redownloaded easily, as well as any software program that you pay for on a subscription basis. Once your device is back up after the reset, go ahead and install the applications and software you still want to use.
Another thing that can be cluttering up your computer is viruses. Download, install and run the free version of Malwarebytes. If the software finds any items, you should be safe in removing them. Viruses put a lot of unnecessary junk into your computer. This allows them to run their payloads, whether it’s redirecting your web browser to a site you do not want to view, or if it’s causing errors in other programs. Removing this junk should be done at least on a monthly basis to make sure your computer is always in tip-top shape.
Uninstall Unwanted Applications
Phones and computer can come preinstalled with applications and software that you never asked for, and will never use. This is usually referred to as “bloatware”. The first thing I do when I get a new device is to look at the preinstalled applications and uninstall anything I don’t want. If you have had your device for a while, you may not have had the chance yet. Take a look at your installed applications by going into your settings and then applications. Scan through the list and find anything that you don’t think belongs. Sometimes applications are required for other programs to run, so make sure you know what it is you are uninstalling before proceeding. If you need help, consult your IT support company and ask if it can be removed.
Clean Up Files
Finally, there is actual clutter on your computer as well. Desktops are notorious for collecting clutter. Cleaning your files and folders up can go a long way in helping you be more productive. Only files that are temporary should be stored on your desktop. Feel free to put a few shortcuts on your desktop to frequently accessed folders and programs. If you only need a file for less than a week, you can also store it there, but longer than that, it should be stored in a more permanent location. It is just like a filing cabinet. If all of the papers were just thrown into the cabinet, you’d never find anything. Putting files in their appropriate locations will help you find them when you need to refer back to them quickly and efficiently.
Once your computer is cleaned up of all the clutter, maybe it’s time to turn that attention to your actual desk and office area too. Your neighbors are beginning to talk…