Five tips to extend your computer’s life

Sunday Signal
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By Kim Komando, Signal Contributing Writer

If you have an older desktop, save a few hundred dollars and just fix it up like new. Here are a half-dozen tips to maintain your computer:

 Pay attention

Just as your appearance is a reflection of your health, the same is true of your computer. If your screen, keyboard and ports are dusty and coated with fingerprints or debris, chances are your system isn’t in great shape.

When tidying up hardware, it is essential to use proper computer cleaning products to protect your equipment from damage.

For the cleanup of your screen or camera lens, turn to Windex Electronics Wipes. The anti-static cloths safely remove dust, smudges and fingerprints from a host of electronics — including computer screens, TVs and mobile devices.

 Clear the clutter

The first thing you notice about a computer after its hardware is the desktop. Is yours filled with a countless number of thumbnails? While this makes it convenient to locate files, it can result in a mountain of clutter if you don’t practice some organization skills.

If you have several files and programs you rarely or never use on your desktop, delete them. Simply right-click on the application or file and select Delete. This will not delete the program from your computer, but it will remove the shortcut from your desktop.

Now it’s time to organize the icons. Don’t waste time dragging icons around your screen. Right-click the screen (not an icon) and select Name, Size, File or Date modified under the Sort by option. 

 Leave no crumbs behind

Cache and cookies, which track your internet activity, are temporary files your system creates every time you visit a website, regardless of which browser you use. Routinely cleaning up these files will help ensure your system runs efficiently and is protected.

 Out with the old

It’s easy to clog up your computer with files. Old downloads, numerous documents and thousands of photos can significantly slow down your system.

Keeping your files tidy is the key. Go through those documents and photos, and delete everything you don’t need.

If you have a bunch of unused files to delete from your Windows PC, CCleaner is an award-winning tool that can quickly clean up those extras. CCleaner is available in two versions: Free and Professional ($19.95), which has a free trial.

If your system is a Mac, the easy drag and drop program Files Shredder ($19.99) will not only delete files from your system, but it will remove them permanently to make them unrecoverable.

5. Check all the nooks and crannies

In addition to maintaining your files and folders, it is crucial you perform a yearly cleanup. For Windows users, Microsoft’s Total PC Cleaner (free) can clear up disk space, plus clean and optimize the system and memory. This tool will delete junk files, speed up your PC and boost its performance.

A CleanMyMac X subscription ($34.95/yr.) is a deep-cleaning tool that scrubs your Mac system squeaky clean. The software can uninstall unwanted apps, free up gigabytes of space and speed up your desktop.

For information on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks, visit Kim Komando at Komando.com. 

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