How It’s Done – Clean Up Your Dirty PC (Windows)

cleanI hate an unorganized machine, but it’s unavoidable. At some point we all accumulate too much digital trash and need a fresh start to feel sane again. Here’s a few things that you can do to get digitally organized, and in the process make your PC feel like it’s loved.

Clean Up Your Desktop

Delete all those files you don’t need. Chances are that you’ve accumulated a digital ton of garbage that just sits on your desktop collecting virtual dust. Toss them out.

If you like being organized, consider grouping files together in folders. Move your new folders to My Documents. Unless you prefer having folders on your desktop, it doesn’t make much sense organizing your files into folders and then just leaving them out. I also have a touch of OCD so, let’s move on.

Uninstall Programs You Don’t Use

Head on over to the control panel and select “Add or Remove Programs” and delete anything you haven’t used in a few months. Unless it’s system critical, there isn’t a reason you should have it on your system. Don’t be a virtual hoarder. If it isn’t used, clean up your computer and toss it.

Organize Your Docs, Messy

If you’re OCD like me, then you need to develop a solid organizational system for your files. Try adopting a consistent method for file and folder naming. It also makes things easier if you try to keep file/folder names short.

If you do work on your computer consider separating ongoing projects from completed projects.

You might also think about using an online service like Dropbox to store files. Services like this come in handy if you need access to your digital junk from multiple locations.

Delete Those Pesky Temporary Files

Type in “disk cleanup” in the start menu and hit that enter key. Select the drive you would like to clean up, and then select the type of files you want to delete, in this case temps. It’s Mr. Clean time temporary files! I like to act like Rambo when I go in for temp file extermination.

Wipe That Sucker and Reinstall Windows

Some prefer restore discs, some use restore partitions. I don’t care what you use. I prefer making my own restore disc with all of my programs and files. After you’ve gathered all the software you need, you might consider creating an image backup of your primary hard drive just in case all hell breaks loose and your computer bursts in to flames.

Make sure to backup all those little things that are often forgotten. Did you backup Outlook contacts? Did you backup your IE, Firefox, Chrome, et cetera bookmarks? What about iTunes backups? You get the idea.

Reformat, restore, and recover that old box of integrated circuits. Usually this is self-explanatory. Pop in the OS disk and follow the onscreen directions. You know they have chimpanzees that play with iPads right? You can do this. No sweat.

Chase Williams

Chase is a serial entrepreneur, electrical engineer, writer, and self-proclaimed techie. He enjoys to travel, hike, kayak, and learn new languages. He's been weightless on-board a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn't quite come back down from the upper atmosphere. To keep up with his low-oxygen chatter, follow him on Twitter @ChaseHWill