It may not show up on a standard office calendar, but February 10 is a holiday. In 2000, the Institute for Business Technology designated the second Monday in February as Clean Out Your Computer Day, giving users an excuse to remove unused files and software to improve overall efficiency. Each year since, the date has prompted experts to remind users everywhere of the benefits of doing a thorough annual review of their systems.
There have been many changes to the market since 2000, with users today possessing a variety of devices. One consumer can own a smartphone, tablet, and laptop of varying ages, with each of those devices being gradually loaded down with more items. Even if a user isn’t adding files and software intentionally, with daily use they add cookies, temporary files, and other data that, over time, begins to slow these devices down.
For this reason, early February gives users an excuse to go through each device and remove anything that hasn’t been used in a while. While there are tip sites that go through the basic process of manually cleaning a device, time-challenged consumers are often looking for an easier way. Thanks to cloud technology, users can now access services that detect and, in some cases, repair issues without having to spend hours going through each device.
PC Cleaning Services
The top concern for any user considering downloading a PC cleaner is malware. Some services claiming to clean your DC are merely covers for software that either installs spyware or viruses or adds a suite of software you never requested in the first place. PCWorld has recommended several pieces of software that do exactly what they say they do, including CCleaner, which removes temporary files, cleans up your Windows registry, erases your browser history, and distinguishes between junk cookies and cookies a user generally wants to keep.
For cleaning mobile devices, Android users can try CleanUP or SystemCleanup and iPhone and iPad users have PhoneClean. These clean-up utilities work similarly to those for PC, wiping away junk to free up space.
Speed Test Services
For those who simply want to pinpoint problems that are slowing PC performance down, there are several tools available. Ookla SpeedTest provides insight into a user’s wi-fi connection on a variety of devices, but that test doesn’t delve into issues related to the PC itself. PC Pitstop is a tool that has received positive reviews from a variety of services and SIW is a portable diagnostic service that can run from a flash drive.
For Mac Users
Mac users aren’t excluded from Clean Out Your Computer Day. Step-by-step instructions for manual cleanup are available here. According to Mac enthusiasts, Macs have the built-in ability to keep themselves junk-free, and many clean-up utilities only manage to make the device’s job harder. If only that same self-cleaning ability were built into other devices, we wouldn’t need a Clean Out Your Computer Day.
During our hectic, day-to-day activities, it’s easy to let device maintenance lag, leading to problems over time. By taking time once a year to do a thorough scan of our systems, we can improve our overall performance, speeding up our productivity the rest of the year.