Spring clean your device

Published
9 March 2018
by
Adrian Francis

A spring clean is not just a wonderful thing to do for your home, but for your devices too. Follow our simple 3 step process to get rid of the old and make way for the new.

Follow these three steps to spring clean your device in no time.

1. Back everything up
2. Move files to external storage
3. Clean it up

Back Everything Up

This may sound obvious, but it is really important to do this before you start your spring clean. You can either use a cloud backup, or do a system backup to an external drive. It is actually healthy to do regular backups all year round. With the ability to sync to the cloud it makes this really easy. Microsoft, Apple and Google all offer apps to sync to the cloud. If you use Google Drive you can use Drive for desktop.

Microsoft also provides the ability to sync your files to OneDrive and this works on a PC and on a Mac. If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 11 your OneDrive will appear when you open File Explorer.

TimeMachine for Mac OS is excellent and allows you to rebuild from any backup. Currently my TimeMachine goes back 4 years. It is simple to use and means that you can restore your device to exactly how you like it. It backs up files and apps.

There are other providers like Dropbox, that allow you to be able to backup files constantly. 

The ability to save and sync files to the cloud is fabulous especially when you have a computer stop working. The ability to login and access all your files on any device removes angst.

Move files to external storage

This step aligns with the first step. If there are files that you think you may need, then store them externally before wiping your device. I have folders in the cloud that I call Legacy. I upload all the files that I think I may need at some stage that I have lazily put on my desktop as well as any apps that I have not used for a long time. This means I can always get them back if needed. I have found that these files are rarely accessed, and I clean out my legacy files every year.

You can also use a USB drive or an external HDD to move files to.

Clean it Up

This is the best bit and it takes time. This is where you can reset your device back to the original settings and start again. On a PC your OS will be restored to the original settings and you will need to check for updates once your device is reset. In Windows 10 or Windows 11 you can reset your device and are given the option to completely wipe and start again and you will lose all your files, or reset and keep your files.

If you are running Office 2019, then you can log into your O365 account and download a fresh copy of this. You will need to re-add all your addons. 

On a Mac, whenever you do a full shut down, your files and directory structures are cleaned up and it will run a bit more smoothly. There are some nice apps like Clean My Mac, that allow you to clean up a lot of the files that can slow down your Mac.

This is actually a healthy process as it provides the opportunity to evaluate what you have on your device and install the things you actually use. It is interesting what you don’t miss!

The end result of a spring clean is that your device runs a lot more quickly, you have removed clutter and you have backed up your files. This is a win in anyone’s books.

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