Spring Cleaning Our Gadgets – Tips & Tricks

It’s spring, and your house/apartment/living quarters are filthy. The bathroom is awash in soap scum, the stove is coated with remnants of meals past, and who knows what’s lurking under those couch cushions. Unfortunately, the technology boom of the last few decades has left us with one more mess we need to clean up – our computers. Documents strewn across the desktop, spyware stuck in unseen nooks and crannies, and other filthy things need tidying. Might as well get on it now while you get the rest of your house in order.

Before you get into the innards of your computer, handle the physical stuff first. In other words, grab a can of compressed air and a wet cloth, and go nuts. The keyboard is the most obvious (and nastiest) resting place of crumbs and other undesirables, but don’t forget to give your printer a few puffs to prevent future paper jams. Water on a cloth should do fine for your computer and smartphone screens – they don’t take too kindly to Windex. That said you might want to keep your printer dry. Last, but definitely not least, wipe your mouse down. It’s easy to forget about that part, but take a good look at your mouse sometime, and you might just be horrified by what you find. Those things can get nasty.

The real e-spring cleaning starts when you boot up your computer, though. For the most part, whatever operating system you’re running now updates automatically. But, if you’re like many who have had gaming sessions tragically cut short by an overzealous Windows Update, you’ve turned off that auto-update feature. If you have, don’t forget to grab those updates for maximum protection against viruses. On the topic of viruses, keep your anti-virus software definitions updated, so your anti-virus program can keep up with the latest and greatest of what the seedy underbelly of the Internet has to offer. Same goes for your anti-spyware suite. After all, you don’t want anyone to do a little spring cleaning on your bank account.

You can also defrag the hard drive and run a disk cleanup to help keep things running smoothly. OK, that was a joke. Maybe. Who knows, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few that actually helps. For everyone else, consider running a duplicate file finder if you have a particularly unruly music collection. While you’re at it, try to make that desktop a little less junk drawer by getting things organized. Your computer won’t run faster, but you might now that it doesn’t take minutes to find the file you’re looking for.

If you’re going to be doing some intensive spring cleaning on your computer, don’t forget to back up your valuables, just in case something goes horribly wrong. A couple more protips – don’t hold your can of compressed air upside down, or you could actually end up blasting your computers with chemicals, and please don’t use a vacuum cleaner anywhere near your computer. Vacuums generate static electricity, which generates bad things for your electronic devices.

And, finally, if you’re ready to part ways with your computer, recycle it, trade it in or donate it. If you take the right machine to your local Best Buy, you could end up a few discounts on the replacements you’ll no doubt be needing. And, once you get those replacements, don’t forget – a little upkeep throughout the year means you don’t need to put up with this hassle next year. Same goes for your living quarters.

And don’t forget to check out our Geek Squad House Call giveaway, where we’re giving away an opportunity for Geek Squad to come to your home or office and provide you with a technology spring cleaning house call, plus a Trade-In assessment for any older gadgets you might no longer need. 

This post has been brought to you by Best Buy and Geek Squad. All opinions are 100% our own.

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