Snow days are great for cleaning up computer files

If you haven’t noticed it’s just a little on the cold side out there. With much of the area facing some frigid temperatures and buried under a heavy blanket of snow, now might be a great time to go in and clean up some of that junk on your devices—if you have power that is.

I like to start by dumping internet junk with a program called CCleaner. It’s a simple, free (though it does have paid versions) program used by a lot of tech professionals to not just clean computers, but keep them on a schedule of regular maintenance.

CCleaner is an intuitive, simple to use program that will clean all the unnecessary data that is stored on your computer whenever you use your internet browser.

If you don’t regularly dump these files they can build up and quickly slow your browsers down. What’s great about CCleaner is that it can be put on a maintenance schedule so that it automatically dumps these things without you even having to think about it.

The next step I like to take is uninstalling programs I never use. We all tend to have programs on our computers that have grown obsolete. I’ve seen plenty of computers in my day with desktops so littered with shortcuts you couldn’t see the wallpaper.

Now, while CCleaner can be used to uninstall programs, in my experience it is always easier, and safer, to uninstall programs directly from your computer. For Windows users and Mac users this will look a little different.

For Windows, use the “add or remove programs” option which can be found through the search function. On a Mac, open the Finder and navigate to applications, from there, drag and drop any programs you would like to remove into the trash.

After you’ve cleaned your cache and gotten rid of unwanted programs, it is time to make sure all of the programs that you plan to keep around are fully updated.

Updating your programs is important because developers often roll out what they call “hotfixes,” small patches to bugs that have been discovered in current software versions. The only way to fix these issues is by downloading these hotfixes. Many programs will do this without your input, but if your computer or phone isn’t set to download automatic updates, then you will need to do this manually.

Most software can be updated from inside the program itself, so make sure to look at the update options for all of your favorite programs. Typically, these can be found under the program’s settings.

Not your typical spring cleaning but it works in a pinch. Hopefully next week is warmer.

Recommended for you