Monday, February 13, 2023

Oh my. National Clean Out Your Computer Day


February 13th is "National Clean Out Your Computer Day." Seriously! Funny how this motivates me. I've had a few snafus lately trying to locate items on my computer. Files are messed up it would appear. I swear my computer has lost its marbles or should I say vision? Maybe some maintenance is in order.

I'm going to start with physically cleaning the exterior of a computer, and then tackle the interior. Thanks to my husband and all who offered professional advice online. Here are  suggestions for those who work at home. 


Exterior Cleaning: (for safety, turn off computer first)

Start with a cleaning solution safe for computer screens. Here are three options.

1) Make a vinegar solution to clean and disinfect. Use a ratio 1:1 of white vinegar and distilled water (note: tap water eventually leaves mineral deposits).

2) Use 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean and disinfect. This can also be used to clean electronics.

3) Purchase a cleaner. Check if safe for computer screens. Windex and most other glass cleaners are too harsh on screens and can damage anti-glare coatings, although some with vinegar may be okay. Read the label.

To disinfect, spray cleaner on microfiber cloth and use as a wipe. Do not spray directly on surface. Don’t forget the keyboard and gaps in between the keys. I found a toothpick or a cotton Q tip works well for this. Check the underside of your keyboard too for food crumbs if you sometimes snack at your desk like I do. Remember to use microfiber cloths, not paper towels, rags, old T-shirts, or the sweater you happen to be wearing (they can scratch surfaces).

Interior Cleaning: (warning - potential headache😟)

--Empty computer trash (do regularly) 

--Scan for malware/suspicious files. I have Malware Bytes which scans  my computer daily. I also have several computer sign-ons. One for Admin (for program changes, etc.), one for Financial (for bills, etc.), and one for My World (daily work). I highly recommend. Apparently, this method gives different layers of protection. My husband set this up and swears by it. We recently gave my elderly mother a sign on too, so she can have email.

--Review emails and delete those no longer needed. Ongoing. (I have too much spam). 

 -- Uninstall/Delete unwanted or unused programs. Yes, probably some there.

--Delete files no longer needed. Oh my. Feels like I have hundreds. Probably an exaggeration. But this will take some time.

--Organize files and folders. Definitely could use some work.

--Update programs you use. Need to verify auto updates.

-- Backup your computer. I have neglected this because I was under the impression my files were backed up to a second hard drive automatically. My computer savvy husband just informed me this is not the case. I do have auto backup, but nothing more. Oh, dear…this is me screeching
😲. I have a backup hard drive, but I must remember to use. I also have Microsoft OneDrive. No excuse. 😲 'The tale of how Sharon lost her writing' is not one I wish to read or tell!

-- Move files on your desktop screen to their appropriate folders. Not sure about this. I like to keep folders on my desktop where I can see everything at a glance. They serve as reminders, which is a good thing when juggling projects. I do have files though that have no purpose on my desktop. These will be filed appropriately or removed.

-- Clean out downloads folder. Thinking I may have a lot. I seldom check.

--Remove duplicate files. I’m groaning. There are programs for duplicate files, photos too. A big mess. 

Good luck everyone. I hope you are in better shape than I am. 
All the best, 


Sharon M. Himsl
Published: Evernight Teen 

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.