Spring Cleaning Digitally

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By Sophia Hazzard

If you have found yourself with more time on your hands due to COVID-19 this spring, you may have already finished all of your house spring cleaning. Next on the list, digital spring cleaning. You might be thinking I’m talking about cleaning the surfaces of your phone, laptop and tv’s. Wrong. I mean literally digitally.

Your poor laptop needs a spring cleaning from all of the hoarded notes and files in your digital recycling bin. Here’s a few reminders on what you can clean up inside your laptop:

1. Recycling Bin

This one is pretty self explanatory, but it is definitely a task that needs to be done. Built up files and documents in your recycling bin can get a bit out of hand. Also, all of that extra clutter can take up space and slow your computer down.

Just click on the bin, make sure everything that is in there is good to get rid of and click empty in the upper right corner.

2. Notes

Get rid of those adorable love letters you wrote for your ex-boyfriend in 2015. What I mean is, you probably have many notes in your notes app that go back for years and years. It may be time to get rid of those.

You probably don’t want to go through the time to click on every note and press delete, it’s actually pretty simple to delete many notes at once. You can hold shift and click on the ones you know are ready to delete and it will select them all at once.

3. History

Built up history, especially if you have multiple browsers installed, can slow down your computer a lot and take up space. Go through every browser including, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox and delete all history. Just click the history tab at the top, find the clear history button and click. Don’t worry, all of your saved passwords for websites will still be there.

4. Files

Files are very important to maintain, clean and organize. It saves a lot of time when trying to find a certain file and it relieves stress to not see files all over the place. I would recommend cleaning them out monthly if you download a lot of files throughout the week.

To clean out your files start with going through all of the sections- downloads, desktop, documents, etc. Drag the files you don’t need into the recycling bin (don’t forget to empty it after) to get rid of them. Then create folders inside sections to organize your files even further.

5. Dock

On Apple devices, the dock is the bar on the bottom of the screen that holds all of your applications. On Windows, this is referred to the taskbar, that contains the Windows button all the way to its left. You or friends or family might have docks or menus with applications active that spread across the whole screen.

This is a good time to clean off some of those applications, as it can slow down your computer by having so many applications active. You may not have them open, but they're active if there is a dot underneath on Apple or a line underneath on Windows.

To clear them off, on Apple, right click an application and click quit. The application isn’t active anymore and you can remove it from your dock either by clicking and dragging it off or right click and uncheck “keep in dock.” On Windows, right click an application and select unpin from taskbar, and it’s gone.

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