Spring clean your laptop: 5 ways to blow the cobwebs out of your old PC

As part of our mission to make everyone’s #SpringCCleaner, we shared five handy tips with The Mirror to help kick off the nation's seasonal device clean.

Today is the first day of spring, and while you may be planning to tidy up the house, don't forget your computer could also do with a spring clean.

Today is the vernal equinox - which traditionally marks the first day of Spring - and what better way to kick off your spring cleaning than by giving your laptop an MOT?

If your PC or laptop is running slower than you'd like, clearing out applications you no longer use and removing temporary files which are taking up room on your hard drive can make a big difference.

Here are five handy tips to make your computer run faster and more efficiently:

1. Get up to date
Running an operating system update, whether it’s for Windows (for your PC), Android or iOS (for your mobile or tablet), is vital to the long term health of your device. Just some of the multitude of benefits you’ll get in return include protection from the latest security threats, bug fixes, stability improvements and of course, new features or functionality. If you’re updating your mobile device, you can add extended battery life to that list too.

2. Clean up your act
Even in a short space of time your device can become cluttered with unnecessary files which will slow it down. An optimisation tool, such as CCleaner (available for PC, Mac and Android at piriform.com/ccleaner or on Google Play), will improve speed, protect your privacy and free up space by securely erasing tracking cookies, browser history, passwords and files you no longer need. If you run it on your computer, it’ll also allow you to customise your startup items so you can get going more quickly.

3. Stay safe
Even the most clued-up users, who don’t download files from suspicious places, open links in phishing emails or browse dodgy-looking websites, will benefit from running a tool to clean and protect PCs against viruses, malware and spyware. Luckily for home users, light versions of some of the best antivirus software out there is completely free and perfectly adequate (see av-test.org). If you’re a Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 user you’ll find Windows Defender (Windows’ own antivirus) pre-installed, which will offer you basic protection.

4. Declutter your documents and desktop
Say goodbye to last year’s to-do lists and spend ten minutes deleting files you’ll never use again. To complete the job and save you time all year round, organise your device’s desktop or home screens, deleting apps you no longer use along the way.

5. Goodbye, grime
It’s easy to forget that viruses can live outside as well as inside your devices. Your keyboard, mouse and anything you touch is very likely to be harbouring a myriad of germs so get some disinfectant wipes and start wiping! Likewise, your screen may look clean but look closely (turning it off helps) and you’ll notice smears and grime. To see clearly again, turn off your device and give it a gentle polish with a microfibre cloth and some cleaning solution.

Read the article on The Mirror

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