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It’ll be spring soon and with that comes Spring Cleaning!

If you haven’t already set up regular times to complete electronics cleaning…now is a good time. Here are some quick tips to having a more responsive device whether you have a smart phone, a Chrome book, iPad, laptop or desktop computer.

The first thing you want to do is clean the physical device externally. A clean device makes it feel more like new and it also sets the mood for a more productive working environment. There are electronics cleaners, such as 3M anti-static spray cleaner and Endust for electronics. With these type products you don’t have ammonia or anything else that could potentially damage your computer.

Also there are anti-static gels that are great for cleaning your computer screen. Endust actually makes a product for cleaning screens. Basically, anything you use to clean your screen, your computer or other devices should be anti-static, with no ammonia, or alcohol.

There is also silly putty-like sticky stuff that can clean keyboards, such as HomeDoReMi Keyboard Cleaning Gel or you can literally use silly putty. Make sure to power down your equipment prior to cleaning. For cleaning out fans, canned air will work wonders.

Next on your list of spring cleaning for your electronic devices is removing old applications and programs that are no longer being used. These could include games that have been outgrown, outdated Java programs, old versions of Office programs, or expired antivirus.

There is software available to help you clean up the clutter on your computer. For Android and Windows, CCleaner works great. There are both free and paid versions available. If you don’t want to purchase third party software, Windows 10 has a free, built-in program called Disk Cleanup. Hit the Start Icon and start typing “disk cleanup” and it automatically pops up. If you are a Mac user, CleanMyMac is hard to beat.

Once you have your computer clean both externally and internally, it’s time to check for updates for your device. If you have automatic updates turned on for your devices, everything is probably already up-to-date. In today’s world, almost all electronic devices and computers update their software automatically as it become available.

Be aware, though, not all updates benefit the consumer. HP recently put out a firmware update for its printers that blocked third party (much less expensive) toners, effectively making the printers useless unless the original toner is bought. To remove the restriction, the printers have to be reset to factory settings.

The final step for your electronics spring cleaning is organizing your computer files. Put your videos in Videos, Photos into Pictures/Photos, and files into documents. Often, the files can be broken down into under a yearly folder or long projects folders could have multiple years under them. This makes archiving data easier and makes it easier to search. It will also cut down on having duplicate files.

Now that you’ve cleaned the electronics go outside and enjoy the spring weather!

All the best and stay well,
Jim Nay

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