How to Clean, Optimize, and Prolong the Life of Your Computer

Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day.
You can interpret cleaning out your computer in numerous ways, but I interpret it as a full cleanse, optimize, and keep organized for as-long-as-humanly-possible type of operation, both internally and externally.
So today rid yourself of the junk (apps, files, maybe games, etc.) that you’ve kept for way too long and/or don’t use/need. Since the methods for this vary based (mostly) on your operating system, I’ve put together a collection of articles that will help you clean out, optimize, prolong the life of your computer. Enjoy!

5 Steps to Clean, Optimize, and Prolong the Life of Your Computer

1. Start with a General Computer Clean Out

The link above includes information for both PC and Mac users, but here are other articles if you’re looking for Mac or Windows specific:

As always, based on the brand and the operating system, your specific instructions may vary.
I know, and hope, that these steps seem very basic to you, because they are; but you can do this, I know that you can do this.

2. Clean Out Duplicate Files

Having duplicate files is something I’m habitually guilty of. So anything that can help to take care of that nightmare for me is a total win. Since I generally trust the information I find on, I grabbed their recommendations on this topic for both Windows and Mac users:

3. Physically Clean Out Your Computer

If you are anything like me, and you are also mechanically inclined – you’re probably going to (carefully) open your computer case and begin to remove components to really, really clean it out – and because you wanted to take it apart to put it back together, since it’s fun.
Before you start: I would only recommend doing this with a computer that you own and only if you are comfortable with the reality that mistakes happen – and that could mean having to take your computer to a repair shop or saying goodbye to it forever if you make a major mistake. If that sounds okay, watch for arrows to the knee (game reference), and carry on like the bold adventurer that you are!
I truly believe that PC gamers know better than anyone and/or have the most dedication to keeping the interior of their computers clean (biased opinion); as a proud PC gamer, I know that you have to stay on top of cleaning the interior of your PC to avoid overheating. Truthfully, I didn’t know how important cleaning the components of your computer was until a much younger me, while DIY upgrading my graphics card, found a thriving colony of dust living inside of my desktop, explaining everything from random shut downs to loud humming like my computer was preparing for takeoff.
While I disagree with taking your computer outside to clean it, maybe because it’s snowy here and water and electronics typically don’t mix well, this article breaks down how to safely, physically clean out your computer.

4. Treat Your Computer Like it Matters

Because it should matter…why else would you be doing this? If you don’t take care of things, they die; this applies to many things, including your computer. So, do yourself a favor and follow these tips to make your computer last longer.

5. Make, Keep, and Follow a Computer Maintenance Checklist

Doing so will not only extend the life of your computer and keep it running smoothly, but it also helps to protect you and your personal/private information from malicious sources.

If you’ve completed all of the steps, congratulations, you should feel some sort of computer zen right now; if you don’t have the time, use Pocket to save this article for later when you do have time.
Do you have computer clean up or optimization tips, or just have something to say? Feel free to share in the comments below!