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How to spring clean your laptop

Due to the hours of constant abuse we put them through and the myriad of files placed across the hard drive, laptops and computers run slower the older they get. Fortunately, computer maintenance is now easier than ever if you know where to look. A few simple maintenance tasks each day can save you a whole lot of woe later down the line. Here are some computer tips and tricks to help spruce up your computer:

Don't have a laptop? Read our top tips to spring clean your smartphone.

1. Don’t start everything up

Programs that insist on starting up when your machine does, can severely slow down your machine. On both Windows and Macs you can amend what programs automatically start up by using the control panel in Windows or the user pane in the settings on IOS. Letting only the bare minimum start up automatically can greatly improve your PC’s speed. Simple!

2. Remove unused apps and programs

The key to a machine running smoothly is getting rid of wasted hard-drive space. A great place to start is with a clean-up of installed programs that you either don’t use or don’t use enough. Have a look through your programs and apps and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go –– now’s the time to let go of anything unused or unwanted.

3. Delete cached data and temporary files

Temporary files and cached, but no longer useful data, can soon mount up on your hard drive and slow your computer down. Cached files are usually used to load pages faster, but with websites being constantly updated, sometimes they’re simply useless old files slowing down your system. You can delete cached and temporary files through the settings pane of your browser, usually under temporary data or history.

4. Go external

The best way to keep your computer’s HDD strain free is to use an external hard disc. This also has the added bonus of making those key files portable and unrestrained by a single PC. Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive, iCloud and other cloud services are also a great idea for offloading some key files and for keeping your hard drive clutter free.

5. Have a deeper clean

Malware, viruses and other unsavoury programs are bad news, which is why a virus scanner is essential no matter what computer you’re on. AVG is a good option on Windows PCs, whilst ClamXAV is a good option for any Mac user. Devote some time on a monthly basis, to scan your entire computer, just to make sure you’re safe.

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