Computer Resolutions: Backup & Organization
As you’re making resolutions for the new year of how you’ll exercise more, spend more time doing something you love, or read more books than last year, consider adding some goals for your computer. Have you been meaning to back up your computer for months, but just never gotten around to it? Do you need to delete files that are still taking up space on your hard drive? Or maybe you want to make sure your children are safer as they browse the Internet. Let 2017 be the year to get yourself digitally organized with these computer resolutions.
Computer Resolutions for Digital Organization
- Back up your computer! This is our first commandment of computer usage and not one to put off any longer. Decide what kind of backup is best for you and set aside time to run it.
- If you want a local backup, you’ll need an external hard drive or flash drive to save your files to. You can do this manually by copying files into the specific folders you want, or you can use a program like Cobian to schedule automatic backups as often as you like. Alternatively, you can use the built-in Windows backup tool, but know that if you are creating a disc image backup, it’s only going to be useful if you need to restore an entire copy or “image” of the hard drive to the same drive. It’s not easy to access specific files from an image backup.
- Your other option is to create cloud-based backup. Carbonite is one of the foremost companies that offers backup services for both individuals and businesses. The advantage to cloud backups is that off-site servers store data, which don’t have the tendency to fail like an external hard drive or flash drive might.
- Delete unnecessary files and programs. If there are old files you don’t need and programs that have stopped working, get rid of them! When you put files in the trash, make sure to then empty the trash to permanently delete them. Otherwise, you won’t free up space. For programs, it’s not enough to delete an icon. You have to completely uninstall it by going into the Control Panel, under Programs & Features, select the program, and click “uninstall.” However, don’t remove anything you are unsure about, as it could be important to background functions on your computer.
- Organize files in folders. Do you have a tendency to save everything in the “My Documents” folder? If you have a lot of files, it would be a lot easier to locate particular files if they were organized in separate, descriptive folders. Create and name the new folders and sub-folders you need, and then drag and drop or copy, cut, and paste the files that fit into that category.
- Check your antivirus and run consistent scans. There should be one and only one antivirus program installed and running on your computer. If you have multiple antiviruses, uninstall all but the one you plan to continue to use, including any expired or trial versions. Then use your antivirus to run a scan and clear out any infected files.
- Clean up your browser(s), temporary files, downloads, and cookies. CCleaner is a great program that can help you do this. Otherwise, you can go into the options or settings menu of your browser(s) to clear out the cache and cookies. Not all cookies are bad, but after a lot of temporary files like cookies pile up, it can slow your browser down.
- Update and record passwords and account security information. If you don’t already have a record of your important account passwords, get a booklet and write them down. For any password you’ve forgotten, go through the steps to reset it and record the new password with the date it was reset. You can read more password tips on this previous blog.
- Set up parental controls and safety features. When there are multiple users in a home, especially children, it’s good for them to have separate profiles with passwords that the parents know. K9 Web Protection software is a great program for setting time limits and monitoring online activity. Read more about K9 Web Protection here.
If any of these computer resolutions seems overwhelming or confusing to you, let PC Ninja help! We can perform computer tune-ups that includes cleaning out and updating your browser(s) and plug-ins, can make changes to user accounts and passwords, or set up a backup for you. Let’s make those computer resolutions a reality!