How Often Do You Clean Sweep Your Devices?

How Often Do You Clean Sweep Your Devices?

Taryn Williford
Dec 1, 2010

We were going to write a post about how often you should make a clean sweep of your computer—you know, purge old files and run the necessary updates. But once we dove into the research, we realized there isn't one hard fast guideline. Instead, we want to hear how often you make a clean sweep of your smart devices. (And if your answer is "never," we've got some tips on deciding what to purge.)

It's easy for devices—everything from smart phones to computers— to get cluttered up with digital stuff, especially if there's kids (or a kid-like significant other) constantly downloading new movies, games and music. And all the experts agree that a clean sweep of your smart tech is a good idea for long-term maintenance, to be sure.

But when it comes to figuring out how often it should happen, each expert gives different advice. The answers vary across the board from once a month to once a year, with some guys saying it's only necessary when things start to run slow.

We want to know, readers: How often do you wipe files from your laptop? Your smart phone? How about your game console?

Since the process is pretty simple, we think it's best to err on the side of caution and put "clean sweep" on your to-do list at least once every few months. The hardest part is just deciding what to purge:

  • Get rid of any programs and files you can't or won't ever use. No need to become a digital version of Hoarders.
  • If you still have the installation disks for games and programs that you haven't played in a year, it's OK to get rid of them. You can re-install in another year if you need to.
  • Burn never-played MP3 files to CDs and wipe them from your hard drive. The same goes for pictures and movies; move them to external storage (like an external hard drive) and purge 'em for now.

(Images: Flickr user the tartanpodcast under license from Creative Commons, Flickr user rebeca :) under license from Creative Commons)

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