Your 3-Step Spring Cleaning List for the Computer

Your 3-Step Spring Cleaning List for the Computer

Gregory Han
Mar 13, 2013
I'm still getting used to this "spring forward" deal, but alongside looking forward to more daylight and warmer weather, I'm setting aside time for spring cleaning tasks all around the house. The seasonal tradition of getting the house in order after winter should also include extend out to your life behind a computer, as there are plenty of spaces and "windows" to tidy up on your desktop... Step One: Cleaning Up Your Hard Drive: The first place to start is your hard drive. Although there are plenty of applications designed to hunt out and delete redundant or unnecessary files on your computer, there's an even easier way to regain drive space simply using your OS search as explain by Lifehacker

Windows Users: "open up Explorer and type >500MB into the search bar. You can tweak this to be anything you want, but I thought 500MB was a good starting size. Press Enter and it'll show you the biggest files first." OS X Users: "open up Finder and go to New > Smart Folder. Click the plus sign on the right side of the toolbar. Click the "Kind" dropdown and go to Other > File Size. Then, enter your file size in the box, choose "Greater Than" from the dropdown menu, and you should see all the big files on your computer. Click Save to save your smart folder in the Finder's sidebar for quick access later." 
And check this out: your computer may have the basement/attic equivalent of unnecessary storage boxes just sitting there taking up space for no reason except you've yet to throw them out. These 4 collections on your hard drive can be purged to regain some massive storage space after a simple drag, drop, and empty maneuver much easier than hauling real world boxes to the trash/recycling bin/donation pile (which I need to do, for reals). It may take a little detective work, like it did for our Jason Yang on his Windows machine, but we promise you it's a caper worth solving.

Step Two: Now Clean Out Your Music Collection: Gemini was designed to find duplicate files of every sort, but it's been updated late last year to remove duplicates hogging up all your hard drive space from both your iPhoto and iTunes Library. The $9.99 price tag may scare you away, but there's a try-before-you-buy demo to see whether this app is worth the Alexander Hamilton.

Step Three: Consolidate Your Browser Tab Party
The messiest, out-of-control part of my life (besides my laundry closet), is my seemingly self-proliferating browser tabs. Because of work and my propensity to meander online, I usually have 10-20 tabs at any given moment. It's admittedly a bad habit, sort of the computer equivalent of having a bunch of sticky-notes everywhere to remind you later what grabbed your attention now. Keeping all these browser tabs open can really gobble up computer memory and slow down whatever you're working on.

If you're a tab-stricken Chrome user like myself, you probably won't change your tab-opening habits, but you can consolidate them and free up a great deal of memory (up to 95%) by installing OneTab. The Chrome extension takes all those open tabs and tucks them into a nice list form accessible under a single tab to rule them all. OneTab is also free, making it an instant favorite digital life "cleaner". 

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho; as linked above)

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