It’s Computer Cleanup Day, which takes place on the 2nd Monday in February every year.

Ok, so if you’re in Australia, you might never have heard of National Clean Up Your Computer Day, and that’s because it’s a day celebrated in the United States, but that doesn’t no harm in giving your digital life and devices a little TLC on this day too.

One site I read describes the day as Marie Kondo-ing your computers and devices instead of your home, which wasn’t a thing in 2000, but it certainly is today.

There’s also a National Clean Up Your Virtual Office Day on the third Monday in October, which this year is Monday, October 17, and with many of us having desktop PCs or Macs cluttered with stuff, and our smartphones and tablets full of apps we’re no longer using, knowing the two dates will hopefully spur you into action!

In the United States, where more than 1500 national holidays are celebrated, it is also:

– National Football Hangover Day
– National Cream Filled Chocolate Day
– National Donor Day, and
– National Ferris Wheel Day

What else is happening in Australia on February 14, 2022?

In Australia, it is also the Royal Hobart Regatta today, as it is also celebrated on the 2nd Monday in February, which happens to be today, where it is also a public holiday.

So how should you clean your computer on National Computer Cleanup Day?

Well, if you have a desktop computer, you can safely unplug everything, unscrew the case or otherwise open it, get a vacuum cleaner, and clean the dust inside and on the fans.

You can also vacuum any dust that may have fallen on your desktop or laptop keyboard, as well as clean your keyboard and screen with appropriate, tech-safe cleaning fluids as recommended by your manufacturer, and in especially for laptop screens, you don’t want to just start spraying any Pine-O-Clean cleaner or other cleaners – some just need a damp cloth, so be careful how you clean and google it first!

Also, before opening or even deleting anything, make a backup, on at least two external hard drives or SSDs, and on at least one or more online services – there are specific paid services for backing up the your entire computer like Carbonite, while Norton Internet Security, Acronis Cyber ​​Protect Home Office, and some other Internet security suites can back up all your data to their clouds.

You also have free and paid storage options of Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Box and many more.

The 3-2-1 backup rule

The 3-2-1 backup rule states that you should have 3 copies of your data (your production data and 2 backup copies) on two different media (two disks or one disk and one tape) with an offsite copy for disaster recovery.

I would update this rule to say 3 copies of your data, on three different media – two drives and at least one cloud location, if not more than one cloud location – with at least one physical copy offsite, but for most folks, backing up to HDD or SSD and cloud backup service is what they do.

If your data is really important, consider making more backup copies, make sure it’s up to date, and test how easy it is to recover from time to time so there are as few surprises as possible when you want to get them. data after a disaster.

Here’s a company that tried to redefine the rule in 2014.

Free Computer Cleaning Software for Windows PCs

On Windows PCs, you can click the Windows Start button on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, on the left for Windows 10 or earlier, and the first group icon in the middle on Windows 11.

Then you can type “disk cleanup”. This will show you temporary internet files, files in the trash and elsewhere, but after the initial scan there will be the results and a button at the bottom left of the disk cleanup box that lets you scan the ” system files”.

If you click on it, you can remove all unnecessary Windows Update downloads that were installed, but not removed installation files.

Deleting system files can often reclaim several gigabytes of space, so it’s good to know if you’re running out of space.

You can also uninstall programs you don’t use and make copies of data on your backup or other disks of files you don’t use or use often, then delete them from your primary drive.

Copy the contents of your Downloads or PC or Mac folder to an external drive, keeping only the files you really, really want.

All of this advice is actually about Linux and Chromebooks moreover, there are many guides that will teach you what to do, these are just basic instructions.

Cleanup for Mac

On Mac, you can uninstall apps you don’t need and copy data to another drive, or move your photo library to an external SSD drive.

Free and commercial cleaning software

– On PC and Mac you can download CCleaner – it has a free option to clean junk files, but tries to move you to a paid version, although you can use the free version indefinitely without the extra features it offers.

– On Mac, there is the CleanMyMac software, which is not free.

On iPhones, iPads and Androids you can back up your photos to the cloud – both have paid options for more space once you use the free allowance, although Google can back up all your photos to Google Photos, but at a lower resolution than they were originally taken to save space for Google while still giving you access to photos that can be seen clearly and will also print clearly.

On iPhones, you can set your photos to live in iCloud, if you’ve paid for extra space and removed your phone, which can free up tens or hundreds of gigabytes while still giving you access to your photos and videos.

Uninstall apps, rearchive and archive data

You can also uninstall apps.

You can also reorganize your files by moving desktop items to folders on the desktop or elsewhere.

Your browser:

You can also clear your browser history. Firefox offers to refresh your copy of Firefox if it’s been a while, but all browsers allow you to clean up history files and other data, while preserving passwords, although honestly you should NOT use your browser’s password manager, but a dedicated password manager app, such as 1Password, Dashlane, or others, or iCloud Keychain on Apple devices.

Update your operating system, software and devices:

While updates should be automatic for most things these days, not everything is, and not everything updates properly.

Check your computers, phones, tablets, TVs, printers, home security cameras, home Wi-Fi router, internet connected or updatable via app coffee maker or connected smart home appliance, and see if any updates day await you.

Although sometimes things can go wrong when updating, that’s why you should backup first, so that you don’t lose data or can recover it, but it is important to install updates on your devices because they often plug security holes that hackers can use. to enter your digital life.

So… National Clean Up Your Computer Day – it may have started in the US, but it’s good advice for all of us. Please don’t be the person who becomes the expert on backing up everything just because you lost everything first with a phone that broke down, a laptop that had water or some other liquid spilled on the keyboard, or stolen, burnt, flooded, or some other disaster you can name.

Anything can happen, but if you’re backed up and your computer and digital life are cleaned up, your life will be much cleaner and much less complicated than if you lost all your data to a dirty computer, or one that did the dirty on you by dying or disappearing.

Show your computer, devices, and digital life some love this Valentine’s Day – you and your data are worth it!

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