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Information Technology Services

Spring Cleaning for Your Computer

04/06/11

After a long winter, spring is in the air:  warmer temperatures, blossoming flowers, longer days – and spring cleaning! In addition to your yard, closets, or car, don’t forget to clean your computer.

Back up Important Documents

Save your documents onto a USB flash drive, a website such as MyFiles@BC, or an external hard drive to back up important files and assure you will be able to access them from various locations. Remember to back up any important academic or job-related documents, photos, music, and programs. If using a flash drive or an external hard drive, store it in a safe place that you won’t forget.

Keep Your Computer Running Efficiently

  • Remove old programs that you no longer use. Think twice before downloading a program, application, or any other type of software onto your computer. It is very easy to uninstall programs, and if you ever need help doing so, feel free to call the Boston College Help Center at 617-552-HELP or access the Technology Help website.
  • Create different folders to save your documents into. Once a folder is created, you can simply drag a document from its original location into the folder. As long as the folders and documents are well-labeled, this process will allow you to be more organized and efficient. Once a month, look through your computer and determine what needs to be saved and what can be deleted.

Click here for instructions on creating a new folder on a PC, and here for Mac instructions (scroll down to the “Folders” section).

Organize Your Email

Classes, clubs, projects, meetings, and sports teams – BC faculty, staff, and students can receive many emails daily. Because of this “inbox flood,” keeping an organized inbox can be challenging.  Here are some tips:

  • Create folders and label/flag important emails.
  • Delete the messages you no longer need. If you haven’t opened it in the last six months, chances are you can delete it or file it in a folder.
  • Update contact lists regularly to make it easier to send emails to friends, faculty, and family members.

Protect Your Computer

Different forms of spyware, malware, and viruses may slow your computer’s performance and compromise your personal data. Keeping your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date will keep your computer virus-free and running smoothly. For Windows users, Boston College requires the McAfee Anti-Virus and ePO software, while Mac users must use the Sophos Anti-Virus software.

Physically Clean Your Computer

Only one in ten people clean their keyboards regularly, and only two in ten clean their mouse. You should regularly:

  • Use compressed air to remove dust or dirt from a keyboard.
  • After turning off the computer, wipe it with a damp, soft, lint-free cloth, which also helps keep you germ-free.