5 areas of your computer that need spring cleaning

Keep clean your laptopIf computers could have dust bunnies, I know five corners in which they’d hide. These areas are often forgotten and become easily clogged and congested with old files that take up valuable space on your computer’s hard drive and exhaust its operating resources. The result is a slow and sluggish computer.

Before spending money on computer maintenance or buying more RAM, a thorough spring cleaning may be all that is needed to restore and renew your computer’s performance.

So put on your rubber gloves, get out the broom and let’s attack those dust bunnies in the following five areas:

1. Trash Bin

That little can or recycling bin sits quietly on our desktop. We see it every day. But sometimes we never really see what is right in front of us. That’s the case for me with the trash bin. This little sucker can hold thousands of old documents and never make a peep. Never spill out onto my floor. Never smell up my office. No wonder it’s so easy to forget to empty it. But it’s important to do so because all that trash is taking up valuable space on the hard drive. So empty your trash bin on a regular basis.

2. Downloads Folder

This is the folder that holds everything you download from the Internet. No wonder it can get jammed with documents, photos and music files. If you clean this folder out regularly, not only will your computer be better off, you’ll save time later by putting files where they belong, rather than leaving them in the default folder.

3. Programs/Applications

We only use about 20% of the applications we have on our computer. Some we download because it seems like a good idea at the time, but in reality, we haven’t used them. Go through your programs and if you haven’t used one in a year, get rid of it.

4. Pictures Folder

Digital photos are memory hogs. Individually they’re not so bad, but when you have thousands (as most of us do) it can be a nightmare. It’s so easy to keep all three great shots, when one would do just fine. If you’re an avid photographer, move your photos onto an external hard drive to get them off your computer (just make sure you back up that external hard drive to the cloud). If not, spring is a great time to go through all those pictures and delete the duplicates.

5. Desktop

A cluttered desktop slows down you and your computer. I won’t go on about the importance of keeping your desktop clean from an efficiency and productivity perspective. But in terms of keeping your computer working optimally, a clean desktop is essential. All those files and folders cluttering your desktop use a bunch of your computer’s resources. So file them or toss them.

With the dust bunnies gone, your computer will be faster and more efficient. Imagine all the time you’ll save now that you no longer have to wait for the hour glass or spinning wheel to finish.

Is your computer sluggish these days? Are there other areas of your computer that need spring cleaning? Share your comments below and continue the conversation.


  1. Thank you so much for these ideas, Valeri. I am always battling a slow computer and these are so easy to implement. I’ve never cleaned out my downloads folder before! And, now I have – it was so easy :)

    • Hi Michelle. I’m so glad this helped you. A slow computer is no fun. The downloads folder is often overlooked. We download things all the time and forget to either file them away or get rid of them. Congratulations on your empty downloads folder!

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