How to spring clean your digital life

Spring cleaning isn’t just for physical clutter, here are five ways to spring clean your digital life.

When you think of spring cleaning you think of cleaning your home and taking control of clutter. One aspect of your life that usually isn’t on the top of that list is your digital life. We use technology for so much more than interacting with friends and family, keeping up to date on news, events, and sharing moments of our life through photos and videos.

However, your digital life doesn’t have to be messy. You can take some simple steps to better organize your tech and simply your way of living.

Social Media Accounts – Delete or deactivate any accounts that you haven’t logged into for a year. Unfollow any pages or people you no longer have interest in, aren’t following you back, or people you don’t communicate with.

E-Mail – Delete any emails that are over a month old, chances are if you haven’t opened them in a month they aren’t important. While you’re going through your inbox be sure to pay attention to the sender. If you no longer shop at a certain store, follow a certain blog, or purchase a certain item unsubscribe to their emails.

There are a few different ways you can unsubscribe to emails; the easy way by signing up for an app such as unroll.me, manually unsubscribe as they come in, or move them to a folder where you can manually do it when you have the time. Personally, I try to stay on top of my email to avoid backup and unsubscribe as I feel necessary.

Cell Phone – First and foremost, you need to update your operating system if there’s an update available. Keeping your operating system up to date prevents security leaks, malware, and software failures at bay. When you’re updating your phone be sure to connect to a home WiFi connection if possible, this is the best possible method to save money on expensive data charges as these files tend to be large.

You may need to clear out space before you can update so be sure to keep that in mind. The next thing would be going through your apps for apps you no longer use. When deleting apps with any saved data make sure you back up any data you may want to access at a later time, such as game data.

This does vary per operating system so check with your phone manufacturer for full details. Update the apps that need to be updated after you’ve completed the step above. With new system updates, there will always be new app updates.

The next step is clearing off any photos and videos stored on your phone and you can do this one of many ways. You can plug in your phone and sync the files to your computer, sync the photos to your cloud to be downloaded at a later time, or send them via email to be saved there.

Computer – If you have a computer its critical to keep it updated and running efficiently. Like using your cell phone you can follow some of the same steps to clear out space on your computer. Now, a computer typically has a LOT more space than your cell phone.

I highly suggest checking for updates on your computer first. Depending on your operating system it can vary how to specifically do this so if you don’t know how I’d suggest asking or head on over to trusty Google and ask. Once you’ve to update any operating system hardware and software, and if you’re a Windows user I’d suggest running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to clean up space you can’t really see.

After you’ve completed these steps, if you don’t have an antivirus program I strongly encourage one. You can download some programs and start trial for major programs like McAfee or Norton. There are some free versions out there but I’d be leery of them as they may not cover you properly.

Even with antivirus programs, you’ll need a second software to catch whatever they might miss. I know that sounds scary but no program is 100% accurate. I absolutely love Malwarebytes, it is available with a free or paid version but the free version is really good and catches a lot of things your anti-virus may miss. Unlike other programs which require you to upgrade or pay to remove your malware/spyware/or viruses, Malwarebytes allows you to remove them for no fee.

Like removing anything from your computer you have to be careful about what you remove if you’re unsure of something or don’t think you need it I’d suggest keeping it or ask someone you trust and knows a lot about computer. One wrong removal can prevent your computer from working properly. Also, check the dates on when the program was updated or installed if it’s something you remember installing it should be safe to remove if you wish.

Keep in mind software you’ve installed on your cell phone, camera, video camera, etc again if you’re unsure what to remove I’d suggest a professional assist. After this, it’s time to remove any additional files you may have photos, videos, things you’ve downloaded from the internet, documents, etc if you don’t need it to delete it. Once you move the file to the recycle bin its not deleted until you delete it from there so if you make a wrong choice and want to retract your mistake you can go in there and recover it.

Lastly, and more importantly, I suggest making a backup of all your data on your hard drive, and update it periodically. I experienced a hard drive failure late last year and it was one of the most painful things I experienced. After crying over my “unrecoverable” data I sucked it up and started fresh.

You can back up your data one of a few different ways, you can back it up on another computer (if you have one), a cloud drive, an external hard drive, or like old fashion way by discs. I highly suggest doing at least two different methods in case something happens to the other. The more options you do the better off you’ll be in case something happens to your computer.

Need more spring cleaning and organizing tips?? Check out this post for 24 things you can throw away right now and how to create a household binder and more helpful cleaning and organizing tips here.

Tell us your best spring cleaning digital tip! Do you consider digital cleaning on your spring cleaning checklist? Let us know in the comment section below.

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