Clean Out Your Computer Day

February 11, 2024 Leah Driver


Although most people are familiar with the importance of decluttering their home, too few realize the value of reducing digital clutter, which can impact our productivity, threaten our information security, and even contribute to environmental pollution.

The more digital data you have, the more susceptible you are to hackers. The risk of a security breach increases when you have data that’s not regularly monitored, like outdated software, unused accounts, and forgotten files.

By conducting a digital cleanup, we not only declutter our digital lives but also protect our sensitive information and contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. Deleting unnecessary files, apps, photos, and videos can extend the life of our gadgets and cut down our energy costs. Additionally, it helps us feel more balanced, in control, and efficient in our digital habits.


Here are some steps you can take to clean your digital files effectively:

  1. Assess Your Digital Storage: Begin by evaluating the storage space on your devices, including your computer, phone, and cloud storage accounts. Determine how much space you have available and identify areas where you may be experiencing clutter.
  2. Delete Unnecessary Files: Go through your files and delete any documents, photos, videos, or other digital items that you no longer need or use. Be ruthless in your decluttering to free up valuable storage space.
  3. Organize Files Into Folders: Create a system for organizing your files into folders based on categories or themes that make sense to you. This will make it easier to locate specific files when you need them and keep your digital space tidy.
  4. Rename Files Appropriately: Rename files with clear, descriptive names that reflect their content. Avoid generic or ambiguous file names that can make it difficult to find what you're looking for later.
  5. Backup Important Files: Make sure to regularly backup important files to external hard drives, cloud storage services, or other backup solutions. This will help protect your data in case of hardware failure or other unforeseen issues.
  6. Scan for Malware and Viruses: Run a thorough scan of your computer and other devices to check for malware, viruses, or other security threats. Remove any malicious software to ensure the safety of your digital files and personal information.
  7. Update Software and Operating Systems: Keep your software applications and operating systems up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This will help protect your devices from vulnerabilities that could compromise your digital files.
  8. Use File Compression: Consider using file compression techniques to reduce the size of large files and free up storage space. This can be especially helpful for multimedia files like videos and photos.
  9. Organize Email Inbox: Clean up your email inbox by archiving or deleting old emails, unsubscribing from newsletters you no longer read, and organizing emails into folders or labels. Going forward, unsubscribe to unwanted emails as they land in your inbox.
  10. Organize digital photos: Cull your photos to a more manageable collection by deleting duplicates, screenshots and blurry images. Then it’s time to pick your favorites, file them neatly and set rules to keep them that way. After this is done, address your video files.
  11. Review and Update Permissions: Review the permissions and access settings for your digital files, especially for files stored in cloud storage services or shared with others. Make sure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean your digital files, improve your digital organization, protect your information, and optimize your digital storage space for better efficiency and productivity.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Citizens State Bank and its affiliates, and Citizens State Bank is not responsible for and does not verify the accuracy of any information contained in this article or items hyperlinked within. This is for informational purposes and is no way intended to provide legal advice.

Share This: