Monday, February 10th, is “Clean out your computer day”, which means, well, exactly what it says. It’s a perfect day to get ahead on the traditional “spring cleaning” by first cleaning up your digital house. By that I mean, your computer!
[notice]Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Iolo Technologies, LLC, in support of international “Clean out your Computer Day” to serve as both an informational and promotional post. I have received no payment for this post. This post uses material found on http://www.iolo.com/promo/clean-out-day-2013/default.htm for the sake of information sharing.[/notice]
Indeed, let’s look at some statistics from my friends at Iolo Technologies:
- The average American adult has 1,800 digital files, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, making searching them quite a task.
- Executives waste six weeks each year looking for lost items and information, according to a study published in the Wall Street Journal, adding up for huge corporate operating losses.
- Americans waste nine million hours per day searching for misplaced items. On average, people spend a year of our lives looking for lost items, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Imagine the things you could do if cleaning up your computer saved some of those hours!
- 44 percent of home internet users say their connection failed to work properly at least once in the previous 12 months, according to Pew Research, resulting in lost time and increased frustration.
Frustration and emotional impact of digital and slow technology:
- In the UK, technology is above domestic relationships as a cause of stress (19 to 20 percent), according to British Association of Anger Management.
- 50 percent of Britons have reacted to problems with their computer by either abusing colleagues, hitting the computer, screaming, shouting or hurling parts of the PC, according to a study by British Association of Anger Management., with 25 percent of under 25s admitting to kicking their computers in PC rage.
- Nine in ten (90 percent) Americans admit that disorganization at home or work has a negative impact on their lives, accordingto a Kelton Research survey sponsored by OfficeMax. Their productivity (77 percent), state of mind (65 percent), motivation (53 percent ) and happiness (40 percent) are negatively affected when there is disorder. Moreover, 20 percent of Americans report that clutter also harms their relationships with other people.
- 80 percent of U.S. adults get frustrated waiting for their technology to load, according to a Harris Interactive study sponsored by Intel. This frustration with slow technology has been dubbed Hourglass Syndrome.
- Consumers spend an average of 13 minutes a day just waiting for their computer to catch up, adding up to three days of waiting and lost productivity per year.
- 62 percent of U.S. adults admitted to yelling or cursing out loud when their technology can’t keep up with them, while others hit their computer mouse (29 percent) or banged on their computer screen and keyboard (24 percent).
- More than one third of U.S. adults (35 percent) said that they missed out on something while waiting for technology, such as losing an opportunity to participate in an online sale (13 percent), or purchase airline, concert or sporting event tickets.
Business frustrations and inefficiencies caused by slower technology:
- 50 percent of UK workers are frustrated by the time taken to solve IT problems, according to the British Association of Anger Management.
- 30 percent surveyed have witnessed physical attacks on computers, while 62 percent say their colleagues regularly swear at their PCs out of frustration
- “Slow computers” is the most common employee complaint to IT helpdesks, according to a recent survey of 100 IT directors conducted by Vanson Bourne and sponsored by Diskeeper Corporation.
- “Lost passwords” ranked second and “system crashes” ranked third on list of most common employee complaints to IT.
- An analysis of Twitter revealed more than 1,000 tweets a month by U.K. members frustrated at their sluggish PCs.
- Organizations are ignoring common causes of slow computers and system crashes. E.g. more than two thirds (69 percent) of IT directors surveyed do not consider computer clean out a priority, and over half (56 percent) do not have processes in place to ensure regular PC tune-up.
Enviornmental impact of slow technology and its premature discarding:
- In 2007 alone more than 40 million computers were dumped, up from 20 million in 1998. On average, each computer lasted only 30 months, that short life span often attributed to the need for larger hard drive.
- Canada produces 200,000 tones of e-waste a year. Globally, e-waste exceeds 50 million tones.
- 75 percent of the 3 million computers bought in Australia every year will end up in landfills.
- In 2007 and 2008, 16.8 million computers in Australia reached their end of life. Of this, only 9 percent was recycled.
Computers gather quite a bit of digital crud over time. The longer you use them, the more messy they get. It’s that simple.
Rather than go in depth with my own thoughts, and comments on the topic, Iolo Technologies has also provided a lovely list of tips to help you clean out your system!
10 Computer cleaning tips from Iolo!
- Delete unused, old or duplicate files, emails, email addresses, bookmarks and favorites. With System Mechanic’s “Remove Junk Files”, “Remove Internet Debris” or “Find Duplicate Files” tools, you can recover a lot of lost space – and a lot of time wasted while looking for files on a cluttered hard drive.
- Organize your files. Make sure to use a logical file naming system and put them into folders that make sense and are easy to remember and access.
- Defragment your hard drive. While it won’t categorize your files (you have to do that manually, see #2 above), defragmentation will speed up your access to them, again saving you valuable time. System Mechanic’s “Defragment Hard Drive” tool defragments even your Windows system files, providing noticeable speed improvements.
- Back up your files and programs at least every month. Imagine all the time wasted if your files are lost. Back up regularly to a separate device like a portable hard drive or set up an automatic online back-up service.
- Uninstall programs that you no longer need or use. To make sure they are completely uninstalled and do not leave any residual clutter, use System Mechanic’s “Remove Installed Programs” to uninstall even the most stubborn components.
- Once you’ve uninstalled unused program, make sure to clean out your registry as well. Invalid or out-of-date registry settings can slow down your computer’s boot time. Use System Mechanic’s “Repair Registry Problems” and “Defragment and Compact Registry” to save valuable minutes off your boot time.
- Further improve your computer’s start-up time by removing unnecessary start-up items. Many programs lodge themselves in start-up without your knowledge. Remove them using System Mechanic’s “Optimize Windows Startup” tool.
- Once you’ve organized all your files into folders, make sure all the shortcuts are still accurate. Use “Repair Broken Shortcuts” to get all your shortcuts in order.
- For an ultimate clean out, try iolo’s DriveScrubber (a stand-alone utility for permanently wiping data from hard drives, offered also as part of System Mechanic Professional). DriveScrubber can securely wipe out all your hard drive data or you can use a more selective approach, removing only your personal files and leaving the programs intact. Definitely opt for this clean out option if you are planning on donating your computer to make sure your personal information is not recoverable.
- For a complete PC clean out on Clean Out Your Computer Day, don’t forget your PC’s outside. Clean the screen, dust the keyboard, clean the mouse. After all, your computer deserves some pampering too.
Now, the giveaway!!!!!
To help you clean out your systems, I will be running a little contest for you all. Simply share this article on your favorite social networks, and send me a link to your share. You might just win a copy of System Mechanic for your computer!