It’s National Clean Up Your Computer Month – Here are 8 Steps to Help

January is a time for fresh starts, so it makes perfect sense that January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month. Cleaning up and organizing your computer is a great way to have a nice organized start to the new year. We’ve compiled some tips to start 2023 off right by cleaning up your computer.

  1. Backup
    The first step is to back up all of your data. You can back everything up to an external hard drive or to the Cloud. At the very least, copy your most important files onto a flash drive.
  2. Clean Up the Desktop
    Do you have a million icons on your desktop? It’s easy to quickly save something to your desktop but a few icons can quickly balloon into many. Move things into folders, like Documents or Pictures, and delete any files you no longer need to clear the desktop. Then you can dive deeper into organizing all those files.
  3. Photos
    How many pictures have you taken or saved from the internet? They really add up! And they probably have a string of numbers and letters as file names that make no sense. Starting your organizing with photos can clear out space quickly and also be fun! Delete any accidental pictures or ones you don’t like, or those memes you saved to send to a friend and never deleted afterward. Your can also now name your photos something that makes sense to you. Vacation Day 2 Mount Rushmore.jpg is a lot easier to find than 286img4478d09m11y.jpg. You can then make folders by year, month, event, or whatever else makes sense to you and sort your pictures into them.
  4. Documents
    Going through documents might not be as easy as photos. There are likely things you know you can go ahead and delete, but there will likely be things you’re not sure about. If you have digital copies of important paper documents, you can look up retention guidelines for those documents. For instance, tax returns should be kept for at least seven years. For anything you’re unsure about, a Google search can help you determine how long to keep it. Make sure that your documents have clearly identifiable names and sort them into folders in a way that makes sense to you.
  5. Programs, Downloads, and Software
    Look for programs you don’t use and downloads that you no longer need. You can typically send downloads straight to the recycling bin, but make sure you uninstall any programs you want to delete.
  6. Email
    If you want to get even more organized, you can tackle your email. You can create different folders to sort your emails into just like you did with your photos and documents on your computer. Go through and delete old emails that are no longer needed. This is also a good time to deal with any email lists you’re on. Unsubscribe to any email lists you’re no longer interested in. You can use a service like Unroll.me to see all of your subscription emails, easily unsubscribe from what you’re no longer interested in, and even have all of those emails consolidated into one daily email.
  7. Online
    You can also organize your online settings and bookmarks. Go through your settings and delete any saved usernames and passwords that you no longer use. Take a look at your bookmarks and delete anything you no longer need. You can rename your bookmarks to make them easier to find, and like your photos and documents you can sort them into folders.
  8. Delete, Delete, Delete
    Make sure that you regularly empty your computer’s recycle bin. To delete the temporary files your computer creates while you’re working, Windows users can use the Disk Cleanup app. On Mac, just rebooting will delete those temporary files. On the internet, delete your cookies and the cache.

Getting started cleaning up your computer if you haven’t done it in a while, or ever, is a lot of daunting work! Take your time with it. You don’t have to do it all in a day, or even all this month. Once it’s done and your computer is nicely organized, it’ll be easier to keep it that way in the future. Happy organizing!

Winter Break Hours

A dark blue square with a lighter blue border with even lighter blue snowflakes on it. Lighter blue text in the dark blue square reads "winter break hours" and white text reiterates the text of the post.

The library’s hours will change on Monday, December 12 and we will be closed from December 24 through January 2.

Don’t Forget!

We know you’ve got a lot on your mind during finals week, but don’t add any more stress by forgetting to return your library books! You can drop your books off at the front desk while we’re open, or you can deposit your books in one of our two book drops anytime. One book drop is outside on the wall of the Schwarm building, near the arch, and the other is on the wall of the second floor of Schwarm before the hallway that leads to Wilks.

Good luck on your exams!

New Items Added to Rentschler Library in November

We’re adding many items to the collection each month! In November we added 50 books and ebooks to the collection.

Here are ten of the titles we added this month:

If you’d like to see previous lists of new materials, you can check the New Items tag.

Thanksgiving Closure

A brown background with illustrations of orange, yellow, and green flowers and leaves along the bottom and top. Also at the top are illustrations of a cooked turkey and carving tools. Yellow text reads "Happy Thanksgiving" and white text beneath reads "The library will be closed November 23 - 27. Regular hours will resume at 8:00 am November 28."

The library will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from November 23 – 27. Our regular hours will resume on Monday, November 28. Happy Thanksgiving!