Digital Spring Cleaning: Seven Tips for More Storage Space and Speed

Digital spring cleaning: Seven tips for more storage and space.

Does this spark joy? That’s the question countless people around the world are asking themselves. Since Marie Kondo has shown us how to clean out wardrobes, kitchens, and documents, the cleaning hype has been omnipresent.

But the digital world is missing out. Just like in a household, countless things accumulate in the digital space: from documents, photos, and videos, to endless chat sequences and programs. This is not only confusing, but it could also jeopardize the security of your laptop and smartphone. Here are seven tips on where to use the virtual rag and how to make digital cleaning easier.

1. Sort out programs and applications.

Unused software not only clogs the hard drive, but it also poses a security risk; it often doesn’t have the latest updates and can, therefore, be a gateway for viruses. Typical examples are games or applications that are downloaded on recommendation but never used.

Under Control Panel or Settings, you’ll find a list with the installed software on most devices. It can be cleanly deleted, and the newly won storage space can be inspected immediately. However, there are also tools (like Parallels Toolbox) that help you delete and display all programs quickly and clearly—and remove them with one click.

2. Delete superfluous files.

Most people are real collectors when it comes to digital data. They hoard countless files on their computer or smartphone and usually don’t even know what they have stored. The only thing that helps is to look through all the folders and sort them out thoroughly. But not everything has to be done by hand. Applications like Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Windows can help you clean up your drive. They remove temporary operating-system and application files and automatically find the largest files for scanning—all with a single click.

digital cleaning
Figure 1_Clearing 9.73 GB of cache and cookies with the tool “Clean Drive” in Parallels Toolbox for Mac.

3. Detect data twins.

Old files aren’t the only problem. Music, photos, or text documents are often duplicated or tripled. There are various tools to help you find duplicates and review them for deletion. Once everything is selected, the doubles or triples are sent to the trash can (which should also be emptied regularly).

4. Clean up your mailbox.

The same thing applies to the mailbox. There are often masses of old messages in the inbox or different subfolders. Especially on mobile phones, it can consume a lot of memory. Also Once you’ve thoroughly sorted out the messages, you should unsubscribe from any unnecessary emails to help keep things uncluttered.

5. Check chat history at WhatsApp and other messengers.

If you need space on your smartphone, take a closer look at your chat processes with WhatsApp or other messaging apps. Often countless voice messages, pictures, or videos accumulate there, which together consume several gigabytes of memory. The same process applies here: Delete useless and duplicate messages.

6. Complete a virus scan.

Once you have your freshly cleaned computer, it’s time for a complete virus scan. This should be done at least once a month in addition to the background scan.

7. Create backups.

Almost every user has searched desperately for a particular document. Nevertheless, most users do not perform backups very often. Spring cleaning is a good opportunity to make up for lost data. With a smartphone, this can be done easily by syncing with your computer. For your computer, use external hard disks or cloud storage to help protect important information from loss.

Try Parallels Toolbox for Mac or Windows for free if you like to test out some of the tools to help you do the digital cleaning.

How do you do your digital spring cleaning? Let us know in the below comments, on Twitter or Facebook.