Cleaning – Computers, mobiles and gadgets need it too

Winter is almost upon us and that means spending more time at home, so it is time to get rid of clutter that you don’t need. The clutter needs to go.

“Mobile devices are no different. Most people download apps and then don’t use them after a while. Generally speaking, if you have not used an app for about six months, you will not use it again. Instead, the icons sit there taking up space and making it harder to find the ones you do use. This is not only true of mobile phones, but desktops and tablets can get quite out of hand, too,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.

Of course it’s not just mobile phones that could do with a clean up. A digital world generates a lot of clutter. Opera has come up with some tips to keep all your gadgets in order.

1. Go through all your cables, chargers and other device wiring. Everyone has a tangled mess of these and cannot remember what goes with what – or even if the device is in the house any longer. Check first, but if you have a cable for a phone, computer or even camera, you owned four years ago and no longer use – get rid of it.

2. Clean up your email. Not every one is fastidious about keeping their inboxes clean; this is the time to get rid of mail you do not need. Go to the last page of your inbox to start with your oldest messages that are usually least relevant now, or try searching the inbox for sources from which you regularly receive new that are outdated now.

3. Find a web browser that works for you. If you download any Opera browser you will save time and money, which means saving for a great summer holiday. Opera also help you keep super-organized, with synchronized bookmarks, Speed Dial shortcuts and a plethora of features.

4. Back up your data. While getting down and dirty with your devices, you may as well make sure all your photos, work and other important files are backed up somewhere safe. This could be on an external hard drive in a fireproof safe or in the cloud.

5. Cull your “friends” on social media. Really? You need all 10,000 of them posting on your wall? If you can’t remember how you met them, wouldn’t wish them a happy birthday, or aren’t interested in hearing their latest updates, give them the flick.

6. Take a long hard look at your bookmarks. May have seemed a good idea at the time, but when did you last use them? Now’s the time to delete some of them. If you’ve already tried that recipe or purchased that birthday gift – or whatever you no longer need. Keep the cookies though!

7. Clean up your temp files. Maybe it’s a good time to just clear out all the stuff your browser stores. In Opera, just click Delete Private Data (the second option under “Tools” and it will show you what needs to go.

8. Run a virus/malware scan and take a look at the Opera browser extensions that can prevent dubious sites and links from infecting your device. There are several extensions for Opera, including WOT and Ghostery that are useful in this way. Find the ones that work for you.

9. Organize your hard drive content. Make folders, keep them organized and delete any files you no longer need; this saves lots of time when looking for what you want.

10. Physically clean your devices. Yes, buy the right cleaners and get them looking like new again. Your friendly gadget shop will be able to help. No, do not use soapy water!