Top view on man working on laptop computer with notes all around his office desk. Overwhelmed with work concept.

As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, we’re getting closer to saying “goodbye” to winter and “hello” to spring. For many, the end of winter means it’s time for spring cleaning.

People usually clean out their house, donate unused clothes and items, and put away winter clothes. Others deep clean their car and garage.

But there is something else that probably needs some spring cleaning: your connected devices. Here is how to clean up your phone, computer or tablet:

• Make more space: Odds are, if you aren’t in the habit of clearing out your email, your inbox is full of unread and unsolicited messages. Clean up your mailbox by deleting unread mail and unsubscribing from unwanted mailing lists.

Try searching for a specific sender and selecting “delete all” to quickly remove junk mail. Deleting text message threads can also free up valuable storage. 

• Tighten up security: A great habit to get into for enhancing the security of your devices and online accounts is to change your passwords frequently. Update your system password as well as your online account passwords routinely.

Some experts recommend changing your passwords at least every three months. This practice will reduce the amount of time a hacker remains inside a compromised account, which is especially important for accounts with access to credit cards or personal information.

Also, check your security preferences and make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is running.

• Close unused accounts: Delete unneeded software and apps. Unused applications take up precious space on your devices and can slow down your operating system. Go to your device settings to view insights into which apps are taking up the most space. Update the apps you want to keep so that they run the latest versions.

• Organize files: Clean up your desktop. (This applies both to your electronic devices and your physical work desk.) A messy desktop not only looks unsightly but functions poorly. Organize your files into folders so that you can find things easily.

• Clean the physical device: After you’ve cleaned your internal system, it’s time for physical cleansing. Devices carry germs and can get nasty if they aren’t cared for. Dusk and debris can clog up your device and cause damage over time.

First, turn off your phone or computer. Take off any case and clean separately. Use a can of compressed air to blow dirt off your computer keyboard and ports.

Next, wipe down your device with a soft, dry microfiber cloth. If you choose to sanitize your device, be careful to use a slightly damp cloth and not get it wet. Research your device’s cleaning instructions to prevent damage.

Now that you’ve cleaned your devices internally and externally, they can perform at top speed and are ready for another season of use!

Lynn Hall is the general manager of Hargray.