Spring Clean Your Digital World

With the warming season comes the inevitable spring cleaning. While the garage and cabinets get most of the attention, people often overlook there technology for the yearly scrubbing. Tech2U is here today to share some quick tips to get your technology organized and tidy.

The first step you should do to help get your computer is to use CCleaner. CCleaner is a free program that cleans out the old files and junk that has accumulated on your hard drive. It is a great tool for repairing damage caused by malware, installing and removing software, and generally using your computer every day. Any leftover cookies or cached files will be cleaned, as well as invalid shortcuts or broken registry entries. Just a note to the viewer, CCleaner will ask you if you want to clear cookies, if you have any saved passwords or auto logins for websites, that information will be lost so you may want to un-check that box.

While CCleaner is a great way to free up space from leftover operations, PC Decrapifier will help you uninstall unused or “bloatware” programs. PC Decrapifier will sweep through your system, identifying bloatware and non-essential or infrequently used programs and give you a one click uninstall option. PC Decrapifier is great for anyone with a newer machine that came with a lot of pre-loaded junk programs and users that frequently download programs they don’t end up using.

We all know that email is a constant battle to keep clean and organized. With subscriptions piling up every year and the peppering of un-read / read emails, we often procrastinate our email cleanliness. Luckily there is Unroll.me which gives you a one click unsubscribe button to get rid of any email subscriptions you don’t want. Unroll.me also gives you a “rollup” feature that setups categories for your email subscriptions to go to. For example, Coupon deals, Facebook updates, and any other email alerts will all go in one easy to see place. Another tip for email management is to setup filters. Filters will automatically delete any messages from senders you don’t care about. They will also sort all incoming messages into appropriate folders without cluttering your inbox.

App of the week:
Voice Dream Reader is one of the best text-to-speech tool on the market today at $9.99. Voice Dream Reader will read to you just about anything that contains text such as local files, files on your Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote, or Bookshare. The app will highlight text as it reads it to you as it smoothly integrates reading and listening. With over 186 voices in 30 languages, Voice Dream Reader will cater to any style you like best.

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Video Transcription:

Interviewer: So spring is here, which means it’s a good time to bring in a swimsuit model and also time to clean out your stuff. Get the cobwebs, and re-seed the grass, clean it all out. Don’t forget your computer needs spring training, or cleaning, too. Baseball needs spring training. Mike Wisby is here from Tech2U with some quick tips to get your technology organized and all tidy for spring. What’s the best way to clean your stuff, Mike?

Mike: Okay, the first thing I would start with is a program called CCleaner. Now, CCleaner is completely free.

Interviewer: Oh, it is? Okay, well free is good.

Mike: Yeah, that’s always good. So you download it, and what it does is it will go through your computer and it will scan for anything that shouldn’t be there. So like, junk files, temporary files that you get. You accumulate those when you’re surfing the web, and it will remove them for you. Now, it will remove the cookies and the cache in your browser as well, so the thing to be careful with that is that’s what helps you get into those sites that you go to all the time and you don’t have to put the password back in again, it will clear that. So, the worst thing, if you don’t uncheck the box that says, “remove the host” the worst thing that can happen is that you just have to put the password in again.

Interviewer: So, if I click “clear history” and it clears the last hour of stuff that I’ve been doing, does that completely clear it out, or can the authorities get back in and still get me?

Mike: You know from last week, they can get in. But what it’ll do is it will also speed the computer up. It will remove them, it will just speed it up and you’ll just have to enter the password in again.

Interviewer: Okay, what about the extra programs that you don’t need?

Mike: So yeah, the extra programs, there’s a thing called the PC Decrapifier. Now, that does exactly what it says. It removes all the programs that you don’t necessarily use on your computer. So it won’t do it automatically, it will just prompt you. It will say, “You haven’t used this program for two years, three years, do you really need it?” And then you can, with one simple click, just remove it and that will free up some space on your hard drive.

Interviewer: What about the email inbox? I don’t delete messages, because as soon as I delete one, even from five years ago, magically I need to go back and get it. I have about 47,000 messages in mine, do I need to clear that out?

Mike: So there are tools available that are available to help you do that. I mean, you don’t need to, the email boxes these days can be as big as you want, but it’s a nightmare, if you’re anything like me, you sign up to all these free offers and deals and they send you an offer every day saying, “Today only, 10% off.”

Interviewer: Sure, sure, sure.

Mike: So you can actually use a tool called Unroll Me, and you can get that unroll.me and it’s a really cool tool, it will actually give you a list of everything you’re subscribed to. So you may be subscribed to, it’ll surprise you, it told me the other day that I was subscribed to 200 different lists.

Interviewer: No kidding, and you figured what, about 50?

Mike: Yeah, I didn’t even realize, 50 seems high to me. So you can go through and unsubscribe from them, just click with one click, just get rid of all that, and anything you do want to stay on the list to, it will actually send you a summary email every day with all those different links in there. So instead of getting 50 emails in your inbox, you’re getting 1.

Interviewer: How about cleaning up the cell phones?

Mike: So, cell phones, the tip there would be to remove any apps that you don’t use, there’s no need to have them on there, it’s just using up space, and photos and videos, they take up a lot of room on your cell phones and even tablets. So push them to the cloud. You can use iCloud, or Dropbox, or some kind of cloud platform. Push all your videos and photos there, free them up and you can just remove them from your phone.

Interviewer: Okay, people standing by, what’s your app of the week?

Mike: App of the week is Voice Dream Reader. What it does, it actually reads the text in any file that you have. And it can be on your device, it can be on your Dropbox, it can be even in Evernote, which is a note-taking thing, it will just read the text out to you loud, so it’s great if you’re on the move. And it highlights the text as it reads it, so if you need to transition to the actual text later on, you know where you’re at, and it’s pretty cool. And the thing I like about it, there’s 186 different voices and accents, so if you…

Interviewer: Look at you playing the accent thing again, the pride of England right here, Mr. Wisby.

Mike: Well, someone’s got to represent us.

Interviewer: You are representing very well, because I know people at home who are like, “Where’s he from, Scotland? Australia?” Do you not like that because you’re from England and people go, “Are you from Australia?” And that’s completely different.

Mike: Yeah, that’s completely different.

Interviewer: It’s not a good thing, is it?

Mike: I’m used to it, I hear it all the time…

Interviewer: Yeah, but you are from England.

Mike: I am from England…

Interviewer: You’re right at the top of the British speaking food chain there, right?

Mike: Well, yeah…

Interviewer: We won’t get into that. Mike Wisby with Tech2U. I’m gonna keep you out of trouble, so we’re going to end it there and send it over to Amy, how’s that? Thank you, Mike.

Mike: Thank you.

Amy: All right…

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