We love spring cleaning! It’s warming up outside so it’s time to roll up your sleeves, open your windows, and clean up some of the junk you may have in your office. But why stop there? What if you have a couple of older computers that actually disrupt employee productivity?

Our general rule of thumb for computers being used in a commercial environment is that after 5 years, it is time to start looking for a replacement. Obviously, that is not always possible so we recommend identifying the oldest/worst running machines in your environment and replacing them a couple at a time each year. The other thing to check on your employee’s machines is if it has an old-style traditional hard drive instead of the newer SSDs. Any machine in your environment that still has an old-style hard drive should be prioritized.

If you aren’t in a spot to be able to replace machines, there are a few things that may be able to help a machine speed up. Keep in mind that if an employee’s machine is several years old, there is not much that will make it get faster.

The first thing that can help is making sure all your computers are up-to-date with the latest updates. Note that if the computer is several years old, it may not be supported officially anymore so it won’t pull any updates.

A simple thing you’ve probably heard of before – make sure your employees do a “restart” on their (Windows) machines at least once every two weeks, as that can help resolve many smaller issues.

One thing that can also help keep your IT environment healthy is that your employees go through their documents and email accounts periodically to clean up the junk that accumulates. An example is the Downloads folder. Quite often this is never cleaned up and can take up quite a bit of space on the computer. And then there’s email. Business today is driven by email communication, but we see issues all the time with users who simply don’t delete or clean up anything in their mailbox and then wonder why their email app is not working so well. While we never delete employee data unless told to do so, we take additional steps for our managed clients, typically twice a year, to make sure computers are cleaned and working optimally. By doing this, computers run more optimally, and the number of service calls is typically much less.