5 incredibly useful tools for your digital spring cleaning

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Spring has traditionally meant cleaning, organizing and mops. But in our increasingly high-tech households, your hard drive, phone or tablet may need as much attention as your broom closet and stove.

It’s not just stuff. Your privacy needs a cleanup too. You’d be shocked at how much Google tracks you, including when and where you have been. Click here to see how much Google knows about you and how to remove the data.

Here are five tools that can help you organize your virtual (and real) environments.

1. Clean up your browser

Cookies are like the gunk in your roof gutters: you can’t see them, but they’re there, clogging everything up and keeping your computer from running fluidly. The same goes for download history.

A free program called CCleaner helps you sort out the cookies and archives you don’t really need. When you download the app, you can focus on a specific browser that you would like to clean up. CCleaner analyzes its backlog of information and lists the data that seems unnecessary.

2. Speed up your smartphone

Most of us already know about cluttered desktops, but what about smartphones? Our phones are essentially handheld computers, and when they overflow with useless information, their operations can also slow down. These aren’t necessarily apps, but overburdened call logs, search history, and saved texts.

For Android users, there’s 1Tap Cleaner, an app that earns its name. The app gathers that data in one place, letting you decide what to keep. Most of us are surprised by how many outdated messages and URLs get archived, a data stream that we will probably never refer to again. Then again, you do want to make sure irreplaceable bits (landmark texts, unsaved photos) survive the deep clean.

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