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It’s summer! You’ve been planning your getaway and the time is almost at hand – But wait!

Before you leave, take a little time and follow these three tasks to prepare your computer, protect your data, and plan for your return.

Summer Vacation
Set aside a couple hours before you leave on your summer vacation to prepare your computer. Like many, you probably use the computer more than any other office tool. Don’t turn it off while you’re on vacation, your computer can also work for you even while you are away.


1. Clean up

  • Clean up your My Documents folder (especially old files, photos, music, etc)
  • Clean up your Desktop (old shortcuts, links to programs you don’t use, folders)
  • Delete all the files in your C:/Windows/Temp folder
  • Delete all the files in your C:/Windows/Prefetch folder
  • Run a full Disk Check (My Computer, right-click on C: drive, Properties, Tools tab, Error Checking)
  • Defragment your C: drive (in Windows 7 press start, type “defrag”, select Disk Defragmenter)


2. Backup your dataSummer Vacation backup

  • Export your data from Outlook (File, Import and Export, Export to a file, select Personal Folder File (.pst), Select Personal Folders and check the box for Include Subfolders)
  • Copy your My Documents folder and everything underneath, your desktop, and any other places you have files hiding (financial programs, etc) to somewhere off your main computer.
  • Back it all up to an external USB hard disk, and back it up to the Cloud


3. Tell people when you are coming back

  • If you are not taking your computer with you on your summer vacation (you’re not – right?!) then have it work for you while you’re away. In Outlook, turn on the Out of Office Assistant (Tools, Out of Office Assistant, click I am currently Out of the Office, type your message saying when you will be back) Full instructions here. (Your computer must be left on in order for this to work)

backup Outlook

When you get back you just need to turn off the Out of Office Assistant and pick up where you left off.

Take the time to follow these three easy steps and you can better relax while on your summer vacation, knowing your data is safe.