You don't have to wait for spring to do some thorough cleaning. I'm not just talking about cleaning your home, your electronic device could also do with a clean up every now and then. There are plenty of sites that help you clean your house, but many people forget that their computer needs a little cleaning love, too.
Blasting away junk programs, unnecessary files and other tech dirt from your computer can help it run better the rest of the year. This cleaning doesn't have to be an all-day affair, either. With the tips we're going to talk about, you can clean up your computer in no time.
Wipe unneeded programs
A good place to start cleaning is your programs. You probably have a bunch you don't use, so they're just taking up space and slowing things down.
You can use a program like Revo Uninstaller to get rid of the ones you installed and don't use much. It goes a bit deeper than Windows' built-in uninstaller to get rid of any leftover junk.
You should also run a program like PC Decrapifier to pinpoint pre-installed programs you don't use that you might not even know you have. Learn more about manually or automatically removing junk or unwanted programs from your computer.
Once your unwanted programs are gone, you might find that your computer starts a bit faster. But you can speed it up even more.
Speed up your startup
Choose which programs start with your computer using a program like Autoruns. The fewer programs that start, the faster your boot times will be. Just don't disable your security software. Get more tips to speed up your computer's boot times.
Next, it's time to tackle your files. A full hard drive won't just slow down your computer, it makes it hard to find the files you really want.
Clean up your files
Your computer has thousands of files and some of them aren't needed and some are taking up a chunk of space. To find out what files are taking up the most space, use a program like WinDirStat.
When you find large files, you can decide if you really need them. If you need them but don't use them often, consider moving them to an external hard drive.
You should also run a search for duplicate files that are taking up space, such as photos or music. A program like Duplicate Cleaner can make this process go faster.
If you're going to be shuffling a lot of files around your hard drive, and you're running Windows 8.1 or earlier, grab the program TeraCopy. It speeds up file transfers and generally does a better job copying files than Windows did prior to Windows 10.
Once you're done cleaning your programs and files, Windows will spend some time doing other cleaning processes in the background like defragmenting your hard drive. If you're running an older version of Windows, such as Vista or Windows 7, you can also run a more powerful third-party defragmenter like Defraggler. Just don't use it on a solid-state hard drive or you'll wear it out faster.
Of course, cleaning your computer software is only part of it. Dirty computer hardware can lead to overheating and other problems that result in instability and crashes. Get instructions on the best ways to clean your gadget hardware, including computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs. Of course, a clean system is still vulnerable to crashes, so you'll want to take one more step to prevent the biggest mess ever.
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