Over time computers do start to run slower, this is an unfortunate thing, and it can become frustrating for users who are not sure how to go about de-cluttering their PC and making it run faster.
There can also be unscrupulous software that has been installed without you knowing which can have the same effect.
There are lots of companies who charge for software disk clean up tool options, but you can do this PC cleaning quickly and easily with these few steps that won’t cost you a penny.
We will also show you one way in which you can prevent ads and malware from reaching your computer by securing your device connection.
Why do I need to Clean My Computer?
Files that are no longer needed get stored on a computer’s hard drive, and the way a Windows PC works is, it takes any available space to write this information. However, if the space isn’t large enough, it splits these files and writes them in different areas.
This has the effect of slowing down Windows disk searches when the OS is retrieving something.
You might have a lot of temporary files that sit there once they have been finished with and take up space and also cause this problem of available storage areas.
There are also software packages that when installed either add features to web browsers (search bars) or they decide they want to start automatically when you turn on your system.
These start-up programs slow down your system when it is first turned on, and from that point forward, your computer can be running slow.
Computers are at their most optimum when they have not been used, and following these few tips can be the best chance you have to get it back to a clean state.
The 6 Top Computer Clean Up Tips
1. Cleaning Your Hard Drive
As we said, data fills up your hard drive over time. You delete files which go into the recycle bin, but these are not removed from your computer.
The bin is there as a last resort before you decide to delete the files altogether, or you have made a mistake and need to restore it.
One of the most popular PC cleaner packages you can get is CCleaner. There is a free option available and is more than sufficient for most users.
As you install this, it might ask to install other software that is unrelated to cleaning your PC (Antivirus software). Don’t install this.
Once you have software like this installed, you can quickly clean all temporary files on your disk. This will include data stored by your web browsers.
You can run this on a regular basis, but it will delete any saved passwords you have entered so you might find you need to login to some regular sites again. You can also use the built-in Windows disk clean-up tool.
All you need to do is click on your start menu and type Disk Clean-up. Once the window opens, select all the items and click on OK. This tells you what can be deleted and how large the files are.
This is the first step of an effective disk clean-up operation and the one who can free up space in a matter of seconds.
2. Deleting Programs You Don’t Need or Use
Windows has its own built-in computer clean-up app. Search for ‘Add or remove programs,’ and you will be presented with a box listing all the apps you have installed on your system.
At the side, you can see the program size, and all you need to do is scroll to programs you don’t need, and then click the option to uninstall the program.
On occasion, Windows isn’t always able to uninstall programs. Third-party uninstallers are available that can perform this task more effectively.
The software mentioned in number one also has an option to do this.
3. Stopping Automatic Programs
This can be one of the best ways to speed up your computer without deleting anything. To quickly see what is starting on your computer, and what impact it has on the boot time, you can head to the task manager.
To do this the quickest way is to press the ctrl+alt+delete keys all at the same time, and then select the startup tab.
Next, you can select programs you don’t want to start and right click and then change the start entry to disabled. When you restart, your system should start quicker and run a bit faster.
4. Cleaning up the Desktop
Desktops that are full of program shortcuts and background images do slow computers down. This is due to a video card needing to redraw complex patterns and shapes every time you close a program.
The less clutter on your desktop the faster your computer can be. You can either create folders for programs or add the most common ones to the taskbar.
It should be noted, if you delete any shortcuts from the desktop, it won’t save space on your hard drive, it just removes the link to that file or program and dumps it in your trash.
5. Defragmenting Your Hard Disk
With all the file cleaning and de-cluttering, you will have performed already, you will be looking at defragmenting your hard drive.
This takes all of the split files and places them together so they can all be retrieved in the fastest possible time.
Windows also comes with a built-in option which is set to automatic by default. Aside from removing vast amounts of data, this defragmentation is the last step in a thorough software based clean-up and can have the most significant overall impact on system speed.
6. How to Clean Your Computer Inside
Many people go through cleaning their computer following the other five disk clean-up steps, but inside can have a similar effect when it becomes dirty and full of dust. It seems logical to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of this debris, but this should never be done because small components can come loose and lost.
Compressed air or a good air-blower is ideal, although this should be done outdoors. To do this, disconnect all the cable and remove the side panels of your system.
With the air, blower removes all the dust, and pay more attention to fans and most importantly the fans on the graphics card.
Over time fans attract lots of dirt and stop cooling components as effectively as they should. This can increase to overheating and system slowdowns. When you have done this, you will find your computer runs much cooler.
Preventing unwanted software from being installed is key to a clean system. Although some programs sneak this on without you knowing, there are ads and malware that can be blocked if you consider using a VPN.
These are the only element that will cost in the entire process, but they stop hackers getting into your system and using your information.
They can also help prevent viruses being installed, and they give total privacy against anyone (including ISP’s) into seeing what you are doing online.