PC cleanup is an often-overlooked way to increase your productivity. After all, when your computer runs at its peak, you can run at yours. Over time, simply using your computer in routine ways can cause it to build up clutter and slow down. If it’s been a while since you’ve given yours a tune-up, or if you’ve never done any kind of maintenance on your computer before, now is a great time to start.
But what is basic PC cleanup? Are there really things you can do to improve PC performance or make your PC run faster?
Yes! PC cleanup doesn’t require a lot of time or pricey software, and you don’t have to be a professional to do some of the most essential things for improving your computer’s performance. Here are five quick and easy steps TracSoft suggests for improving your PC’s performance.
“Bloatware” (sometimes called “crapware”) is unnecessary, unwanted software that comes free on your computer. This can be games or software trials, or even full programs. Usually, they are advertisements for additional software rather than useful tools. The problem with bloatware is that it takes up resources from your PC.
To remove bloatware, click on the Start button and go to Programs and features. This will provide you with a list of programs, their size, and information on how often you’ve used them. You can also choose to delete them from here. If you’re not sure what a program is, it’s a good idea to do a quick internet search to make sure the software isn’t necessary for your computer to function. If it’s unnecessary, delete it.
Choose Which Programs Run At Startup
When your computer turns on, it can be slowed down if it opens too many software programs at once. Many computers are set up in the factory for certain unnecessary programs to open when the computer starts running, so by changing this setting, you can speed up your boot time.
To change which programs open when your computer starts, press Ctrl-Shift-Esc. This will open a program called Task Manager. Choose “more details” at the bottom of this window and you will see a list of programs running on your computer and how much of your computer’s resources each program uses. Right-clicking on a program will allow you to change how that program runs on your PC, and you can set many of these programs to not open automatically.
Run Disk Cleanup
Your computer relies on temporary files in order to be able to do many of its functions. These temporary files include bits of internet code from web pages, old documents in the Recycle Bin, installation files for programs, setup logs, and more. Over time, these old files create a drain on your computer’s system, slowing everything down. One easy way to improve PC performance is to run Disk Cleanup, which will delete all of these built-up files in just a few clicks.
- Disk Cleanup comes installed on Windows devices and using it is pretty simple. In the search bar, type Disk Cleanup and select the program from the options Windows presents. Or you can go to the Windows Start button, select Computer, right-click on your C drive, and select Properties. From there, select the General tab and choose “Disk Cleanup.”
- Once Disk Cleanup is open, choose the types of files you want to delete. All of the files here are temporary files your computer uses for short-term functions, so you can’t hurt anything by deleting them. After choosing your files, click “Clean up system files.” Depending on how long it’s been since you last used this program, it may take a few minutes to gather and remove all of these files.
- When everything has been deleted, you can restart your PC and enjoy a smoother, slightly faster experience.
Defragment and Optimize Drives
Fragmentation in a PC is a problem where your computer does not store files efficiently. The files get broken into pieces and stored in separate places from one another. This makes retrieving those files slower, and you can actually lose storage space on your system over time. Similar to Disk Cleanup, Optimize Drives is another tool included in Windows that can be useful for cleaning up your PC. This tool reviews your system and moves files into a more efficient order.
You can access Optimize Drives from the search bar. When the tool opens, you can Analyze the drive to see if optimization is necessary, or you can simply choose Optimize and let the tool do its thing. You can also select Change Settings to schedule a time for this program to run automatically.
Restart Your Computer
This one might sound silly, but simply restarting your computer at least once a week is one of the simplest and most effective methods of PC cleanup. Restarting helps to clear your PC’s short-term memory (known as RAM, or Random Access Memory), which will make your PC faster.
Restarting also allows your computer to make small corrections to programs or processes that aren’t running correctly. Restarting closes all programs that are running, including programs in the background that you might not even be aware of. Some software you run requires other background software to operate. Occasionally these background programs don’t close when they should, draining processing power from your PC, but restarting your computer resolves this.
Restarting is one of the best ways to fix bugs and glitches, and it’s a good way to keep your PC running well for longer.
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