Computers are kind of like homes. Just imagine a closet where you keep stashing things in your way because company is coming. You keep throwing stuff in, then every now and then you remember that you put something in there, you go and get it out, but you do not clear the rest of the stuff out of the closet. Before you know it, the closet is overflowing with *junk*, you open the door, and it all spills out on you. It’s going to be a mess until you take the time to clean it out and organize it. That same thing can happen with your computer.
When you get a new computer, it’s fast, it’s shiny, and hopefully you have no problems getting things to work. But, as time goes on, you install a bunch of programs, download music and free trials of software, and save and delete files on a constant basis. Each time you install and remove something, bits and pieces of the files move around. Even uninstalled programs leave pieces of themselves behind. And, all of that downloading sometimes causes bloatware, spyware and sometimes even malware to take up residence on your computer. This causes your computer to slow down. And before you know it, your fast shiny computer is not so shiny, and not so fast. But, you can grab your can of air, clear out the dust, wipe it off, and make it pretty again. And, for the insides, you need to clean out the gunk using programs optimized for cleaning out the “bad” things from your registry and hard drive.
So, if you feel like your computer has gotten sluggish, what exactly can you do? Here are 4 easy steps.
1. First, clear out files that you no longer need. The biggest culprits here may reside in your Downloads folder. I download a lot of photos, WordPress themes, programs, and more. And sometimes that stuff sits in my Downloads folder because I think that I might need it later. Of course, this usually does not happen. If you do need it, save it to another location, like an external drive, and clear out that folder. I also have a bad habit of leaning a bunch of “working files” on my desktop. If you do that, file them away.
2. Uninstall unused programs. Head into your Control Panel and check out the Programs list. What is listed there that you have not used in a long time? Or, perhaps there are some extra games or programs that came with your new graphics program that you never used anyway. If there is anything in there that you do not need, get rid of it. But, be careful to not delete things that you computer might need to run. If you are not sure what a program is, either Google it, or ask me if it is something that you need.
3. Clear out your temporary files. There are 2 easy ways to do this. You need to clear out your OS’s temp files, as well as your web browsers temp files. In your browser (in my case Google Chrome), I go to Settings (the little wrench) –>Options–>Under the Hood and click on Clear Browsing Data. At the first least, clear out the cache. Next clear out your OS’s temp files by click the Windows button–>Computer. Then right click on your C: drive and click on properties. Click Disk Cleanup. After a few minutes, you will be presented with a screen showing you the files that it is safe to delete.
4. Run a good spyware/malware checker. No matter how careful you are, just normal web browsing can lead to some things being on your computer that you do not want. Usually they are harmless cookies. But, occasionally there may be something more. You can run a FREE Scan to see what may be lurking on your computer and get rid of it.
This is just the beginning of what you can do to speed up your computer. Once it’s all better try to start getting into the habit of cleaning as you go. Then, it won’t be so bad the next time. 🙂
Disclosure: This post is written as my role as a ChicaLogic Ambassador. All opinions are my own.