If your laptop or PC is running much slower than you would like it to, then you have come to the right place. In this article I will be going through a number of tools that you can use to spring clean your system, which may entail removing certain applications, clearing out those redundant files, making more room on your hard drive. All of which are destined to make a significant difference for your system.
The tips below are explained for Windows-based systems, but some of them may apply to Apple computers, so if you’re on an Apple, you needn’t rule out everything you read here:
Easy Duplicate Finder
As your computer gets older, data begins to fill up your hard drive. This in turn adversely affects its performance, as your system is required to work harder when loading files for specific applications. In order to improve system performance, removing much of these junk files will help. To start with, I’d recommend you tackled those duplicate files. Typically they will be photo and music files. There is no disadvantage to removing these duplicate files, and using Easy Duplicate Finder will speed up this whole process up. Simply download and install it.
You can also use the built-in Windows clean-up tool to create more space on your hard drive. This tool works by emptying your recycle bin, removing files from your temporary folders and removing other redundant files from the computer. To open this tool, double-click on My Computer on the Desktop, then right click on your primary Hard Drive and select Properties. When the Properties applet appears, click on Disk Cleanup.
The Disk cleanup wizard will scan your computer and identify the files that it thinks it can delete while telling you how much space you will retrieve from the process. You can click on View Files if you would like to see which files it has earmarked for deletion. If it flags a file that you would like to keep, you can simply tick the box next to it, to keep it on your system.
You probably already know this, but there are a lot of files on your computer that do not serve any real purpose. These files are leftovers from a Windows Update or temporary installation files from a previous program installation. You could have gigabytes of junk files sitting around doing nothing. It’s these junk files that can and typically do negatively affect system performance.
Your best option, besides using Disk cleanup (which I have already mentioned) is to use Ccleaner. Ccleaner is a pretty easy tool to use, simply download, and install it, then click on the Run Cleaner button.
In most cases, a system that is running much slower than it should is typically due to lack of maintenance, but there are those times when it may be the result of a virus infection. Having these rogue applications on your computer can seriously impair system performance. These programs can get onto your system in a number of different ways and hijack your browser, or litter your system with an endless number of pop-up ads.
Running a free antivirus solution will help protect your computer from these malicious files. If your system has been infected with a malicious file, then you can never rule out using Malwarebytes to scan and clean your computer. Malwarebytes is a highly proficient tool and is free to download and use.
Solid state drives (SSDs) are becoming more and more popular over the years, however, despite that, your traditional hard drives (HHDs) are still the most widely used. If you have a standard HDD in your computer, then regular defragmentation will ensure your drive runs at optimal levels.
Windows has its own built-in Disk Defragmenter tool, which is all that you need to carry out this task. Simply load up the tool, then select a hard drive and click on Analyze, the computer will then scan the drive to determine how fragmented the files on it are. If it determines that a drive should be defragmented, simply click on the drive then click on Defragment. The latest Windows operating systems carry out this process automatically on a scheduled basis, so it’s most likely that you will not need to do this manually.
If you have an SSD in your computer, then you do not need to defragment it. The latest Windows operating systems will optimize your drive, and will also prevent you from attempting of defragging.
The next thing you’ll want to do is remove any and all applications that you no longer use. Windows has its own built-in tool that can do this. To access it, simply press Windows Key + R, and when the Run Command box pops up, type appwiz.cpl into it and click on OK. Once Uninstall a program loads up, simply click on the Program (you would like to remove) and click on Uninstall.
Uninstall a program will present you with a list of programs that are installed on your computer. You can cycle through all of the programs and determine which ones you need, and which you do not. Remember, to only delete those programs you no longer use.
However, the built-in uninstallation tool is flawed, in that it never removes all traces of an application, once it has uninstalled it. For that to happen, you will need to use a third party solution like Revo Uninstaller. When you download and install Revo Uninstaller, you can use it to remove programs. Simply by double-clicking on a program within its interface. This tool will also carry out independent scans of your hard drive and registry and delete all leftover traces of an uninstalled application.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website.