PC cleanup is a boring (but necessary) task. Don’t you just hate working on a slow work computer? If you’re trying to meet a deadline or your working on a big project file and you feel the need to give your machine a kick up the jacksy, you’ve got performance issues. We’ve all been there – and we also know a new computer can throw cost implications into the mix.

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Never fear however! As I have compiled this Simple PC Cleanup Guide and summarised everything you can do (for FREE) to clean up your PC and gain a noticeable speed increase. These are all tried and tested methods that we have applied to both customer and personal home computers – and best of all you don’t need to know any ‘technical wizardry’ whatsoever. Let’s begin!

 

First Things First

Before you get started, here is the first essential step to cleaning up your machine.

Don’t download PC Cleanup Software – IT SUCKS! 

 

I don’t mean to be heavy handed with my words but clean up soft… scratch that, I do mean to be heavy handed. Don’t download PC Cleanup Software. More often than not (a lot more often than not) the cleanup software download is actually a hive of malware infections waiting for your signing off by clicking ‘Install’. If the crude, wobbling advert .GIF exclaiming ‘CLCK HERE 2 CLEAN YOUR COMP’ didn’t give it away already, avoid this stuff with a barge pole. This is still a common fast-track to shoddy software and malware infections – both of which will be covered in more detail later in the article. Our PC cleanup guide is all you need.

 

Let’s get started…

 

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PC Cleanup tip 1: Run a Disk Cleanup

The classic computer task to remove excess clutter. Don’t worry about losing any important files, as this process simply gets rid of excess clutter you didn’t even know was there.

To run a Disk Cleanup, follow these steps:

  1. Open My Computer or My PC (on Windows 8)
  2. Right click on your hard drive icon, and select Properties
  3. Then select Disk Cleanup (Under the General tab)
  4. The system will then calculate what can be cleaned up to show you how much space you can save.
  5. Tick the directories you are happy to clean up (If you want to clean up your Recycle Bin, check there aren’t any files you’d like to restore to safety first!)
  6. Press OK

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PC Cleanup tip 2: Uninstall old Software

Take some time to get rid of old software you don’t use anymore. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may find a lot more installed software than you think – which can total up to gigabytes worth of redundant space usage! If you’re doing this in your business environment, PLEASE make sure the software you are about to remove won’t crumble your whole business infrastructure (If it does, we really question your set up – perhaps you would benefit from some Application Intelligence?).

To remove old software, follow these steps:

  1. Access Programs & Features
  2. Sort by use date / other
  3. Double click on icon and follow the instructed steps to remove the software

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PC Cleanup tip 3: Avoid PC Cleanup Software

We’re just trying to catch you out in case you hadn’t got the point already.

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PC Cleanup tip 4: Run a Defragmentation

The more you use your computer, the more files behind-closed-doors get shifted and moved about. Over time this displacement of files, or ‘fragging’ (Aha! Get the relevance of the name?) can cause the processes that need those files to take longer than usual to run. Defragmentation is essentially the process of putting files back in their rightful place, to make their relevant process faster again. For more information, click here.

To Defrag your hard-drives, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to My Computer / This PC
  2. Right click on your Local Disk / Hard Drive and select Properties (If you have more than one, you may want to run this process on both!)
  3. Select the Tools tab, and then Optimise and Defragment Drive
  4. Select your drive and then Optimise

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PC Cleanup tip 5: Go HD

This one may sound silly in terms of PC cleanup, but our CURA Support crew have come across many users who haven’t made the most of their computer monitor – instead favoring living in the past with low resolutions. You may have an old monitor, sure, but it’s worth quickly checking you’re getting the best image out of it. A higher resolution means items appear sharper and clearer to the eye.

To check your monitor resolution, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on an empty space on your desktop and select Screen Resolution
  2. Open the Resolution tab and move the scroller to the highest setting
  3. Click Apply and enjoy a sharper, crisper image!

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The 848 Group logo has never looked so good…

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There we go! Much better.

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PC Cleanup tip 6: Install and Run Malwarebytes

Before you accuse us of hypocrisy (e.g “DONT INSTALL PC CLEANUP SOFTWARE”), Malwarebytes is a targeted, proven and efficient Malware infection removal program. We use it all the time and it’s incredibly effective at removing malware infections from your machine.

What’s malware you ask? Malware is the sworn enemy of the PC cleanup activist. It is software which is specifically designed to disrupt or damage a computer system. You can indirectly install it on your machine either through dodgy software downloads, opening spam links (via browser or email) or viruses. It’s always a good thing to make sure your system is clear of malware as it can exponentially duplicate and grow to infect your machine further.

To run a malwarebytes run, follow these steps:

  1. Click here to go to the Malwarebytes website, and select Free Download
  2. Follow the guided download and installation steps (Be sure to untick ‘Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium’ on the last window)
  3. Open Malwarebytes and select the Scan tab, then Scan Now
  4. Leave the scan to complete. You will be notified when it has completed.
  5. Malwarebytes will provide you with a summary of infected files. It’s time to scrap these nuisances!
  6. Press Remove Infected Files

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PC Cleanup tip 7: Install and Run CCleaner

CCleaner is a small, effective utility program that cleans out junk files (such as temporary files and registry keys) that accumulate over time. You may not have known these files even exist anyway – so it’ll be no loss to you when they are removed. A typical CCleaner scan takes no longer than a few minutes to complete and can provide a significant speed boost for your machine. Just like Malwarebytes, it also causes minimal interruption to your work as it runs smoothly in the background.

To run a CCleaner scan, follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, download CCleaner Free from the Piriform Website
  2. Follow the guided installation steps
  3. When presented with the installation options, leave all of the options selected
  4. Complete the installation and open CCleaner
  5. When CCleaner is open you will be presented with a ticklist of options to analyse and then ‘clean’. Cast your eye over it and make sure to deselect any options you don’t want to be removed from your machine (such as your internet browser History or items in your recycle bin if you want to keep them)
  6. When you can confirmed your selection(s), select Analyze and leave CCleaner to run an analysis of the junk files on your machine
  7. When the analysis has been completed, you will be presented with a summary of proposed files to remove (and the subsequent hard drive space you’ll free up by doing so)
  8. Check you are happy with the analysis, then select Run Cleaner to remove all the excess junk!

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Part two of your CCleaner run is a Registry Clean – which can be achieved by following these steps;

  1. In CCleaner select Registry from the options available on the left
  2. Select Scan for Issues and allow CCleaner to complete its scan
  3. When the scan has completed, select Fix Selected Issues and then Yes to keeping the backup changes to the registry (Save the .reg file in a convenient location)
  4. You may then need to select Fix All Selected Items on the following window, followed by Close
  5. Close CCleaner and breath a sigh of relief!

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And there we have it! You have just successfully removed excess clutter and unnecessary software from your machine and hopefully feel like a tech wiz, thanks to our PC cleanup guide.

We hope you found this helpful – if you have any further questions about PC cleanup,  IT Support or finding out what is causing slowdown, please do not hesitate to get in touch!