How to Clean Up a Computer – Everything You Need to Know

Do you have a sluggish computer that runs like a baseball catcher with a strong wind blowing against him? Here is a helpful guide that will get your computer running smoothly once more.

1. Free up computer space. Check Uninstall Programs from your Control Panel to see which programs are taking up the most space, or alternately, go to your computer's Program Files folder, right click on folders, and go to Properties to see which ones are taking up the most space. Consider deleting programs that take up a lot of space if you don't use the program much. Use the Windows DeFrag tool to optimize computer storage, or use a tool such as RAMBooster to free up Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer.

2. Reduce unnecessary start up programs and running processes. Programs such as CodeStuff Starter and Startup Manager can help you control which programs load on start up. You can also see which programs are currently running, and choose to end them by pressing the Ctrl-Alt-Delete buttons simultaneously.

3. Clean your computer fan. To do this, you will have to open up the computer Tower and clean the fan using a cloth and an air can. Handy kits for this purpose can be found at an Office Depot or other such store. For an online guide on how to accomplish this, go to E-How.

4. Use a good Spyware scanning program like NoAdware. This way you will get the harmful programs off of your computer. It does cost a few $ but its well worth the price.

5. Uninstall any Norton / Symantec programs if computer speed is an issue for you. Believe me, a sluggish computer can turn into a speed demon, as I myself have experienced with Windows XP, if Norton products are uninstalled. As a study by concluded, Norton is the most sluggish program out there (with McAfee's Virus Scan close behind). Anti-virus programs in general will take up a lot of computer processing power, but other alternatives like Nod32 and Avast! are faster – and free. Besides, who really wants to go through a 2-hour Norton scan only to find a few problems – some of which later get re-found anyway?

6. Delete temp files and cookies. Go to your computer's Windows folder and look for folders titled TEMP, Cookies, or Temporary Internet Files. On shared computers, you can also go to the Profiles folder and in the user folders, should see folders of such names there as well. TEMP and Temporary Internet File folders are storing houses for site-specific files that are then referenced when you go to that site in an attempt to make the site run faster. However, as they accumulate, undeleted files can have the effect of slowing a computer down. Consider deleting cookies for sites you don't trust, since these can contain Spyware, Adware, or viruses.

7. Defragment your hard drive. The Windows Defrag tool will suffice, or you can use a free Defragmenter like Auslogics Disk Defrag. This will sort and compress computer files so the computer can find and use them better, aiding in overall computer speed.

8. Empty your recycle bin. It sounds obvious, but those files are still there taking up space until you choose to empty that recycle bin. So take that extra effort to click and empty the bin!

As a last little tidbit, I recommend installing the the Add-On Ad-Block Plus for Mozilla Firefox. Downloaded by over 45 million users, this Add-On will prevent popups, text ads, and even ads within the browser itself, making your Internet browsing at once both more pleasurable and more secure.

Source by Mark Raynes

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