Over time, computers slow down. Of course, aging hardware plays a part, but for most people, a more common cause is poor operating system maintenance. Here’s the ultimate checklist for cleaning your Windows computer.
Delete Unused Software
The first step is removing all the old software you no longer use. If you’re not a “diligent deleter,” you’ll be amazed at how much unnecessary stuff you have installed on your machine.
To see all the apps on your computer, go to Start > Settings > Apps > Apps and features. Scroll down the list and click Uninstall on anything you don’t need.
Clearly, you need to exercise a touch of caution. Don’t just get rid of stuff you don’t recognize — run a Google search first to ensure it’s safe to delete!
Clean up the Disk
To run Disk Cleanup, either type the program’s name in the Start Menu or go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup.
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Run Antivirus Software
You should also run your antivirus software. One of the most common causes of slow computers is viruses. There are many good antivirus software, like Malwarebytes, rather than focusing on viruses, its primary goal is protecting users against the latest trojans, backdoors, adware, and spyware.
Defragment the Hard Drive
In Windows 10, the operating system runs disk defragmentation when it senses it is required. However, as we’re doing a thorough clean of your computer, it would be remiss not to run it manually.
You can find the Defragment and Optimize Drives tool by running a search or by going to Control Panel > Administrative Tools.
Refresh Your Startup List
Any seasoned Windows user knows that the operating system lags way behind macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux when it comes to boot times. Typically, the problem is caused by the number of programs Windows tries to launch when it first starts. The majority of them are unnecessary.
To clean your startup list, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager. On the new window, click More Details, then choose the Startup tab at the top of the screen.
You should now be looking at all the apps Windows tries to run at boot. To disable an app, highlight the appropriate row and click Disable.
Clean the AppData Folder
When you uninstall an app, you’ll often find remnants of its former presence dotted around your machine. One of the most common locations is the AppData folder.
By default, the folder is hidden. You can find it at C:\Users\[Username]\AppData or by typing %AppData% into Windows search.
Remove Old Program Files
The other place you’ll often find trace elements of old apps’ files is in the Program Files folders.
On most machines, there are two Program Files folders. You can find them at C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86).
As with the AppData folder, work through the contents of each folder carefully and delete any files and folders that are no longer in use.
Clean the Registry
Registry Repair is the most efficient registry cleaning software to fix registry problems. It works with all Windows Operating Systems and scans Windows Registry quickly with comprehensive analysis.