Now that we’ve discussed about virus detection, spyware removal, and cleaning your computer registry, we can now get into two basic tools for cleaning up your computer to enhance the performance. Defragmenting your computer, and disk cleanup. These tools have been around since Windows 3.1. Disk cleanup & Degraging your computer help to clean up files within your hard drive and to re-arange your files to optimize your hard drives space.
1) Disk Cleanup:
START > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
Cleaning up your disk is important for getting rid of all old and unnecessary files within your computer.
– Downloaded Program Files
Downloaded Program Files are ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded automatically from the internet when you view certain pages. They are temporarily stored in the Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk.
– Temporary Internet Files
The Temporary Internet Files folder contains webpages stored on your hard disk for quick viewing. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact.
– Offline Webpages
Offline pages are webpages that are stored on your computer so you can view them without being connected to the internet. If you delete these pages now, you can still view your favorites offline later by synchronizing them. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact.
– Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin contains files you have deleted from your computer. These files are not permanently removed until you empty the Recycle Bin.
– Temporary Files
Programs sometimes store temporary information in a TEMP folder. Before a program closes, it usually deletes this information. You can safely delete temporary files that have not been modified in over a week.
– WebClient/Publisher Temporary Files
The WebClient/Publisher service maintains a cache of accesses files on your disk. These files are kept locally for performance reasons only, and can be deleted safely.
– Compress Old Files
Windows can compress files that you haven’t accessed in a while. Compressing the files will save disk space while still enabling you to access them. No files will be deleted. Because files compress at different rates, the displayed amount of disk space you will gain is approximate.
– Catalog Files For The Conten Indexer
The Indexing Service speeds and enriches file searches by maintaining an index of the files on this disk. These files are left over from a previous indexing operation and can be deleted safely.
Click “More Options” To Cleanup Even More Space! (Windows 2000, XP)
Before you cleanup your file folders, check out the other options that you have:
– Windows Components:
You can free more disk space by removing optional Windows components that you do not use.
– Installed Programs:
You can free more disk space by removing programs that you do not use.
– System Restore:
You can free more disk space by removing all but the most recent restore point.
Performing the task of cleaning up your disk space should be done at least once a month! For people who copy, paste, delete, download, upload, install programs, mp3’s, and videos, this task should be done more regularly than normal. Your computer is like a car that needs to be tuned and oiled all the time.
2) Disk Defragmenting:
START > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
Now that you’ve gotten rid of all old unnecessary files, it’s time to sort your files properly like sorting a file cabinet in alphabetical order. Defragmenting your hard disk is exactly like that. The defragmenting utility analyzes your computer for files & folders that are out of place and re-organizes them neatly to increase your computers performance.
Step 1) Analyze a hard drive on your computer.
Step 2) Defragment hard drive.
Repeat step 1 & 2 for multiple hard drives. That’s It!
Everything I’ve been teaching you has been to increase the speed and performance of your computer. Each part of this mini-series is to ensure that your computer stays clean of viruses, spyware, and to ensure that you cleanup your hard drive properly on a regular basis. These cleaning utilities are there for a reason, make sure that you use them often.