Simple clean-up of your computer

Ever noticed that your computer may be running slightly slower when used for a few weeks or months? Yes, for the intensive users that spend at least 10 hours daily at their computers, a bi-weekly check should take place, for extreme users (16-20 hours daily) it should happen at least once per week. Why is that? Well, Windows 10 and previous versions as well do save data that just takes up a lot of space or save settings that are not necessarily optimal to save. For example, if you already have a fast SSD in 2018, it is many times useless to have prefetch data for certain applications because they would start up quickly regardless.

I will present a few basic utilities, free software that can help you achieve your goals. If you have never heard of CCleaner before, now it’s time. CCleaner is a simple Windows utility program made optimizing the file system, but also your registry. You don’t think it needs optimization? You’re too much of an expert to have anything messed up? Well, you may find it surprising to see that almost always there is something to change, something to clean, something to remove.

I will now show you how the newest CCleaner Free presents itself:

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There are precisely many options both with Windows and Applications. I’ve shown you what I have checked – which parts I want cleaned on my computer. However, beware of these options! There are settings that you may be using, and you definitely don’t want those messed with. For example, if you need your set aside tabs in Microsoft Edge, or your saved passwords, then you should uncheck those boxes to make sure it’s all safe. Same with the rest of the options. Make sure you double-check each and every box that has a tick to make sure that you really wish that particular aspect to be taken care of. If not, then you need to uncheck the unwanted elements before you get started and potentially make mistakes in the heat of wanting to optimize.

While a newer processor running on a super-fast SSD drive with Windows 10 won’t show much difference in speed, it will definitely – silently – thank you for helping it. If no other reason? It’s like taking clutter out – you don’t need it, and it just uses valuable space.
When you think you are ready, click on Analyze!

The results of a simple analysis will be similar to what you see above. You see, it shows you exactly what the software could remove for you and how much space it uses up by how many files. Of course, at this point there is still a coming back because no files are yet deleted when you see this screen. However, after you click on the “Run Cleaner” button, these files are deleted quite quickly, so make sure you check everything before you proceed. But how do you check what there is to be deleted, which files this tool found? Also, how do you uncheck an option?

Well, to uncheck, you need to re-analyze with the relevant checkbox unchecked. To check a particular set of files, right-click on it.

As you can see, you will have an option to “View all files”. So you can click on that!

So, the list of files is now shown and you can really check it manually to make sure that those files are safe to delete. Of course, unless you are in need of System Memory Dumps, the above example is something you need as well – removing the memory dumps. It is a space-saver to have them deleted!

As soon as you made sure nothing important is wasted, click the button. Do note that once clicked, there is no unchecking/unmarking from the analysis results, as it will simply delete all the files in all the listed categories!

It is good to know that basically CCleaner should come up with the above dialog informing you that the files are going to be wasted, but then you can’t count on it as a simple runtime error could cause the software to misbehave unexpectedly, and hence you won’t have the chance to confirm.

The final report shows you what the software did to help you. On the test PC, the following results as shown in the screenshot were amazing:
1.    5419 files that could be a threat to privacy were removed – cookies, browsing history and more!
2.    Almost 2 GB of data (that would be 2,048 MB) has been deleted – which was just clutter.

Now, let’s take care of the registry – if anything is wrong there (which is many times probable, especially after you’ve been using more than just Facebook and YouTube).

Under the registry menu, you should check all boxes just to be able to scan for all issues. This section is a bit better in regards of having checkboxes after when the scan results show up. Remember that during the scan there is nothing actually modified in the registry – so you can relax knowing that no setting has been messed up yet.
Give it a few minutes to scan everything, and then check the results very carefully.

The above is just a glimpse of what the issues shown could be. However, upon checking manually if you see that something “may be needed” or you notice that it would seem weird that something like the item should is clutter – better uncheck the box and don’t remove it. I still recommend that you complete a Registry Backup before you click on Fix selected Issues. How to do it? Let me show you!
Type Win-R on the keyboard, and enter “regedit” in the box that shows up.

Click OK or press Enter.
If it asks you for permission, click Yes.

In the Registry Editor, as seen above, click on “Computer” to select it. Then click on File/Export…

This brings up a Save Dialog so that you can place your backup in a safe place. After you have clicked Save, you need to give it a few minutes to Export all registry entries. It may take 3 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes – a lot depends on whether you have an SSD or not, on whether it’s Windows 10 or a previous version, whether you have 1 GB of RAM or 32 GB of RAM, whether your processor has 8 cores or 1 core and so on.

On the test computer the resulting backup file was 408 MB.
Now, as this is done, you can clean things up in CCleaner and then if something is messed up, not working, behaving weirdly, you can just restore that backup file.

As you can see, CCleaner should also give an option to backup – but it’s always better to have your own way first, because it may or may not work with CCleaner.
Then, for each issue, CCleaner (at least the latest version) will offer a review.

You can either fix issues one by one, or click “Fix All Selected Issues”. The choice is yours!

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