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Slow Computer? Clean out the junk with CCleaner

Has your computer slowed down since you bought it?  Is it now painfully slow? Are you wondering why?

Read on for a simple, and free, solution...

Windows PCs typically slow down as applications are installed and used. Whether you are using a word processor, writing a spreadsheet, surfing the internet, playing games or anything else, hard drives fill with temporary files that do not always get removed when no longer needed.

Over time Windows tends to accumulate thousands of small files that will slow down the overall performance of your PC if you aren't careful.

  • Every time you open any program in Windows one or more temporary files are created
  • When you are surfing the Internet with your Web Browser a copy of every page, and every graphic within that page, is stored in a "cache" on your computer
  • Whenever you install a new program many temporary files are created
  • Whenever you uninstall a program from your computer there are often links to it left behind in the system "registry"

Much of the time these temporary and "orphan" files and registry entries are simply left on the system - and the longer this goes on, the more space they take up on your hard drive (it is quite common for a 500Gb hard drive on a 2 year old machine, to contain at least 100Gb or more of "junk" files.

While the "orphaned" temporary files are not really a "dangerous" as such, they do slow down your machine because the system "registry" is full of thousands of entries for these files. So each time you boot your machine, Windows loads the registry and because it is now "bloated" with unnecessary "junk" it takes a lot longer to read and so boot into Windows.

And of course, if you never empty your Web Browser "cache" it gets bigger, and bigger, until eventually it is larger than your installed memory and Windows has to start using the system "swap file" (a special file on your hard drive that acts as extra memory - albeit much slower than actual chip memory). Once that happens your web surfing can become painfully slow.

So, what to do?

There is a solution, and it is free...

Get a copy of the free version of CCleaner from Piriform: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (if you really like it you can always upgrade to one of the "Pro" versions later, but the free version has everything you need - and no annoying adverts.

  • Install CCleaner 
  • Make sure any web browser you use is closed
  • Close any other programs that might create temporary files like Word, Outlook etc.
  • Open CCleaner
  • Click the ""Run CCleaner" button - it takes only a few seconds to run - and watch to see just how much disk space it gives you back once the junk has been cleaned out (if this is your first time then it will probably recover many Gbs of space on your hard drive)
  • Now click the "Registry" button
  • Now click the "Scan for Issues" button
  • Wait while CCleaner goes through your registry identifying issues
  • When it has finished you will see a list of issues, each with a ticked tickbox next to it (if this is your first use then this will be a very long list indeed)
  • Click "Fix Selected Issues"
  • You are prompted to backup the Registry first. We strongly recommend you click Yes.
  • Choose a location where to save the Registry backup. The file name ends in .REG. Click Save. (I Made a "CCleaner Backups" folder in "My Documents" especially for these backups)

You have now cleaned out all the junk from your computer AND cleaned the system registry so it no longer references any of that junk - and so is leaner and meaner.

Now try rebooting your machine - you should notice shorter boot times.

Now try surfing the web, you should notice your browser has a bit more spring in its step.

By Using CCleaner once a week you can keep your Windows system running at peak performance.

If you want even more of a speed boost after doing the above I recommend you read my article on Defragementation here:

Disk Fragmentation

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