I have had my desktop for five years and it is loaded with junk. No longer used programs I either bought or downloaded free off the internet, photographs uploaded from my camera or card reader that have been printed and scrapbooked, articles that have been published, loads of icons on the desktop, and the list goes on and on of just stuff that may be causing my computer to run slow. Last weekend I decided to clean it up.
I thought about just wiping it clean, but I did not want to have to reload everything, and there was some stuff on it that I did need. With so much stuff on my computer, I was not sure where to begin; therefore, I just started looking around. While checking out the number of programs and files in the directories on my computer, flashes of the houses on the hoarding shows started popping up in my mind. These shows came to mind because my computer, like those houses, was filled with useless junk. Another thing I had not done was keeping up with Windows updates. I had set my automatic updates to recommend, not download and install. A quick check indicated a recommendation of 69 Windows updates. My temporary internet files for internet explorer were not too bad, which only listed 8,567 files.
With images of the hoarding shows fresh in my mind, I figured that if I looked at every file, I would never get my PC cleaned up. I had to be selective but not overly selective. I decided to start with my articles and photographs, so I opened up Windows Explorer, right clicked on the folder name without even looking at the files, and then left click on delete. Luckily, I had these well organized and knew which ones I did not need. I moved next to uninstalling all programs that I knew I no longer needed or used. This was a simple process. I just had to go into Control Panel, highlight the program and click on the uninstall button. However, it was time consuming. Uninstalling programs also removed some unwanted icons from my desktop. I then moved onto deleting my browser history and temporary internet files through Tools and Internet options in Internet Explorer.
After removing thousands of files, I ran the Windows disk defragmenter tool to optimize my disk space; even though it said it was not needed. The disk defragmenter tool is found in the Administrative Tools in the Control Panel. Once the defragmenter tool had completed, I turned to downloading the 69 Windows updates, which can also be found in the Control Panel. This took some time to complete because after they had downloaded, they then had to be applied. This required several reboots on my computer.
Once the updates were downloaded and installed, I ran a complete virus scan on all files on my computer. The steps for this process vary according to each virus software package. My virus scan came up not finding any virus’ or other malicious software, which was good and verified to me that the slowness of my computer was due to poor computer maintenance.
Eight hours of cleaning up my computer gave me a much faster machine. I do not think I will be waiting another five years before I perform normal maintenance on my computer again.