Cleaning my computer is an ongoing endeavor. In order to make sure that my clean PC remains clean, I have scheduled to clean my PC on regular basis, namely Weekly, Monthly and Yearly. If you have some spare time, there are also some tasks that you can do it now. The following tasks take as little as 20 minutes to make your PC cleaner.
1. Empty the Recycle Bin. To empty your computer trash, right click the Recycle Bin icon (on the Desktop) and select Empty Recycle Bin.
2. Purge unneeded e-mail messages. If you are using Outlook or Outlook Express, check out Sent Items, Deleted Items and Junk E-Mail on the left pane. Chances are there are many emails stored there waiting to be purged. Empty the trash and you will recover some disk space.
3. Delete unused programs. Select Start > Control Panel > Programs > Add/Remove Programs. Go through the programs listed there and see whether you can delete any. If you don’t use it any more, you should delete it.
4. Purge the Web cache. The Web cache is your system repository of temporary files downloaded from the Internet. If you are using Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options. This will open up the dialog box. Select the General tab and click Delete in the Browsing History section.
Let’s move on to the Weekly cleaning schedule. I do the following to clean my PC once per week:
5. Delete temporary files. Temporary files tend to increase, for a variety of reasons. They do nothing but occupy space. Thus you should locate, delete them and always remember to empty the Recycle Bin.
6. Clean out the root directory. I’m referring to the hard drives in your PC. (Those with label as C:\ or D:\). Root directories have a tendency to be messy easily. Take a look at them once a week and clean them out as necessary. It helps Windows to perform better.
It’s a walk in the park, isn’t it? Come on, give yourself a pat at the back. Moving forward, let’s take a look at the following Monthly cleaning schedule.
7. Clean up your desktop. Don’t be surprised on the increase of icons on your desktop over a month period. Identify the ones you don’t need and delete them.
8. Examine your startup files. Every time your computer starts, it automatically starts some programs. If something changes the programs that run at startup, you may not know about the change unless you check to see what starts running automatically. Check out your startup files to make sure no there are no surprises. Use MSCONFIG utility to find out what are the programs loaded upon startup.
9. Defragment your hard disk. As you add, change, rearrange, and delete files, data stored on the hard disk can become defragmented. Files are stored in various parts of the hard disk and Windows has to fetch data from all over the hard disk when you open a file. That slows down the system. By defragmenting your hard disk, Windows reorganizes the files and put them in contiguous fashion. The result is faster files access. You can let the program run on its own, as it will take a while to complete.
One more schedule to go and that is the Yearly schedule. Creating an annual checklist to keep your Windows system lean, mean, and clean is a good idea.
10. Review your Web browser’s favorites list and delete items you don’t use anymore. There is high possibility that what you considered your Web favorites a year ago no longer qualify as such. By shortening your Favorites list, it helps you find what you need faster. Therefore, it saves your time.
11. Visit manufacturers Web sites to check for updates. Take some time to visit the Web sites for the manufacturers of your system hardware. Check for new drivers for printers, scanners, cameras, etc. that have been released during the past 12 months. Updating your drivers can improve system speed and reliability.
12. Review all data files on your computer and archive as necessary. Perhaps this is the biggest task. However, it is worth doing it since it also clean my computer hard drive by freeing up the disk space. Always remember to archive those files to a backup media in order to recover the disk space.