Cleaning up your PC is one of the easier ways to optimize the performance of a heavily used or older system. Time and use tend to add wear to a system that is sometimes hard to notice. There are Windows Update files that hide in system folders. There are temporary internet files and ITunes Album covers that serve no purpose. You may even have a dust bunny colony thriving on top of your disk drive. All of these can be cleaned up easily and quickly.
1. Delete old or unused programs
Head to your Windows Control Panel and run Add/Remove Programs or the Remove a Program executable. Go through each entry to make sure that the programs listed are ones that you still use or plan to use. For everything else that is not a system program, go ahead and uninstall. Just be careful if you are not sure what a program is or does.
2. Use the Disk Cleanup Application
The Disk Cleanup Application or executable is a simple program made available by Microsoft that is listed in Win 7 through Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Cleanup. In this program, Microsoft makes suggestions as to seldom used system resources and inactive program files that may be removed. This program also allows for the removal of backup folders, Win Update resources, and other system files that are normally not available for scrutiny. If you have question or concerns about the types or specifics of files being suggested for deletion just use the View Files button to show the information.
3. Cleanup up the ITunes Folder
For owners of Apple products that are not Mac related, iTunes has become one of the most commonly installed applications on Windows devices. Users view movies, listen to music, watch television, and follow podcasts all through the iTunes interface. This leads to significant amounts of data stored in the application folders associated with iTunes. Be sure to back up all important information in iTunes and then delete all the old and unwatched or unlistened to programs. Most of these files can become very large and just take up space on an active data storage device. Also, be sure to limit storage option for album covers, podcasts, and other subscription data services.
4. Remove Apps from Windows 8
For the new Windows 8 users, you have something new to worry about; Windows 8 applications can be very large. But, unlike previous version of the Windows operating system, Windows does not warn you of applications that are unused and options to be removed. To be proactive, open up the Charms bar and select settings. Select Change PC settings and the select the general page. Here you will need to select the view application sizes button near the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to see the applications and the amount of space the unused ones are taking up on your storage drive. Go ahead and removed the large unused ones to save some wasted space on your Windows 8 PC.
5. Dust the Box
This is the one most people tend to forget about with the "out of sight/out of mind" mindset. However, as the fans on your PC attempt to keep the processor and the oversized graphics card cool, they also suck in dust and particulates that collect inside your system. These gather on heat sinks and other surfaces inside of your computer and degrade the cooling performance. Fortunately, this is simple to tackle on most systems.
Just purchase a can of compressed air from your local office supply store and use it on the inside of your system. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area of your house and be careful of condensation that builds up in the compressed air container.