Spring Clean your PC

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Now that Spring is here (as I look outside to 36″ of snow), it’s time to do a little PC cleaning. Saving space on your PC has a lot of benefits. Not only does it mean your machine files stay tidy, it also keeps it running smoothly.

Most users aren’t aware that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of unnecessary and unused files sitting on their PC, just gathering virtual dust. Some are tiny note files, others are larger installation packages, but big or small, you don’t need them and they are a useless waste of space. If you want to give your PC a good clean, follow these tips.

1. Uninstall bloatware and unused software

Bloatware are programs that are already installed on your PC when you buy it but you don’t necessarily need. These can range from free trials of anti-virus software, to DVD players – you don’t really need these at all, so you can just uninstall them.

Are there other bits of software you installed ages ago but don’t use? These could also be uninstalled to free up a lot of space.

To do this, open the Start Menu, select the Settings cog and click Apps. You will see a list of apps on your device which you can install – a word of warning, it’s probably best to keep anything marked as ‘Microsoft Corporation’.

A good way of seeing whether you use something is by looking at the date next to the app’s name; this indicates when you last used it. If it has sat idle for a while, you should consider getting rid of it.

2. Clear temporary files

Your PC stores loads of temporary files which aren’t needed. They’re small, but over time they will build up and take space.

To clear temporary files, search ‘Disk clean-up’. Tick all the options in the list and then click the “Clean up system files” button.

3. Disk defragment

Defragmenting the hard disk is a classic way of keeping your PC running efficiently. The defragment tool basically tidies up how everything is stored on a hard drive – think of it as a librarian putting books back in the right places on the shelves so they’re easy to find.

To defragment your PC, search ‘Defragment’ in the search bar at the bottom of your screen. Select the (C:) drive and click the Analyse button. To defragment the drive, click Optimize.

4. Tidy up your files

It might take a little bit of time, but tidying up your documents, photos, videos, music and more will help.

More often than not, people discover duplicate photos that are just wasting space. Get organized and gain some space.

5. Move files to Cloud

You could go one step further and move your files to a cloud service. This will not only save up a lot of space on your hard drive but will also save them from any potential loss should your PC breakdown.

Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all offer reliable cloud services.

6. Delete old downloads automatically

Many people forget about files they download and all those little images, PDFs, and other documents can soon add up. Windows 10 has a nifty way of letting you manage this without having to do anything. You can set your PC to delete any downloads that have been untouched for 30 days automatically – however, this only applies to anything in the Downloads folder and it’s always best to check that there isn’t anything you want to keep before doing this.