So far in our spring cleaning series, we’ve shown you just how much junk can accumulate inside your PC and some quick steps for clearing this out. But don’t put away your cleaning supplies yet, this week we’ll give you five more tips to finish off your spring cleaning to ensure a summer of optimal PC performance.
#6 – Use Windows’ Hidden Disk Cleanup Tool
You know the good old “Disk Cleanup” tool that’s buried deep in your Windows start menu? It’s a nice basic cleaner, but it’s full set of features are hidden by default. It’s capable of much more if you know about the “secret” setting that enables its full potential.
On the left is a list of elements the regular Disk Cleanup tool is able to detect and get rid of. On the right is the same tool with the “secret” setting enabled:
There’s a lot more data to get rid of! On my daily work PC, I was able to delete more than 17 GBs thanks to many dump and error reporting files. To access these hidden cleanup options, you will need to create a special shortcut. Here’s how:
1. Right-click on your desktop, select “New/Shortcut”. Type in the following command:
2. Click “Next”, name it “Disk Cleanup Ultimate” (or any other name you would like) and then click “Finish”. Double-click on the shortcut to launch Disk Cleanup.
3. Check all the files that you’d would like to delete. If you’re not sure what these options mean, simply highlight one and read the description below it.
#7 – Clean Out The Event Log
As we mentioned earlier, Windows logs A LOT of background operation on your PC. It’s all aggregated into the “Event Log”. Just hit “WIN+R” and type in “eventvwr.msc” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
If you don’t need these logs and don’t want anyone else to see this activity, here’s an easy way to get rid of them. Create a new text file and paste this content into it:
Open the “Save as” dialog and click on “All files”, making sure to save it as “EventCleaner.BAT”! Ready? Run it!
#8 – Find and Delete Massive Data Hogs
So, we’ve gotten rid of temporary junk and unnecessary programs. That’s good, but there’s a different kind of “useless” clutter that may be hidden deep inside your folder structure. I’m talking about long-forgotten….
• high-resolution photos or RAW photo footage
• Shows and movies (for example, via iTunes)
• Apps and smartphone backup files, which are automatically created during PC to smartphone synchronization
• Game data such as texture, sound and map files.
• Virtual machines and virtual hard disks
• ISO files
Hunting down these files is a time-waster. Instead, by using TuneUp Disk Space Explorer, you can find this massive data in no time. You’ll find Disk Space Explorer under the “Gain Disk Space” category in TuneUp Utilities 2012:
Next, select the drive you want to scan for huge files, in my example, that’s drive “Windows (C:)”:
Click “Next” and “Finish”, once the progress is complete. Then click on “Top 100 files”. For example, I found many ISO images and temporary TV show files (from iTunes!) that I didn’t need anymore…
These will bring forth some long-forgotten files that you can either delete or get rid of. Simply right-click on a file and hit “Delete”.
#9 – Revive Your Registry!
Installing, using and uninstalling programs is the recipe for a cluttered Windows registry. Depending on the usage scenario, you may be looking at hundreds or even thousands of registry issues, such as pointers to non-existing files or file types, incorrect settings or even hardware components no longer in use. Because the registry plays a critical role in any Windows operating system, issues with it will likely result in program crashes and error messages. In short, overall reliability suffers.
Microsoft confirmed the necessity of registry cleaners in its blog post, “Registry Junk: A Windows Fact of Life”.
To clean up your PC’s registry and prevent reliability issues, you can use TuneUp Utilities 2012‘s own “Registry Cleaner”, which you’ll find under the “Optimize system” tab. Perform the “Complete Scan” and wait for the results. Go through the list of entries or hit “Clean All” immediately! Once you’re done, your registry will be rid of errors.
#10 – Keep Your PC clean
Now that you’ve cleaned up your PC like never before, you’ll want to keep it that way.
Here’s some rules for maintaining a clean and well-running PC.
• Perform the tips in our Ultimate Guide for Spring Cleaning regularly!
• Install new software within a virtual machine, creating a simulated PC with an operating system. You can basically wreak havoc in this environment and test all kinds of programs without affecting your own PC. Try out free solutions from Sun or Microsoft. Note: You need a Windows XP CD, Vista DVD, or Windows 7 DVD and an additional license to install the virtual operating system.
• Create an image of your PC. If your PC is enviably fresh and clean, it’s a good idea to create an image that you can easily recover. We’ve described the steps on how to do so in this post: http://blog.tune-up.com/tips-and-tricks/five-ways-to-get-your-pc-running-again.
We want to hear from you! How many gigabytes of data did you save with our advice? Hit up the comments section and tell us the “before” and “after” numbers of your hard disk! We can’t wait to hear.
11 Responses to “The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide, Part Three: Five More Easy Steps to a Faster PC”
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