Posted On 23 Mar 2021
Everybody knows that having too much clutter on your hard drive can make you less efficient and slow down your computer, but it can actually make you less safe as well. This is particularly the case with unused software, for example free demos that you might have downloaded but decided not to use; this type of software probably won’t be being kept up-to-date or supplied with patches, and so it can provide an easy “in” for hackers. Below are some good ways of decluttering your PC.
Firstly, you can review your unused applications: in the Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a Program. You will see an alphabetical list of all the apps you have on your computer. If you select the option to list applications by size, you will quickly be able to see what is taking up the most room and delete anything you don’t use. However, the Windows uninstaller might not necessarily remove every element of applications, and you might want to consider a third-party uninstaller to do the job more thoroughly.
Another thing slowing down your computer and cluttering it may be Windows itself. Windows services run in the background, usually automatically, and you don’t necessarily need all of them. If you click on Start and type in services.msc in the search bar, you can see all the Windows Services that are running. Consider what you don’t use, for example if you don’t use Bluetooth, you don’t need the Bluetooth Support Service running, if Remote Desktop isn’t for you, there are three services you can cut. However, don’t just randomly cut things if you don’t know what they’re there for, and be prepared to reinstate them if their absence causes problems.
Finally, you may be storing a lot of data that you no longer need: duplicates of photographs or music, old documents or PowerPoint presentations you’re never going to use again, and so forth. Most modern computers have a huge amount of storage, so you might not think that it matters to have a few hundred or thousand old files hanging about, but PCs employ unused storage as RAM, and the less of it you have, the slower your computer will run. A simple check using the Windows Disk Clean up facility (under Properties in Explorer) will help you clear out everything you don’t need and defragment your disk. Again, third-party services may do a more efficient job.
By following the above tips, you will be well on the way to a faster and more secure PC.