Step-by-step Clean the cruft from your PC

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - EXPLORE -

1 Clean up un­wanted files

Tell CCleaner what to clean by se­lect­ing items on the Win­dows and Ap­pli­ca­tions tabs. Check this care­fully so you don’t ac­ci­den­tally re­move all your saved pass­words, for ex­am­ple. Then click Run Cleaner. CCleaner will clear out your in­ter­net caches, tem­po­rary files and more, based on what you se­lected. Run for the first time, it can clear gigabytes of un­needed data.

2 Spruce up the Reg­istry

To clean up bro­ken or miss­ing Reg­istry items, first click the Reg­istry but­ton, then ‘Scan for Is­sues’ (CCleaner’s de­vel­op­ers rec­om­mend leav­ing all set­tings checked). Once the scan is done, click ‘Fix se­lected Is­sues…’, then click Yes to back up your Reg­istry (that’s a must). You can then go through each is­sue and fix them in­di­vid­u­ally, or tell CCleaner to fix them all at once.

3 Quickly unin­stall pro­grams

You can unin­stall pro­grams from Win­dows’ Set­tings menu, but CCleaner’s ver­sion (Tools > Unin­stall) is bet­ter. It’s cleaner, shows more info, and each col­umn can be sorted, en­abling you to quickly find old pro­grams you no longer need. Once you’ve found one you no longer want, sim­ply click Unin­stall. You can also re­name pro­grams, ex­clude them from the list, and ex­port the list.

4 Choose startup per­mis­sions

A lot of pro­grams set them­selves to launch when­ever you log in, mean­ing Win­dows can take a long time to load. To fix this, click Tools > Startup and find the pro­gram you want to stop load­ing on startup. Next, right-click it and click ei­ther Dis­able or Delete. Dis­abling means you can re-en­able the pro­gram if you change your mind; it re­moves it from the startup list com­pletely.

5 Run the Disk An­a­lyzer

CCleaner can help iden­tify space hogs. Click Tools > Disk An­a­lyzer, se­lect which file types to in­clude and which drive to scan, then click An­a­lyze. CCleaner will dis­play the files on that drive, sorted into cat­e­gories and the per­cent­age of space they’re us­ing. Sort the files by size, click the check­box by any you want rid of, right-click, then click Delete Se­lected Files to clear them.

6 Hunt down du­pli­cate files

Use your PC for a while and you’ll soon pack it with du­pli­cate files. To re­move them, click Tools > Du­pli­cate Finder. Choose your search pa­ram­e­ters and drives to search on, then click Search. CCleaner finds files that match not only by name, but by date, file size and even con­tent, to en­sure they’re not just sim­i­larly named. Don’t do this on your sys­tem drive, just to be safe.

7 Man­age your cook­ies

Cook­ies are small files that en­sure you stay logged in to the web­sites you visit, among other things. CCleaner has a func­tion to clear them out, but you might want to keep some for your favourite sites. Click Op­tions > Cook­ies, browse the list of cook­ies, then move any you want CCleaner to keep to the right-hand col­umn. CCleaner will pass over them when delet­ing cook­ies.

8 Run CCleaner on auto-pilot

CCleaner can mon­i­tor your PC and prompt you when it might be a good time to clean up. To en­able this, click Op­tions > Mon­i­tor­ing. The free ver­sion is lim­ited to prompt­ing you when you can clear up to 0.5GB of files. In the Pro ver­sion you can change this, get CCleaner to clear the files with­out prompt­ing, and clear un­wanted data when you close your web browser.

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