More Tips To Speed Up Computer
Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, January 7th 2011
After Disk Check, Try Disk Cleanup
So you’ve checked your disk for errors and have resolved to do this weekly and when a crash occurs. Good! Your next step will be to run Disk Cleanup. Disk Cleanup is a tool that comes with your operating system and will help keep your file system free of temporary files.
Temp files build up over time, and are created when your Web browser visits new Web sites, you install an application, or an application you use needs “scratch space” to write temporary files. Applications might clean up their own temp files and might not, so getting rid of these sand-baggers is a good idea. Keeping your temp files to a minimum will make more space available for your OS, if nothing else.
To run Disk Cleanup, right-click on the drive you want to clean up and select properties. Disk Cleanup will be located on the General tab. Click Disk Cleanup and the OS will do the rest. Plan to do this once each week and you’ll get some good performance results.
As a side note, the Properties pane will show you how much of your disk is full. Generally, the more full your disk is, the more trouble you’re likely to have. This is especially true if the disk you’re cleaning up is your main boot disk. If more than 75% of your disk is used, consider taking more drastic steps to free up disk space.
In this case, “drastic” means throwing away files you no longer need. Image and graphics files are good candidates for the Recycle Bin. Applications you don’t use or no longer need are also prime targets. If you prefer not to toss your data, consider moving it to “nearline” storage or writing it off to CD or DVD. You can store a lot of data (and organize it too) by taking it off the disk and archiving it. You’ll still have reasonably quick, secure access to your data when you want it, but it won’t be taking up hard disk space on your main drive.
You might also consider paring down foreign language support (and its associated fonts) if you’re looking to improve performance. Often, this support is loaded in as part of the standard installation. If you don’t use it, however, why waste space on keeping it around?
Photo Credit: jurvetson, via Flickr