Your computer is a compulsive hoarder and its house looks like this:
All those boxes in the picture represent a bunch of files and folders (which we’ll call “crap” from now on) that you never see or use and that your computer never uses either. But for one demented reason or the other, your computer is compelled to “hang on” to this crap…just in case. The truth is, that “just in case” moment rarely comes up. And whenever you want to do anything useful on your computer, this crap will slow you down; much like the crap in the picture would slow down the “inhabitant” of that house.
CCleaner takes care of files that are stuck in a kind of computer “purgatory.” It will remove files that you never see or use but that also actively clog up your PC such as temporary files and a bunch of other crap that your computer decides to horde for no reason. To get rid of this stuff, follow these instructions:
1. Click this link, download, install. (It’s default settings will be just fine, but if you want a deeper scrub and know what you’re doing, you can choose what CCleaner cleans really easily by ticking the boxes on the center left. Careful though, the defaults include your recycle bin, so if there’s something in there you might actually want later, uncheck the “Empty recycle bin” box. I actually choose not to clean my internet browser (Firefox) stuff because I have stored passwords and histories I’d rather keep. I’ll do it once in a while, though.
2. Click “Analyze” on the bottom left. CCleaner will then scan your computer for all the crap it doesn’t need to hold on to; much like a concerned family member going through that house in the picture. You don’t actually need to click “analyze” first, it’s mostly so you can see what CCleaner picked up to. Makes it more satisfying when you delete it all, too.
3. Click “Run cleaner” on the bottom right and it will delete all the offending items.
CCleaner can also clean up your registry by deleting registry keys that are no longer used, such as leftover files from a program you uninstalled.
1. Just click “Registry” on the very left, then click “Scan for issues” on the bottom left and it shows you all the registry crap that your computer processes for no reason whatsoever which slows it down.
2. Click “Fix selected issues” on the bottom right to get rid of it all.
Spybot SD (Search and Destroy) will, quite literally, search and destroy any malware/adware you’ve piled up without knowing.
1. Click this link, download, install.
2. Click “Check for problems” on the main menu. It will scan your computer, taking about 10-15 minutes, and list all the extra crap that’s been slowing down your computer and internet speeds.
3. Satisfyingly click “Fix selected issues” and it will delete this malware/adware.
Once in a while, like any other software, you’ll need to update CCleaner. For Spybot SD, I suggest clicking “Search for updates” and downloading the updates every time you open it because new malware/adware emerges all the time. To do so, click “Search for updates”, don’t bother choosing a country, just click “Continue” at the bottom, then click “Download.” Then click “Check for problems.” You should do this every couple months if you want to keep your computer running almost like new.