If you own a PC, you’ve probably found that the longer you’ve had it then the slower it is. Well there are in fact a few simple things you can do to make it run faster that you may not be aware of. They don’t take very long to do and you could even set most of them to run automatically so you don’t have to bother each month.

Steps to clean up your computer disk

CLEAN UP THE DISK

This frees up space and deletes temporary Internet files and other unnecessary files such as error reports. It also empties your recycle bin (you may think that it’s empty but it isn’t!), removes unused restore points, and deletes other data that you don't need.  This is how to do it:

  1. Click on the Start button on the bottom left hand of your screen
  2. Select ‘All Programmes’
  3. Click on the ‘Accessories’ folder
  4. Then select ‘System Tools’
  5. Finally click on ‘Disk Cleanup’

A box will then appear asking which files you would like to clean up. If you share your computer with other family members then select ‘Files From All Users on This Computer’, but if it’s just you that uses the PC then select ‘My Files Only’. Another box will then appear asking of you want to clear up OS (C:) or use the drop down to select RECOVERY (D:). Choose C.

It will then spend a few minutes calculating which items it can remove. This might take a short while so don’t worry. It will then give you a list of items it deems safe to remove but will also give you the chance to check these through rather than just deleting them without permission. It is quite safe to delete any Temporary Internet Files and the Recycle Bin contents. If you’re in any doubt about others it’s selected then just leave them be. (see above screenshots for these stages)

 

DEFRAGMENT THE DISK

I like to think of the information on my computer as a library full of books. After some time the books get all messed up and you need to go through and tidy them all up and put them back where they belong. Well that is what the Disk Fragmenter does. It tidies them up and compresses them so there are no gaps in between the books on the shelf.

Ideally this task should be done each month and you will usually be given the option of it defragmenting itself automatically so you don’t have to bother again. It should also be done if you have less than 15% of free space, if you have just added lots of new files, if you have just installed new programmes, or if you have an updated version of Windows.

* To defragment the disk you can go through the same process as when you cleaned up the disk as the Defragragmenter is in the same folder as the ‘System Tools’ or you can do it from the Disk Error section below.

Once you’ve asked it to Defragment, your computer will tell you how long it will take to perform the task - this might take some time if you haven’t done it before or it’s been ages since you last Defragged your PC.

How to repair disk errors

REPAIR DISK ERRORS

  1. Click on the Start button on the bottom left hand of your screen
  2. Select ‘Computer’ which is usually in the grey section to the right of all the other programmes. At the top of the screen you will see 2 Hard Disk Drives: your C Drive and your Recovery Drive
  3. Right click on the C: Drive which should be the one on the left (see screenshot)
  4. Select ‘Properties’ which is at the bottom of the drop down list
  5. Choose ‘Tools’ from the tabs at the top (you will see below this is where you can clean up the Disk as well instead of using the process above) 
  6. Select the top one called ‘Error Checking’ (you can see below this is where you can also defrag the disk as well instead of using the process above
  7. Click ‘Check Now’ and confirm you would like to continue
  8. Uncheck the top box and tick the second box down that says ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors’                                                                                                                                    
  9. Click ‘Start’ and it will start checking for you (see screenshot for some of the above stages)

This will take quite some time even if you haven’t done it for a while or before – my parents had never checked for disk errors and it took 4 hours!

These are just three quick and easy things you can do to make your computer run faster. They don’t take long to do but you will see definitely an immediate difference to your computer’s performance.