Maintain Your Windows Computer with CCleaner
Everyone hates when their computer slows down. Seems like just the other day it was running fast and smooth. Now for some reason programs load slower and the Internet takes its sweet time loading pages. At first you may think you have a virus, but that can’t be right. You have anti virus software and you always make sure it’s updated. You don’t visit “bad” sites so what could possibly be going on?
Well, the good news is that most of the time it’s not your fault. Windows stores information on your computer to try and make the programs you use the most a faster experience. It does this by saving cookies and pictures from websites so that they don’t have to be downloaded everytime you visit that particular site. Also, temporary files are created everytime you use your computer or install new software. Eventually, your computer gets so junked up that it actually does more harm than good. A while back, the computer user would have to manually delete these temporary files and would also have to know where they are stored in order to do so. Not an easy chore for the average computer user. Since then there have been many utilities that offer to automate the process. In this article I am going to introduce you to one of my favorites. It is called CCleaner and it is very easy to use and combined with hard drive defragmenting it will make maintenance a two step process. So, lets get started. The first step is to download the software. It is open source and available for free. You can either google “CCleaner” or follow this link.
Once you have it downloaded go ahead and double click on the installer icon.
You should see a confirmation window pop up asking if you want to run the program. Click Yes, or OK.
You should be able to click “Next” and agree to the license agreement.
Then, you will see this screen, which are some installation options. For general use I would suggest leaving all the options checked by default. If you are comfortable enough, feel free to customize the options to your liking.
After you click “Next” you will see the following screen.
After you click “Install” you will see the installation progress via the progress bar and after it has finished you will see the confirmation screen which looks like this.
The actual CCleaner program looks like this.
The left hand pane has a list of all the things CCleaner checks for and will clean if selected.
Clicking the Analyze button located at the bottom of the window will start the process. The application will check all of the items that have been check marked. You will see a progress bar at the top of the screen moving as it checks. When it is finished you will see the following screen.
There will be a pop up window that asks if you are sure you want to perform this action. Go ahead and click “OK”. Notice that there is a checkbox in the lower left hand corner that says “Do Not Show Me This Message Again”. If you would prefer not to see this box everytime, it is perfectly safe to check the box.
Once again you will see that the application is working via the progress bar running at the top of the window. Keep in mind during this step and the Analyzing step that it can take a while to perform these actions. The longer it has been since your computer has been purged of junk files, the longer it will take to analyze and clean. This is usually only for the initial cleaning. After that, as long as you run the application on a regular basis the cleanup will be relatively fast.
The next step is to check the registry for errors and fix them if necessary. There is an icon on the left hand side of the application window labeled “Registry”. Go ahead and click this and you should see the following screen.
The application will start to list all of the issues found and what the problem is. Most of the problems will be missing DLLs and Unused extensions. This is caused from applications that have been installed and uninstalled and the registry entries were left behind. You should see this screen.
You will see the following window pop up.
You will see the familiar “Save As” screen. Give the backup a filename (e.g. RegBackup) and select a location to save it to. Just so it’s easy to find I recommend creating a folder labeled “Registry Backups” in your My Documents folder and save it there.
After you have saved the backup. You will see this screen.
Click the button labeled “Fix All Selected Issues”. You will see the application progressing through the list and you will see the following screen when it is finished.
Navigate to the following: Start Menu->Accessories->System Tools and then click on Disk Defragmenter.
When the Defragmenter application opens it will look like this.
Click the “Defragment” button and let the application run. You will see a confirmation screen informing you when it has completed the defrag.
This installs the Google toolbar in your web browser. This is completely up to you, but I personally uncheck this box.
Once you have reached this step you will notice that there is a checkbox to run the program. Go ahead and click “Finish” and the newly installed CCleaner will open.
There are some advanced features that you can use to customize this application, but for practical purpose and ease of use, I suggest using the default settings. There are two parts to this application that I will show you. The first is to clean your computer of all the junk that it has accumulated and the second is to check your registry for errors and clean it as well.
These are all the settings that are checked by default. As you can see it will check a number of things on your computer. Also, as you can see most of these the average user would not know the location to clean manually.
As you can see, a detailed list is provided. You can see exactly what kind of junk was on your computer. In my case, most of the junk was from temporary files from Internet Explorer and my computer system. A total of 269 MB will be deleted. Which means that is 269 MB of free space that I will now have on my computer. At this point, go ahead and click the button labeled “Run Cleaner”.
Notice that the application has confirmed what has been deleted and informs you that the cleaning is complete.
Once again I suggest you leave the default settings, which in this case happens to be all of the items checked. Click the button on the bottom left hand side labeled “Scan For Issues”.
At this point, go ahead and click “Fix Selected Issues”. Be default all of them are checked and it is safe to proceed. I personally have never had any problems by following this practice and I have never heard of anyone having any issues either.
You will want to go ahead and select “Yes”. This is a good rule to follow in general. Even with other applications. Anytime a program or a person is going to make changes to the registry…always perform a backup first.
At this point you can click the “Close” button and then exit out of the CCleaner application. Congratulations!! You have successfully cleaned your computer. Now is a good time to defragment the computer as well.
That’s it. The whole process includes just a few clicks on a few buttons and your computer will be clean. Keep in mind that this is only a preventative maintenance task. This will help keep a healthy computer running smoothly. The main thing is that it will free up a lot of disk space. You may be surprised at how much hard drive space will be free after running this application. I have seen number at 1 and 2 GB!!!!! I hope that you have found this article useful and if you run the program I invite you to post your numbers here on this article!!!
If you found this tutorial useful please give it a +1 and share it with your friends!