Home > IT Support, Self Help, Windows 7, Windows Vista > Windows Freeware Tech Tools – Spring Cleaning

Windows Freeware Tech Tools – Spring Cleaning

When many of us are thinking about spring cleaning, many don’t realize that your computer operating system needs to be cleaned as well. Your computer can accumulate a lot of junk from web surfing, to installing and uninstalling programs, even deleting files. The first freeware program I recommend to use is called CCleaner. It’s a great tool to use to clear out a lot of junk that accumulates while surfing the net. Having too much temporary internet files can slow down the performance of your browser.

The core “database” of Windows is called the Windows Registry. This is where a lot of your programs store information such as application configuration, operating system configuration, and location of files on your hard drive. When you delete files, and uninstall or update applications, it can leave a lot of “invalid” or junk entries in the windows registry which can cause your computer to slow down dramatically. I recommend AML Registry Cleaner which is also freeware. CCleaner has a built in registry cleaner, but I found AML does a way better job. It is recommended that you do a registry backup prior to running any registry cleaner. Registry cleaners are an essential tool for Windows maintenance, but sometimes they can delete files that are necessary for the operation of applications or even the operating system. There’s always that risk no matter what program you use. This can be easily fixed by restoring the registry from back up. Follow the prompts AML Registry Cleaner provides to back up before scanning. I have yet to experience any difficulties with AML registry cleaner, and I’ve been using it for 3 years.

Another great tool to use in concert with the two above is the built in Windows Disk Cleanup application. You can manually find it in the Accessories folder of the Windows Start Menu, sometimes under “System Tools”. Instructions to find it for Windows Vista are here. You can also click on Start>;Run and type “cleanmgr” without the quotes and click on OK (for all versions of Windows).

For the more advanced user, you can also automate Windows Disk Cleanup application by scheduling a disk clean up in the Windows task manager. Instructions on how to do that on Windows Vista and 7 are here.

Finally it’s important to defrag your hard drive. When you delete files they fragment on your computer. Think of deleting files as sort of like throwing a snow ball on a window. What a defrag does, is basically rebuild and optimize that snowball. Defragging is also important to the regular maintenance of your computer. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have the Windows Disk Defragmenter application running automatically. You can view and change when the disk defragmenter runs. Instructions on how to do that for both operating systems are here.

*All software listed in this post has beeen tested and do not contain viruses or spyware!

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