Your PC fresh and fruity in no time

We go for a noble goal: a fresh start for the computer. Your PC is a bit sluggish, you have an occasional crash or error message and you have tolerated it all waiting for the time to get to the bottom of things. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves. With these tips you can solve the annoyances that have piled up.

Tip 01: Keyboard

Most of the attention in this cleaning operation goes to the system, but we still take the opportunity to give the hardware a cleaning as well. This gives you the feeling that you are working on a new machine even more. The keyboard is a source of microbes. And even if you wash your hands regularly, you'll immediately notice at the tops of the keys which letters you use the most! Make sure the computer is off and your keyboard is disconnected. Turn the keyboard upside down and use a can of compressed air to blow out crumbs and dust between the keys. Grab a few disinfectant wipes – if they are too wet, wring them out a bit – and use them to clean the keys. Dry the remaining moisture with a microfibre cloth. For the dirty spots on the sides of the keys, you can use a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol.

Tip 02: Display

A self-cleaning screen does not yet exist, so you have to get started yourself. You can see dust and fingerprints better on a dark screen. Therefore, turn off the monitor and let the screen cool down: on a warm screen, streaks are more likely to remain. When you just wipe the screen with a damp cloth and don't remove the dust first, you rub the dust into the edge of the screen. That's why you should first dust the screen and the edges with a microfiber cloth. If you see stains on the screen, remove them with water with a dash of vinegar, not with a chemical cleaner. Do not get the screen too wet.

white screen

To check whether the monitor is really clean-clean, you can use the White Display website. This sets the screen to white screen to clean it and to black to remove dust. Red, green and blue can be used to test for dead pixels.

Tip 03: Clean Desktop PC

If you work on a desktop PC, you also have to clean the inside of the computer from time to time. Dust can interfere with fans and even damage circuits. How often should you do this? That depends on where your PC is and whether you have pets. If you do that once a year, as a spring cleaning, it's fine. Turn off the PC, unplug the power cord and let it cool down. Then you take the can of compressed air again to blow the dust out of the housing with short, powerful air blasts. When you clean a fan, hold it in place so it won't spin. That works easier, and if you run the fan in the wrong direction, you could damage the fan.

Even a brand new computer has a lot of applications you don't want

Tip 04: Bloatware

Even a brand new computer has a lot of applications that you don't want. Or are you a real fan of Candy Crush and Bubble Witch? Bloatware or fatware is the expression we use for software that came pre-installed and takes up unnecessary disk space. And if you've been using the system for a while, there may also be programs installed that you no longer use. Time to get rid of this ballast. Go to it Control Panel and open the section Programs and Features. There will certainly be applications that you vaguely remember installing, but haven't used in ages and are no longer useful to you. You can easily uninstall these programs with the right mouse button.

Tip 05: PowerShell

Some of the programs, such as the Xbox app or Calendar, cannot be cleaned up via the simple method. If you want to get rid of those, you have to use the rough resources, we do that via Windows PowerShell. Tap PowerShell in the search function and right click on the program to run it as administrator. Tap behind the line in this window PS C:\Windows\System32 the rule Get-AppxPackage and press Enter. This will cause PowerShell to list all installed programs on your computer. In this long list, look for the stubborn app that the previous method failed to remove. Look at Name. What you need is the information behind PackageFullName stands. Note that information. To remove the package, type the command Remove-AppxPackage NAME where you replace NAME with the reference that just followed PackageFullName was standing. Certain apps like Edge or Cortana can't even be uninstalled with PowerShell.

Tip 06: Disk Cleanup

The more you use the PC, the more junk gets on the system. Many users are partly to blame for this, for example because they haven't emptied the trash for weeks. But Windows itself is also a big mess. The tool is included in every version of Windows Disk Cleanup to clean up most of the junk, including system files, in a fairly easy way. The latter is not an unnecessary luxury because you usually have no idea which system files you can or cannot dispose of. Still, system files you no longer use can take up a lot of precious disk space.

Tip 07: Downloads

During the big cleaning you should definitely check the contents of the folder Downloads to look at. We plead guilty ourselves, because we saw how much trash was left in this. Files you download from the internet usually take up a lot of disk space. Often these are installation files or media files that you have already viewed or listened to. We often forget that these downloads are still on the hard disk, so it's a waste of space. Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the folder in the left column Downloads. At the Characteristics read how much disk space it takes up. In most cases, you can delete all these files in the usual way.

The Smart Save feature could also be called 'disk cleanup for lazy people'

Tip 08: Trash can

Files that you simply delete will first end up in the Recycle Bin. And that indeed means that all the files you've tossed into the recycle bin are still taking up disk space. Right click on it and select the option Empty the trash.

Did you know that the Windows recycle bin is set by default to take up 10% of the entire disk space. You can reduce this quota yourself. Right click on Garbage can and open the Characteristics. Bee Custom Size specify how much space the trash can take up. Enter a value in megabytes: 1000 MB corresponds approximately to 1 GB. Then click the button To apply to apply the changes and click OK to close the window.

Tip 09: Smart save

Since the Creators Update of Windows 10, there is a save feature that is especially useful for slobs. We are talking about the function Smart Save. You get there through the Settings / System and then click in the left column Storage. In fact, this feature might as well be called "Disk Cleanup for Lazy People." Click on the Change how space is freed up, then you can decide that Windows automatically deletes files that have been in the Recycle Bin for more than 30 days (from 1 day to 60 days). In addition, Windows will delete the temporary files that are not used by applications when you reach the storage capacity limit. So it's not a bad idea to Smart save to activate.

Think twice before you have all cookies removed

Tip 10: Thorough cleaning

CCleaner remains the uncrowned king when it comes to freeing up disk space, cleaning up file leftovers, and clearing the browser of unnecessary clutter. The software works in two steps. First CCleaner performs a search and then the cleaning operation follows via the blue button Run Cleaner. This cleaner works best when all other applications are closed. The CCleaner program is originally English, but is also a Dutch institution. By default, the program follows certain maintenance tasks. If you don't change that, little can go wrong.

Think twice whether you want to delete all cookies with CCleaner. If you did, you would have to log in again to the sites you use on a daily basis. Cookies aren't always bad, some of them speed up the browsing experience. Many people find it inconvenient to log in to Facebook, Google or Twitter every time. Therefore, you can exclude specific cookies from CCleaner's cleaning process. You do this at the Options and the part Cookies, where you can save the cookies you want to keep with the Cookies to keep sets.

Not exaggerate

In the Options you have the option to have CCleaner run automatically when you start the PC. Know that excessive use of this software can backfire. Certain temporary files are created precisely to make the computer run faster. We are talking, for example, about the cache of your internet browser, which ensures that websites are loaded faster. The cache can certainly be cleaned up if it hasn't been done for a long time, but regular cleaning can have a negative influence on the speed.

Tip 11: Adware and malware

Naturally, the Windows 10 system is protected from malware through the built-in Windows Defender. You open this application by typing its name in the search bar. In the main window, click Scan now. It's a good idea to occasionally get a second opinion from another tool like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The free version finds and removes malware, the paid premium version prevents infections. You can try the premium version for free for fourteen days. With us, Malwarebytes still found potential threats while Windows Defender reported 'everything safe'.

Tip 12: PC Decrapifier

PC Decrapifier cleans up all unnecessary software that the manufacturer has installed on a new laptop or desktop. Just think of anti-virus software, toolbars and other demos that are reluctantly installed on your new system. PC Decrapifier also has a tab Questionable. Under the Doubtful section, a list of existing software that the program is unsure of is crapware will appear. In this category you first check whether the software can really be removed before you remove programs. Finally, after the scan, there is a section Everything Else. Those are the programs and tools installed on the machine, which you can disable or remove if you wish. You can read a percentage behind each application. This will give you an approximate idea of ​​the size of the user community that recommends uninstalling this software. If 75% advises to remove an application, then don't hesitate. For security reasons, PC Decrapifier creates a restore point so you can undo your steps.

Tip 13: Power Management

If you work on a desktop or on a laptop that you usually connect to the power grid, you can give the computer a boost using Power management. Open it Control Panel and from there the part Power management. By default, the preferred schedule is Balanced to maintain a good mix of battery consumption and performance. But if you do not use the computer on its battery, you can demand more from the machine. You may need to click on Show additional schedules to get more options. Slowly turn the power setting on High performance or Top performance.

Tip 14: Self-starters

One of the most common causes of Windows running slowly is too many applications running at once. Often there is even software running that you don't even notice. So be careful with accepting the automatic launch of programs. To get a view on this and to prune the number, open the Task Manager with Ctrl+Alt+Del. If you don't have tabs in task management see, click More details. In the tab Startup you get the list of programs that start when you start Windows. You can read what the impact is on the system each time. Look especially at the programs that A lot of affect startup. To stop such a program, right click on it and select Switch off. If you change your mind later, you can always turn it back on via the same route.

To block or not

You will recognize most programs that you will find in the Startup list by their name. But that doesn't apply to all programs. You can learn more about unknown programs by right-clicking on them and the Characteristics to open. There you will see the path on the hard drive, the file size and when it was last modified. If in doubt, there is the website Should I Block It. Here you can search by file name and usually you will get good information about the usefulness of the program.

On an older machine, use the visual system effects sparingly

Tip 15: Visual effects

Because the eye also wants something, Windows 10 has a lot of smooth effects and animations. They have little influence on a modern machine, but if you work on an older computer that has been updated to Windows 10, these effects can negatively affect the performance. Open the Advanced System Settings through the search box. Click on the tab Advanced and in the box Performance click the button Institutions. Then you come to the tab Visual Settings where you decide which parts are important to you and which are not.

performance eaters

Of the visual effects, these are the most performance-hungry options:

- Animations on the taskbar;

- Move controls and other elements within windows;

- Slide open selection lists with input boxes;

- Show tooltips scrolling or with transition effect;

- Enable short display;

- Show shadow under windows;

- Window animations on minimize and maximize.

Tip 16: System maintenance

A relatively unknown tool to fix performance issues is in the feature Troubleshooting. Do not confuse this function with Solving a problem that you through the Institutions approaches. No, you go there through the Control Panel you click on that Troubleshooting. Then click on the link at the bottom right Perform maintenance tasks. System maintenance asks to be run as Administrator and looks for causes of performance slowdowns.

Tip 17: IObit Uninstaller

Many programs are quite sloppy when it comes to uninstalling (and even Windows is). Remnants of program files, preferences, temporary files, work files, registry settings and more are left behind. By removing programs with IObit Uninstaller, you ensure that all associated files actually disappear from the hard drive. Be careful when installing this tool. IObit Uninstaller is free, but if you're not careful it will install bundled software.

You can find a handy function of this cleaner at Toolbars & Plugins. Browser extensions are often interesting, if you have chosen them yourself. It often happens that you are unsolicited with browser toolbars and extensions, because, for example, you forgot to uncheck a box when installing a freeware package. Just think of a custom search engine toolbar or a toolbar you didn't ask for. Bee Toolbars & Plugins you will see all existing browser extensions, you can filter on Chrome, Firefox or another browser. The option to centrally remove extensions from browsers is very useful, because otherwise you will have an accident in the various browser settings.

Tip 18: Updates

A healthy computer is by definition one that has the most recent Windows Updates. If everything is set up correctly, Windows 10 will perform the updates itself regularly. Advice: check whether all Windows Updates have been installed. Open Institutions via Windows key+I and from there go to Windows Update so you can reach the button Looking for updates can. This will take a while. Have a look in the Advanced options the following function is enabled: Receive updates for other Microsoft products while updating Windows. The updates are always downloaded and installed automatically. Get all updates, restart your computer and check again until all updates are installed.

Windows 10 will try to update the system drivers automatically

Tip 19: Drivers

Drivers or drivers ensure that all hardware components work properly on your PC. There are drivers for the video card, printer, mouse and so on… Windows 10 will try to update the system drivers automatically via Windows Update. Check if Windows automatically searches for drivers when you connect a new device to the system. You activate this option from the Device installation settings. Here you come through the Control Panel (in icon view) / Devices and Printers. Right click on the computer name and choose Device installation settings. There the question appears: Want to automatically download apps and manufacturer custom icons for your devices? Put the option here Yes at.

Tip 20: Game mode

Game Mode in Windows 10 is a new feature that improves game performance. This gives the games more system power, while the background applications have to make do with less. To activate Game mode, open the Institutions from Windows 10. In the next window, select at the bottom gaming. This will take you to a new window where you click on the Game Mode option in the left bar.Then put the option on the right Using Game Mode at. To really kick the PC's tail when gaming, you can install the free Razer Cortex. With this tweaker you can also benefit from other applications. click on game booster for available optimizations. below boost choose you Configure and then you indicate what Razer Cortex is allowed to adjust. The tool disables the Windows services you don't need and closes the background programs. In addition, he will optimize the processor and working memory.

It is not so easy in Windows by default to see where large unnecessary files are located

Tip 21: Recognize the slop

This tip also applies to classic hard drives, of course, but with the limited storage capacity of an SSD, every gigabyte gained is one. In Windows it is by default not so easy to see where the large unnecessary files are located. We are thinking of sample files from video editing programs or hundreds of high-resolution photos from a wallpaper program. Where do you start looking? The freeware TreeSize Free analyzes the disk space and sorts the folders by size. Then browse through the folders to discover the space eaters. The tool does not delete files itself. Right-click a folder and choose To open to open this folder in Windows Explorer, so that you can delete the files there.

Do not!

There are some common tips that we deliberately didn't include in this list, such as defragmenting the drive. Some cleaning tools still have the defragment option, but we don't recommend it, or even discourage it. It does not provide any speed gains and defragmenting SSDs can even be harmful. Updating the Windows drivers is also best left to the central Windows Update because this procedure is the safest. Additional software that promises to update all your drivers can be harmful. The exception to this rule is the graphics card driver for gamers. Frequently updating the graphics card driver may result in game performance gains. Often the graphics card manufacturer supplies its own software to keep its driver up-to-date.

Tip 22: Start menu

Bee Settings / Personal Settings / Home adjust the basic settings of the start menu. If you do not want to be presented with suggestions (read advertising for apps), you can disable them here by selecting the option Occasionally show suggestions in Home to turn off. Windows 10 shows large animated tiles in the right part of the start menu. If you don't need it, right-click on that tile and choose Unpin from Start. Sometimes you can also remove it with the option remove. If you loosen or remove all tiles, you will arrive at a tight start menu.

Start Killer

Sometimes small adjustments can make a big difference. Start Killer assumes that a lot of people can do without the Start button on their computer. After all, they can access the start menu via the Windows key on the keyboard. Especially on small screens you save some space with the freeware Start Killer. This tool hides the home button. If you press the Windows key, the start menu will still appear and you can, for example, type in a search query.

Tip 23: System Tray

The notification area on the right side of the taskbar contains a number of self-explanatory icons such as battery, Wi-Fi, volume, clock and so on… In addition, you will receive notifications about incoming e-mail, network connection, devices being connected. It often happens that people no longer know what all those icons are for. You decide which icons and notifications appear here. Right click on the taskbar and choose Taskbar Settings. In this window you scroll to system tray. There you can via Selecting which icons appear on the taskbar and via Enable or disable system icons choose which icons you give a place. Right click on the clock in the system tray and choose Notification icons to determine which programs are allowed to notify you.

Tip 24: Restore point

A restore point helps you out when your computer suddenly starts acting strange after installing software. When you're done with the cleaning and everything goes back like a charm, you can manually create a restore point. type Restore point in the search box to select the option Create a restore point to be found in System Security. Press the button To make so that the PC records a restore point for the drives that have system protection enabled. If problems ever arise, you can use the button in this window System recovery see the list of restore points.

You close the cleaning of your PC or laptop by making a new backup

Tip 25: Backup

You can complete the cleaning of your PC or laptop by making a new backup. If something goes wrong with the system after that, you can go back to this clean, tidy computer. Backing up files is not a problem for Windows 10. go through Institutions nasty Editing and Security and click backup. You can set up a systematic backup where, for example, Windows backs up your files every hour, or you can choose to make a one-time backup at the bottom (like in Windows 7).

Choose Add a station and select an external hard drive. Press the button More options. You will now see the Windows default settings. Select Back up now to make the first backup. By default, a backup of all files contained in your user folder is recorded. You can choose not to include some folders in the options. With the option Keep my backups in the setting until space is needed Windows will not delete old backups until the backup disk is full.

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