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Speeding Up Your Home PC for Beginners
Illustration by Neil Webb
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Using the Disk Cleanup utility on Windows 8


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Speeding Up Your Home PC for Beginners

with Laura Bungarz

Video: Using the Disk Cleanup utility on Windows 8

One of the ways we can speed up our computer is by using some of the tools that are available in Windows. One of them is called the "Disk Cleanup Utility." In Windows 8, we're gonna get to it through the Control Panel. So, on the right-hand side of your screen, if you get your mouse into the bottom corner there, another menu will pop up. What I wanna do is click on "Settings," and click on "Control Panel," and come to here. All I'm going to do is use the Search, and I'm gonna go "Disk Cleanup." By the time I finish typing that, it finds it.

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Speeding Up Your Home PC for Beginners
45m 52s Appropriate for all Jul 09, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Is your computer sluggish? Cluttered? Bursting at the seams? In this course, created for those new to PC maintenance and utilities, author and computer teacher Laura Bungarz shares some of her favorite techniques to help you speed up your home PC. Learn about defragmenting, checking your RAM, sorting files, and using utilities you already have to clean up "behind the scenes." Laura will also provide tips on upgrading your computer and, if your budget permits, looking for a new PC.

Topics include:
  • Cleaning the desktop
  • Organizing files with folders
  • Using Disk Cleanup, msconfig, and Disk Defragmenter
  • Freeing up disk space
  • Buying and installing RAM
  • Upgrading your computer
Subjects:
Business Productivity Home + Small Office
Author:
Laura Bungarz

Using the Disk Cleanup utility on Windows 8

One of the ways we can speed up our computer is by using some of the tools that are available in Windows. One of them is called the "Disk Cleanup Utility." In Windows 8, we're gonna get to it through the Control Panel. So, on the right-hand side of your screen, if you get your mouse into the bottom corner there, another menu will pop up. What I wanna do is click on "Settings," and click on "Control Panel," and come to here. All I'm going to do is use the Search, and I'm gonna go "Disk Cleanup." By the time I finish typing that, it finds it.

It's in the Administrative Tools. It's right here. It's a shortcut, and I can tell because of the little arrow, right there. So, if I double-click on that, it's going to ask me which drive I want to clean. For most of us, Windows is on the C-Drive. That's the one you're gonna wanna clean. You click "Ok." Then, up pops the "Disk Cleanup Utility." I have a bunch of different files that I can clean up. I can clean as much, or as little, of this as I want to.

Don't be afraid of this. Go ahead and click on it. There's nothing in here that's going to break your computer. You can click on these. If your Recycle Bin has stuff in it, click on it, too, to empty it. Anything that has a number, other than zero, on it can be cleaned up. You just click on the check boxes here, and check them all off. Then, you just click "Ok." I'm only going to gain something, like 13.7 megabytes here, which isn't a huge amount. But, if you had more, you would just click "Ok," and it'll run, and it will delete all of those files you don't need, and give yourself some extra space on your hard drive.

You'll also notice here, that it has one that says "Clean up system files." If I select that ... and do it again, I will get a whole bunch more options. Once it's finished ... and that may take a while for you. It depends on how messy your computer is, whether you've ever done this before. Go ahead and just check off the ones that have stuff that need cleaning. Clearly, this time, I can save a lot more disk space.

Again, don't be afraid of this. If I do it from here now, I'm gonna save 876 megabytes, which is a lot of space on a small hard drive or even a full hard drive. That will save you a lot of space. So, you click "Ok," and the thing will start to run. It may take a while. Don't do this if you need to send an email in the next two minutes. You might have to wait for it a little while. But, let it run. When it's done, just restart your computer, and you'll probably find your computer is a little faster.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Speeding Up Your Home PC for Beginners.


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Q:  Can I defragment a solid-state hard drive?
A: It is not recommended to defragment a solid state drive (SSD). If you are confused about whether or not you have a solid state drive verses a standard hard drive there are a few ways to check. One way is to simply go into the Control Panel through your Start menu and go to the Device Manager. Look for the Disk Drive option, click the little plus (+) sign to the left of it and check the name of the hard drive listed. If it doesn't say outright one way or the other a simple Google search of the name of the hard drive will provide you with the information you need.
 
Another way to find it is by simply going into Computer or My Computer and right-clicking on your hard drive, probably C:. Under the Hardware tab it will tell you what type of hard drive you have. Again, if you're still unsure, do a simply Google search to find the information you need.
 
 
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