Trying to keep your PC running smoothly sometimes feels like an impossible task. Windows is prone to all kinds of bloat, which can bog down your PC or—in severe cases—even render a system functionally useless. Over time, it’s almost impossible to prevent unsavory apps and other files from infiltrating a Windows PC, regardless of how careful a user you may be. There are simply too many ways for junk to seep its way in.
Update, Update and Update
With regular maintenance and a bit of effort, however, it’s possible to keep a Windows system relatively clean and performing at its peak. Some of the things we’re going to cover here may be second nature to long-time PC aficionados, but these tips should come in quite handy for casual users. At the very least they’ll help you keep your system clean, updated, and better protected from potential threats.
Vulnerabilities in Windows and many popular applications are quite common. To mitigate the possibility of such vulnerabilities being exploited on your system, it’s important to keep your OS and all of your applications patched and up to date. If you haven’t already set Windows to automatically update, do so now by opening the System and Security settings in the control panel, clicking Windows Update near the bottom-left of the window, and then clicking the Change Settings option. Should you want to install updates manually, remember to do so about once a week. Microsoft tends to release most updates on “Patch Tuesdays”, but if a severe vulnerability is found and fixed quickly, MS may release a patch at any time.
Uninstall Unwanted Applications
Even if you’re extremely careful about which websites you visit and the applications you install on your PC, unwanted apps or programs will inevitably creep their way in. Whether through unpatched exploits in the OS or commonly used applications, user indifference, or an unintentional “OK” click in a dialog box, over time, numerous unwanted programs tend to appear on Windows-based systems.
Clean The Junk
There are a multitude of utilities available for ridding a PC of junk data, applications, and malware, but there are three in particular that we find indispensable—the aforementioned PC Decrapifier, CCleaner, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. A fourth handy tool is Windows’ own built-in Disk Cleanup utility, but it’s more of a quick-and-dirty tool for wiping temporary data rather than a full-blown utility. Still, running Disk Cleanup is a good way to reclaim disk space, which can be especially helpful on low-capacity SSDs where every gigabyte is precious.
Sources - PCWorld From IDG, Marco Chiapetta from HotHardwire.com