[ad]Dear Computer Lady,
What’s the best way to clean up my computer.. old files.. old downloads.. etc..??
There are a couple of approaches to cleaning out unneeded files and folders on your computer. You can let your computer (or a program) clean it out for you, and/or you can manually go in and clean out files yourself.
To start with, you should clean out temporary files. You can use the, “Disk Cleanup” application to do this. Just go to “My Computer” or “Computer” or open Windows Explorer and click on “Computer” or “This PC” (if using Windows 8).
Right click on your “Local Disk (C)” drive and click on “Properties” in the context menu that appears.
In the Properties dialog box, click on “Disk Cleanup” and follow the prompts to clean out your files.
You can also use a program like Ccleaner at www.piriform.com/ to do a slightly more thorough cleaning.
For files that you have downloaded, or created and saved in your Documents, pictures and music folders, only you can decide what is needed and not needed. You will need to go through those folders yourself and delete files that you no longer want or need.
One good way to clean out those files when you transfer to a new computer is to put them on the new computer, but in a folder on your desktop. As you need/use files, you can transfer them to your Documents or other folders. After 6 months or so, you can go through the folder on your desktop and decide if you want to keep the remaining, unused files.
You could also have all the document files saved on a CD or DVD and copy files to your computer as you need them. You can then save the disk in the event you ever need to go back and find your old file.
It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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