How to Clean Your Computer of Unnecessary Files

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Is your Windows computer running much more slowly than when you first started it up? Unnecessary and unwanted files, such as log files, temporary files, remnants of uninstalled programs, and others — tend to build up over time on a hard drive running Windows.

This happens to a lot of people which is kind of a bad news / good news situation. The good news being that some smart people came up with excellent solutions to this problem.

I will cover three software tools that are often mentioned in connection with this topic. All three are free and also portable.

What will you learn in this post?

I will show you:

  • how to use Ccleaner
  • how to use BleachBit
  • how to use Revo Uninstaller
  • why it is important to backup your hard drive’s content before making radical changes to it

Ccleaner

Ccleaner is probably the most well-known tool to remove unnecessary files and registry entries.

It has the most detailed settings of all such tools — you can define in depth what you wish to clean and what you want to avoid cleaning.

For example, I don’t want to lose some cache settings and I can easily avoid that in Ccleaner:

Ccleaner settings

Ccleaner system settings

You can do the same in the Applications tab for a lot of your software, including portable ones.

In the Tools section, you can:

  • uninstall programs installed on your computer
  • enable, disable, or delete startup programs
  • analyze the usage of your hard drive space by file type
  • look for and remove duplicate files
  • remove system restore points
  • wipe your drive’s free space (or its entirety)
Ccleaner program uninstaller

Ccleaner program uninstaller

Ccleaner system restore point removal

Ccleaner system restore point removal

BleachBit

BleachBit is another excellent portable freeware tool to remove unnecessary files from your Windows computer.

It is complementary to Ccleaner in a great way — it doesn’t offer nearly as many possibilities as Ccleaner does, but, on the other, often catches some files that Ccleaner missed.

Ccleaner cleaning results

Ccleaner cleaning results

BleachBit cleaning results

BleachBit cleaning results

As you can see, when running a BleachBit scan (called Preview) right after a Ccleaner cleaning has finished, there are still many items left to be removed.

Actually, I was using Ccleaner only for years. Then, the first time I ran BleachBit it found 900 megabytes worth of junk in almost 9500 files overall. That’s a load…

Revo Uninstaller

You may have crapware, bloatware, or other unwanted software installed on your computer. These things are not malware, mind you, they just take up hard drive space and lower the overall performance of your computer.

When you buy a new computer with pre-installed Windows, it almost always comes with pre-installed crapware.

Another great way to get yourself some annoying unwanted software is to install various tools and utilities and forget to uncheck all potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that are bundled into them.

As a side note, you might want to start using Unchecky to take care of that problem.

Anyway, it’s a good idea to use Revo Uninstaller right after you first start up your new computer or just once in a while in case you do download and install software to your computer. The greatest advantage of Revo Uninstaller in comparison with other uninstallers is that it finds all leftover files and registry entries and let’s you remove them.

I already wrote about the uninstall feature of the portable version of Revo Uninstaller earlier.

Related Post

How to Uninstall Dell System Detect


Dell System Detect is an app for Dell computer owners. It detects the computer’s service tag, sends it to dell.com, and checks whether updates are available.

However, Revo Uninstaller has further features besides the main uninstall one. It can clean junk files and do so pretty aggressively, too. After cleaning my computer with both Ccleaner and BleachBit, Revo Uninstaller’s Scan still found further items that could be removed:

Revo Uninstaller cleaning results

Revo Uninstaller cleaning results

Revo Uninstaller has several cleaning and optimization tools that may come in handy:

Revo Uninstaller cleaning tools

Revo Uninstaller cleaning tools

Revo Uninstaller optimization tools

Revo Uninstaller optimization tools

Final Thoughts

The three cleaning tools mentioned above, used together with Disk Cleanup and an intelligent use of GetFolderSize, can help improve your Windows computer’s performance greatly.

However, let me remind you to use these tools carefully. Decide to remove only those items that you are sure won’t be needed by your programs and operating system.

In case that you wish to experiment with the capabilities of these tools, create a restore point at least. But before making more radical changes to your hard drive’s content, I strongly urge you to first create a full backup or an image of your drive.

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