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How to Speed Up Your PC With CCleaner

Updated on May 15, 2013
CCleaner
CCleaner

Speed Up Your PC With CCleaner

The main two reasons that PCs get slow are 1) unnecessary programs that startup with the computer, and 2) useless or corrupted files that take up space. I will be using CCleaner, a free Windows utility, to fix these two issues. I will use CCleaner to:

1. Delete Temporary Files

2. Defragment the Registry

3. Remove Unnecessary Programs

4. Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs

The first three steps deal with the second issue, leaving the fourth step to resolve the first major issue that slows down computers.

1. Go to ccleaner.com/download.
1. Go to ccleaner.com/download.
2. Download the free edition from Piriform.com, then install CCleaner from the download.
2. Download the free edition from Piriform.com, then install CCleaner from the download.
3. Open CCleaner from the desktop shortcut.
3. Open CCleaner from the desktop shortcut.

Preparation

Before we can use the CCleaner utility, we must download and install it. To download the ultility, go to ccleaner.com/download. Then, under heading CCleaner Free, click download from: Piriform.com.

Alternatively, you can download the file using this link: CCleaner Download

After the download, the installation wizard will open (if any Windows warnings popup, bypass them and continue the installation). Run through the wizard leaving all the default settings. The wizard will install a shortcut onto your desktop. After the wizard, CCleaner should open. If it does not, open it from the shortcut installed on your desktop.

1. Click "Run Cleaner"
1. Click "Run Cleaner"
2. Click "OK"
2. Click "OK"
3. Review your results and rerun the cleaner.
3. Review your results and rerun the cleaner.
4. Review the results of the second cleaning.
4. Review the results of the second cleaning.

Step 1: Delete Temporary Files

CCleaner will open to the Cleaner Tab. Using the default settings, click "Run Cleaner". Click "OK" on the popup windows to proceed with the cleaning. It will then analyze and clean your computer. What this is doing is looking for temporary files and deleting them.

Run through the above process a second time. It is always best to run the cleaner twice. Sometimes the first time through it misses something. I always recommend running cleaners two or three times.

1. Go to the "Registry" Tab.
1. Go to the "Registry" Tab.
2. Click "Scan for Issues". After the scan, click "Fix selected issues...".
2. Click "Scan for Issues". After the scan, click "Fix selected issues...".
3. Click "No".
3. Click "No".
4. Click "Fix All Selected Issues".
4. Click "Fix All Selected Issues".
5. Click "Close" and run it again.
5. Click "Close" and run it again.

Step 2: Defragment the Registry

The Registry is a set of files that contain the settings of your Windows PC. These are the files that tell everything else what to do and how to do it. The registry gets added to and changed every time you install, update, or uninstall software. Over time these files go missing or break. Files with the wrong settings, missing files, and corrupt files greatly slow down your PC. CCleaner's Registry Cleaner defragments your registry to fix these errors.

To use the registry cleaner, go to the "Registry" tab. Click "Scan for Issues". After the scan, click "Fix selected issues...". When asked if you want to backup the changes to the registry, click "No". Then click "Fix All Selected Issues". If you do not click this, it will go through the issues, one at a time, explaining the issue and asking you what you want to do. Unless you know exactly what each issue is talking about, click "Fix All Selected Issues". Then click "Close".

As I said previously, I suggest running all cleaners two or three times. This is no exception. Run it again.

Under the "Uninstall" section of the "Tools" tab, select the program you want to uninstall. Click "Run Uninstaller". Go through the uninstall wizard. Repeat this process for all programs you want to uninstall.
Under the "Uninstall" section of the "Tools" tab, select the program you want to uninstall. Click "Run Uninstaller". Go through the uninstall wizard. Repeat this process for all programs you want to uninstall.

Step 3: Remove Unnecessary Programs

Extra programs that you do not use just take up space. Many of them will run in the background in hopes that you will one day use them. This can make your computer painfully slow. The two most common types of applications that slow down most PCs are 1) third-party internet browser toolbars, and 2) extra application plugins. In addition, sometimes people will install applications thinking they will use them but never do. Or they install a program for temporary use or to experiment with, then forget to uninstall it. Regardless of the reason, their may be programs you want to install, or do not even know you have, and CCleaner has a great built in utility to uninstall these programs.

Go to the "Tools" tab. With the "Uninstall" section selected, browse through your installed programs. Find one you want to remove. Select it and click "Run Uninstaller". Sometimes an uninstall wizard will popup that you run through. Other times the program uninstalls itself in the background. Repeat this process for all the programs you no longer want. If any of the uninstall wizards require you to restart your PC, select to restart it later.

Select the program and click "Disable". Repeat for each program.
Select the program and click "Disable". Repeat for each program.

Step 4: Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs

Many programs will start running in the background when you start your computer. This is so that when you want to use the program, it will open much faster. The problem is that every program you install hopes that you will use it everyday. This is another reason you PC may be running so slow.

Go to the "Startup" section under the "Tools" tab. Note that there are categories running along the top of the startup window. Browse through the programs on each of these tabs looking for programs you do not want to startup with your PC. When you find one that you do not want, select it and click "Disable". Repeat this process for each program you no longer want to startup when you start your PC. Do not disable a program because you do not know what it is. Make sure you know what you are disabling before you disable it.

Step 5: Restart Your PC

To ensure that each of the previous steps yields permanent changes, close CCleaner and restart your computer.

Restart your computer.
Restart your computer.

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    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 3 years ago from UK

      I use ccleaner but haven't really delved into the depths of its qualities as you have. Thank you for writing this I will follow your advice. Voted up interesting and useful.