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What Are Junk Files and Why You Should Delete Them

Updated on April 17, 2012
Delete junk files to speed up your PC
Delete junk files to speed up your PC | Source

Delete junk files and speed up your computer

Do you remember how fast your PC was when you first got it? Booting up took seconds, programs opened really quickly and browsing the Web was a breeze. And now you are lumbered with a slow computer. Why? Most likely, junk files are to blame.

What are junk files?

Basically, junk files are the files your computer can do without. Most of the time they are Windows temp files, your browser cache, outdated restore points, MS Office backup files, leftovers from software you don’t have any more, log files and many others. Depending on how you use your computer, you may have gigabytes of junk cluttering your hard drive.

How do junk files affect your computer?

Junk files affect your computer performance in several different ways. First of all, they waste hard drive space. If there are too many junk files, your computer starts becoming slow. That’s because junk files force your hard drive’s read and write heads to do a lot more work when you want to open a file or launch a program. As a result everything takes longer than it should. Junk files also increase the time needed for anti-virus scans and disk defrags. But there is more – junk files can also be malicious.

Have you ever been bewildered by rapidly decreasing hard drive space? If yes, than you know how frustrating it is. Junk files are usually responsible for this. There are certain types of junk files that just never stop growing if you don’t do something about them. Files like this usually belong to your email client or are created by malware to keep eating up your hard drive space until your computer grinds to a halt. That’s why you should delete junk files on a regular basis.

How to delete junk files

Luckily, most junk files are pretty easy to delete. All you need to do is run the disk cleanup utility provided by Windows. This program can delete common types of junk files as well as outdated system restore points. To access the disk cleanup program, click on Start, then go to Programs – Accessories. Launch the program, select the drive you want cleaned up and let the utility analyze it. When done, delete what it finds. If you want to delete old system restore points, go to the Advanced tab and select the relevant option.

Windows Disk Cleaner is a pretty good basic utility, but it doesn’t delete some types of junk files. So if you want to get rid of all of them, it’s best to get a third-party disk cleanup program. There are lots of different options available for download at Softpedia or

© 2012 Snurre


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    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 4 years ago

      WiccanSage, thank you! Glad I was able to help!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I am so clueless ab0ut computers, I'm trying to get mine working more efficiently. Great hub.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I have logged onto peoples computers that they said needed replaced that have NEVER used scan disc or whatever they should have. Wow they had a new pc instantly! Great information! So junk files are JUNK right? LOL Voted up!

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      Thank you, Pamela! Glad you found this hub useful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      It is always good to read hubs on making your computer run more efficiently and this hub is not exception. Good information.