Essential spring-cleaning tools for your PC

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There’s nothing quite like that ‘new PC’ feeling: snappy startups, lightning-fast apps and all the storage space you could want. But as time rolls on, things inevitably start to slow down – so our experts are here to help bring things back up to speed.

Windows desktop PCs and laptops always slow down with age – but it’s not a one-way street. By taking a little time to do some spring cleaning, you can get your old PC back into fighting shape. Today, we're sharing a few utilities that should get your kit running smoothly.

 

CCleaner

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Piriform

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ccleaner

The more you use your PC, the more settings files and other leftover traces build up from all the apps and games you’ve used.

This is one of the biggest reasons why PCs seem to slow down with age – and this is where CCleaner comes in.

CCleaner works by targeting two of the major causes of PC slowdown: settings files themselves, and unused registry entries. It’ll also help anonymise and protect your web browsing by deleting tracking cookies. 

All of this is great news for your ailing PC, but CCleaner really earns its place on this list by being so easy to use. Less-technical users can carry out a simple system cleanup with just one click, but more advanced users have access to a whole range of customisable settings.

Best of all, the free version of CCleaner is pretty much fully featured, and boasts more than one billion downloads to date. In other words, it’s a much-loved PC essential – and certainly deserves a place in your computer toolkit. Make sure you install the latest version by using the link above.

 

SpaceSniffer

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Underzo

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SpaceSniffer

These days, most PCs come with lots of storage space – and depending how you use your computer, you might be lucky enough never to run out of room.

When storage does become an issue, it can be hard to work out exactly what’s eating up so much of your precious storage space. Yes, you can work it out with a little digging in Windows – but it’s not exactly straightforward.

Enter SpaceSniffer. This handy utility takes a quick scan of your computer’s storage, giving you an at-a-glance view of which folders are taking up the most space.

It’s not the best-looking program, but its highly intuitive interface makes it easy to use, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

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Malwarebytes

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malware bytes anti-malware

Malware – short for ‘malicious software’ – can be a real pain. Malware includes things like viruses and other PC nasties, and can slyly infect your PC through unsafe downloads, compromised advertising networks and untrustworthy websites.

Sometimes, malware makes itself obvious after installing itself. It’s hard to miss your web browsing being redirected to unusual sites, and being flooded with malicious pop-up adverts, but other examples are trickier to spot. Malware can plug away in the background, tracking your online behaviour, serve unwanted and misleading adverts and in extreme cases even steal your personal and financial information before ‘phoning home’ to report on what it finds.

For these reasons, it’s always worth doing regular malware scans – even if there aren’t any immediately obvious symptoms. Thankfully, there are a number of free tools to combat the threat – and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is one of the best.

One of its greatest strengths is its simplicity. Install and launch the software, click a single button and a thorough scan is underway. Once it’s complete, you’ll see a summary of any nasties it’s found, as well as options for getting rid of them.

The ‘Premium’ version goes one step further, adding an instant real-time scanner that automatically prevents infection – but the free version is still an excellent first line of defence against the malware threat.

Hopefully you've got everything you need to keep your computer running smoothly, but if you'd like to speak to an Expert from Team Knowhow you can contact us here.

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