Recently I noticed that Windows 8® was acting a little sluggish, so I decided to restart it to see if that would help. As soon as I clicked on the Power button, I saw what the problem was because one of my choices was “Install updates and restart.” Aha! Microsoft® had automatically downloaded some updates.
Microsoft® is notorious for not cleaning up after themselves when they install updates. Like confetti on a dance floor after a New Year’s Eve party, they leave bits and pieces of temporary files on your hard drive. This trash takes up valuable disk space and can slow you down.
The good news is that it’s very easy to clean out. Here’s how you do it:
Go to the corner to bring up the little sidebar. Click on Settings (the gear icon). Click on Control Panel.
Now click on System and Security
Click on “Free up disk space” right below “Administrative Tools” (highlighted). A little icon will appear on your toolbar at the bottom and you may see the small window as shown below. If you don’t see it, it’s hiding behind the System and Security screen, so click on the icon on your toolbar and it will come to the front. It is already set to remove some things by default, such as Downloaded Program Files and Temporary Internet Files. You can check other boxes if you wish. I always check the Recycle Bin box.
After you make your choices, click OK. The program will scan to find these items, then ask if you want to delete them. Click the delete button. Voila! More free space. However, with Windows® updates, you’re not quite finished. Click “Free up disk space” again. When the window comes up, click on “Clean up system files.” It may take a minute or so for the program to find them all, and once you agree to delete them, it can take up to several minutes for the program to get rid of them all. The last time I ran this, I got rid of 604 MB of clutter, and my computer thanked me by running faster.
If you download things like photos or other big files on a daily basis, it won’t hurt to run the “Free up disk space” program at the end of the day. I only use “Clean up system files” after big updates, but you can run it any time you feel your computer has slowed down.
Little maintenance chores like this only take a few minutes, and reward you with a PC that lives longer and runs better.
Until next time …