Clean Out Some Clutter
CCleaner - Download: https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/download
All computers have a buildup of “gunk” that can accumulate over time, whether they’re cookies, temporary files, or unused passwords. Ccleaner is a free to download and install program that can clean out a lot of these files.
Download and install the program, Ccleaner (“ccsetup551.exe”) - be sure to UNCHECK “Yes, Install Avast Free Antivirus” because we won’t be needing that.
Ccleaner by default should open up the Cleaner with default boxes checked for what old information needs to be cleared out. Feel free to carefully browse and check anything else that you think you can afford to clear (ex “saved passwords”)
Following analyze, you can then run the cleaner itself by clicking “Run Cleaner.” Cleaning can take anywhere between 2 minutes and 3 hours depending on how much junk you have.
After cleaning, click on the “Registry” tag, “Scan for Issues”, “Fix Selected Issues…” and do not create a backup. That’s it!
Remove Harmful Viruses and Malware
MalwareBytes - https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/thankyou/
If you think your computer may be exceptionally slow due to a virus, or a piece of malware, it’s time for a good and thorough scanning. Malwarebytes is a great tool to identify, quarantine, and remove potential threats. Keep in mind, this is not protection, but rather a useful removal tool in the event you do have malware.
Download and install MalwareBytes for Free.
After installation, open MalwareBytes and begin the 14 day free trial. Scan the computer for potential infections. You can then quarantine and delete them. That’s it!
NOTE: Feel free to uninstall both MalwareBytes AND CCleaner as soon as you’re done with them. That way you don’t bog down the system when you’re trying to game or get your work done. You can always install them again when it’s time.
Edit Startup Programs
As your computer downloads more and more software, over time the computer will noticeably slow down when it comes to booting up the computer. This is because most software by default will boot up with the computer on Start Up. We recommend editing just exactly what kind of software boots up and runs in the background, as that precious computing power should only be reserved for your most used programs.
Step 1: Open Task Manager
On Windows 10, press the Windows key or the Windows icon at the bottom left of the taskbar. Type in “Task Manager,” right click, and “Run as administrator.
Step 2: Pruning
Click on the “Startup” tab at the top of the new Task Manager Window and notice the list of software that is either “enabled” or “disabled” at Start Up.
Here’s the part when you go down the list and figure out which programs REALLY need to be turned on at Start Up, and which ones you can disable and open only when you really need them.
We generally recommend just the mouse software, “audio managers,” Windows Defender on our short list. Feel free to choose what you will.
After this last step, restart the computer!
And just like that, we’ve got a refreshed computer, ready for the New Year! Of course, there’s more you can do to clean up after your cyber friend, but these three things are great way to begin without spending too much time on cleaning and more time on enjoying your Winter Break!