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Check out how to perform a complete disk cleanup

Check Out How to Perform A Complete Disk Cleanup

When you are getting "low disk space" warning or your system is running at a turtle speed, it's time for you to perform a complete disk cleanup. Windows has a built-in disk cleanup function which can remove some useless flotsam. However it cannot help you clean the major temporary files. You have to do it yourself. You can download WinASO Registry Optimizer and WinASO Disk Cleaner to perform an easy cleanup or do it all by yourself if you are confident about your computer skills.

Below are some tips to help you free up much more valuable disk space and improve the overall system performance.

Remove the temporary files created by Windows and Windows programs.

First, let's find out what types of temporary files Windows and its programs will create during running: 

-          Temporary installation files 
Many programs will compress its installation file into a temporary folder (usually under Windows/Temp) during installation. When the installation completes, if the program designer forgets to take care of these temporary files, they will be left in your disk and become junk files.
In many cases, these files exist as *.tmp files, as seen in Figure 1 below:

- Temporary interchanging files and backup files
 Programs may create some temporary interchanging files when running, such as *.old and *.bak. Anti-viruses or system programs will also generate backup files when scanning disks, as shown in Figure 2.


 -   Built-in help files, tutorial files, dll files.
 Programs may have built-in help files or tutorial files , often ended with ".hlp". DLL is used by most Windows programs. But these *.dll files, *.hlp files as well as related registry keys are often left behind even after the programs have been removed from the system.

Figure 3.
- Temporary files generated by web browser

When you are surfing on the internet, your web browser will download the web pages you have visited to local machine, which can occupy large amount of disk space, and create privacy problem at the same time. Besides, web browsers will also generate history records, temporary cache files, cookies, etc, which can all be cleaned when you need disk space.

- Other temporary files generated by Windows

These files include temporary files created during Windows installation and running (such as *.tmp and *._mp), temporary backup files (such as *.bak, *.old, *.syd), temporary help files (*.gid), data files created during disk checking (".chk") and other temporary files such as *.dir, *.dmp, *.nch.

  Knowing what types of temporary files existing in your system, you can now start to clean them up. Just use "Search" function in Windows and input the postfixes of all these temporary files to locate them. Then select all the files in the result window, and right click to remove them all. Don't forget to check the two temporary folders "C:\Temp" and "C:\WINDOWS\Temp. All the files stored here are junk files and can be removed without a problem 

To remove the temporary internet files created by web browser, you can simply go to Control Panel -> Internet Options and use the cleanup functions provided there to remove histories, temporary internet files and cookies.

Remove the Windows components and programs that are rarely used.

 Go to "Control Panel" -> "Add/Remove Windows Components" and "Add/Remove Programs" to remove those programs or components that you no longer need.

Remove the junk records recorded by Windows

 -          Remove the program name list in "Run"

 Going to Start -> Run, we will see there is a list of commands in the "Open" boxes, but many of them are no longer useful and may reveal our privacies. To remove these junks, you can go to registry editor (by running "regedit.exe"), locate "HKEY-CURRENT-USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/RunMRU", and remove the unwanted items listed in the right-hand side window. Please note do not delete "Default" and "MRUList".
 - Remove the visited document list in "Start"

 Select "Start" -> "Settings" ->"Task Bar and Start Menu" (there are some differences among different Windows version, e.g, in Windows 7, you should right click on "Start" and select "Properties"). Select "Start Menu" in the dialog box, and use the delete function here to remove the document list.

 - Remove the play histories in Windows Media Player

 Windows Media Player will record the play histories and display them in the drop down menu. If you want to remove them, you can open registry editor, locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/MediaPlayer/Player/ RecentFileList, and delete all the registry keys displayed on the right. Then your play histories will be gone.

 The same way can be applied to clear play histories in other audio/video players such Real Player and ACDSee histories.

 - Remove the histories recorded in the address bar of web browsers

 Web browsers will automatically record the visited sites in the address bar. To remove these records, you can go to registry editor, locate "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\TypedUrls" and delete the unwanted items on the right.

l  Remove the junks left by programs already uninstalled.

 - Remove the programs' installation directory
      Right click on the program's shortcut, select "Properties" -> "Find Target" to locate and delete the installation directory of the program.

  - Remove the junks in "Add/Remove Programs"
      Sometimes the programs already uninstalled will still appear in the list of "Add/Remove Programs". We can open registry editor, locate "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SoftwareMicrosoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall", and select those unwanted items on the right to remove.

      - Remove the registry keys related to the programs.
     Open registry editor, and use the search function to locate all the registry keys that are related to the program. You can use the program's executable file name as the search criteria.


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