Introduction and Basic Procedures

Everybody that uses Windows knows that from time to time we need to perform a major clean-up to remove unused junk in order to not only freeing hard disk space, but also to make Windows run faster and make our computer to run more stable. This tutorial is a step-by-step guide on how to make a major clean up on your PC.

There are several commercial software available on the market to help you out with this task. In our guide, however, we decided to only use freeware software and tools that come with Windows.

This tutorial can be applied to any Windows version. So, let’s do it.

1. Update your Windows by going to This is pretty straightforward. Just open this address and click on the “Express” button that will show up and follow the instructions that will appear on the screen. The exact steps and the time it will take to update your Windows will depend on how badly your Windows is outdated.

A tip here is to enable your Windows to download and install updates automatically (this option only exists on Windows XP). Usually this is enabled by default, but you should check if your PC has this featured enabled or not. Just click on System icon on Control Panel and then click on Automatic Updates tab. Check if “Automatic (recommended)” option is select. If it isn’t, please select it, as shown in Figure 1.

Enabling automatic updates on your WindowsFigure 1: Enabling automatic updates on your Windows.

2. Install an antivirus on your PC and scan you PC for virus. A good option is Avast!, which is free:

3. Install anti-spyware software and scan your PC for spyware and related malware. Microsoft’s Windows Defender is an excellent choice and is free:

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.