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Clean Up, Speed Up My Computer

For External computer care, a can of air to blow out the keyboard and an alcohol pad to clean the keyboard and mouse are standard in my desk drawer. And NEVER use Windex or alcohol on your monitor. You will streak the optical coating and you'll regret it forever. Only use water and a soft cloth.

The Internal computer care is a little more intense and takes more time and knowledge.
1. Uninstall any 3rd-party "toolbars" and "extensions" like the Yahoo and Google search bars. These keep their own internet histories.
- Click Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
- Find the program and highlight it (i.e. AOL Toolbar)
- Click "Change/Remove" or "Remove" (whichever option appears)

2. Run the Disk Cleanup utility to get rid of unnecessary files that clutter your hard drive. It's ok, I've never had a file deleted that I actually needed.
- Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
- It will run a calculation and show you the results
- Click OK to let it delete the files.

3. Keep your My Documents file system managed just like (hopefully) your paper file system.
- Open "My Computer"
- Create files and name them by subject
(Right Click > choose "New Folder")
- Click and drag the files into the new folders
- There are programs that offer "free file management", but just keeping yourself organized is the best way.

4. Download and run a Spyware Removal program. My favorite is AdAware from LavaSoft. This link is to the light-weight Free version download.

5. Download and run a Virus protection program. I use the
Free version of AVG. It does a great job and doesn't weigh down my computer system, unlike Norton and McAfee.

6. Possibly the most important "deep cleaning" tool is a Registry Cleaner. Registries are like great big libraries and when books get out of place, error messages flash on your screen. If you ever see a .dll error, it is a registry error. Registry cleaners organize it all back into order. Finding a free one is difficult but one I have found is CCleaner.
Note: A free cleaner will never be as thorough as a purchased cleaner. They usually run around $30.

Here are a couple 'for purchase' cleaners that get good reviews:
UniBlue Registry Booster

7. There are also programs that will offer to "delete internet history free", but why download yet another program to do something easily yourself? Because of the many different browsers available, I won't list them all here, but a few of the most used browsers are:

Firefox (free download at
The best way to keep your hard drive clean is to install Firefox
and leave Internet Explorer behind.
1. Open the FireFox web browser.
2. On the main menu, select Tools > Options > Privacy
Click "Clear All"

Internet Explorer will allow you to manually remove some of your browsing history information, but there will still be traces of browsing history which professionals could quickly locate.
1. Click Tools > Internet Options > General
2. Click "Delete Files," then "OK", Click "Delete Cookies," then "OK",
Click "Clear History" then "Yes."

Internet Explorer may also remember your form entries for you, which can result in past searches appearing in a drop-down box when typing in search keywords. (I personally find it convenient to leave these boxes checked, but it is your choice.)
To erase this information:
1. Click Tools > Internet Options > Content > AutoComplete > Clear Forms
2. You can clear the checkboxes by "Forms", "Web addresses",
and "User names and password" to prevent the program from trying
to recall your form selections for you in the future.

America Online browser is based on Microsoft Internet Explorer. In addition to the information above, here are specific steps to clear your AOL browsing history:
1. Click "settings" from the set of buttons at the top of the AOL window.
2. Click "preferences."
3. Click "toolbar and sounds."
4. Click "clear history trail now."

Other Browsers offer similar functions; investigate their menus thoroughly.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome information. I clean my monitor
    with Windex before but I know not to. thanks. The rest of your read I know myself but always welling to learn and I thank you. Another good PC cleaner combo is


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