Part 2 – Streamline your PC
Welcome to part two of our guide to optimizing and removing bloat from Windows computers.
In part one we looked at steps for beginners which covered removing shortcuts and unwanted programs as well as removing basic junk files.
In part two we will look at three steps for intermediate users to further streamline their machine, maximizing performance.
# 1 – Get rid of unnecessary toolbars
Browsers are our windows onto the web but they can also gather a lot of unnecessary junk which can slow down our machines.
Many programs add their own toolbars to browsers like Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Some are useful, some are not. It is really down to you, the user at the end of the day.
If you want to get rid of unwanted toolbars, simply open the “Add-on” management tools of your browser and turn these plug-ins off one by one. In Internet Explorer 11, for example, you click on the little tool icon in the upper right corner and go to “Manage add-ons”.
The next window should show a handful of unnecessary add-ons that you should turn off immediately if you don’t want them.
Confirm with “Disable”. Repeat this step for all annoying toolbars you don’t need.
#2 – Use PC TuneUp Live Optimization
Live Optimization prevents background programs/processes from consuming too much CPU resource and, thus, slowing down your active process. For example, if you’re gaming or converting a video, Live Optimization makes sure that no other program or background process slows things down.
To do this, simply download AVG PC TuneUp and install it. Live Optimization is automatically enabled and works silently in the background!
#3 – Make Sure Your PC STAYS clean! Create a Recovery Image!
Now that your PC, laptop or tablet with Windows is clean and bloat-free, it’s time to take a snapshot of this pristine condition, so that you can return to it whenever you like. There’s no better way to do this than creating an image.
An “image” is a snapshot of your entire system: This includes all of your data, files, programs and settings—everything! If something goes wrong, you simply insert a rescue disc or the Windows DVD, and roll back the image. This works on Windows Vista, 7 and 8 (XP users may have to get a dedicated image tool, such as Acronis True Image).
- On Windows 7, open up “Control Panel”, click on “Back up your computer”, and choose “Create a system image” on the left-hand side.
On Windows 8, go to “Control Panel”, select “System and Security”, “File History” and click on “System Image Backup” in the lower left.
- Users of either operating system can save the image on an external USB disk (which I would recommend), burn it onto multiple DVDs or save it on storage storage device on your network.
Depending on which option you choose and how much data you have, this process can take between 20 minutes and several hours. But it’s worth the wait!
Remember to create an image on a regular basis in order to prevent data loss in case you need to restore your entire system.
This is it for this weeks blog post – you’ve cleaned up the most essential bits of Windows and your programs now. But there’s more to do: Stay tuned for next weeks installment of our cleaning series, in which we dig really deep into the system for some advanced tweaking and optimizing!
March 4, 2014