How do I clean my computer from junk and junk files?

Updated: June 16, 2023
6 min read
How do I clean my computer from junk and junk files?
by Chris Wolker
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

When the first signs of slow performance appear, the attentive user wonders how to clean the computer from junk and speed up its performance. Built-in and third-party utilities come to the rescue. Their function is to find temporary, broken, and unused files, to defragment the system, and, as a result, to optimize the entire PC. We will introduce you to both options for cleaning your computer and tell you about the pros and cons of each.

Before we start

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Where does the computer get its garbage?

The computer stores not only the files that the user "sees." For example, after uninstalling unused software, saved files, configuration files, and registry entries remain in memory. They are not used in any way and just take up space. These include the browser cache and temporary files.

When there is too much garbage, the system starts to slow down: folders open more slowly, boot times increase, and disk space runs out. The easiest way to clean your computer of junk and unwanted files is to use the tools built into your operating system.

Using Windows 10's built-in tools to clean up your PC

There is no need to purchase additional utilities for basic computer cleaning. Microsoft has taken care of the user and has provided working and, most importantly, free tools to optimize your PC.

  1. On the Start menu, locate the Settings icon.
  2. In the large menu that appears, select System.
  3. On the blue bar that appears, click Device Memory.
  4. In the open window, activate the slider that enables computer memory control. In this tab, you can automatically clean the PC or individual components: the Recycle Bin and the Downloads folder.
  5. Select Configure Memory Control or run it. Select the process parameters in the window that appears and confirm Clear now.
  6. Go back to the Device Memory tab and select Show more categories. Information about the number of temporary files and other system folders will appear. Windows will tell you which files you can delete without harming your device. Select the desired items and click Delete files.

Pros and cons of cleaning your PC with built-in Windows components

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This is the easiest way to optimize your device's resources. To find out how to clean your computer from junk with the built-in Windows tools, you don't need to deal with the fine-tuning of programs. The manufacturer has taken care so that the user can manage the process intuitively. You will not have to purchase additional software and take up disk space with a new program. It is impossible to perform a deep computer cleanup with the built-in Windows components, but this option is ideal as a temporary remedy.

Cleaning the PC from garbage with third-party software


The most popular PC cleaner in the world is CCleaner. This inexpensive but effective utility improves computer performance and protects it from malfunctions. The program optimizes computer resources and controls their rational use. It guarantees a safe browsing experience by removing tracking files.

CCleaner is convenient to use on devices used by multiple users. The program neatly cleans the registry in all browsers, saving important information. Its activity has no negative impact on system performance. The licensed version is automatically updated, eliminating errors, and working gently and efficiently.

Features of CCleaner

  • The software does not weigh much and works fast.
  • CCleaner cleans the registry, removes files left in the system after uninstalling programs, and fixes errors.
  • During cookie deletion, the software does not affect user data. Cleanup is performed with the browsers closed.
  • It is possible to set Exceptions folders, disk partitions, or registry branches that will not be cleaned.
  • You can set Inclusions — the files that will be cleaned first.
  • In addition to the listed advantages, CCleaner has another one - this program is time-tested. Millions of users trust it. Furthermore, it can be installed on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

Pros and cons of cleaning your PC with licensed software

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In the case of purchased software, there are clearly more advantages than when using standard Windows tools.

  • Cleaning speed increases by a factor of 5-10.
  • Deep PC optimization. For example, clean your computer first with built-in tools and then with purchased software. The latter will find a lot of junk that standard methods cannot detect.
  • The ability to fine-tune the system. You set your configuration parameters, which makes optimizing your system genuinely optimal.

The only disadvantage is the need to buy a key. However, it is covered by the manufacturer's technical support and access to the software's full functionality.

Should I use licensed software to optimize my computer?

Low-power built-in utilities are a temporary solution for those who have not yet delved into the problem of computer optimization. For active users, such cleaning is not enough. Look into third-party software if you realize it's time to get your PC back to its former speed.

A lot of manufacturers offer to install such software for free. This variant tempts many users, but it is far from ideal: freeware has reduced functionality and can sometimes harm your computer. For those who think about optimization and security, buying professional software is the best option.

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Daniel Kitelinger
Invalid Date
I tried cleaning my computer from junk files, but now some of my programs are not working properly. What should I do to fix this?
Invalid Date
Is it necessary to clean junk files regularly, or is it okay to do it once in a while?
1 reply
  1. Lee
    Invalid Date
    QuantumJourney, It's recommended to clean junk files regularly to maintain the performance and efficiency of your computer.
Invalid Date
This article gave me great tips on how to clean my computer and get rid of junk files. Thanks! 👍
Invalid Date
I tried cleaning my computer from junk files, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Maybe I'm missing something 😕
Invalid Date
Finally cleaned up my computer from junk files! It's running so much faster now 🚀

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