Clean Up a Computer Without Reformatting

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To clean up a computer without reformatting the machine, simply delete any unnecessary files in the "My Documents" folder and delete temporary Internet files stored on the computer. Help a computer run quicker without reformatting it with IT help from a software developer in this free video on computers.

Part of the Video Series: Computers & Laptops
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to show you how to clean up a computer without reformatting. Let's go to our computer, and the very first thing we're going to do is we're going to delete old files and data that we don't need. So let's click on our 'Start' button, let's go to 'Documents', and this is a list of basically all of your documents that you have. It'll include maybe some old pictures that you don't need anymore... basically this kind of stuff builds up over time as you save files to your computer, and there may be a whole lot of files in here that you don't need anymore. So, my first tip to you is to delete files that you don't need out of here. Make sure if it is something that you do need that you make a backup of it. So I'm just going to select a few things here, and we're going to delete these out. Basically I'm holding down the 'Ctrl' key on my keyboard, and I'm clicking on the files that I don't want anymore. So now that I have all those selected, I'm just going to press the 'Delete' key on my keyboard, and it's going to tell me it's going to move all these files to the Recycle Bin, so I'm going to say 'Yes'. Now this 'My Documents' folder has been cleaned up quite a bit there, so I'm going to empty out the Recycle Bin, by right-clicking on my Recycle Bin on my desktop, and clicking 'Empty'. Those files that I didn't need anymore are now permanently deleted. Another thing you can do is you can clear our your Internet Explorer data. So let's open up our Internet Explorer. Let's go to 'Tools', and select 'Internet Options'. Now the reason that you want to do this is, as you're browsing the internet, it's basically saving every webpage that you access... every file, picture, sound byte, everything... to your desktop, and that can really clutter it up over time. So in the middle here, under 'Browsing History', let's select 'Delete', and I'm just going to click 'Delete All'. That will clear out my browsing history, temporary internet files that have been cached on my computer, and I'm also going to check this check box here that deletes files that are stored by add-ons. So if you have a lot of toolbars on your Internet Explorer it would delete those as well. So all that data has now been cleared out, which can really build up over time. The last thing that I'm going to suggest that you do is click on your 'Start' button, go to 'My Computer', let's right-click on our C drive, go to 'Properties', and then 'Tools', and click on 'Defragment Now'. And you have to be an administrator on Vista, so just click 'Continue', and then click 'Defragment Now'. This isn't going to delete or change anything on your hard drive that's irrecoverable, it's basically going to organize your hard drive so that it can open files faster. So, this is a good way to unclutter your computer. My name's Dave Andrews, and I've just showed you how to clean up a computer without reformatting.

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