Andy: Good Morning Charlie Brown. OK, Charlie, Weather is nice out there…I think its finally Spring. And you know what that means: Spring Cleaning!

Charlie: Hi Andy. I will start by saying IMHO, Spring took long enough to get here this year! I would suggest that in addition to cleaning out the house you consider cleaning you computer too.

Andy: I figured you might say something like that. Do you have any tips that might make the job easier or more effective?

Charlie: Yes I do. First I want to make clear that the reason we are doing this is to make it easier and faster to use your computer system. Suggest that there are a couple of places that you might want to think about cleaning.

  • Disk Drive: The disk drive is one of the most obvious places to start.
    • Temp files get left behind in directories when you are using the system and there are programs that can find and remove them.
    • Download Files directory can have a lot of unused files that are no longer of interest or are out of date downloads.
  • Web Browser Files: History, Cookies, Cache files can build up. You can’t easily go and delete them but again, there are programs that can help with this cleanup task.
  • Registry Entries: Again, these get left over during normal usage of your computer and there is no easy way to clean them up without using a utility program.
  • Email: This almost all of us leave behind when cleaning our systems:
    • Inbox: How old is the oldest email in your in-box? Is it and any of the other emails older than a year old relevant anymore? Do you have Sale notices from stores that are no longer valid?
    • Sent Items Folder: Same question.
    • Deleted Items/Trash: Empty the trash!

Andy: Seems like a reasonable list of places to clean up. How can a person who knows little about computers start on this task?

Charlie: Well, lets start with the hard ones first. Cleaning up the Download Files directory and the Email folders is going to take some hands-on work by the user. You can use various sorting techniques to gather like files or emails from the same place to help you with cleaning these areas.

To clean the disk drive, the web browser entries and registry entries I like a program called CCleaner. But I have to mention that it has recently been bought by the AVAST company and when you download it it tries to install AVAST AV along with CCleaner. Make sure you un-check the box to install AVAST!!! The Cleaner and Registry options do a good job of cleaning your system.

The Windows Disk Cleanup utility, which is included with Windows, also does a good job of cleaning up the disk drive without having to download anything.

Andy: Thank you for your cleanup ideas, but I don’t want to take a chance of messing something up on my computer. Do you have a disk cleanup service?

Charlie: Yes we do. It includes all of the above and more and takes us about a day to go thru a standard PC cleanup and update. If you will mention that you heard this spot on the radio or saw it on the web, we will take $25 off our standard price for the service.

Andy: Sounds like a great deal to me. I know that their Cleanup and Update service can really make your system run better. That’s Charlie Brown at PC Applications, 533-6510, or visit their web site

Charlie: Before your computer’s down, Call Charlie Brown.