Periodically it’s good to do a checkup on your Computer and delete any miscellaneous programs that are not used or needed and potentially slowing your systems down.
Do a clean sweep
Like many parents, you may sit down at the PC to check emails, only to find that the kids have installed some new programs. Between those games found on facebook ads or downloaded Candy Crush Saga, there are now icons all over the place.
With intrusive browsing and operating systems these days, it’s easy to fill space on a PC’s hard disk with games and other programs we no longer need. In fact, some technology analysts believe that we use less than 10 percent of the programs installed on our computers.
The following instructions describes how to safely—and easily—remove old or unused programs and files from your Windows-based computer.
Enable System Restore
System Restore isn’t actually enabled by default in Windows 10, so you’ll need to turn it on. Press Start, then type ‘Create a restore point’ and click the top result. This will open the System Properties window, with the System Protection tab selected.
Click your system drive (usually C), then click Configure. In the window that appears, click “Turn on system protection.” Click Apply, then OK, then click OK on the System Properties window. This will enable System Restore and let it begin protecting your computer.
Decide which programs to purge
The first step is to decide which programs you no longer need. You may want to keep only the programs you use regularly. For example, has it been a year since your child touched that cartoon game? Chances are you can re-download it anyway (if you want to reinstall it later), so perhaps it’s time to wipe it off the hard disk.
If you don’t know the purpose of a program that’s on your hard drive, you can always use your favorite search engine to see what it is. For example, if you don’t plan to buy a camera, remove any preinstalled photo-editing software that may have come bundled on your PC.
If it helps, make a list of programs you want to keep and others you can do away with or store on disk.
While deleting programs is easy, many novice computer users believe they can be removed by simply deleting the program’s icon from the desktop. This method doesn’t work because the icon is only a shortcut to the real program, which consists of many files.
You can uninstall programs from your computer by using one of two methods, both located on the Start menu.
Uninstall from the Programs list
To more easily view all the programs you can uninstall, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features. This screen shows you both Windows Universal apps and standard desktop applications, so you should find every program installed on your PC here. Scroll down the list to locate the program you wish to remove. Click it and then select Uninstall.
Uninstall from Start Menu
Some programs don’t give you the option to uninstall them from a program group. No problem. In these cases, here’s what you do.
Let’s first check out how to uninstall a program from the Windows Start Menu. Click the Start button and look for a program you wish to remove, either in the All Apps list on the left or in the tiled section on the right. Right-click the program, and if it can be removed this way, you’ll see an option for Uninstall in the pop-up menu. Click it, confirm you want to uninstall it, and it’s gone.
Windows 10 Bloatware Apps?
Some of the default Modern apps, like Xbox and Weather, are useful to some people but not others. Others, like Candy Crush Saga, are junk you should remove. You can find a full Windows 10 bloatware list, and see how to uninstall these apps (one-by-one or all at once), in our Windows 10 bloatware removal guide.
If you accidentally delete a program that you want to keep, you can restore your PC back to an earlier time to get the program back. To restore, click on the Start menu, type ‘Create a restore point’ and click the top result. This will open the System Properties window we used in the enabling steps, then click System Restore. Click Next, then choose a restore point from the on-screen list.
This article focuses on uninstalling entire programs, but it’s also recommended to clean up individual files. If your musical tastes have changed since you went through that country-and-western stage, you can easily delete downloaded MP3 files, or at least copy them to a external hard drive to free space on your PC.
Once you’re inside (My) Computer then Windows Explorer or Documents, simply highlight the files that you no longer want on your hard disk and press the DELETE key, or right-click the file name, and select Delete. This will send all your unwanted files to the Recycle Bin for safekeeping—until you’re sure that you no longer want them. To free space on your computer, you’ll need to empty the Recycle Bin periodically. To empty the Recycle Bin, right-click the icon on your desktop, and click Empty Recycle Bin.