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Prep Your PC Software for The New Year


The software on your PC can become outdated, create errors, or take up large amounts of space. Software issues can make your PC sluggish or slow it down. The following are steps to help optimize your system for the new year.

Begin with your operating system and drives. Run a CHKDSK scan on windows systems to look for drive errors. Run an SFC /scannow scan to check operating system files.

Both of these scans require you to use the command prompt. If you are uncomfortable using the command prompt, check with your local computer store for help.

  1. Start a drive scan by typing cmd in your search field.
  2. Click run as administrator.
  3. Choose Yes on the User Account Control Prompt.
  4. Directly after the Windows drive path, enter chkdsk /r like this
  5. C:\WINDOWS\system32\chkdsk /r
  6. Click Enter

The /r following chkdsk tells the system to fix errors in the file system and repair sectors on your hard drive to make sure they are readable. The scan can run without it, and a prompt will appear if there are any errors.

Enter SFC /scannow after the command prompt when chkdsk finishes. The System file checker utility will check and repair Windows system files if necessary. The command should look like this: C:\WINDOWS\system32\SFC /scannow
When the scan is complete, reboot the computer.

Stop unwanted startup programs. Some programs are added automatically to the autorun program list. Programs like Microsoft Word may start slightly faster if they autostart, but removing them from the list can increase boot times and make your PC run faster.

  1. Type Task manager in your search window.
  2. Click run as administrator.
  3. Choose Yes on the User Account Control Prompt.
  4. Select the startup tab.
  5. Right-click on the item you do not want to launch at startup and select disable.
  6. These steps may not work on autostart items due to a registry entry.

Reduce Drive Usage
Free up hard drive space by removing unused software programs. Transfer photos to an external drive or the cloud (I recommend doing both). Remove or compress large files. Remove temporary files such as internet cache, history, and cookies. Temporary files can take up a large amount of space. Run disk cleanup to remove temporary system files.

  1. Type disk cleanup in the search box.
  2. Select the disk cleanup app.
  3. Select the drive you wish to clean.
  4. Select the file types you wish to remove.
  5. Select OK.

Update programs and drivers and optimize disk space to ensure your PC runs smoothly. View the hardware guide to complete your PC cleanup.

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