Windows 11

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist

Over time, computers slow down. Of course, outdated hardware plays a role, but for most users, the most common reason is that the operating system is not properly maintained. So, it’s time to clean up your computer.

A clean install of Windows is the nuclear option. Getting rid of all the accumulated trash and starting over immediately makes your device run faster and smoother.

However, you do not need to take such drastic steps. Spending some time cleaning Windows can produce nearly identical results. Sure, your five-year-old laptop might not be able to run the latest mega games, but you’ll still be able to see major improvements.

Here is the ultimate checklist for how to clean your Windows PC.

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

1. Delete unused apps

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

Let’s start with an obvious choice. The first step on the way to a clean computer is to remove all the old applications that you no longer use. If you are not “hard to delete”, you will be amazed at the amount of unnecessary things you have installed on your device.

To see all the applications on your computer, go to قائمة ابدأ -> الإعدادات -> التطبيقات -> التطبيقات والميزات. Scroll down the list and click Uninstall on anything you don’t need.

Obviously, you need to treat the list with some caution. Don’t just get rid of things you don’t know — search Google first to make sure the option is safe to delete.

2. Run the antivirus appHow to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

Next, you should launch the antivirus app of your preference. Viruses are one of the most common causes of slow computers, so this is a great way to clean your Windows PC.

Exact instructions for running the scan vary from app to app, but you should try to select an option called full examination or In-Depth Examination or something similar. The scan will take longer to complete, but you can be sure that it won’t miss a thing.

It is also worth downloading Malwarebytes. Instead of focusing on viruses, its primary goal is to protect users from the latest Trojans, backdoors, adware, and spyware.

Check out our list of the best antivirus apps for more information.

3. Disk Cleanup

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

Windows 10 offers a disk cleanup tool. It’s been a part of Windows for many years, and it’s still just as effective at cleaning up unnecessary files and improving performance.

To run Disk Cleanup, type the name of the application into the Start menu or go to لوحة التحكم -> الأدوات الإدارية -> تنظيف القرص.

Before performing the scan, tap Clean system files. This allows the application to perform a more thorough scan by checking for outdated Windows Update files and log files.

In general, you can delete all the files it finds. Select the check box next to each type of result and click OK. However, note that when you choose to clean up your previous Windows installation(s) using the Clean up system files option, you won’t be able to roll back to your previous Windows version anymore.

4. Defragment your hard disk

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

Windows 10 runs disk defragmentation when it feels it is needed. However, since we do a thorough cleaning of your computer, it would be a mistake not to run it manually.

You can find Defragment and Optimize Drives by doing a search in the Start menu or by going to لوحة التحكم -> الأدوات الإدارية.

To use the application, select your primary hard drive and tap improvement In the lower right corner of the window.

5. Delete old drivers

Windows keeps old drivers. The logic behind doing this is sound: you’ll never get stuck if a new driver doesn’t work as expected. However, the difference is that your device may be full of drivers from devices that you stopped using years ago.

There are two easy ways to remove outdated drivers from your computer: Command Prompt or Environment Variables. For more information on the details, check out our in-depth guide on how to remove outdated drivers from Windows.

6. Check the startup menu

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

Any seasoned Windows user knows that the operating system lags far behind macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux when it comes to boot times.

The problem is usually caused by the number of applications that Windows tries to run when it first starts. Most of it is not necessary.

To clean the startup menu, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager. In the new window, click More details, then choose Tab startup at the top of the screen.

You should now look at all the applications that Windows tries to run on boot. To disable an application, select the appropriate row, and click Disable. Learn the best ways to speed up Windows 10 boot time.

7. Clean AppData folder

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

When you uninstall an app, you’ll often find remnants of its previous existence scattered around your device. One of the most common places is the AppData folder.

By default, the folder is hidden. You can find it in C:Users[Username]AppData or by typing %AppData% in Windows Search.

Inside the main folder there are three subfolders: Local And LocalLow And Roaming. Be sure to check all three folders to find any traces of old apps. Again, don’t delete anything unless you’re sure it’s safe to delete it.

To prevent these leftovers from remaining apps you delete in the future; You can use a dedicated uninstall tool. One of the best apps is Geek Uninstaller. The app is so good, it’s one of the “must” free computer maintenance tools.

8. Remove old application files

Another place you’ll often find leftovers from old app files is in your Program Files folders.

There are two Program Files folders on most devices. You can find them in C:Program Files and C:Program Files (x86).

As with the AppData folder, work through the contents of each folder carefully and delete any files and folders that are no longer in use.

9. Clean the registry

How to Clean Your Windows PC: The Ultimate Checklist - Windows

You may have heard horror stories about registry cleaning apps — overly aggressive can easily disable your device.

But it is essential to keep the record in order. Think of it like a library: the bigger the library, the longer it takes to find what you’re looking for. Likewise, the more unwanted content in the registry, the longer it takes Windows to identify the entries it needs.

Why don’t you take matters into your own hands? It’s easier than it seems. Do a search for Regedit and press Enter. Then, go to:


Within each folder, work slowly through the list and delete the entries for apps you no longer use.

10. Clean temporary files

Windows 10 is full of cache. Without getting bogged down in technical jargon, a cache is a non-permanent file that Windows may need again in the future.

But what if Windows never needs it again? You have all these files lying on your hard drive that are causing a lot of chaos.

In an article elsewhere on the website, we introduced you to several temporary and hidden Windows files and explained how you can clean each one individually. Working through them all will take some time, but the time has come.

How do you clean your computer?

So, we have brought you some crucial steps if you want to clean up your operating system. By addressing all 10 steps, you are guaranteed to increase performance.

Of course, there are other ways to improve your computer’s speed — for example, you can upgrade hardware — but doing so is often expensive and complicated for beginners. The trade-in isn’t always worth it. Find out which upgrades will improve your PC’s performance the most?

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