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Did you know January is Clean up your Computer Month?

For IT enthusiasts, there are few better feelings than firing up a brand new piece of kit and experiencing its raw power. However, after a while, time takes its toll and it feels like the whole system is steadily grinding to a halt.

But before you start looking around for a brand new machine to solve all of your problems, try these 4 easy and quick ways to clean up your system without having to break the bank.

1 - Uninstall any programmes you don’t use

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Uninstalling any programmes that you haven’t touched in months clears up space on your hard drive, making it easier to track down anything you do need and helping to increase the general speed of your system.

With increasing numbers of cloud-based applications available, it’s also worth seeing if some of your programmes can be replaced with web-only alternatives.

2 - Delete any files that you don’t need

As you work your way around your computer, you’ll likely come across files you don’t even remember creating. Ask yourself, do I really need these? Or am I just hoarding them for the sake of it? If so (and as long as they’re not vital to your system running!), delete them. This can open space on your system, allowing you to find more important files more easily.

If you suddenly think you’ve deleted something in error, you can find those files in the recycle bin (but not forever!).

3 - Empty your recycle bin

Speaking of the recycle bin, while sending those unwanted files to it can do your computer the world of good, letting the files build up will eventually begin to affect your systems overall performance. If your recycle bin is looking a little bit full, go through it, and clear up things you really do not need.

To empty your recycle bin, start by right clicking on the bin’s icon on the desktop and click "Empty Recycle Bin." You’ll be asked if you actually want to permanently delete these files. By clicking “Yes,” your computer will get rid of these unwanted files for good, cleaning up space on your computer. Just be sure you definitely want these files gone for good, as there is no going back.

If you’d like to both free-up space and be doubly sure you’re not deleting something you’ll regret losing, why not back up your system on an external hard drive? Doing so is something we’d highly recommend anyway, and large capacity external drives have never been more affordable.

4 - Install more RAM

Random Access Memory is a key part of your computer’s brainpower – the more it has, the more tasks it can do at once. Installing more RAM can be just the boost your system needs and it can be done yourself or installed by a professional for a reasonable fee.

If you do decide to install it yourself, be sure to check exactly which type of RAM your system needs and look for an installation guide specific to your system. Also, follow all usual electronic precautions, such as grounding yourself to avoid any static charge disrupting components.

5 - Physically clean your PC

You may not see or notice it, but dust settles around, on and in your PC every day. Computers produce heat, but the heat is countered with several small fans within the machine itself. These can then in the long term, begin to suck in any dust around the area. You may be thinking, what harm can a bit of dust do to a fan? Well, if too much gets into the fans, they can get clogged up and become inefficient, and maybe even stop working all together. The dust could also begin acting as an insulator, causing the PC to heat up at a faster rate than usual.

Cleaning your computer is again something easily done yourself, but be sure to follow precautions and guides for your system.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a machine that keeps on running for as long as you need it to.