Controlling Computer Junk
Over time an incredible amount of Computer Junk Files will appear on everyone's computer. Computer junk files come from various sources when on the internet, but also from computer programs that you think that you have uninstalled. Some files are quite small, only a few kilobytes or some files can can easily be several megabytes. Allowing enough of these files to accumulate, and it will also certainly affect how efficiently your computer operates. This post will not get into things like viruses or malware, but will briefly discuss some of the more common files that should be cleaned. Think of it as vacuuming the rugs in your house in a regular basis.
Probably one of the most common sources of computer junk is from cookies and other small files that are downloaded to your computer when visiting certain sites.
Depending upon your browser, the display may or may not look similar to the image displayed. However, you should occasionally empty your browser's cache. If you have not done so, you may have thousands of files stored and it may actually take a minute or two to empty the cache.
Another very common source of computer files is from computer programs that your once loaded, and have chosen to uninstall. Windows uninstall is very bad at removing all files from your computer despite displaying the message that the program has been installed. Many programs, by default, will attempt to install to the "C" drive and in some cases will not even give you a choice to determine which drive the files will be loaded. Depending upon the size of your "C" drive, and other factors such as cache or swap directories, your 'C' drive can fill fairly quickly along with the programs that you wish to keep on that drive.
There are programs such as System Mechanic that can help you remove some (but not all) of these files, or even those VERY TECH oriented may work with the computers registry. Working with the computer registry can be relatively dangerous if you are not absolutely sure what your are working with, and is relatively easy to crash your computer working with the registry.
Lets cover something relatively easy, such as getting rid of an excessive number of JPG or other image files. If you move along carefully this can save space and improve efficiently but be warned that you can still adversely affect program functions if you work carelessly. An example of a service program downloading an excessive number of image files can be from a online service that allows you to create albums or format photographs in a particular manner prior to ordering. Of course other commercial programs may also leave your with dozens or even hundreds of image files.
I would suggest searching your drive for JPG files using a program such as Agent Ransak to locate where the files are located. If your computer is like many, both currently used and former JPG files will appear in the list. Your operating system, such as Microsoft windows will likely have quite a few image files. Lets say that you uninstalled a program called Image master last month and although the program files are gone, you still have hundreds of JPG files. So if you see a directory called Image master with JPG files, it will probably be safe to delete that directory. In rare cases, two programs may share these files such as a program downloaded from the same manufacturer as Image master. If you have a "Image Master" and "Edit Master" from the same publisher, take care not to delete those files.
File maintenance is important, but should be carefully done. If you are not certain , DON'T delete the files.