How to Clean Computer Files

By Ty Arthur

Over time your hard drive can become cluttered with files you no longer need which can slow down your computer's performance and fill your desktop with unnecessary icons that you don't use. To prevent this buildup of programs you can periodically clean computer files from your hard drive.

Step 1

Click on the Start button on the task bar at the bottom of your desktop to bring up your computer's main menu.

Step 2

Choose the option on the Start Menu that is labeled as "Control Panel," which will cause a new window to pop up on your screen.

Step 3

Double-click the icon that is labeled as "Programs and Features" to bring up a list of all the programs installed on your computer's hard drive.

Step 4

Find the program on the list that you want to remove and click on it so that it is highlighted. Click on the button at the top of the screen that says "Uninstall."

Step 5

Open up the listing of your computer's files by clicking on the "My Computer" option on your Start menu. Navigate to where the program you removed was located and check to ensure that the folder has actually been deleted, as many programs such as games leave some files behind in case you install them again later. Right-click on the folder name and then choose the "delete" option to finish deleting it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deleting the desktop icons alone will not fully remove a program from your computer's hard drive.If you have an older operating system then the icon in the Control Panel may be labeled as "Add or Remove Programs" instead of "Programs and Features."
  • Make sure that you know what a program and is and why it was installed before choosing to remove it as you can inadvertently render your computer unusable if you delete critical programs or files.

References & Resources