How to Delete Cookies and Clean Your Computer

By Zicheng Ren

You didn't download any strange files, and you didn't open emails from people you don't know. You are sure you don't have a virus, and yet your computer is suddenly running more slowly than you remembered. There could be several causes. Over the course of time, browsing the Internet, creating system restore points, installing software, and retaining obsolete files can clutter your computer and cause it to slow down. Regular computer maintenance includes cleaning up this clutter.

Deleting Cookies in Internet Explorer 11

As a built-in Web browser, IE has a reputation for being slow and taking up system resources. Often times, you can improve IE performance by deleting cookies and other information IE saves. Although cookies can be helpful because they store information such as your website preferences and login IDs, a large number of stored cookies can slow the browser. To speed up IE, periodically delete your cookies and history files. From Metro View, open IE and choose "Page tools," then navigate to "Options." Alternatively, from the desktop, open IE and choose "Tools," followed by "Internet options." Then you can select "History" and delete files such as "Cookies," "Cached images" and "Browsing history." Be aware that deleting these files also deletes stored login IDs and passwords.

Using Administrative Tools

Windows provides several native options to boost the speed of your computer, as long as the slow speed is not caused by viruses. Open your Control Panel and find the selection "Administrative Tools." Among these, Disk Cleanup and Defragment and Optimize Drives are especially useful for upgrading your computer's performance. Use Disk Cleanup to remove system residuals such as files in the recycle bin, system error reports, temporary Internet files, and Web history. Choose the hard drive you want to clean and click "OK." Use Defragment and Optimize Drives to align data in an organized way so that files stored on your computer can be quickly indexed. Choose the hard disk you would like defragment and click on the "Optimize" button.

Optimizing the Restore Settings

Microsoft provides a feature to set restore points on your hard drives, which are copies of your files at various times to which you can return if your computer is later damaged. Allocating too much space for restore points may fill up the hard drive and make a computer run slowly. To free up space and improve computer speed, delete old restore points or reduce the maximum usage of the restore points. Right click on the Start menu and select "System." Click on the "System protection" section and choose "Configure..." You can delete all restore points using the Delete button or slide the slide bar to the left to minimize the maximum data usage of the restore points.

Disabling Auto-Start Software

A major reason that computers may start slowly is that too many auto-start programs are enabled. To limit auto-start programs, regularly check to see if newly added applications are auto-start enabled. Open your Task Manager and navigate to Startup. Check the status of all the applications and disable those that are from a third party. Do not disable system applications, since this can cause an anomaly or frozen computer.