Note: This article was first published in February 2016 and is updated for relevancy.
It’s time to spring clean for Chinese New Year, and your Windows PC should get some love too! Here’s how to clean up, declutter, and speed up your Windows PC for Chinese New Year, with a focus on Windows 10.
Did you know Microsoft's Windows 10 has a perfectly reliable anti-virus, malware and spyware detection capability built-in? It's called Window Defender and it's free. Make sure to set it up for automatic updates and background monitoring so that you don't have to worry about the basic health of your Windows machine.
Microsoft has several Cybersecurity Centers around the world, including one in Singapore, and they work in conjunction with Microsoft's Cybercrime Satellite Center Singapore (an extension of Microsoft's Cybercrime Center in Redmond). But if you still feel the need for third-party validation, we've a couple more options to make sure your Windows installation is free from nasty bugs.
Avira Free Antivirus doesn't cost anything and scans for both viruses as well as malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is another free app, but it focuses solely on removing malware, not viruses, from your PC.
Uninstall old programs to clear out disk space. It’s easy on Windows 10, click on Start, then ‘All apps,’ right-click on any program you don’t want and choose ‘Uninstall.’
You can also right-click on the Start button, choose "Programs and Features". Select an app to uninstall it. To remove Windows Store apps as well as traditional desktop apps, go to Settings > System, then the "Apps & Features" page, which lists both kinds of apps.
Find out which files are taking up the most space on your Windows PC with Windows 10’s built-in storage analyzer. Go to Settings > System > Storage, and choose a drive. Windows will then show you a list of categories and folders with how big they are. Take a look inside each section to see if there are any large, unused files you can delete.
If you want something a little more powerful, SpaceSniffer is a freeware alternative that does the same thing.
Another neat and very compact alternative is ShowMan, which works with any Windows-based system and can analyze your folder content graphically. Just copy the file into your preferred folder to analyze it and its sub-folder structure. Easy!
Use Windows’ Disk Cleanup utility to delete unnecessary Windows files on your hard drive. Go to Settings > Control Panel > Type ‘Admin’ in the Search box, choose Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup. Choose the drive you want to clean, and then tap ‘OK.’ Select the files you want to delete, tap ‘OK,’ then tap ‘Delete files.’ To delete system files you may no longer need, click ‘Clean up system files.’