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5 ways to get your computer back to school-ready

The next school year is just around the corner and you’re getting ready for your return. As well as purchasing books, clothes, stationery, and other essential items, you probably want to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your computer so it’s ready for your work, research, and anything else you might need it for.

Whether you want to freshen up your old machine or you’ve splashed out on a new PC and want to make sure it keeps working at peak performance, we have some tips to ensure your computer is as ready for school as you are.

  1. Make work easier by improving the speed of your machine

There are two easy ways to improve the speed of your machine without changing or upgrading its hardware, which is to clean junk files and disable startup items.

You might not realize that every time you use your PC it collects files which over time, can clog it up and slow it down. Unless you’re an IT whizz, you probably won’t have the technical know-how to clean these yourself, which is why we invented CCleaner.

CCleaner will allow you to easily and safely delete your PC’s junk files, for free. An out-of-the-box clean will remove the junk that’s stopping your machine from running its best, without deleting anything it might need for normal operation. A CCleaner clean also deletes your browsing history and removes online trackers, to help keep browsing private and stop websites following you with ads or displaying higher prices as they detect you’re a previous visitor.

After cleaning away those junk files, it’s time to go to ‘Tools’ > ‘Startup’ and review your startup items. On installation, lots of your programs have probably set themselves to automatically launch at startup but the reality is, they don’t need to. Review the ‘Program’ list and disable any apps you think you don’t need to see an improvement in your computer’s boot time. If you’re not sure what each item is, a quick online search will help.

  1. Make sure your computer is safe and up to date

If you’ve already cleaned your computer, you’ve already come some way in the privacy protection stakes. The next thing to check is that your software is up to date. You might not realize that old software can have security holes that could be found and shared amongst hackers, leaving you open to malware attacks. As well as fixing these vulnerabilities, keeping apps up to date will also make sure you’re getting the latest features and bug fixes.

If you’ve been ignoring those update reminders and want to update all your software quickly in one go, we recommend that you use our Software Updater. Lastly, it goes without saying that you should always be running a good antivirus.

  1. Make sure your privacy is protected when you’re out and about

We all want to enjoy a good connection wherever we are, so don’t usually hesitate to make the most of the free wi-fi in the local coffee shop, while traveling or at the library. But have you thought about who might be watching the traffic on the network that you connect to?

Network operators can see a user’s online activity and IP address and can potentially decode these data packages to extract sensitive information. As public networks can be run by all sorts of operators and can be easily hacked into in just a few minutes, you really should be using a VPN every time you connect to a public network. For an additional layer of security, we recommend that you use a secure browser such as CCleaner Browser. It stops trackers and disguises your digital footprint so your identity remains anonymous, and also automatically blocks ads.

  1. Organize your desktop and delete old files to free up space

From scrolling through hundreds of badly-named JPEGs to messy desktops, trying to navigate a disorganized computer can waste your valuable time. Boost productivity by deleting and organizing your files, erasing your downloads folder and tidying up your desktop. Next, uninstall unused apps and you’ll have freed up some previously wasted space for your essays, reports and anything else you might need for the year ahead.

  1. Download Recuva

As well as optimizing and organizing your computer and making sure your privacy is protected, you should also prepare for the unknown. Your computer will likely contain assignments, eBooks, essays, notes and more. Accidents happen, and your valuable files could be lost or deleted.

Be prepared and download Recuva so if the worst should happen, you can get back your documents, pictures, music, documents, videos, emails or any other file type you’ve lost from your computer, recycle bin, digital camera card, or MP3 player.

 We hope that helps! If you have any comments, please tweet us. We're @CCleaner.

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