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Windows 7: Is it safe to use a PC optimization program?

04 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Is it safe to use a PC optimization program?

I am considering whether to use a computer optimization program, as my PC is a quite slow lately, maybe from Windows 7, maybe from a lot of programs that have been installed and uninstalled, and any other factors. The reason I am not sure is that such programs delete temporary windows files that they find to "bloat" and slow the PC's performance, and even rearrange and/or delete files they deem unnecessary for running programs that are installed on the computer, and therefore there is the risk of deleting files that ARE necessary, and even files such as mp3 or video that are not even related to the OS. I fear that after such an optimization my computer won't work at all, and the only solution for that is a clean format, and whatever was on the PC is lost.

What is your opinion? Any help will be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My suggestion

Step1: Grab an image of your machine exactly the way it is today, so if your cleanup program screws something up you can restore
Step2: Try your cleanup app and see how it works.

The best advice is to use virtual machines and such to try out software and play around with. But since you have already installed and uninstalled, you are beyond that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

My opinion is do not buy into that garbage. A large majority are just "snake oil" and will do more harm than good.

IMHO, heres an idea thats safe, free, and very effective:

1) Download CCleaner: Piriform - Download CCleaner, Defraggler, Recuva, Speccy - Millions of users worldwide!

Run the Cleaner
After that is done in the Tools Tab , click start up.
Disable anything starting with Windows that is not needed.
(Obviously things like your A/V are needed)

I would not run the Registry cleaner. But if you do, only delete keys you know are invalid.
For example if you uninstalled, say, Itunes, any key relating to iTunes would be safe to delete, as its no longer on the system.
If you are even the least bit unsure what the key is refering to, its best left alone.

2) Download Malwarebytes: Malwarebytes
Update it, and run a scan.

3) Optional but recommended:
Open a cmd Promp as Admin and run the CMD: cleanmgr sageset:99
Check all the boxes.
Then to run it, use the Cmd: cleanmgr sagerun:99
This is just an advanced version of disk Cleanup

4) You can also double check for any extra TEMP files that may be left behind.
Click the Start Orb
In the Search tab type: %TEMP%
In the resulting folder its safe to delete all thats inside.

5) Lastly, defragment your HD.

This is all that really needs to be done as regualr maintenance, and tuneups.
Its all perfectly safe, and will help keep things running smoothly.

As far as bloat type programs, I would suggest just browsing through your installed Programs manually,
and uninstalling those that your are 100% are not needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I do have CCleaner installed, but I'm afraid to run the Cleaner from the reasons already mentioned. Is it safe?
Also, there are a lot of options there(the Cleaner) and I don't know which ones to check and which not to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The cleaner part is completely safe, just use default settings. Nothing it deletes will cause problems.

Just be mindful what startup programs you disable.
As I mentioned, you do not want to kill anything important such as your AntiVirus. But for the most part, a lot can be safely disabled, and if you find you want it to Autostart, you can simply re-enable it.

The Registry is where I would use caution, which is why I said I just would skip that part and not mess with it at all. Nothing substantial to be gained here anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


Here are some other tips as well:

Cleaning up Factory Bloatware

Win7 troubleshooting tips
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is it safe to use a PC optimization program?

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