Recovering Space & Running Your PC Faster
Everyone wants their PC to run as fast as it did when you first brought it home. But trying to maintain that clean processing power means you have to keep up with updates and maintenance on your machine. That can be time-consuming, but it can also be daunting for the novice user.
Well there’s help! So don’t give up. It’s easier than you think.
Removing Unwanted Windows 10 Files
Let’s start with Windows 10. Microsoft downloaded the upgrade to your system, whither you wanted it or not. That’s great if you want to upgrade. But if you’re happy with your current version of Windows, having Microsoft constantly ask you to upgrade is annoying. Those update files are also taking up a fair bit of space. But how can you get rid of all that?
Turns out it’s not really hard. BetaNews has a great step by step article to help you with that annoying issue. See Remove unwanted Windows 10 upgrade files from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x
One of the last instructions in this article is to Check for Updates so you can hide the upgrade files and keep the from re-downloading. The instructions don’t tell you exactly how to do that. But if you right-click on the files, you’ll see a pop-up window with a Hide Update choice. When you hide it, Windows won’t try to download and install it again.
Before you exit out of this window, check to see what updates you might need to apply for security purposes. Install those updates and make sure your system is up to date. If there are suggested updates that you don’t want to apply, right-click those items and hide them from the list.
Windows will probably tell you a reboot is necessary, but if it doesn’t, reboot anyway before you move on to cleaning up your file system.
Removing Windows Update Files
Once you’ve taken care of that crap, try recovering some space on your PC by getting rid of excess update files. Not only can you help it run faster, you’ll help it start faster too.
For another good step by step article try visiting CNet. See Delete Windows update files to regain hard-drive space
Windows might tell you a reboot is necessary, but if it doesn’t, reboot anyway. It’s best to double-check your PC to make sure it’s still working as it should. At least that’s what I do and I feel better knowing that one change at a time didn’t destroy my laptop.
Removing Those Weird Random Directories
Once you’ve verified your system is up to date, check your computer’s file system. If you still see those randomly named directories on your C:/ drive, you may want them removed to recover additional space.
Some online instructions have said these left over folders are part of the .Net framework which is no longer used and can be deleted. Others say they’re left over files from previous Windows updates, and maybe needed. That’s why you should update your system before you delete these directories. If Windows Update tells you the PC is up to date, it’s safe to assume you don’t these directories and they can be removed.
Various experts suggest if you’re not sure about these directories, copy them to a temp directory so you can restore them if you need them. Then you can try to remove the original files.
Some of these files might tell you that Administrator Access is required to remove them from your system. Even if you allow access, you still may not be able to delete these directories because you don’t own them.
- Right-click the offending folder, and then click Properties.
- Click the Security tab followed by Advanced.
- Click Owner then Edit and set the ownership to yourself.
- Check Replace Owner on Sub-containers and Objects then click OK.
You should now be able to delete the offending folder. Reboot your system and start-up some of the applications you use most often. As long as things start-up fine, it’s safe to assume you can delete those copied folders too.
Now even doing this I had problems with 2 of the directories on my file system. The only way I was able to delete them was through a Command prompt window. If you’re not familiar with this, please be very careful using the following steps.
- Click on the Start button.
- Type cmd in the search box. You should see 1 item in the returned list: cmd.exe. Click that and run the program.
- A window will open with a prompt that looks something like this:
- Type cd / and press enter. The prompt should now look like this:
- Now type Dir and press enter. You should see a directory listing that includes all those weird directory names.
- To delete them, type rmdir /S and the full file name, then press enter. Example:
rmdir /S 02bac546asd2548bbc5
- When the command prompt returns, type dir again and you should see that folder has been removed. Repeat the rmdir command until all these folders have been removed.
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