Writer’s Toolkit: Cleaning The Crap Off Your PC

Years ago, when we launched Scrivener as a newsletter, we had a regular feature called “Writer’s Toolkit,” which was a sampling of the tricks, tips, and tools that were shared on the SIG listserv. (Grant Hogarth, a senior member of both the STC and our SIG, was by far the most frequent contributor.) It’s a feature worth reviving for the blog.

While cleaning out my overstuffed mail folders, I found dozens of Toolkit-worthy e-mails that I’ve been saving. One such group of e-mails was about cleaning junk off your hard drive and clearing out unnecessary processes. Listed below are the tools that were recommended, and one resource site:

I can vouch for the freeware program CCleaner, which is a great tool for routine cleaning of your drive, particularly after you’ve been on the Web for any length of time. You can have it search for the whole default list of garbage-file generators, or some customizable subset thereof. It also scans for and repairs Registry problems. It installs quickly, updates quickly, and is not a resource hog. Although it’s freeware, I encourage folks to throw a few bucks to Piriform; it’s well worth it.

System Mechanic is a full suite of optimization tools, from defragmenting hard drives to cleaning out Registry junk to optimizing various performance factors and more. I have an old version, which can be a bit of a resource hog but my geek friends tell me that more recent versions of System Mechanic are less greedy for resources.

Have your own favorites? Share ‘em here!


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