Stop stressing over your slow PC.

Sign up for AOL Computer Checkup. Then sit back, relax and let our 24 powerful PC tools clean, speed up and optimize your PC automatically.
Computer Checkup by AOL

The secrets of PC junk: revealed!

Throughout the past few decades, the words "computer" and "junk" have become inexorably linked. In a bad way. Think: "This junk-filled computer couldn’t go any slower if it tried!" and "If I put any more junk on my PC, it’s going to explode … but I’m downloading this awesome-looking game, anyway!" Junk gets blamed for everything. It probably has middle-child syndrome by now, and yet we know nothing of how it came to be adopted on our PCs, and also how we can send it back to the adopt-some-junk agency. Until now.

So what, exactly, is this PC junk that people speak of in such justifiably hateful terms? Where is the junk coming from (if not from the pesky children and teenagers who also use your computer when you’re not around)? And what is it actually doing to your computer besides ruining everything? We’ve gone undercover, just in case the junk recognizes us and tries to hide, in order to find out the answers on your behalf.

Top 3 ways PC junk can accumulate on your once-clean computer

1. Untidy programs. Installing and uninstalling programs leads to—you guessed it—PC junk galore. And not just any kind of junk … junk that serves no purpose and has no calling in life except to make your life harder.

2. Unclean computer shutdowns. Nobody likes to waiting forever for their computer to shut down when you’re already over it, and especially when it’s so much easier to push down on that button and … stop! Shut down your PC the right way, giving it time to process everything (get it?); otherwise, more junk for you.

3. General everyday use. Computers are like cars. Just by using them, you can accumulate all kinds of junk in their trunk. But by no means should your PC be like that ugly, never-driven car-show trophy winner with the blanket draped over it in your neighbor’s garage. You’re much more pragmatic than that, we’re guessing.

Top 3 ways PC junk brings your computer down to the dumps

PC junk—a.k.a., clutter, trash, hogwash—can degrade your PC’s performance, leading to slower start-up time, decreased reliability, and, arguably, lower self-esteem and an inferiority complex in relation to better-looking but entirely superficial PCs.

The unwelcome side effects of junk are as follows:

1. Critical indexes. Windows maintains to organize its files become bloated with meaningless junk, causing overall sluggishness during file and program access.

2. Useless files are included when defragmenting your hard drives, adding to the time and processing power required.

3. Hard drive space is unnecessarily reserved, leading to premature upgrade costs or replacements.

Top 3 signs your PC needs de-junked

PC junk isn’t all bad. It’s important to have things to blame your problems on, and it definitely serves its scapegoat purpose nicely. However, how do you know when it’s a junk problem versus a plain-ol’ problem of your own doing?

Signs you might have a PC junk-specific problem on your hands include:

1. Overall PC sluggishness during file or program access. In other words, it shouldn’t take fifteen minutes to open a spreadsheet you never wanted to open in the first place.

2. Slower computer start-up time. You should be able to shut down your computer confident in the knowledge that it won’t take you an entire episode of Wheel of Fortune to start it back up again.

3. Lack of hard drive space. If you primarily use your computer for internet browsing and email, in theory, there should be no reason why your memory has gone the way of the dinosaur. (Dinosaurs are extinct, by the way.)

So do I need to buy a new, junk-free PC, or what?

If you enjoy throwing money into the trash can, then by all means, pony up for the latest and greatest Super Ridonkulous Computer 3000 (not an actual computer). Or, if having enough money to put food on the table, etc. is more your thing, there are other, much-more-frugal options available. In particular, PC Cleanup software like AOL Computer Checkup.

AOL Computer Checkup is an all-in-one PC cleaner and optimization software that scans, identifies, and helps fix the common issues that can slow down your computer. If you've been looking for a way to clean the computer of clutter and unwanted files without having to do it manually and risk losing something important, AOL Computer Checkup is here to make your life easier.

With Computer Checkup You Can:

  • Speed up your slow PC
  • Clean the computer of unwanted files and data
  • Clean, repair and optimize your registry
  • Fix common PC errors
  • Computer memory optimization
  • Data and system backup and recovery
  • Security and privacy features
  • Schedule regular maintenance
  • And more