Slow Computer? Start Fresh with Clearing your Computers Operating System

by | Mar 9, 2023 | Tech Support | 0 comments

Slow Computer or Cluttered Operating System

As we use our computers for extended periods of time, our operating systems become bogged down with unnecessary files, applications, and settings. This can slow down our computer and make it more challenging to use. In such cases, clearing your operating system off your computer and starting with a fresh install can be an effective solution.

This can also confirm if your computer’s hardware is the culprit and is malfunctioning or simply old and needs to be upgraded or replaced. Some people will clear their Operating System yearly to start fresh.

Below we will talk about the options available to clean up your computer if it’s running slow.

Option 1 – Manually Clean up your Computer

Alternatively, you can go through your operating system, find all the necessary files, applications and settings, and remove them individually. This would take considerable time, and might not clear everything out. Furthermore, you will need to research special tools to remove specific data or pay out of pocket for an OS cleaner that may or may not clean everything up.

Option 2 – OS Cleaners

Many operating system cleaners are available for purchase online that will do most of the work for you. Some are included with security software. There is only one that we recommend ourselves, and that is CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac X | Prepare your Mac for macOS Monterey
Get your Mac cleaned and optimized for the new macOS Monterey. Download the free edition of CleanMyMac X here.
lmt.ca

Option 3 – Clearing the Operating System (Recommended)

Clearing the operating system involves removing all the data on the computer’s hard drive, including the operating system itself. This will leave your computer with a blank slate, ready to be installed with a fresh copy of the operating system. This process can be performed on both macOS and Windows operating systems, and it is essential to follow the correct procedures to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Benefits

Secondly, starting with a fresh install ensures that all your software and drivers are up to date, eliminating compatibility issues and improving the overall stability of your system. It also helps to avoid any malware, viruses or other security threats that may have crept into your system over time, providing you with a more secure and reliable system.

Clearing your operating system off your computer and starting with a fresh install has several benefits. First, it removes all the accumulated junk on your computer, including old files, applications, and no-longer-needed settings. This reduces clutter and makes your computer run faster and more efficiently.

Installation Media not Required

Typically, in the past, this process would require that you have installation media available such as a floppy disk, CD-ROM or USB key. Today that is no longer a requirement, but still possible.

Prepraring to Clear your Computers Operating System

Before you start cleaning your macOS operating system, you must back up all your local data or have your local data available through cloud storage.

Local Computer Data versus Cloud Services

You might be asking what data I should be backing up. You want to ensure that you backup any data stored on your computer, called local data. You will have data that is in the Cloud, such as Gmail. You don’t need to back up your Gmail account, as it’s a Cloud account, and all of your Gmail account data is stored at Google.

You want to look for the following data on your computer.

  • Documents folder.
  • Downloads folder (Some data might be important, best to clean this out regularly)
  • Desktop folder.
  • Application Folders (Some applications store data on your computer and not the cloud)

The above items are just a few examples. In the case of data stored in folders on your computer, either by yourself or through Applications. You can redirect these to Cloud storage locations, or if you don’t want to worry about anything, you can use a Backup service that backs your data up to the Cloud.

Backup

There are many backup software solutions available for free and purchase. There is also different types of backups, cloud-based or removable media. You can use whichever software and type of backup suits your requirements.

We suggest a cloud-based backup as the backup occurs in the background while you’re using your computer, which some backups software that uses removable media also allows. However, when using removable media, you must always have the device connected, which can be problematic if your computer is stolen or destroyed. Since Cloud backups are not physically at the exact location of your computer, they’re not susceptible to this scenario.

We suggest using Backblaze for Cloud Backups

The Best Unlimited Online Backup and Cloud Storage Services
Backblaze is a pioneer in robust, scalable low cost cloud backup and storage services. Personal online backup to enterprise scale data storage solutions.
lmt.ca

Cloud Storage

There are many Cloud storage providers available, including Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive, to name the most popular. Choosing one will be entirely up to your requirements, and you might already be paying for Cloud storage on your phone but not on your computer.

Looking to implement what’s being discussed in this article? We can help!

Steps to Clear your Operating System

Warning

The following actions outlined below could lead to data loss, or your computer’s operating system becoming corrupted and unable to boot. Use the instructions below at your own risk.

Once you’ve backed all your data, you will now be able to proceed with clearing your Operating System. The following are articles on how to achieve this on Windows and macOS

Windows

Windows 10 and Windows 11 have a simple way to do a clean installation. The steps are outlined in the guide below.

Give your PC a Fresh Start – Microsoft Support
Fresh Start in Windows 10 lets you perform a clean reinstallation and update of Windows while keeping your personal data and most Windows settings intact.
support.microsoft.com

macOS

Unfortunately the case is no that simple for macOS. If you have Apple Silicon M1/2 then it’s a siple process.

Erase your Mac and reset it to factory settings – Apple Support
Use Erase All Content and Settings to quickly and securely erase all of your settings, data, and apps, while maintaining the operating system currently installed.
support.apple.com

However, if you have an Intel Mac, then the steps are a little more difficult and you might want to go to the Apple Store for assistance.

Use Disk Utility to erase a Mac with Apple silicon – Apple Support
How to erase (format) the built-in startup disk of a Mac with Apple silicon.
support.apple.com

We can help!

If you need help with the above information, we can help!

Looking to implement what’s being discussed in this article? We can help!

Author

  • Jordan

    Jordan has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology, largely spent at a leading Canadian children’s hospital within their research institute. His technical background is vast and includes networking, systems architecture, client-side support, server administration and management of technical assets.

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