Find and remove duplicates You may advertently end up copying the same files to different locations on the computer. This leads to clogging of precious hard drive space. Both Windows and MAC users can use the free Easy Duplicate Finder easyduplicatefinder.com mdash a lightweight and feature-rich program that does the job fast. It lets you search various drives including external storage such as flash drives and portable HDD and generates reports of each scan. For photographers who want to find and remove duplicate photographs, a free program called Duplicate Photo Cleaner duplicatephotocleaner.com finds duplicates even if they were resized or edited. Remove temporary files Temporary files usually refer to browser files or those that get leftover when you install new applications. Ideally, they should be removed automatically by the respective program, but it doesn39t always happen. As more and more temporary files clog up your computer, they eat up hard drive space and slow it down. Get the free CCleaner piriform.com/ccleaner which is available for both Windows and Mac. It makes short work of cleaning up your system39s temporary files. Mac users can also use OnyX titanium.free.fr which offers advanced cleaning options. Remove unwanted shortcuts Most of us like having shortcuts to often used programs and files mdash this saves time and improves productivity. However, too many shortcuts can build up over time and make your desktop a mess. Several programs also automatically place a shortcut on the desktop during installation. Windows XP comes with a desktop cleanup wizard that scans your desktop for unused icons and removes them. Windows Vista, 7 and 8 users can use Bad Shortcut Killer to remove unwanted shortcuts from the desktop and start menu. Defrag to speed things Up defragmentation organises the contents of your hard drive in a way which minimizes the time taken by the drive to access the stored files. The robust Defraggler piriform.com/defraggler is a great tool that offers the option to defrag the entire hard drive or just specific folder. It displays a drive map that shows how the space of your hard drive is utilised. Mac users usually do not need to defrag their drives because the OS automatically defrags files that are less than 20MB in size. Note that if your computer uses flash-based storage, there is no need to defragment it Make it boot faster As you install more programs, you might notice that your PC takes longer to boot up. This happens because many applications and services automatically initialise during the boot process. Soluto soluto.com is a free Windows utility that analyses your PC39s boot up time and removes unnecessary startup programs. It even lets you individually select the programs you want to remove from startup. MAC users can do the same by going to System Preferences gt Accounts gt Login Items and removing applications that you do not want to open automatically when you log in. Sort out the registry Unknown to many, but one of the main causes of a slow Windows PC is a corrupted registry. The Windows registry configures and handles every hardware and software operation on your computer and tends to get corrupted by obsolete/invalid entries. Get the free Registry Repair from glarysoft .com/registry-repair. It scans your system registry for a number of common issues and fixes them instantly. It also makes a backup of any registry change so that if your system becomes unstable, it can be restored back to its original state. All-in-one solution If you need a single solution to take care of everything, try TuneUp Utilities tune-up.com. The software will set you back 2,900 but is well worth the price. Once you create a profile of your usage, it recommends various steps to improve performance. All the tools you need to scan and fix issues with your system are built in. You can also improve your PC39s boot up and shutdown time, delete files safely as well as uninstall programs. The 39one click39 system maintenance mode is particularly useful mdash it scans various areas of your PC and fixes everything in the background without disturbing you.