Malware - Virus, Spyware Scan and Removal
If your PC is running more slowly than usual one of the first things you should check for is Malware infestation.
If you have no antivirus/malware scanner installed on your PC there is an online scanner you can use to check for malware infestation.
F-Secure Online Scanner - F-Secure's scanner places an ActiveX file on your PC when you run it, but other than that there is no software download involved.
Microsoft Safety Scanner - Microsoft's scanner must be downloaded, but it is free and relatively effective.
Note: Scans of this type will discover most but, possibly not all Malware infections. For a more comprehensive scan job download a malware scanner more suitable to the task.
Also see the Antivirus Software page to learn how to get more freely available scanning software.
Choose from the following Antivirus/Antimalware scanners:
SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition
If you can't download anything
If the malware on your PC is blocking downloads or has disabled your internet connection it will be necessary to either boot into Safe Mode with networking or use another PC that is free of malware infection to download a small program to temporarily turn off the malware (kill the processes).
Download RKill from Bleeping Computer. (Instructions for use are on the download page.)
RKill terminates malware processes so that antimalware tools can update and run properly.
Alternatively, if you have Malwarebytes version 2.0 or later already installed on your PC you can use the Malwarebytes Chameleon utility that performs the same function as RKill. Read this page to learn how to use Malwarebytes Chameleon. (You can download a separate copy of Chameleon from the page also if Malwarebytes is not installed.)
*Place rkill or Chameleon on a flash drive then insert the drive into the infected PC. Run either program from the flash drive to terminate the active malware processes so that you will be able to download and install one of the malware scanning programs.
DO NOT Restart your PC before you have downloaded and updated the scanners!
*Download the latest version from Malwarebytes home page.
*Install the program then run a scan.
Note: Even though you may be able to update the virus definitions and run a scan in Safe Mode, be aware that Malwarebytes is not designed to find all infections when in Safe Mode.
Malwarebytes should be run again in normal mode to ensure complete malware removal.
*After the scan is complete follow the directions to remove any infected files before quitting the program. Your PC will likely require a restart.
Download the free version of this program. It is particularly good at finding spyware and adware as well as virus infections. Be sure the follow the directions to remove all malware when the scan completes.
Note: Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware can be left installed on your PC if you choose. They will not interfere with the function of your active free security programs such as Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, or any paid software such as McAfee or Norton.
Note: You can disable both Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware run at start feature - In the SAS program click System Tools then choose Preferences. In the Preferences window uncheck Run in the Background (system tray). Malwarebytes run at start may be disabled in the taskbar arrow menu
Internet Browser Cleanup
If you were sucessful removing the malware from your computer you may still need to clean up your internet browser. See my file Clean up your Browser to find out how to do this.
If nothing helped
If you are unable, for one reason or another, to either download or run the above mentioned antivirus programs successfully you have another option before bringing your PC to a technician to remove the Malware.
On another internet connected PC, go to Bleeping Computer, Click on the Virus Removal tab and find the description of the malware infection that is present on your PC.
Follow the directions to remove the infection(s). Print the directions out if you are able so you will have them for reference during the removal operation.
If none of the above helps you to remove any Malware that may be present on your PC then you should take the PC to a qualified PC Service technician. Be sure of the possible charges before you leave your PC with him/her.
Finally, if you think you need a new active antivirus software suite to guard your PC against malware infections see my
Remove never-used, little-used, or unnecessary programs from your PC.
Every PC has extra programs. This software was either pre-installed by the PC manufacturer who made your PC or by you, either on purpose or without you realizing it when you installed other software. That's how many people get software such as multiple toolbars and Google Chrome installed on their PC without them realizing it.
Although most PC manufacturers pre-install useful software some makers install generally useless software that is referred to by many as bloatware.
If you don't use software installed on your PC you should remove it to free up space on your hard drive, if for no other reason.
Some of these programs are simply blatant ads for things you may never use anyway.
In Windows Vista or 7 go to the Control Panel. Look for Programs and Features - Uninstall a program.
If your PC is running Windows 10 Go to PC Settings then Apps - Apps and Features
*Download PC Decrapifier and run it. (This free program requires no installation.) PC Decrapifier will provide a list of bloatware programs you may want to delete. Go to the PC Decrapifier homepage to learn more about this handy utility.
General examples of software that may be undesirable, useless, or unnecessary:
Browser helper objects - especially useless internet toolbars that may simply be conduits for malware - such as Ask, Babylon, Conduit, or Delta search.
Note: Browser Add-Ons such as Google Toolbar and Yahoo Toolbar are generally safe but totally unnecessary!
Backup software - especially if you don't have a backup hard drive.
Registry cleaners - you can render your PC unbootable with these if you're not careful.
Extra Media players - Windows Media Player and VLC are all you could ever need!
Extra Virus scanners - Rely on your installed and active security software. Malwarebytes is an exception.
Note: If you don't have an active antivirus program read this file and get one. Believe me - you need one.
A few specific examples of unneeded bloatware include: Wildtangent games, Kobo, Hulu, Zinnio, Press Reader, Snapfish, Adware for mobile broadband, and finally Skype (If you don't use any of these feel free to get rid of them.)
Removing all the junkware may not speed up your PC to any noticable degree but it can make your PC safer from hackers who use these programs to get into your PC.
Free up space on your hard drive.
Hard drive too full - free space less than 20%
If your hard drive is packed full your PC may be running slowly simply because there is not enough space left for proper virtual memory or page file operation (even though the page file memory space on your hard drive is normally reserved).
However, if you have more than 10 percent free space on your hard drive removing files may not speed your PC very much. It never hurts to do a bit of spring cleaning though.
Use the Windows Disk Cleanup utility program to get rid of temporary files and other files you no longer need on your PC.
*Click the Start Menu and choose Computer (This PC in Windows 8).
*Right-click disk (C:) and choose Properties.
In the window (General tab) you will find a button to start Disk Cleanup.
*Select the drive you wish to cleanup and click OK - The main Disk Cleanup window will appear.
To learn about Disk Cleanup before using it click the How does Disk Cleanup work link near the bottom of the window.
You should use Disk Cleanup at least once a month to get rid of junk files that do nothing more than fill your hard drive and may also slow down your PC.
You can also remove old, unnecessary Windows Updates with the Disk Cleanup wizard if you have KB2852386 installed. To find out how, go to Delete old Windows Updates in Windows 7 SP1.
Also try Ccleaner In addition to or instead of Disk Cleanup.
Download the free version of Ccleaner program then install and run it to remove temporary files from your PC. Ccleaner has other features you can use to uninstall programs and disable unwanted startup items that may be slowing your PC's boot time.
(When installing Ccleaner be sure to watch the installer to deselect any unwanted software installs (Google Chrome and Toolbar) other than the Ccleaner program itself.)
After running Disk Cleanup and/or Ccleaner:
Check to see how much disk space is being used - and for what.
In the same window (disk (C:) Properties) where you found Disk Cleanup is a graphical representation that tells you how much space is left on your drive - and also the size of your drive.
Normal files that take up an unusually great amount of space on a hard drive are music files, graphics files (photos), and especially video files (movies).
If, by chance, your hard drive is near full yet you have none (or very few) of the above mentioned files then you may simply have a rather small hard drive - if not you may have another problem.
To solve it (or at least discover what it is) you can download a small program called Treesize Free. Download it from Jam Software's page.
TreeSize Free is a small program that displays the size of every folder and file, including every subfolder, in a series of expandable Explorer-like tree views.
With this handy little program you'll easily be able to see what's eating the space on your hard drive. (And hopefully delete the bloated files.)
A portable version of Treesize is also available that can be run from a USB Flash Drive - no need to install it!
Note: If any of the extra-large files you find with Treesize are located in the Windows folder you should go online to seek help in deciding whether it is safe to delete these files.
Another great program for this purpose is called WinDirStat. WinDirStat is open-source freeware available from Fosshub, a site that hosts open-source software.
Check your Downloads Folder
If you are like many people, when you download installer programs or files from the Internet they go directly to your Downloads Folder. You certainly don't need to keep old installer programs that you have already used to install your programs. If you need to re-install a program it's usually much better to download it again to get a newer version than to keep using the same old one.
Also if you have personal documents in your Download Folder they should be put into your Documents Folder where you'll be able to find them.
Clean out your Downloads Folder! There's no telling how much space you can reclaim on your hard drive until you start looking.
Defragment & check the hard drive for errors.
Primarily for Windows XP and Windows Vista
The hard drive may have data errors that keep it spinning too much looking for the proper data.
In addition the data on the hard drive may be scattered all over the place requiring the hard drive to spin longer to find data.
It is neither necessary nor desireable to defragment a SSD Drive.
These same tools can also be used to check any connected disk drive that has been formatted using NTFS, Fat32, or FAT file systems.
To check your primary hard disk:
*Click the Start Button and choose Computer.
*Then right-click drive (C:) and choose Properties
*Choose the Tools tab at the top of the window.
In the new window that appears you will find three utilties:
One to check your disk for errors.
Another to check your disk for fragmentation.
And one to backup your PC. (This one is covered elsewhere.)
Check your disk for Errors and file corruption - and fix them if possible.
If you suspect a problem with your disk then:
*Click Check Now - another small window will appear where you can choose Check Disk options.
*Be sure both boxes are checked and choose Start. Yet another small window will appear to notify you that Windows can't check the disk while it's in use.
*If you wish to proceed click the Schedule disk check button. Clicking this button does not do anything immediately. This enables the Windows Check Disk utility to run the next time you boot your PC - before Windows starts.
Note: At reboot the Check Disk utility will run unless you stop it before it starts. When the Check Disk Utility finishes Windows will start - it may take a while.
Check your disk for file fragmentation:
In the same window (tools tab of disk (C:) Properties) there is also a utility to optimize and defragment your drive.
*Click the Defragment now button. This will not start anything yet - it will simply open another window in which you can see if any of your drives are fragmented - and how much.
Generally if the fragmentation of your disk is above 10% you should choose to defragment.
If your drive has a lot of data it may take quite some time to complete the defragmentation - especially if the fragmentation is severe.
Note if your PC is running Windows 7, 8, or 10.
In Windows 7 the primary hard drive is optimized (defragmented) automatically by default but not checked for errors by default.
In both Windows 8 & 10 the primary hard drive is checked for errors and optimized automatically by default on a periodic basis.
Disable all unnecessary startup items
If you have too many programs set to start along with Windows and run in the background this can slow your PC to a crawl - especially if you don't have sufficient RAM installed.
It's relatively simply to look to see what's starting up (and running) alongside of Windows - simply open MSConfig.exe, the System Configuration Tool.
*Click the Start Button then Click Run. (or press the Windows and R keys at the same time.)
*Type MSConfig into the Run Box and hit enter.
If the Run box is not enabled in the Start Menu then enter MSConfig into the Search box.
If you have Windows 8 or Windows 10 just open the Task Manager - found by right-clicking the Task Bar. In Windows 8 & 10 Startup items are now viewed and edited in More Details of the Task Manager - very nice!
*In the MSConfig (or Task Manager) window choose the Startup tab.
Here you will see all the startup programs enabled (or disabled) on your PC.
Note: If you installed the Ccleaner program earlier you can use it to perform this function if you wish. After starting Ccleaner choose Tools (on the left) then choose the Startup tab to see a list of startup programs on your PC.
"For all the good it does me," you might say to yourself after seeing the strange names listed.
"How", you might ask, "will I decide whether to disable these things or not?"
*Go to Bleeping Computer Website and click on the Startup List tab.
*Type the name of a startup item into the Search for a Startup box - click Search.
The next window contains information about whether you should leave it alone or if you can disable it safely.
Tip: If you use Ccleaner you can right-click the startup window in Ccleaner and choose to save a text file of your startup items. Be sure to save the file where you can find it! This will help when you are trying to decide whether to disable a startup item. It's easy to mistype and get the wrong answer or none at all. Just highlight the item name then copy and paste!
If you have lots of startup items this task will be time-consuming but not all that difficult.
When you have finished close MSConfig or the Task Manager. Restart your PC and you will notice the list of little icons in the Task Bar will not be so long now. And your PC should boot faster if you have eliminated enough of them.
Many programs, when installed, place icons in the Task Bar. Prime examples of this are Yahoo Messenger, Skype and Printing software of different brands. None of these programs need to run all the time. When, and if, you need them simply double-click their shortcuts or choose them from the Start Menu.
A shortcut to any regularly-used program can either be pinned to the Task Bar in Windows Vista, 7, & 8 or placed into the Quick Launch menu (if enabled).
Too many Fonts installed?
Extra installed fonts can slow your PC down. You can delete or hide extra fonts easily.
*Type Fonts into Search in the Start Menu in Windows 7 or the Start Screen in Windows 8.
*In the Fonts window, Right-click any fonts you wish to delete or hide then choose the appropriate command from the context menu.
Note: You can also install new fonts by dragging them into this window.
For more information see this Microsoft Page.
Check Internet Options
- in the Control Panel
If you like, you can check to see what's starting up along side of your internet browser.
There are three things you need to check for here.
*In the Advanced tab scroll down and uncheck the box labeled - Enable Third-party browser extensions.
Generally you should do this unless you must run a third-party extension for some specific purpose.
*In the Connections tab - Click on LAN Settings - Be sure the box labeled Automatically detect settings is checked.
*If there is a check in the Proxy Server box, Uncheck It!
If you know that you connect normally using a Proxy server leave this setting as it is. However if not you should change it since malware will sometimes change this setting to enable a connection to an unwanted homepage.
*Click the General tab and check to be sure the homepage is the one you wish to use. If not change it.
*Before clicking OK be sure to click the Apply button if you have changed any settings.
Internet Connection Problems?
If your connection to the internet is plagued by interuptions and slowdowns, before complaining to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), if your connection is still up at all, you could navigate to www.speedtest.net and run the test.
(Adobe Shockwave Flash must be installed and enabled to run this test)
Another good test is available at www.speedguide.net.
Attempt a fix
If the results of these tests are not satisfactory you could download the excellent TCP Optimizer software from http://www.speedguide.net and use it to tweak your Network Adapter settings for optimal performance.
(For assistance in running the Optimizer click the Help menu, choose Online Help, under TCP Optimizer Documentation choose
TCP Optimizer 4 Documentaton, then choose 2. Using the program)
If the TCP Optimizer software is unable to help improve your connection, you should then call your ISP for help to resolve the problem.
Update Windows and your internet programs.
Important! - You should check to be sure that Windows update is enabled and set to automatically download and install all important and critical Windows updates from Microsoft - especially Service Packs. There are things contained in Windows Service Packs that you can't get anywhere else.
To Check this setting:
*Go to the Control Panel - Choose System and Security then Windows Update.
Note: In Windows 10 all Windows updates are downloaded and installed automatically by default unless you tell Windows you are on a metered connection.
In addition to Windows, Windows Update also provides updates for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, if installed.
*Regularly check your third-party browser software for updates. They will normally be updated automatically but it never hurts to check.
*Also check Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Reader, to be sure they are up-to-date.
You can uncheck the box before clicking install to avoid extra software if you choose.
*Also check for an update of Oracle's Java (if installed on your PC).
*Be sure to uncheck the boxes (within the installer) to avoid extra software, which in this case is considered to be spyware by many.
*It is also a good idea to uninstall old Java versions by using the Control Panel's Uninstall a Program feature. Older versions of Java are not always removed when updating. It never hurts to check.
The primary purpose of updates for these programs and runtimes is to close holes through which hackers can attack your PC and place malware on it - in addition to adding new features.
For more information concerning updating these programs see my file Freeware.
Clean your PC - Inside & Check the Battery
- (for Desktop PCs)
If you've had your PC for more than two years it would be an excellent idea to check the inside to clean out any dirt and dust that has accumulated on the fans and electronic components. This may not speed you PC very much (if at all) but it may make your PC run cooler and last longer.
You can get a PDF file from your PC manufacturer's support website that will show you the proper way to open the case of your PC to enable it to be cleaned.
*Search the internet for your PC's manufacturer support site.
*Enter your PC's model number or service tag (located on a sticker on your PC).
Generally you will find what you are looking for listed under Drivers and Downloads or a similar heading. Look for a Service, maintenance, or upgrade guide, in PDF form.
First, before doing anything else, take a look at your time and date display in the taskbar.
Is the correct date displayed?
If not change it and then shutdown and boot again - not Restart. Then check it again.
If it is incorrect after a restarting then your PC's motherboard (CMOS) battery may be dead or dying. Incorrect date can cause all sorts of irritating errors and problems with updates.
The service guide you downloaded should mention the motherboard battery and provide instructions for replacement.
Install a new battery or have a technician install one for you.
On to the Cleaning
You will need a can of compressed air especially for cleaning electronics - available from Walmart, Best Buy or other such store. You will also need a clean cloth or a soft paper towel to gently wipe clean the fan blades - as best you can without damaging them.
Don't touch any electronic components inside the case with your bare hands if you can possibly avoid it. Static electricity in your body is sufficient to fry the delicate electronics. So it's wise to ground yourself to rid your body of excess static electricity. Touch a water faucet or the bare metal case of any grounded appliance before performing this task.
After you have disconnected the power cord and all connected devices open your PC's case and take it outside to perform the cleaning - dust will be flying all over if your PC is really dirty.
After my dire warning - if you feel hesitant to do it yourself - you may simply decide to take the PC to a technician for him (or her) to handle.
But if you balk at spending money for this job just take another look at all the dust and grime inside the case an ask yourself how much longer your PC will last if it's not properly cleaned.
Add additional Random Access Memory (RAM)
If your PC is more than two or three years old adding more RAM will likely speed it up some. Just how much is hard to know - beforehand.
However, before spending a substantial amount of money on an old machine you should be certain it is worth it.
If your PC is more than ten years old perhaps you should consider a replacement.
Ditto if it has hardware problems that you can't resolve - without spending big money.
However if the only thing that seems to be wrong with your late model PC is that it runs slowly then it's up to you.
To find out how much RAM is presently installed in your PC:
*Click on the Start Button then right-click on Computer and choose Properties.
The System window will appear and in there you will see a listing for Installed Memory and/or RAM. This window will also tell you if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Note: A link to the System window can also be found in the Control Panel. View by large icons.
To determine if you should add more RAM:
If you have less than 2GB of RAM installed you definitely should consider adding more RAM.
In this instance your PC's spreed increase should be noticable.
Also, if you have a 64-bit operating system and you have less than 4GB of RAM installed you should also consider adding more RAM.
You may ask: "Why don't I simply forget all the other stuff and just put more RAM in the machine and be done with it?"
If you did that at the beginning - especially on an old PC - you would not know whether it is worthwhile to spend any additional money on an old machine.
Check it out first - then decide whether to invest money to upgrade an old PC or whether it's more cost-effective to simply purchase a new one.
If you decide to proceed you will need to find out what how much RAM you can and should add and most important - what type of RAM you should buy and where you should get it.
The Service, maintenance, or upgrade guide you downloaded from your PC's manufacturer should tell you what memory type and also the maximum amount of RAM your PC will hold.
If the guide is too technical to be understood properly (some of them are pretty bad) simply go to Crucial.Com.
On the site enter your PC's manufacturer and model name and number - choose them from the drop down list.
Once you have entered your PC's information you will be brought to a page listing your PC's general specifications and information on recommended upgrades.
If you wish to be very specific you can download a small applet from the Crucial site which will scan your PC and give detailed info about your PC's present configuration.
*Press the Scan your System link.
Now that you know you need more RAM memory and how much and what kind to get you need to decide whether you wish to install it yourself.
You can download a video showing you how to do it from the Crucial site.
However, if you were hesitant to clean the inside of your PC perhaps you should get a technician to do it for you. Expect to pay at least twice as much as it would have cost you to order RAM and do it yourself.
Install a Solid State Hard Drive - SSD
The performance boost you will get from cleaning up your old PC and installing additional RAM will be real and noticable. However the jump in performace a Solid State hard drive can provide is dramatic.
If you were to install additional RAM as well as a SSD your old machine will be turned into a speed demon - probably for much less than the cost of a brand new computer.
When you should consider installing a SSD rather than purchasing a new PC
- If your PC is not more than five years old
- If your PC has a powerful processor - AMD A-6 or better, Phenom - Intel i3, i5, or i7
- If your PC has a SATA II or SATA III hard drive interface (Generally, if your PC is less than 5 years old it will have a SATA interface)
- If your PC is running well with no mechanical problems
- If your PC is running Windows 7 or Windows 8
- If your PC has at least 4GB of RAM installed
If all of the above conditions are met your old PC is certainly a good candidate for a Solid State hard drive.
Even if most of the conditions are met your old PC will still benefit from a SSD - just not as much.
But if your PC is simply too old or is running Windows XP and cannot be updated to Windows 7 then you may as well bite the bullet and get a new computer - With a SSD installed instead of (or in addition to) a mechanical hard drive.
(If your PC is running Windows Vista an update to Windows 7 is highly recommended when installing a SSD.)
However, before you install a perfectly nice and clean SSD into an older (and possibly dirty) computer be sure to clean it up first.
- Scan for and remove all malware files
- Get rid of unnecessary files
- Remove or uninstall unnecessary startup items
- Uninstall unused software and bloatware
- Clean your PC - inside and out
- Add more RAM (this will give you the largest performance boost possible)
For more detailed information about Solid State drives read my file Install a Solid State Drive - SSD.
About the BIOS
Updating the BIOS will rarely result in any speed increases
The BIOS (or Basic Input/Output System) is, without getting too technical, the electronic traffic cop for your PC. It tells each component how (and when) to communicate with the other components. It also contains information for the PC to perform its power-on self test (POST).
The BIOS performs these functions by consulting its (erasable programmable read-only-memory EPROM) firmware contained on its electronic chip.
Flashing the BIOS involves downloading BIOS update software, either from the motherboard manufacturer or the PC manufacturer, then running it on your PC. This update software replaces the firmware on the BIOS chip with a newer version.
Never download BIOS software (or any other kind of driver software) from any place on the internet except the original PC manufacturer's site. (If there is an approved update available, they will have it.) And when downloading, be certain that the update is for your particular model PC.
It is a good idea to allow the PC manufacturer's site to install software on your PC that will scan the PC to determine its exact model (If available). That way you know for sure that the any update you may install has been created for your exact PC.
The only reason to update or flash the BIOS is to add support for new technologies that the hardware is able to support. If that is possible then the PC manufacturer's support website will have that information available for you to read along with software for you to download.
However if the PC's hardware is unable to support any particular new technology then a BIOS firmware update will serve no purpose.
And just because the PC manufacturer has a BIOS update listed on their driver downloads page doesn't mean that it's a newer version than what's already intalled in your PC. Check the version number before you bother.
Always rely on the information from your PC's manufacturer support site when contemplating such an upgrade.
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a standard firmware interface for PCs, designed to replace the BIOS.
New 64bit Windows computers will have a UEFI instead of a BIOS. See this
Delete old, unneeded Windows Updates in Windows 7 SP1
Using Disk Cleanup wizard in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Note: You can use this procedure on any Windows system to remove temporary and junk files. But on Windows 7 SP1 you can also eliminate old, unneeded Windows Updates if KB2852386 is installed.
I strongly advise that you make sure all malware has been removed from your PC before performing this procedure.
Windows 7 SP1 update KB2852386 adds a new plugin to the Disk Cleanup wizard. After you install this update, you can use the Windows Update Cleanup option to delete Windows updates that you no longer need.
Go to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2852386 for detailed instructions and/or follow the directions below.
Go to Windows Update in the Control Panel then click Installed Updates on the bottom-left of the window to see if KB2852386 is installed. Click the search box at the top-right and enter KB2852386.
If it is installed go to How to do it further down.
However, if KB2852386 is not installed go back to Windows Updates and click Check for Updates on the top-left of the Windows Update window.
Basically, if you have the Windows Update KB2852386 installed you can run the Windows Disk Cleanup Wizard to remove all outdated Microsoft Updates from your PC.
For most users this will mean that you can delete a possible 2GB or more of unnecessary files from your computer. If you have a large hard drive this may not mean much. But if you have a smaller Solid State Drive (SSD) installed you will welcome the extra disk space.
How to do it
First, you must have administrator permissions to do this, so you will need to open the Disk Cleaner wizard in a different manner than clicking the Start Menu, clicking Computer, right-clicking drive C:, etc.
*Click the Start Menu the type cleanmgr in the Start Search box.
*Right click the result, which is Disk Cleanup. Choose Run as Administrator from the context menu.
The Disk Cleanup wizard will calculate how much disk space can be freed up on your PC.
*Scroll down in the Disk Cleanup window to be sure the Windows Update Cleanup box is checked. This will indicate the amount of unnecessary old Windows Updated files to be removed when you click OK.
*After viewing how much disk space will be recovered, if everything is satisfactory, click OK.
You can run this wizard as often as you like to remove temporary and junk files from your PC, as well as further unneeded Windows Updates.
You will not be able to roll back your system with Windows System Restore very far after this, so you probably should create a new System Restore point while you're at it. If you wish to do so go to System Restore to learn how.
While you're at it, you could also delete all of your older System Restore points to save even more disk space. Of course, this assumes your system is running well with no glitches.
ONE FINAL TIP
If your laptop PC has a traditional spinning hard drive Don't move it while it's running!
This applies equally to both desktop PCs and laptop PCs. However laptop PCs are inherently more susceptable to disk damage from bumps, drops, or mishandling since desktops are unlikely to be moved when they are running.
It's always a great idea to turn off your laptop (or close the lid to put it to sleep) first if you must move it. Be sure that all disk activity has stopped before you move it!