Your PC is home to millions of files. The vast majority of those files can be deleted without wrecking your PC.
Unfortunately, a small percentage of those files should not be deleted if you like using your PC.
Today, we’re going to tell you which files you absolutely should not delete if you’re cleaning up your PC. Just because a file is big and in an obscure part of your hard drive doesn’t mean that you should delete it:
System 32 (Cannot delete)
System32 is an essential part of your Windows file structure. The folder is relatively large (generally between 3 to 3.5GB) and contains core system information for Windows. Unfortunately, the words ‘System32’ don’t make it sound all that important, which is why many users are tempted to delete it.
If you delete System32, your computer will stop working. It will no longer function. Your information will be lost. Don’t do it.
Unfortunately, ‘Deleting System32’ is also one of the oldest trolling techniques around. On places like 4Chan, users would regularly ask for advice on speeding up their PCs. Users would respond in typical troll fashion and say ‘Delete System 32 to speed up your computer.’ A surprising number of users fell for this trick.
Certain browser cache items (Should not delete)
Unlike System32, your browser cache doesn’t contain essential system information. Deleting this data won’t put your entire system at risk.
However, you will lose important browser data that only takes up a miniscule amount of space on your hard drive. When cleaning browser information, check the following boxes:
See how passwords, Autofill form data, Hosted app data, and Content licenses are unchecked? That’s a good thing. Those items only take up a small amount of space and they’re relatively annoying to replace. Unless you’re clearing your browser data from a public computer or using a friend’s system, leave this data alone.
System restore points (Should not delete)
System restore points save your computer’s system information from a specific point in time. Windows automatically creates restore points regularly. It also creates restore points before installing patches.
Your computer may have a bunch of restore points over the past few years. You certainly don’t need all of these restore points. However, you should keep at least two.
If you have a large hard drive, consider keeping more. You never know when a restore point will be set too early or too late for what you’re trying to restore.
When cleaning your PC using software like CCleaner, I recommend unchecking the ‘System restore points’ box. Don’t clean up your system restore points. If you want to free up space more effectively, I recommend using a tool called System Restore Explorer that lets you easily manage and remove your Windows restore points.
Be careful using CCleaner
CCleaner is an excellent (and free) PC cleaning tool. However, you need to be careful when using it. Always know which files and folders you’ve checked and prepared to remove. It’s easy to accidentally check a box you didn’t mean to check and end up wiping out an essential part of your computer.
You can check every box on CCleaner without ruining your PC. In fact, this is an excellent way to clear up space and speed up your computer. However, you may feel like you’re using a brand new PC as all your user data will be wiped out.