52GB of digital “crap” on average accumulates on consumer PCs every year
Piriform Software Ltd., a global leader in system optimization software, has found that up to 52GB of ‘digital crap’ builds up on consumer PCs each year. Not only does this waste valuable storage space equivalent of 17 hours’ worth of HD movie content or over 30,000 photos, it can also affect PC performance as it can slow down boot times and make apps less responsive on older systems which have less available memory.
Getting rid of the junk
In a survey with 5,000 CCleaner users, most were likely to clean their PC a few times a week; with each clean, a quarter said they removed between 250-500MB, and 22% removed between 500MB-1GB worth of ‘digital crap’. This amounts to around 1GB a week of unwanted files and cookies being removed (52GB per year), which illustrates the important benefits of good digital hygiene.
The findings, available in the CCleaner ‘Digital Crap Index’ report, indicate that on average, users in the Americas remove 1.83GB of junk per clean – the most of any region. Users in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region remove 1.59GB, and users in Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) remove 1.39GB. For context, 1GB is enough space for roughly 230 songs, 600 photos or a 2-hour movie.
Prolonging the life of PCs
Despite the fact that PC performance is thought to deteriorate after a couple of years, at which point many people might choose to upgrade their machines, more than half of the respondents (54%) have working PCs that are more than three years old, a quarter have a PC that’s still going strong after 5 years, and 5% use a machine that is more than eight years old.
The research also found that more than half of respondents (53%) use Microsoft Windows 7 – perhaps a reflection of the age of some of their machines. The findings provide food for thought, as support for this operating system ends on 14th January 2020, leaving users vulnerable to security risks and viruses as they won’t receive regular updates and patches. When it comes to keeping older PCs updated in general, however, 60% admitted they ignore such update reminders, giving reasons such as wanting to finish what they’re doing, worrying about software updates negatively impacting performance, or simply finding the update process ‘a hassle’.
Paul Yung, VP Products, CCleaner, said, “We know that regularly vacuuming our homes keeps the dust away, but we don’t really think about this sort of maintenance when it comes to our computers. Regularly giving them a digital clean and installing updates is an important part of their care. It’s not just about getting space back, it’s also about keeping our PCs staying fast and fun to use, especially as they get older. Keeping our devices in good condition means we don’t have to buy a new PC every couple of years so there is a real financial incentive to doing this regularly.”
Prime targets for uninstallation
The research also revealed that there are a number of apps and games which rank highly for uninstallation. Those in the gaming category take the top spot – including Xbox apps, Candy Crush Saga and Steam – followed by productivity apps.
CCleaner also asked users to share their top tips for getting the best out of PCs:
- Free up wasted space:clear out junk and temporary files and uninstall any apps no longer used.
- Keep yourself private:clean tracking cookies, browsing history, and old or unwanted files to maintain your privacy.
- Review startup items:to boost a computer’s boot up time, review the auto-startup items and disable those not immediately needed.
- Declutter browsers:browser plugins or ‘extensions’ can add some useful functionality, but also slow browsers down, and clutter up the toolbars.
- Delete unnecessary apps:apps that aren’t used regularly, or games that have been downloaded and completed, can be deleted to instantly declutter a machine.
The CCleaner ‘Digital Crap Index’ full report and findings can be viewed at: www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/digital-crap-index