Built-in Windows XP Cleaning Utilities

By Allen Wyatt

Part of Cleaning Windows XP For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Bet you didn’t know that Windows XP can clean itself. Well, actually, you have to do the heavy lifting as in running the programs, but at least the cleaning programs are there for you to run. The following table lists the five most helpful cleaning utilities:

Utility What It Does How to Use It
Disk Cleanup Allows you to identify and remove the most common forms of
clutter on your hard drive.
Choose Start→All Programs→Accessories→System
Tools→Disk Cleanup.
Msconfig Modifies how your system starts. Choose Start→Run, type msconfig, and click OK.
Check Disk Checks for hard-drive errors and corrects simple ones. Display the My Computer window, right-click a drive, and choose
Properties; on the Tools tab, click Check Now.
Defragmenter Analyzes disk drives for fragmentation and removes it as much
as possible.
Display the My Computer window, right-click a drive, and choose
Properties; on the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
Registry Editor Allows you to examine the contents of the Registry, back it up,
and make changes if necessary. Use with extreme
caution.
Choose Start→Run, type regedit, and click OK.