50 tools to speed up your PC

Get Windows humming again, supercharge your browser, and clear out the crud with these (mostly) free downloads.

Hard-Disk Cleaning and Backup

Your hard disk is clogged with files you no longer need. They occupy precious space and could possibly slow your system. Get rid of them with these optimization tools, which include a very good backup program.

CCleaner

This is probably the best tool you can find for cleaning your system and thereby optimizing your PC. It scrubs temporary Internet files, the history list, cookies, autocomplete entries, the thumbnail cache, unneeded file fragments, temporary files--the list goes on. It also includes a Registry optimizer and uninstall tools, and eliminates traces that applications leave behind

Download CCleaner | Price: Free

Duplicate Music Files

If you have a big MP3 or media files collection, you likely have many duplicates and don't realize it. The excess files hog hard-disk space and junk up your media library. Finding duplicates can be difficult, though, because the same piece of music or media may have different file names. This freebie searches for more than file names, as it compares file sizes, does error checks, and even examines ID3 tags to track down duplicates and delete them.

Download Duplicate Music Files | Price: Free

Easy Duplicate File Finder

Looking to clean all sorts of duplicate files? This tool does the job for you. It scans your system, gives you a full report, and lets you clean either in bulk or just selected files. It also allows you to protect system files so that you don't accidentally delete any important ones that your PC needs to run.

Download Easy Duplicate File Finder | Price: Free

NovaBackup Professional

Backup software may be the most overlooked optimization tool of all. When something goes wrong with your system, you'll want a way to recover files and restore your machine to a working state. This software does a great job, and can restore individual files, folders, or a whole disk.

Download NovaBackup Professional | Price: $50 (Trial)

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Preston Gralla

PC World (US online)

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