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5 apps for cleaning and speeding up your PC

Before you ditch your slow computer in favor of a new model, try using one of these apps to clean and speed it up.

Computers rely on having files and data in well-sorted, organized categories without a lot of digital clutter to pick through to find the important stuff. But just like a desk covered in outdated bills, receipts, and sticky notes, a computer can get cluttered with cached files, old installers, browser data, and other digital detritus and result in a slower machine. 

To make matters worse, apps that claim to clean your computer aren't always trustworthy, but these five are, and you can download them now. 

CCleaner

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CCleaner 
Image: Piriform Ltd

There's a reason CCleaner has been around as long as it has: It's good at its job. The free version will sift through your hard drive, figure out what's taking up space, and recommend what you should delete, and then take care of it for you. For $19.95, you can add real-time protection against junk files and automatic updates.

CCleaner

iolo System Mechanic

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iolo System Mechanic
Image: iolo technologies, LLC.

This one isn't free ($39.96), but it comes with a lot of features that iolo claims will get your PC running smoothly. System Mechanic can clean out bloatware and old files, reportedly repair damaged aspects of your operating system, and tweak system settings to speed up your computer and internet browsing speeds.

iolo System Mechanic

Razer Cortex

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Razer Cortex 
Image: Razer

Cortex, from gaming PC company Razer, is a free tool built to maximize gaming performance, but that doesn't mean it can't maximize a work PC that requires a lot of GPU memory to get high-intensity tasks done. Cortex can adjust settings automatically, and also allows for manual tweaking of settings to fine-tune certain aspects of performance, like GPU speed and load times.

Razer Cortex

AVG TuneUp

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AVG TuneUp 
Image: AVG

AVG is a trusted name in antivirus software, and its PC tuneup program has excellent features as well. Along with the usual, AVG TuneUp has a software sleep mode that freezes unneeded apps to free up memory, and has a built-in software updater that can check for updates on a whole bunch of different apps and then install the newest versions. AVG TuneUp is $39.99 a year, but comes with a 30-day free trial.

AVG TuneUp

Norton Utilities

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Norton Utilities
Image: NortonLifeLock Inc.

Norton's cleanup option is a premium product that will run you $39.99 for a year's subscription. It does a lot of things in the background to keep your PC running smoothly, like automatically optimizing resources for different tasks, performing cleanup tasks when your machine is idle, and securely deleting sensitive files. 

Norton Utilities