Windows is popular enough that third-party utilities are their own cottage industry; sifting through your options -- and deciding which version of Windows you should be using -- can be daunting.more
Windows is popular enough that third-party utilities are their own cottage industry; sifting through your options -- and deciding which version of Windows you should be using -- can be daunting. Let's clear the fog and give you the lowdown.
This Microsoft tool takes a look at all the software that starts up when you start Windows. Badly behaving startup programs can slow down the startup process and use up system RAM. Some of them don't need to be run at all. Select the "Hide Signed Microsoft Entries" option to isolate the third-party apps, and you can start separating the wheat from the chaff.
Windows 7 is certainly less intrusive on your privacy, but it came out back in 2009, which is a long time ago in the tech world. Like it or not, Win 10 -- and its default web browser, Microsoft Edge -- will be the more secure environment going forward. (Though if you're truly concerned about security, Linux might be worth a look.)
Recuva, made by the same publisher as CCleaner, can undelete accidentally deleted files, and it's easy to use. A deleted file isn't automatically gone; instead, it's hidden from view, and the space on your storage device that it used to occupy is gradually overwritten by the bits of other files. As long as the deleted file hasn't been overwritten by a new one, you should be able to recover it.
Although the aforementioned manual system cleaning process is pretty thorough, it also doesn't hurt to run CCleaner to check how well you did. You may also want to try installing CCEnhancer, which adds a bunch more products for CCleaner to check for when scanning your system. Beware that this will make the scanning process take longer.