Every time you access web sites on the Internet, temporary files are copied to your PC. These files contain information intended to make these web sites open faster on your next visit. They may also contain preferences you've entered on the site while visiting it.

All well so far. Over time, however, you can build up thousands of these files. Many of them may not be doing you much good, especially if they are from sites you've visited once never intending to go back.

Every once in a while, you should go in and clean these files out.

Here's how you do it:

  1. In Internet Explorer click Tools, and then click 'Internet Options'.
  2. Select the 'General' tab and find the 'Temporary Files' section half way down the page.
  3. Click the 'Delete Files' button and in the window that opens, check the box for 'Delete all offline content'.
  4. Click OK and all the files are erased.
Every time you delete a file on a PC running a Windows Operating system it isn't really deleted. It is instead stored in a temporary holding area called the Recycle Bin. It stays there until you restore it or permanently delete it.

From time to time it is a good idea to go and delete the files you have no intention of restoring.

To delete all the files in the Recycle Bin do the following:

  1. Locate the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and double-click it.
  2. When the Recycle Bin opens, click 'File' on the menu bar and a list of options appears.
  3. Select 'Empty Recycle Bin' from this list and every item in the Recycle Bin is deleted.
You can move icons on the desktop closer together or farther apart.

  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop. Select Properties and the display properties box opens.
  2. Click the Appearance tab
  3. Adjust the number in the Size box and you’ll see the effect of changes, as you make them, in the small display near the top of the window.
  4. When you have the spacing you want, Click OK to save the setting.

  1. Right-click anywhere on your open desktop and select Properties from the drop-down list that appears.
  2. a) For Windows 98 - Select the Background tab in the window that appears and find the section labeled Wallpaper that contains a list of files you can choose to use as Wallpaper.
b) For Windows XP - Select the Desktop tab in the window that appears, and find the section labeled Background which contains a list of files you can choose to use as your Desktop background.

  1. Click on one and it is shown in the small display in the window.
  2. When you find one you like, click OK to keep as your desktop wallpaper!
Note: If the image does not cover your entire display and you want it to, go to the Display box and select the Stretch option.

As you save, erase, and move files sometimes things do not go just right. This is not caused by anything you are doing wrong. A PC is a very complex, fast machine and despite the best efforts of all the designers, engineers and programmers who've toiled to make it flawless, sometimes programs collide and mess up each others files.

This unwanted interaction can result in invalid files, files with lost file fragments, and cross linked files. You don't always know right away when this happens. This is why you should run the Scandisk utility from time to time.

For Windows XP and 2000:

In XP and 2000, the utility is called 'Error Checking' and doesn't offer the full physical surface check.

  1. From 'Start' double click 'My Computer'.
  2. Right-click the drive you want.
  3. Click on 'Properties', then 'Tools'.
  4. Under 'Error Checking' click 'Check now' and then Start.
  5. A small scandisk window appears and the process begins.
A program called Search can help you locate Files and Folders on your PC.

  1. Click Start, Search and the ‘Search Results’ window opens.
  2. On the left side of the window, click the ‘All Files and Folders’ link and three fill-in boxes are displayed in the window:
a) In the box labeled ‘All or part of the file name’ type in the full or partial file name you want to locate.

b) You can optionally search for text within each file by entering the text you want to search for in the box labeled ‘A word or phrase in the file’.

Note: If you look for files by file name and text within the file, then only files matching both conditions will be found.

c) Click the arrow at the right side of the box labeled “Look In’ and in the drop-down list that opens, select the drive(s) you want to search in. If you want to search all folders in the drive you select, check the ‘Include subfolders’ check box.

  1. Click the 'Search' button and all files and folders matching your search conditions appear in a list. The path of each folder and file is also displayed
Open Windows Explorer

You can find Windows Explorer by going to 'Start', then 'Programs'. If you don't see it in 'Programs' then look in 'Accessories'. Double click the Windows Explorer icon and it will open.

Viewing Folders and Files

On the left side of Windows Explorer you will see a section called 'Folders'. Normally under Folders you should see at a minimum:

  1. My Computer
  2. My Network Place
  3. Recycle Bin
  4. My Documents
To see the all the drives on your PC, click on 'My Computer'. Typically you will have listed:

  1. 3-1/2 inch Floppy (A:)
  2. Hard drive (C:)
  3. CD or DVD (D:)
  4. Control Panel icon.
Click the drive you want and all the folders for it become accessible.

Copying Files and Folders:

  1. Navigate to the folder or file that you want to copy. And place your cursor over the file or folder you want to copy, then right-click your mouse.
  2. Select copy from the menu that appears.
  3. Now place your cursor over the destination folder and again right-click your mouse. This time select paste from the menu.
  4. That's it! The item is copied to the destination folder.