I firmly believe that many issues with Windows are caused by the user’s bad habits and can often be put down to what I call a “messy” system.
What Constitutes A Messy System?
Numerous factors contribute to a messy system, including:
Continually Installing and Uninstalling Software: Some users like to experiment with software and I am certainly not critical of that. However, those users would be far better off experimenting from within a VM (Virtual Machine) which would then leave their main operating system untouched – not accumulating leftover remnants nor running the risk of incompatibilities.
Virtual machines are quite easy to set up and use but, if you’re new to VMs and seeking guidance, I can thoroughly recommend Jim Canfield’s excellent series of related articles:
- Understanding a Virtual Drive
- Installing Oracle’s VirtualBox
- Installing Hyper-V Manager
- Installing a Linux Distro
- Using Quick Create In Hyper-V Manager
Lack of Maintenance: We recently published an interesting article from John Durso who poses the question, Does Junk Slow Down A Windows PC? John is of the opinion that accumulated junk files can have a major negative performance impact on a Windows computer. I agree 100% with John’s conclusion. Whenever I’ve completed the task of cleaning up one of my client’s systems there has never been a case when that has not resulted in a noticeable performance boost.
I’ve mentioned Windows’ native System File Checker tool (sfc /scannow) previously and cannot emphasize enough the importance of running this tool on a regular basis. I do not know how system files become corrupted, but I do know that this can and does happen.
Regularly running the System File Checker tool will help keep on top of potential system file corruption and ensure they don’t accumulate to the point where they are causing serious issues. I run the sfc /scannow command in an elevated Command Prompt (Admin) every 2 weeks, just before creating a new system backup image.
Careless Clicking: I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been cleaning up a client’s system and come across a rogue software installation. When I ask them where the software came from the answer is invariably that they have no idea. Fortunately, we’ve seen a decline in the practice of bundling PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) within installation packages but it’s still quite common. When installing new software, users should not blindly click through the installation process but rather check each installation window carefully to make sure there are no unwanted programs included. In most cases, it’s simply a matter of disabling the option.
I believe that most of our readers would already be aware of the damage careless clicking can do as far as introducing malware and adware into the system is concerned – opening email attachments and/or clicking links embedded in email from unknown senders, inadvertently clicking malicious links across the web, etc.
All of these contribute toward a “messy” system and messy systems are, in my opinion, a major cause of issues.
Consider this – just about every time a Windows update is released we can read reports across the web from users who have experienced issues after installing the latest update. I have been running Windows 10 and Windows 11 ever since their respective initial releases and have applied every single Windows update since. I have never experienced any issues after installing a Windows update.
As the wonderful but sadly late Professor Julius Sumner Miller would say… “Why is it so?“. I can only put it down to the fact that I make sure all my systems are always in pristine condition. I have little doubt that a lot of issues experienced by users are self-inflicted and, in many cases, a messy system is to blame.