Does your Windows PC or Mac feel a bit slow and sluggish? Is it complaining at you that you're running out of disk space? Do you have loads of duplicated files all over the place that are just wasting disk space?
Enter Parallels Toolbox.
Developed by Parallels, the company better known for Parallels Desktop virtualisation software and Parallels Access remote access program, Parallels Toolbox is, as the name suggests, a suite of tools to help you get stuff done. And while here I'm going to mainly focus on using Parallels Toolbox to spring clean your computer, it can do a lot, lot more than that.
SO, in the spring cleaning department, what can it do?
Well, a feature that I personally find hugely useful is the Find Duplicates function. This is great for people who work on their own local storage as opposed to working in the cloud, because duplicate files seem to be something that just happens. Getting rid of them streamlines your workflow, frees up disk space, and also frees up cloud backup space too, making backups faster and more efficient.
Clean Drive is a quick and simple way to get more free space and optimize your computer by scanning your system to detect files that can be safely removed, such as caches, logs, and temporary files. Clean Drive checks the hard disk periodically and reminds you to clean it up.
I use the Free Memory tool to release inactive memory after using resource-hogs like Photoshop. Just one click optimizes memory consumption and helps improve overall computer performance.
Images can take up a lot of space, and one way to reduce that storage pressure is to make them smaller. The Resize Images tool can be used to resize or convert images to a different format by simply dragging one or several image files to the tool's window or icon in the dock and specifying your dimension and format preferences. I love this tool because it has a batch feature that really speeds things up.
The Uninstall Apps tool is a clean and safe way to easily remove applications and their files from your computer, including files no longer in use that are associated with applications, such as install wizards.
Unarchive lets you peek inside various file archive formats, common ones such as .zip files, to the weird formats you'll sometimes find when downloading files from the internet.
Parallels Toolbox has a load of other features built into it (30+ tools in all), from Presentation Mode that is a one-click way to hide desktop icons, disable notifications, switch off sleep mode so your presentations aren't disturbed, a Clipboard History tool that stores what you cut or copy, a handy Make GIF tool that, as the name suggests, makes GIFs, and Download Audio and Download Video tools that allows you to capture audio and video files off web pages.
Parallels Toolbox comes with a free 7-day trial, and after that it is priced at $19.99/year. I've been using it now for quite a few years and have found it very useful, and one of those tools that I turn to regularly to solve little problems.
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