CCleaner has been continuously upgraded and improved over the years since this article was written. It is still one of the best top rated programs in its class. It is now up to V4 and better than ever..
Let's get the important stuff right up front - it's free, although they wouldn't mind a donation.
CCleaner is just as it says - a cleaner that takes out junk files, tracks, cookies, even traces of where you have been on your own computer. In addition it can clean up the registry, removing unused items left behind by various processes and it has an uninstaller module built in, along with the capability of listing the startup programs your computer starts each time it boots. It allows you to optimize your computer to do what you want it to do.
I won't go through each and every feature of the program as they have an excellent site that does all that perfectly.
CCleaner has a very usable interface with hardly any learning curve at all. I would suggest you take the time to look through the options before using it just so you know exactly what it is going to do.
For example, if you use Microsoft Office as I do, you may want to keep its record of what you have opened so you can open it again in a fast manner. I use Excel to keep track of bills, etc. and I like to open the program by clicking File>#1, which is the last file used. (Truthfully I use the keyboard and hit Alt+F+1). So I uncheck Office 2003 under Cleaner>Applications in CCleaner.
If you don't need that sort of thing, leaving the applications checked will remove all history links when you run CCleaner.
I have one more suggestion that may be beneficial. In CCleaner, go to Options>Cookies, and carefully go through all the cookies on your machine. You may want to keep some of them that allow you to access certain sites you have signed up for with a single click. Otherwise login to some of your regular sites may be a little slower.
To keep the cookies you want, all you have to do is highlight it with your mouse in the left column, then click the proper arrow to move it to the right side and that cookie will stay. If you have a few cookies you want to keep, you can do the usual Ctrl+click on several of them and move them over all at once.
|Registry Warning: If you are not familiar with the registry, its purpose and how it functions, do not mess with it. This applies to any program or procedure that involves registry cleaning or adjustment. You cannot just click an icon and hope for the best. You need to observe what any program is about to do, line by line, and most of all do a backup before you even start. And know how to use the backup. Failure to observe such precautions may make one of your progams not work anymore, or worse your entire computer may not boot/power up at all|
If you use CCleaner's registry tool, you will be surprised at all the useless things it finds the first time. It will ask you to make a backup of the items it is going to remove just in case, but I have not heard of it removing anything it shouldn't yet.
Because I do a lot of web work, and install - uninstall a lot of programs, my main desktop machine had gotten to the point where it would take five minutes or more to boot, and nearly as long to shut down. I fully intended to get in there and remove all the junk that was causing this, but it never seemed to get done. Just running CCleaner removed an enormous amount of stuff from various files and the registry. My boot and shut down times returned to near normal.
CCleaner is a small program that does just a good a job, fast and efficiently.
The program has worked for me with equal success on all Windows versions including Windows 7, & 8.1
(Updated January 2014)
|No elaborate scientific setups here. No special laboratory equipment. Just honest in use every day setups that my friends or I use, or have used in our every day computing activities.|