CCleaner is a free PC-cleaning utility program used to remove unwanted and potentially dangerous files from your computer. Developed by Piriform in 2003, this is its third version and it’s available in 47 languages. Previously it was available only on Microsoft Windows however a Mac OS C version has been released as well. CCleaner also has a paid version available.
The program allows users to clean temporary or unwanted files left by dozens of other applications including web browsers, file archivers, Java and Windows Media Player. It also cleans browsing history, cookies, memory dumps and file fragments.
Upon installation CCleaner runs its intelligent cookie scan looking for those cookies that are frequently in use such as those used to login to email accounts –these it will keep, but it will delete all other cookies. Following this, the CCleaner window will open up to reveal a Cleaner section that will delete personal information from a myriad of different programs – web browsers to applications to Windows programs. Clicking “Analyze” will begin the scan. The program will request that you close your internet browsers. After the analysis is complete it will display a list of files that can be deleted from your system. All you need to do is to click the “Run Cleaner” button and the program will do the rest.
CCleaner also comes packaged with the Registry Cleaner which you can use to seek out and fix problems in your registry. Among many different criteria, the Registry Cleaner will look for items like missing shared DLLs, unused file extensions and obsolete software. Once again, users click the “Scan for Issues” button and allow CCleaner to analyze their registries. Upon completion, you can click “Fix Selected Issues” to allow the program to eliminate the problems it found.
In the tools tab, the program gives you a view into your startup folder so that you can see which processes start automatically with Windows, Internet explorer, scheduled tasks and the context menu. CCleaner allows you to enable or disable programs that you deem unwanted or unnecessary. Also in the Tools menu, the System Restore section allows you to manage your System Restore points. Here users can remove any of the restore points that are no longer needee. Lastly, in the Tools menu (and new to this version) is a Drive Wiper that allows users to erase either all free space or all the information from a particular drive. There are different levels of security ranging from the 1-pass Simple Overwrite to the 35-pass Very Complex Overwrite. Understandably, the latter takes the longest to perform.
The Options gives the user access to the Settings, cookie blacklist/whitelist, file and folder blacklist/whitelist.
CCleaner is a great free tool for optimizing your computer by ridding it of excess baggage in the form of useless files. Regular use of the program can help protect against sluggish systems, tracking cookies and other file buildup that would be tedious to for any user to delete manually. Users will delight in its thoroughness.