CCleaner, developed by PiriForm, is a wonderful Windows-based tool to effectively manage your computer memory, speed and security (to certain extent). It cleverly cleans your browser history, recycle bin, recent documents, temporary files, log files, and Windows registry. Hence, resulting in more free memory, optimized speed and enhanced security.
I’ve been using CCleaner since 2008 and have found it to be one of the best computer management tool. I run it regularly, before shutting down my computer, to clean all the unneeded data and fix registry of my computer. It helps free memory from my hard drive, erases all Internet history keeping me safe from hacking or sniffing attempts, and optimizes speed.
It’s simple to run CCleaner – just right-click on Recycle Bin > Run CCleaner.
Installing CCleaner is easy and quick. Download the latest version and double-click the executable file. Follow the installation wizard with appropriate options and finish. Remember to select Add Run CCleaner option to Recycle Bin context menu and Add Open CCleaner option to Recycle Bin context menu, since this integration with Recycle Bin makes it simple to open and execute it at regularly basis. On installation, you will see the CCleaner options integrated with Recycle Bin context menu.
On opening CCleaner, you will find four key options – Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options.
CLEANER – Erases all the junk from your computer.
Cleaner helps clean Internet history, temporary files, browser cookies and all active user sessions. Web browsers currently open on your computer are excluded from the cleaning process, hence you should close all open browser windows before running CCleaner to effectively clean everything. All major browsers are listed with numerous sub-options. You can select them as per your requirement.
The Analyze option works wonderfully. It checks for all the temporary memory and browser history to give you a report mentioning the total memory to be removed and list of files. Click Run Cleaner to execute the cleaning process.
REGISTRY – Locates and fixes all registry problems.
Registry cleaner will detect all registry problems and fix them. Scan for issues will scan your computer’s entire registry base to search for potential problems. You can even select which types of registry elements you want included in the scan. Fix selected issues will fix or resolve all the found registry problems. On clicking Fix selected issues, CCleaner will ask you to backup your registry file. I recommend you to take a backup just in case something goes wrong, so you will have a chance to restore. Don’t worry, until today registry cleaner has not given me any problems. It’s quite safe to use.
TOOLS – Takes good care of your computer.
Tools have the following sub-options; Uninstall, Startup, System Restore and Drive Wiper. Uninstall is similar to the native Add/Remove Programs of Windows. Startup is the most handy option here since it actually allows you to disable selected programs to execute automatically when Windows starts. Just select any listed program, click Disable. That’s it, now the program won’t execute when Windows starts. System Restore function is similar to Windows Restore option. It lists available restore points and you can select any to restore your computer back to that point. It disables the most recent restore point for system safety. Drive Wiper acts similarly to the format option in Windows, but Drive Wiper gives an additional option to wipe only the free space available on your hard drive.
Options are software specific preferences with some additional features like excluding certain cookie file from being cleaned.
CCleaner is definitely a handy software tool to efficiently manage your Windows PC. It’s reliable and doesn’t give hiccups or lead to system crashes. You can manage your computer well with regular cleanup and speed optimization. Moreover, it’s absolutely free and can be downloaded easily. PiriForm also keeps publishing regular updates to make the software even better for you.
CCleaner is also available for Mac platform but is still in beta phase. They recommend you to use it on Mac at your own risk. It currently works only on Apple Macs running OSX 10.5 to 10.7 Lion.
CCleaner Network Edition is for managing computer across an enterprise or network. It’s paid and the license fee depends on number of computers being used for CCleaner implementation.
With my experience of using CCleaner for few years now, I strongly recommend you to download and start using it today. You can talk about your experience with CCleaner in below comments.