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CCleaner Review



Product: CCleaner
Price: $0
Company Info: Piriform Ltd. - www.piriform.com
Editor Rating:

 

CCleaner Optimization and Cleaning Review 

Almost every machine that runs a Windows Operating System finds poorer performance as time goes by, and while there have been a number of Windows software patches designed to prevent these kinds of issues, there are an equal number of third party programs claiming they can offer the same level of performance change. CCleaner is one of these, and among its claims are the ideas that "It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure." Even for most software today, claims like those are no small feat.

Part of the problem with almost any of the Windows Operating Systems is that they get bogged down by all of the information coming from the programs you use most often, and that's where CCleaner tries to step in an help. In Internet Explorer, it claims to be able to remove temporary files, history, cookies, autocomplete entries, and the index.dat entry. In Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, the program suggests it can clear temporary files, the history, cookies, the download history, and the form history. In Opera, CCleaner can supposedly clear the temporary files, the history, and the cookies. It can help outside of primary browsers as well, though, according to marketing materials. In Windows, it can dump the recycle bin, clear the recent documents history, as well as clear the temporary files and the log files. It also incorporates a registry cleaner function that helps to eliminate older or unused registry entries that may be considerably slowing performance.

While you could undertake almost any of these functions on your own, the ability to clean all of them simultaneously is an enticing proposition because it can save you so much time.

Interface

Like many free programs out there, this one is fairly easy to navigate. The main screen has two separate tabs. The first one deals with all of your main Windows functions, and the second one deals with the other applications CCleaner can take a look at during the scan. In the main Windows tab, there's a drop down menu, so you can choose whether you want to get rid of your recent documents, your auto complete search assistant memory, the files in your recycle bin, and your temporary files. You can even clean up any ChkDsk fragments or other old data that needs to be cleared. Here you'll also find another drop down menu under "Advanced" to help you clear out other things like the menu order cache and the user assist history. If you're not sure what these things are, it's probably best not to clear them at all.

The applications tab is the second place you'll want to visit before you run CCleaner. Here's where you can choose to clean the other browsers you have installed on your machine as well as other functions like Adobe Acrobat and even Google Earth.

You choose which functions you want to clean using handy checkboxes, and while this process may take a bit the first time you run it, it gets faster after the initial run. You can analyze the selections you make before you actually run CCleaner, and you'll get a chance to see how much disk space you can clear.

You may also want to take a look at the Tools menu before you actually run CCleaner on your computer. It gives you the ability to uninstall some programs you may not actually be using on your computer. The Options menu can be fairly helpful too, as it allows you to run some personal settings that will be essential not only during the first scan, but also during future ones. You can pick which cookies you want to keep and how to customize the scans themselves, including the level of security you get with each.

Performance

There are a few different concerns with regard to the performance of any software product like this one. Naturally, the first one is how quickly the program can perform its scan and get out of your way, and here, CCleaner ranks pretty highly. The total scan time is really minimal, less than five minutes depending on the settings you choose. While it can take much longer if you choose to run it with the safe file deletion setting on, if you just choose to delete those files, you'll get a quick performance upgrade every time.

The second area for most is how the computer performs while the actual scan is running, and because this one is so fast, that's not typically an issue for many users. There is, however, a lot of scanning going on within that short time frame, so if you try to launch another application, expect some delays.

The final, and perhaps most important, area of any performance review section is whether or not it actually improves the performance of your machine, and here, CCleaner seems to do the job fairly well. If, for example, you've never taken the time to delete all of those temporary files on your machine, you may find that the program is able to delete two to three gigs of material that you'll never need in the future. Additional scans using the program may also help, but they won't be able to delete quite as much as that initial scan did.

Pros and Cons

+ Incorporates an auto-update function to help keep your version on track, and as long as you set it to update regularly, you'll get some great new benefits with each change in versions.

+The price here is ideal, as this is freeware. For absolutely nothing, you get the full version of the program as well as ongoing updates.

 - The registry cleaner function this program incorporates is really basic, and while it does help in some regard, for the most part, if you're looking for an advanced registry cleaner, it's probably best to choose another option.

 - If you need help with the program immediately, there is a fee of $25 for the priority support license. While this is very little in comparison to most computer cleaning programs, the temptation of free is diminished slightly.

+/- Works with Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Summary

CCleaner is certainly a good addition to almost any computer system. It's free, which makes the overall cost of running it ideal for most people, and it can help to clean up all of the online files you may accumulate if you find yourself online a good deal of the time. Although it won't help to clean every single application on your computer, it does hit all of the major ones, and the fact that it includes a small version of a registry cleaner may be a real plus to some individuals.







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