CCleaner (Free Edition)
CCleaner is one of the many tools I use to maintain my computer’s integrity. CCleaner is a lightweight piece of software aimed at removing junk from your computer, and maintaining registry integrity. The free edition has always been enough for me and I see no reason to upgrade, but many make the move to upgrade due to the extra features, but this article will focus only on what the free edition can do and how it can help you.
So first lets take a look at what you will see after you install CCleaner.
The Cleaner Tab
So when you start the program you will be on the Cleaner tab. Here you can go through and check everything you want to be cleaned or otherwise be deleted because in the computer world cleaning is usually deleting. I myself as you see in the above screenshot check every thing in the Windows tab and the Applications tab except for any boxes on Google Chrome located in the Applications tab. I also DO NOT check the “Wipe Free Space” box located on the Windows tab at the very bottom. You should never have to use this option unless you have files that you “deleted” that you never want to be recovered since when you delete a file you don’t actually “delete” it. You simply instruct windows that where that file was once located can now be overwritten with other data so eventually the file will be unrecoverable. Last but not least when your ready to clean you can click “Run Cleaner” I usually never analyze unless I’m using the program on someone else’s computer.
The Registry Tab
The Registry tab allowed you to remove entries from your computer’s registry which have become invalid, or have issues related to what they refer to. This is essentially one of the reasons the Windows OS slows down over time among other things such as your hard disk being too full or very old age. I find it best to check EVERY box on this tab and than scan for issues. After the scan is complete you can elect to “Fix selected issues…”. It will ask you if you would like to back-up your registry entries you are about to delete in-case a problem accrues you can go to the file you backed up and double click it to add the deleted registry entries back into your registry. I usually say no to this option simply because I’m a risk taker, and I’ve actually never experienced a problem with deleting registry entries CCleaner has detected. This coupled with Window’s internal “Self Healing” you should not run into a problem. After you have deleted all registry issues than you might start seeing an improvement in performance especially if you have never done this. In the screenshot I took I only had 19 problems, but when I first used CCleaner I had over 1,000 problems. Removed the invalid registry entries allowed my computer to navigate the registry quicker with less entries thus speeding my computer up.
The Tools Tab
The gist of this tab
The tools tab is a very useful tab but if your a computer guru you already know that the tools included in this tab are essentially all things you can find in Windows by default be consolidated in this program all in one easy to find place. However if I need to uninstall a program or modify my start-up programs I usually open CCleaner and use this tools tab simply because it is easier.
To you got a few options here the Uninstall tab which should be pretty straight forward the big advantage here is that you can rename and delete entries this is useful if a program is in fact uninstalled but the entry will not remove itself from the uninstall list.
This tab allows you to enable, disable, and delete the entries telling which programs to start when Windows starts. If you can stop a program from starting by doing it through the programs preferences its best to do it there but you can also do it in CCleaner if you wish. Some more need things about this tab is it allows you to see what schedules task will be running, and can enable, disable, and delete applications from starting in other programs like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and so on. You can even modify the Context Menu which is the menu that appears when you right click with your mouse.
The File Finder
Well this one is pretty straight forward specify your options and it will search the elected locations for files matching those parameters.
This tab allows you to pick restore points, and roll back to that restore point. I usually have restore points disabled to have more storage space.
This tab should be used with extreme caution. This tab allows you to wipe free space or completely remove all data from a storage location. It also gives you a very unique options list called “Security”. This allows you to pick how many “delete” passes or overwrite passes it will make on the same sectors to make sure the data is deleted. Essentially if you have a USB drive with data that must be deleted, and never recovered not even by the leading data recovery forensic scientist than choosing the highest option will make sure nothing on the drive will ever be recovered.
I hope you enjoyed my article about CCleaner, and as always come back to see us and check for new updates, articles, guides, and downloads.