CCleaner removes unnecessary files, corrects errors in your Windows directory and optimizes its settings for a performance boost
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Piriform CCleaner is a free system tool that removes unnecessary or redundant files, fixes errors and optimizes software to speed up your PC and protect your privacy. It's one of the most popular PC cleanup tools around, and for good reason.
Simply select a drive to scan it, and CCleaner will show you how much space you can save, and which tweaks it can make. Choose what to remove or fix, and the software will do the rest.
CCleaner also boasts a registry cleaner to remove unused entries and correct errors that could slow down your PC, plus a secure file shredder for erasing confidential information.
Why you need CCleaner
If you've ever despaired at the slow speed of your computer, it could be time for a system clean out. That's because the more you use your PC, the more clutter it accumulates. Temporary internet files, cookies and redundant files can all clog your machine up and leave it running about as fast as a sloth in slo-mo.
That's where CCleaner comes in. This handy little program analyses problem areas and, with your permission, banishes files that have reduced your computer to a crawl. It's remarkably thorough and can delete gigabytes of unnecessary and unwanted files on its first run.
But don't worry, it's also particularly smart. It steers well clear of important system files, and avoids cookies that look like they contain login information (unless you say otherwise), so you won't have to type out your passwords all over again. It also shows you exactly what it plans on deleting before it starts, so you know what to expect once you set it on its way.
Key CCleaner features
Registry cleaner: can remove unused registry entries, file extensions, ActiveX controls, ClassIDs, progIDs, uninstallers, shared DLLs, fonts, help files, application paths, icons, and invalid shortcuts
Browser cleaner: can remove temporary internet files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history and form history, plus index.dat files from Internet Explorer
Windows cleaner: clears Recycle Bin, recent documents, temporary files, log files, clipboard, DNS cache, error reporting, memory dumps, jump lists
Third party programs: can also clean numerous third party programs, including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR and more
Latest CCleaner updates
The latest version of CCleaner features improved support for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, improved cleaning for Microsoft Edge, updated management for Firefox extensions, and several other bug fixes and interface improvements. For more details see CCleaner's official release notes.
How to use CCleaner
You'll be keen to dive in and begin optimizing your PC with CCleaner straight away, but before analyzing you drives it's a good idea to take a look at CCleaner's settings. Some of these are only accessible to Pro users, but others (such as 'Only delete files in the Recycle Bin older than 24 hours' and any specific cookies you'd like to keep) are worth looking at before you begin your first scan.
1. Analyze your PC
The main CCleaner screen contains two tabs - Windows and Applications - displaying all the temporary files and other potentially unwanted clutter it can remove from your system. You'll notice that some options are unchecked by default; these are ones you might want to keep for the sake of convenience, and CCleaner will let you know the risks if you select any particularly significant ones so you can make an informed decision.
When you've made your choices, click 'Analyze' and CCleaner will scan your system to see how much drive space you could save by clearing those items. This scan may take a couple of minutes depending on how cluttered your drives are.
2. Erase temporary files
Once it's finished its scan, CCleaner will show you what it's found. If you're happy to go ahead and delete those files, click 'Run cleaner' and the program will do its work. If it's removed a significant amount of junk, you should see a noticeable improvement in speed. Our review PC (formerly a mess of temporary files and cookies) definitely felt less sluggish after CCleaner swept away over 2.4GB of clutter.
3. Fix registry issues
After it's deleted temporary files, CCleaner can take a look at your Windows Registry. This is a database that stores information about the operating system itself and your installed programs. Over time, it can become populated by unused entries, broken links and missing data, all of which can affect your PC's performance.
To give it a spring clean, select 'Registry', take a look at which CCleaner is going to scan for, and click 'Scan for Issues'. If you're happy to let CCleaner correct the problems it's found, click 'Fix selected issues'.
4. Uninstall unwanted programs and plugins
Once that's done, CCleaner's Tools option lets you uninstall programs, and decide which launch automatically when Windows starts. Stopping non-essential programs starting themselves can dramatically improve your PC's boot times, so it's definitely worth checking out your options here, but take care not to disable anything important. It sounds obvious, but if you're not sure what a program does, Google it first.
CCleaner can also check for plug-ins in all of your browsers, and analyze your drives to see what type of files are taking up the most room. If most of your space is occupied by photos. For example, you might choose to shift them to an external drive.
5. Remove duplicate files and restore points
CCleaner's Duplicate Finder is self-explanatory, and System Restore lets you choose to delete older saved recovery points. You can't delete the most recent Restore Point, but be careful with this option; older Restore Points can be very useful if something goes wrong with your PC's software and you need to turn back the clock.
6. Wipe a drive
The final tool in CCleaner's arsenal is is Drive Wiper. You're unlikely to need this, but if you want to make sure nothing can recover your deleted data, it's the tool for you. When a file is deleted, it isn't immediately removed; instead, the space it occupied on your drive is marked as available to be overwritten.
CCleaner's Drive Wiper will write over all the 'available' space on your drive with other data (up to 35 times), making it nigh-on impossible for anything to be recovered. Be extremely careful with this option. If you're selling your PC, you might choose to use CCleaner to wipe an entire drive this way to avoid leaving sensitive information behind (not the one containing your operating system, naturally).
Other CCleaner versions
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