Sometimes, when we are working on a PC or laptop, some programs become non-responsive and had to be closed and reopened to work on them again. We cannot save our work and this may lead to loss of data. In some cases, the hard disk space will be reduced due to creation of temporary files by Windows or other third party software. We also notice that the start-up of system is delayed as a number of unnecessary programs are added to system start-up. All these problems have a great impact on the speed of the system. To solve these problems and increase the speed of the system, we need to install a cleaner. The most popular cleaner in market is CCleaner.
CCleaner is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems.
CCleaner can be used by advanced and business users as it supports Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003.
CCleaner is available for two types of users – home users and business users. There are two products under Home solutions category– free and professional versions.
Again there are four products under business solutions: Business Edition, Technician Edition, Network Edition and Network Pro
Professional version and the products under Business solutions category are not free. The latest version of free product for home PC or laptop users is available on internet and can be downloaded from the following link.
This free version is sufficient for your day to day needs. You can purchase the professional version if you want the following additional features:
•Faster and more secure PC
•Multiple profiles cleaning
•Automatic updates to latest versions
Installation of Free version
In the installation dialog box, you can select the options you require. If multiple users are using the system, then you click on 'Advanced' button. Select whether you want to install it for you or for all the users and then click on 'Install'. After installation, you can select the option to open it immediately or you can open it later.
After installation, you can open CCleaner by making double-click on the CCleaner desktop icon or by making right-click on the recycle bin icon and selecting the option 'Open CCleaner'. There is a 'Run CCleaner' option if you right click on the recycle bin. You can use this option directly to run the cleaner but it is safe to use it after you have acquainted yourself with the program and its features.
Interface of CCleaner
CCleaner has a very simple and friendly user interface. At the top, details of operating system, processor, RAM and graphics card will be displayed. On the left side, you will find four navigation buttons namely Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options. At the bottom left and bottom right, there are 'Online help' and 'Check for updates' links respectively.
Features of CCleaner
This is the most important feature of this program. It cleans different areas of the system. It will erase all the temporary files, logs, download history, cookies, history, auto complete form data, Index.dat files and Internet cache created by the browsers in the system. It cleans all the temporary files, files in the recycle bin, recent documents list, logs, jump lists, thumbnail cache and many other files created by the system. It will also clean any unnecessary files created by various applications installed in the system.
CCleaner supports almost all the popular browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It also supports several other browsers like K-Meleon, Rockmelt, Flock, Google Chrome Canary, Chromium, Avant, SeaMonkey, Chrome Plus, Phoenix and Netscape.
When you click on the cleaner navigation button, there are two tabs namely Windows and Applications. By clicking on the windows tab, you can check and uncheck options. You can decide which options you want to include and which options you want to exclude in the cleaning process. Be careful while selecting 'Advanced options' under 'Windows tab'. If you do not know about these options, then leave them unchecked. In the 'Applications tab', you will find additional cleaning options for the third party applications installed.
CCleaner removes temp files and recent file lists from many applications including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Adobe Photoshop, VLC media player, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce and WinZip.
Running the Cleaner- After selecting the required options in Windows and Applications tab, you can click Analyze button (located at bottom of the screen) to see what will be removed. Summary of the analysis- files to be deleted and approximate memory size that is going to be removed will be displayed on screen. Then, click on Run Cleaner button to clean the files and optimize your computer. After cleaning, an analysis of the cleaning process will be displayed. You can double click on any of the items in this summary for a detailed view.
The registry cleaner will scan all the issues relating to the registry and fix those issues. Registry cleaner fixes the issues like missing shared DLLs, unused file extensions, activeX & class issues, applications, fonts and obsolete software.
Running the Registry Cleaner- To run the Registry cleaner, click on the 'Scan for issues' button. The issues to be fixed will be displayed. To fix those issues, click on 'Fix selected issues'. Then, you will be prompted for registry backup. After backing up the registry, click on 'Fix selected issues' and the issues will be fixed. If you want any item, then you can restore the registry backup by making a right click on the back up file and selecting Merge option.
This option allows you to manage the applications you have installed, view the start-up items, manage system restore points, find duplicate files and wipe free space. Under the tools option there are five navigation buttons namely Uninstall, Start-up, File Finder, System Restore and Drive Wiper.
1.Uninstall: This section lists all the programs installed and allows you to uninstall the programs, rename the entries and remove any unusable entries.
2.Start-up: Using this feature, you can manage all the programs that run at the system start-up and at the time of browser start-up. You can enable, disable and delete the programs, extensions or plugins that run at the start-up. This supports all the browsers like Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Apple.
3.File Finder: This feature searches for duplicate files in the computer and displays them. You can search these files by giving several attributes like 'Match by' and 'Ignore'.
4.System Restore: This feature displays all the system restore points created in the system. You can delete these restore points. For safety, CCleaner automatically disables the deletion of latest restore point.
5.Drive Wiper: Using this option, you can securely erase the drive contents or wipe the free space in hard disk.
This section allows you to customize how CCleaner runs. Under the Options section there are six navigation buttons which are discussed below.
•Settings: This section shows the basic settings to control how CCleaner functions. It has options like Language, Run CCleaner at the system start-up and Automatic check for updates.
•Cookies: This option lists all the cookies from various browsers and allows you to delete them but since cookies are small sized files which help to optimize your browsing experience, it is better not to delete them. Even in the Cleaner option you can deselect useful options like History and Cookies.
•Include: Using this feature, you can include files and folders which you want to be cleaned.
•Exclude: Using this feature, you can add files, folders and registry entries which are to be excluded from the cleaning process.
•Advanced: This section shows the additional settings to control how CCleaner functions. It has advanced options like Closing program after cleaning and Minimize to system tray.
•About: It shows the version of the CCleaner you are using and an option to upgrade to pro version.
As per my experience with CCleaner, I can say that it can be customized to fit your needs by selecting the options you want to include or exclude. CCleaner analyses and cleans files within seconds. It also removes all the online traces and protects your privacy online. It also improves system speed by freeing up the valuable hard disk space and by cleaning the unused resources. It also provides you with many other options for a 4 MB (approximately) installation file. Apart from this, it can be downloaded for free. With its simple yet powerful user interface and improved browser support, Piriform's CCleaner is one of the best cleaning and optimization software available.
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