Want to keep your PC junk free? CCleaner is the tool for you. It lets you remove temporary files from your computer, uninstall programs, control your startup process, and find duplicate files, all from one interface. This makes it simple to spring clean your computer by giving you easy access to the tools that your computer already has.
The key to using CCleaner most effectively is to choose the right settings. Here are some tips on the best settings for this powerful tool.
Use the Cleaner to check and analyze
A word of caution: Before you start working with CCleaner, back up your entire hard drive or set up a recovery point. And during your first several sessions with CCleaner, you should proceed carefully.
Now, let’s get started. With the Windows tool, check the boxes to indicate what you would like removed, and then click Analyze. This will show you what you are going to remove before you run the cleaner.
If there are files that you do not want removed, such as files from your add-ons or extensions, or files from programs you have written, then go back and check different boxes and analyze again. Once you are happy with what is being deleted, you may run the cleaner.
Repeat the same process with the Applications tool. When you use the CCleaner Windows and the Applications tool, don’t just accept the default setting; look through the checkboxes and pick ones that are not already checked. For example, you might want to remove your saved passwords or compact your databases because you are really running low on hard drive space.
Registry words of warning
Set up a backup of your hard drive and set a restore point before you start messing with your registry. All of the boxes are likely to be checked when you start the registry tool. Scan for issues, and then deselect any results that you do not feel are actual issues. The registry tool is already set up for you, but be careful when using it because it may accidentally remove an important registry point.
Using CCleaner’s System Tools
CCleaner works by giving you easier access to your computer’s existing system tools: Uninstall, Startup, Browser Plugins, Disk Analyzer, Duplicate Finder, System Restore, and Drive Wiper. Here’s how to make the best use of them.
If you are struggling for space, use the Uninstall tool to eliminate unneeded programs. Then use the Duplicate Finder to search for duplicate files that can be deleted from your system.
The Browser Plugins disabling tool is especially useful, as it cleverly presents all the plugins in one simple interface, so you don’t have to hunt through your browsers for them.
If your startup process is sluggish, you’ll find the Startup tool handy for stopping programs from starting up without your knowledge. You might be surprised by just how many non-essential programs start up when your PC or laptop starts.
Here are two System Tools to skip for now: Drive Wiper, which allows you to fully remove files from your hard drive memory, is less important than the other tools — unless you have something you want to hide. Skip it for now if you’re just doing a regular cleaning. Skip CCleaner’s System Restore tool altogether, and instead stick to the standard Windows System Restore setting.
The Options Menu
There is very little to customize in the Options menu, but be sure to check out the settings to see if there are any options checked that you do not want. You can also uncheck the Enable system monitoring option to stop CCleaner from actively monitoring your computer sessions, unless you want CCleaner to run automatically.
If you are having trouble accessing the internet or encountering a slow browser, then clearing the junk from your hard drive might help. Make sure to read through the descriptions on the Advanced options checkboxes; you’ll likely find that you want to alter the settings.