CCleaner is a system optimization and cleaning tool for your computer. At under four megabytes, it’s a small download and the program runs extremely fast once installed. It’s one of those apps that I’ve had installed for quite some time, but often forget about it until I need it.
So why would you need it? Well, for one it’s a great way to clear your browsers cache of temporary internet files, cookies, download and form history, and the list of websites you’ve visited. It works on the most popular browsers too. (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera) It will also take care of your Windows temp files and empties your recycle bin.
I don’t really use it for this function because I don’t save my history in my browsers and I also have a number of add-ons and/or extensions that purge most of these things on exit. What I do use it for is the registry cleaner aspect. If you download and test as many programs as I do, then uninstall most of them after you’re done evaluating, you’re going to be left with some lingering files, shared dll’s, and incorrect paths or shortcuts.
The software was originally named Crap Cleaner, but it was apparently shortened as to not offend anyone and make it more corporate friendly. It’s been around since 2003, but in more recent versions you can also uninstall programs, disable start up programs and tasks, and delete system restore points right from the Tools menu.
Here’s what you’ll see when you first launch CCleaner. After you select Cleaner on the left, you can flip between the Windows and Applications tabs to select/deselect what you want removed when you run the cleaner.
Once you’ve selected what you want removed in both tabs, just hit the Analyze button to see what will be deleted. If you see anything you don’t want removed, you still have the opportunity to change your selections and analyze again.
Once your happy with the results, click the Run Cleaner button in the bottom right and you’re done.
If you select the Registry option on the left, this is the view you’ll see where you can select/deselect what you’d like CCleaner to scan. Once you’re ready, click Scan for Issues to see all of the issues it finds.
When you click Fix Selected Issues, you’ll be prompted to back up your registry which is always a good idea if you’ll be deleting things. Then you’ll get a pop of each issue to be deleted. You can go through each one individually, or if you’re like most of us and don’t have that kind of time, you can click Fix All Selected Issues and be done with it.