CCleaner Free (By Piriform Ltd) software review

CCleaner is one of the best PC cleaner software available around and is developed by Piriform Ltd.

Besides CCleaner, Piriform Ltd has developed few awesome software for 'File Recovery' (Recuva), 'Disk de-fragmentation' (Defraggler) and 'Checking computer specification' (Speccy). All these software are free for home use but user has to purchase licenses if he wants to use them for business purpose.

I have written this article for CCleaner Free 5.02.5101. Future version of software may have different features than those mentioned below. Below are few statistics about software,

  • Version: CCleaner Free 5.02.5101
  • System Requirements: 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP excluding RT tablet editions.
  • Languages supported: 55
  • Size: 5.07 MB
  • Size on Disk (Disabled file compress attribute): 5.08 MB
  • Space required for installation: 16.7 MB
  • Is Publisher verified by certified authority: Yes
  • Code Signing authority: VeriSign Class 3 Code Signing 2010 CA
  • Software usage Terms and Conditions for CCleaner Free: Click here

System used for software review

  • 64-bit version of Windows 8 (Single language)

Significance of software code signing

  • Ensure software came from software publisher which is shown in windows 'UAC' prompt (highlighted in below image).
  • Protects software from alteration after publication.
CCleaner installer is signed with code signing authority
UAC prompt for 'CCleaner' installation

Features of software

  • Data cleaner: Data cleaner of CCleaner deletes below junk files from computer. User can export list of files which will be deleted as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
    • Browser data: Temporary internet files, cache, browser history, cookies, saved passwords, form auto-complete history, last download location of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and other supported browsers.
    • Files created by Windows OS: Recycle bin data, recent documents' list, temporary files, log files, clipboard data, DNS cache, memory dumps which are created during OS crash, error reporting files (created when any software crashes. Windows OS sends created error files to Microsoft servers with user consent) and jump lists etc.
    • Third-party applications: Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many software including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip etc.
  • Registry cleaner: Registry cleaner cleans obsolete registry keys (missing shared DLLs, unused file extensions) which are left behind by many software after uninstallation. User can exclude a registry entry from deletion or open it in RegEdit. User is offered to create a registry backup before actual clean-up. User can export list of registry entries as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
  • Tools:
    • Software uninstallation tool: This tool allows uninstallation and repairing of installed software. It allows renaming name of software entry. It also allows deleting software entry if software is uninstalled but entry is not successfully removed from OS. User can export list of software as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
    • Start-up program manager: This tool allows enabling or disabling of windows start-up program, scheduled tasks, context menu, browser add-ons for internet explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera etc. User can export list of start-up entries as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
    • Disk analyzer: This tool allows user to analyze any or all drives for percentage utilization according to file categories (Pictures, Music, Documents, Videos and Other Files). This tool also shows list of files in particular category after clicking on it. User can then sort files according to file name, path, size, modified time etc. User can select particular file and delete it. User can export list of files in each category as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
CCleaner disk analyzer
CCleaner disk analyzer
    • Duplicate File Finder: This tool allows user to find duplicate files in computer by name, size, modified date of file and file content. There are options to ignore zero byte files, read only files, files with size under and over ‘n’ MB, system files and hidden files. User needs to select drives where he wants to search duplicate files and click ‘Search’ button. Once search is complete, user can delete files which are unwanted. User can export list of duplicate files as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
    • System Restore point: This tool allows user to view all system restore points set for system. User can delete all except last restore point from this tool. This tool does not allow user to start system restore operation.
    • Drive wiper: Files are not permanently deleted from hard disk even when user deletes them with SHIFT + DELETE key on windows. These deleted files can be recovered by using software recovery tools such as Recuva. If you want to remove traces of deleted files from disk then this software component is at rescue. This tool allows user to wipe free space or entire drive with simple (1 pass), advanced (3 pass), complex (7 pass) or very complex (35 passes) overwrite. You may want to wipe computer drives if you are re-selling your computer.
  • Options: User can change software behaviour of CCleaner by navigating to options. User can change language of software GUI, set automatic software update check, choose which cookies to keep and which cookies to delete, enable system and browser monitoring (PRO license required) and other settings.
  • Upgrade: Piriform Ltd offers to purchase ‘CCleaner Professional’ software right from CCleaner software window. This window offers secure checkout with SSL integrity.

Operating system tools Vs CCleaner tools

  • Data Cleaner:
    • Windows disk cleanup for OS: User can delete downloaded program files (ActiveX control and java applets downloaded while browsing internet), temporary internet files, off-line web pages, recycle bin data, temporary files, thumb nails and error reporting files.
    • CCleaner data cleaner: CCleaner data cleaner offers to clean several types of OS junk files, temporary files of browsers and third party applications. It clearly offers large set of junk files to be cleaned. CCleaner also shows number of files and total size of files in particular category which will be deleted. User can also click on particular category to see names of files and their size which will be deleted. User can exclude particular file from the deletion list. User can export Cleaner results as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing.
  • Software uninstallation tool:
    • Windows Programs and Features: User can un-install, change, repair installed software. User can see installed software in different views and sort software list according to name, publisher, installed on, size and version. User can also click on 'View installed updates' link to check windows updates installed on system. User can perform same operations there as he can on main 'Programs and Feature' interface.
    • CCleaner software uninstallation tool: User can un-install, change, repair installed software. User can sort software list according to name, publisher, installed on, size and version. CCleaner allows users to rename a software entry. It also provides feature to export list of software installed on system as '.txt' file. Exported file is a tab delimited file which can be opened in Ms-Excel for viewing. CCleaner does not provide feature to un-install windows updates.

Pitfalls

  • Discrepancies between 'Windows Programs and Features' information and 'CCleaner software uninstallation tool' information: These discrepancies suggest that both OS and CCleaner use slightly different methods to fetch installed software data.
    • Different software entry count: 'CCleaner software uninstallation tool' was showing one more entry than 'Windows Programs and Features' on my computer. You may face similar issue but difference in count may differ.
    • Software size issue: 'CCleaner software uninstallation tool' was not showing size for some software for which 'Windows Programs and Features' was showing size.
    • Software installation date issue: 'CCleaner software uninstallation tool' was showing installation date + 1 day for some software as compared to 'Windows Programs and Features'.

Size and installation date discrepancies between 'Windows Programs and Features' and 'CCleaner uninstallation tool' information
Discrepancies between 'Windows Programs and Features' and 'CCleaner uninstallation tool' information
  • Duplicate File Finder tool performance: This tool freezes if user selects two or more drives with large number of file for analysis.

Dangers of data wiping

  • Data recovery problem: If user has accidentally deleted data from a volume and wants to recover it then he should not run data wiper for that volume. The reason is that data is not permanently deleted from volume even if user deletes it with SHIFT + DELETE keys on windows. Windows OS removes file handler references but file data still resides on volume. Data recovery tool recovers deleted data by recovering file handlers on volume and then checking if file content is intact on volume (Not overwritten by any other program). Data wiper writes all free space of volume with random 0 and 1 bit combination. Data recovery tool will not be able to recover any data which was deleted accidentally once data wiper is run on that volume.

Donations

Piriform Ltd accepts donations in addition to selling their products for business use. If you are a home user but still want to support their efforts then you can donate to Piriform at donation page.

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References


Comment below and let us know what you think about this review, which points if any to be discussed in detail, which software you use for cleaning junk data from your computer.

4 comments:

Janna Morrison said...

really nice work thanks for sharing :)
Portable Apps

James Mathew said...


Optimizing the PC is very important so that PC functions smoothly. Recently, I have tried the Ninja TuneUp utility and it had successfully cleans up all the junk files.

gary stella said...

Delete duplicate files with ease!
Try DuplicateFilesDeleter program and get rid of duplicate files.
Thank you!

Technews Able said...


Clean Junk files in C Drive with CCleaner

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