Clean your computer with CCleaner

CCleanerI tried CCleaner, a wonderful little freeware app that will clean temp files and other unused files, registry keys and cookies, on three separate PCs, and I’ve come to rely on it already. Two of those PCs were XP Professional machines, and one was a Windows 2003 Server running on VMWare Enterprise as a virtual machine. It did a great job on all three. It gave no error messages, it just cleaned things up nicely.

When I ran it on my first machine (at work), it found over 300 MB of files it could safely delete. Then I ran it on the server (also at work) and it found about 50 MB of files (granted, this was a new install, only days old.) Then I ran it on my laptop at home, and it found over 500 MB of files. I took a few screenshots for you to see. I like the fact that the CCleaner is very customizable. I can tell it what to delete and what to leave intact. I particularly like that I can specify which cookies to keep, and which to delete. To do the same yourself, go to Options >> Cookies. This means that I can keep a set of “safe” cookies, for sites I like and visit often, and delete all the rest. It’s wonderful, because it means that I won’t have to re-type my login information after running CCleaner.

CCleaner - Main Screen

This is the screen where you specify the registry scanning options:

CCleaner - Issues Screen

This is the screen where you tell it what cookies to keep, and what cookies to delete:

CCleaner - Cookies Screen

I highly recommend CCleaner. It works as advertised, and doesn’t cause any problems. A word of warning though. Before running it on my XP Pro machines, I created System Restore points, and I advise you to do the same before running it. (There is no such option on Windows 2003 Server.) Although CCleaner caused no problems whatsoever on all three machines where I used it, freak accidents are possible on Windows machines, and it’s good to have something to fall back on.

By the way, I think it’s a great idea to create System Restore points before you install any piece of software. It’s just good practice. That way, if something goes wrong, you simply restore your computer and move on, no harm done. Don’t rely on Windows to create the restore points automatically. I found out the hard way that sometimes you simply can’t restore from those points. Manual creation of restore points is the safest bet.