CCleaner

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

Spectacular

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Does a competent job - Check what its going to clean"

    April 5, 2011  |   By GrahamSivill

    Pros

    Does what it says on the tin.

    Cons

    If you just hit go without checking what it's ticked to clean you may find you have remobed more stuff than you intended.

    Summary

    CCleaner is a powerful tool that removes cruft from the registry and shifts all the normal detritus that builds up on a PC during normal operations.

    If you are wanting to remove evidence of where you have been and what documents you have opened it will remove traces from all over the PC and hides your tracks very well. In doing so it may remove things that you didn't want. Always check thoroughly all the ticks in each of its sections before hitting the go button.

    Usefully it does an analysis of what will be removed first so that you can review what is to be deleted before committing to it. Also it offers to back up the registry before making its changes which is useful if you subsequently find it has accidentally removed something important. I haven't had this issue with it so far, but it's nice to know it is there if you do.

    There is also an option to clean empty space using various secure cleaning techniques which is useful if you want to wipe a drive before giving or selling the PC to someone else. If you wipe the free space before parting with your PC you will be more confident that the data cannot be uncovered.

    We all know that deleting a file does not remove the data from the drive as there are many utilities out there that will quickly restore the deleted files as long as no other file activity since deletion has written over the sectors previously occupied by the deleted file. CCleaner gives you the confidence that no-one can get at your personal data that has been deleted.

    All in all I would say this is a very good utility, but because it is good there is a danger that its powerful features may do more than you intended, so check what you have asked it to do before hitting the "OK" button.

    Siv

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