February 14, 2009

Somewhere under the layers of software detritus, your PC is vigorous and eager to work. CCleaner searches through a number of programs and removes useless files. It’s highly configurable, allowing you to select which problems to look for and which items to ignore.

Many cleaners scrub out just your browser cache or your temporary files folder, but CCleaner goes further. It cleans temporary files from common third-party applications as well. The vendor’s list of cleaned programs includes Adobe products (Flash Player, Photoshop, and Reader to name a few), Ad-Aware SE, eMule, Firefox, Google Toolbar, Kazaa, Microsoft Office, Nero, Norton Antivirus, OpenOffice, Real Player, WinAce, Windows Media Player, WinRAR, WinZip, and Google, Windows Live, and Yahoo Toolbars.

CCleaner goes beyond the basic wash and polish with extra mini-tools. A registry scanner removes old and unused entries, including ActiveX Controls, fonts, installers, shared DLLs, fonts, help files, application paths, icons, unused file extensions, and invalid shortcuts. CCleaner also includes an uninstaller and a list of deletable startup entry keys (the latter is something you’ll want to evaluate carefully before removing a mystery key that turns out to be helpful.)

Note: CCleaner includes an optional Yahoo toolbar that you may choose to install along with the program. Installing this toolbar may trigger alerts from some antispyware programs. CCleaner’s makers assert that CCleaner is spyware-free. This file is donationware. If you donate a certain amount (ten pounds sterling or 20 USD at the time I write this) through the vendor’s site, the vendor pledges to send you links to all new releases before they’re publicly available for download.

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