Best Free Browser Scrubber

 
Introduction

When you browse the web you accumulate a huge amount of stored data. The sheer quantity is surprising; often gigabytes.

Just what is and what isn't junk is a personal decision.

For example, I regard the information stored in my browser's history as a valuable resource, but I know that many see it as clutter. That's why the flexibility to choose exactly what you want to keep or delete is a key requirement.

 
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Discussion

CCleanerIf you exclusively use either Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari, then CCleaner is my top pick. It took the lead in version 2.0 with a complete rewrite including the ability to exclude specific files, folders and registry keys from the cleaning process. There are many other applications that provide the ability to clean up browsers and your system, but when you take into account CCleaner's customizability, speed, ease of use, it's near-forensic thoroughness, portability and the number of applications it can keep clean, then you have a clear winner.

In addition to keeping your browser clean, it does a great job cleaning up your entire computer including: Windows temporary files and Windows registry, with an improved Add/Remove program interface, portability to run from a flash drive and the ability to completely erase your tracks by providing delete options to overwrite deleted files. It is updated frequently adding more and more support for new applications. See the related review Best Free File Cleaner for additional information on CCleaner.

Caution: One drawback of CCleaner is that it lacks the integrated ability to undo, create a checkpoint, or even backup prior to removing files or making changes. This is not a problem if you regularly backup or image your system but it can be easily overcome by using one of the many applications that exist for this purpose. For most users the easiest way to do this is to create a system restore point.

 

Comodo System CleanerAnother great pick for power users is Comodo System Utilities. People who want to have control of every aspect of their browser are going to love this as there are options to clean things which other cleaners don't, like favorites and bookmarks. This may be useful if you are using a shared or public computer and want to clear all your tracks. Users must however, be very careful and watch what they delete to prevent removing something they later need like browser history. Nonetheless, never fear as there is a back up feature, something that CCleaner does not include.

One drawback is that the system must be restarted after cleaning which can be a pain. However, the settings can be changed so that a restart is not needed, but this may be something you would not like to do as it turns off one of the three backup features—registry protection. The other two backup features are to create a restore point before cleaning and back up files before cleaning. These backup features included in Comodo System Utilities restored all my files and settings except for my saved website passwords so it is by no means perfect.Comodo System Utilities only supports Internet Explorer at the moment unless users are willing to update the application manually which requires users to delete a certain ini file and then update the application list manual. This will put some people off.

There is much more to this product than just a browser cleaner, there is also a registry cleaner, disk cleaner, secure file wiper, system tweaker and system information. The system tweaker and information tools are a nice addition allowing users to tweak certain system settings and to view advanced system information. The disc cleaner and registry cleaner like the privacy cleaner should be used with caution. I would not recommend the registry cleaner as it found way too many entries for my liking and you would need a considerable level of system knowledge to interpret these correctly. As always with registry cleaners make a backup before hand. If you have a problem with Comodo System Utilities there is a forum dedicated to it over at Comodo Forum. The staff over there are very helpful and quick to answer any query that you may have.

 
Related Products and Links

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Quick Selection Guide

CCleaner
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Thorough cleaning, customizable, fast, easy to use, portable
Lack of backup
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
4.11.4619
4.54MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000 to 7 and 8 Beta

The portable version and a slim version with no toolbar are available here.

Comodo System Utilities
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Huge amount of cleaning options with back-up feature
Could cause problems if used incorrectly
3.0.172695.53
10.1 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
Windows XP to 7

 
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Comments

by cpuking1 on 9. May 2014 - 4:08  (116106)

Unless I am doing it wrong?? Comodo System Utilities is no longer free. It will scan, but then it ask for you to upgrade to do the cleaning. Please correct me if I am wrong!

I tried the download from here :

http://system-utilities.comodo.com/

and here :

http://www.comodo.com/home/support-maintenance/system-utilities.php

by tuna on 2. August 2013 - 16:39  (109875)

Would someone please explain to me why it is after running latest CCleaner w/ FlashPlayer selected and after Control Panel>Flash Player has been "Delete All"ed that a 3yo, unmaintained flashcookiescleaner still finds and deletes multiple flash cookies? I'm a big fan of Pririform software, but this smacks of misleading advertising(go figure)... or am I missing something?

Is there a way to make CCleaner truly remove ALL flash cookies as advertised or must it be run in conjunction w/ a Flash cleaner?

***My browser is locked down and clears history w/ all selected when I close. I personally use NoScript and get NO cookies, but most people can't grok it so they disable it or call/text/email me frequently until I disable it for them.

by Akita6.2013 on 6. June 2013 - 17:11  (108337)

Hello all. Just joined the forum. Need help choosing real vs. fake anti-malware programs, and trustworthy cleaning programs for Windows 8. Prefer freeware, but all reviews are most welcome. Thanks!

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