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.

 
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
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

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
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

 
Editor

This software category is in need of an editor. If you are interested in taking it over then check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here.

 
Tags

free browser scrubber

Back to the top of the article.

 

Share this
4.363635
Average: 4.4 (22 votes)
Your rating: None

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!

by Anonymous45540 (not verified) on 5. October 2011 - 21:54  (80970)

This section is useless, as both these programs are listed in the file cleaner and tune up utility categories

by MidnightCowboy on 6. October 2011 - 6:05  (80982)

Please appreciate that not everyone uses the same search criteria. There are other instances where products are duplicated on the site for this reason.

by asus (not verified) on 27. September 2011 - 16:40  (80435)

TFC - Temp File Cleaner by OldTimer

by Je (not verified) on 1. August 2011 - 3:48  (76655)

With CCleaner what is the difference in the "Wipe Free Space" option under Advanced and the wipe "MFT Free Space" option under Options/Settings? When would it be best to separately use each one-meaning for what respective purposes? Thank You

by Rizar on 1. August 2011 - 12:26  (76689)

The main option is the "Wipe Free Space", which massively writes over all of the free space on a selected drive. The MFT is icing on the cake and increases the completeness of the erasure by writing over an index to the files on an NTFS drive.

The MFT erase runs before the free space wipe and is much quicker. It doesn't run separately from the 'wipe free space' feature.

I noticed that the 'Drive Wiper' in the 'Tools' section erases the MFT by default.

The option that you can check/uncheck in the settings only impacts a manual erase job where you select to 'wipe free space' from the Cleaner 'windows' options and then select to 'run cleaner'.

Those settings are irrelevant to the 'Drive Wiper' tool, if you use that for simplicity. You could just use the 'Drive Wiper' and the MFT will be erased by default.

So by CCleaner's own design I'd say that the MFT erasure is meant to be used on every wipe of the free space.

http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ccleaner-settings/changing-ccleane...

by deepakp (not verified) on 15. December 2010 - 19:03  (62580)

How about cleaning/scrubbing the portable versions of softwares, like Firefox, Thunderbird,etc. Basically, I am interested in cleaning up my USB stick with Portable applications. Any ideas?

by Jason H. (not verified) on 13. September 2010 - 17:20  (57748)

I have a question using this types of programs for history/privacy cleaner. Is there one particular program that can really clean all necessary history/tracks left behind from using the net? Ive heard about Fcleaner which seems to have features that delete things that other history cleaners may leave behind but are those things necessary in your opinion? Ive been using ccleaner, glary utilities, and fcleaner for history/privacy cleaner. If I just use ccleaner for history/privacy cleaner do you think that would erase all necessary tracks versus using all three for history/privacy cleaning in your opinion?

by Misty27 on 20. November 2011 - 18:55  (83604)

Jason H,
I'm not sure there's EVER ONE cleaning / privacy prgm that will clean EVERY single "track" from * ANY * single browser, Windows, etc. Best I can tell you, is many people use more than one. But, that begs the ?, what is one actually trying to conceal, & from whom?

Most advanced users know IE stores personal browsing data in more places than squirrels hide nuts. And they call them (hidden) "System" files. So I - & millions - don't use IE for anything I consider "private," though once in long while, a site doesn't work w/ Firefox. If one's trying to outsmart a gov't intelligence agency (bit of oxy moron), they're in for some hard work.

Short of reading the reviews here & perhaps using several cleaners, stopping the privacy data from getting ON computer in 1st place is a huge step. Another prgm - used to be on recommended list is BleachBit. It finds a huge # temp, index.dat & other files.Don't know why no longer on the list.

With ALL THESE CLEANERS, if you don't READ what they're going to del, may run into probs. Even the "safe" CCleaner, will erase all stored email acct login PWs if under Mozilla tab, "saved passwords" is checked. I made that mistake.

I don't usually use any of the "general" cleaners to clean Firefox, unless know EXACTLY what they're cleaning. I often use custom folders / files in Eraser or CCleaner. I like cleaners that can show the full path to files found.

by Zimo (not verified) on 20. November 2011 - 23:08  (83613)

Would that personal browsing data still be stored in the hidden system files if one was using a app such as Sandboxie or Returnil or another virtual system while browsing?

by Anonymous on 12. May 2010 - 14:53  (49654)

I love CCleaner, I use it with the winapp2 file available from the forums although now you have to manually update it, no big deal though plus some kind people have wrote entries for lesser known browsers, media players etc. It does have a back up prompt when your using the reg cleaner but in my humble option it really is safer than some I have used but yes caution needed as with most reg cleaners etc. I use the slim build and it is less than 3mb.

I'm not keen of FCleaner, sorry.

I also use NirSoft's Cleaner After Me which is great, although caution is needed too and whilst it cleans IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome etc it does not work on SRWare Iron, SeaMonkey and the like but does clean temp files, prefetch etc.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/clean_after_me.html

by James786 on 14. April 2010 - 19:25  (47645)

Just downloaded Comodo System Cleaner and used and I think its a very handy tool to have with your other cleaning software. Well done Comodo!!!

by JonathanT on 15. November 2009 - 12:05  (36666)

Just came across this review of CCleaner against FCleaner:
http://dottech.org/headline/11866

by Brendan Bryson on 16. November 2009 - 9:10  (36716)

Thanks for that Jonathan. I am seeing a lot of these popping up now.

by Brendan Bryson on 8. November 2009 - 7:07  (36212)

I have looked in to this and you are 100 percent correct. Fcleaner is in fact quicker than Ccleaner. The machine I was testing it on at the time obviously had issues.

Thank you very much

by Brendan Bryson on 8. November 2009 - 6:39  (36210)

FCleaner is something that I have been looking into. It has some great features and updates regular. Only thing is that it is really really slow even on a dual core. I will keep an eye on it as they will no doubt fix this performance issue in the future.

Thanks

by Anonymous on 8. November 2009 - 6:55  (36211)

On my machines it is faster than CCleaner. I have no idea why it should be slower on others. It finds a lot more stuff than CCleaner does, especially "hotfix" stuff and similar, when first run. On some machines this can be many MegaBytes of stuff which merely clutters up your disc, and also makes image files etc a lot larger.

by Anonymous on 3. November 2009 - 21:22  (35743)

Have a look at FCleaner;

http://www.fcleaner.com/

by Anonymous on 13. October 2009 - 3:19  (34485)

Another free product and that is Eusing's Free Internet Window Washer 2.6. I tried this and works pretty well.

http://www.eusing.com/Window_Washer/Window_Washer.htm

by Brendan Bryson on 6. October 2009 - 23:47  (34076)

Hi Ccleaner has no option to back up & restore files that have been deleted yet. I am however looking to update the list with some alternatives to Ccleaner. Anyone who has any suggestions is wecome to post.

Thanks.

by Anonymous on 6. October 2009 - 14:44  (34029)

What this article says about C Cleaner not creating system restore/backup points is untrue. It always asks you if you want to create one before any major application. It doesn't do this for a cookies scan of course.

by Anonymous on 29. October 2009 - 16:49  (35430)

"untrue" is mostly FALSE.

If you clean junk from the registry then it offers to create a backup *.reg which can be subsequently merged to restore normality if you cleaned too hard.

BUT for normal browser cleaning you only use the normal file cleaning system which purges junk files you do not need, and unfortunately the "junk" is NOT deleted to the recycle bin.

I have NEVER known it to create a System Restore Point, but perhaps it will if I use its option to un-install an application, but that would not be relevant to scrubbing browser debris.

Alan

by Brendan Bryson on 30. September 2009 - 4:58  (33584)

Hi everyone, I am the new editor for this category and will be updating very soon. I will try to answer all your queries as best I can. I know that a lot of people love Ccleaner and thats fine, its a great program and will be in my top list but I will try to introduce some new software into this category and will be taking everyones views into account.

If you want to know anything else or have something you want to share about this category then please do not hesitate to post.

Brendan Bryson

by Anonymous on 4. September 2009 - 2:30  (32118)

What about Webrubber? It is found here...

http://www.neoretix.com/ (Edit: direct download link removed)

Would it do any more than CCleaner or just the same amount/less? If it is no better than CCleaner then I will stick with it.

Thanks.

by aqua on 29. August 2009 - 5:02  (31795)

because you emptied restore points..i bet with ccleaner

by Anonymous on 23. August 2009 - 10:21  (31367)

I used CCleaner and found 8gb of wasted space!

by Anonymous on 20. May 2009 - 14:40  (21956)

does anyone know a cleaner that cleans all history on a pc,
like History cleaner freeware (but really free not 15 days ?)

by Anonymous on 14. May 2009 - 15:53  (21568)

What's the best cleaner for the iMac?

Gizmos Needs You

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting

 We are looking for people with skills or interest in the following areas:
 -  Mobile Platform App Reviews for Android and iOS
 -  Windows, Mac and Linux software reviews       Interested? Click here