Best Free PC Cleaner

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Introduction

Over time unnecessary files accumulate, which can be removed with a disk cleaner.

 

Rated Products

CCleaner  

Very effective in freeing up disk space by removing unused and temporary files, cookies, history, cache files and more.


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Limited features)
Thorough cleaning, fast, portable.
Would benefit from more detailed information explaining all options for new users.
Read full review...

Honorable Mentions

  • Empty Temp Folders is a good companion to CCleaner . It's not as complete a product as CCleaner and it's been a while since it was last updated, but I find that it always manages to clean more temporary files than CCleaner. That's why I suggest you use both.
  • Steven Gould's CleanUP! is another cleaner with a solid following. It's compact, well designed and very well maintained and is a real alternative to CCleaner. In use I've had a couple instances which caused problems on my test PC, but this may have been specific to my setup. Certainly the feedback I get from users has been uniformly excellent.
  • PC Decrapifier is in a related category. Its job is to remove unwanted trial versions of programs and services that come preinstalled on new PCs. You can remove all this stuff manually, but PC Decrapifier does this automatically. It can't remove every bit of junk from every computer, but the list of products it will remove is quite impressive.

 

Related Products and Links

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Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor jason. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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Average: 4.2 (109 votes)

Comments

Making the Tech headlines the past 24 hours is Ccleaner hacked and inserted with a backdoor that infected millions of PC's in the past month. I hope there will be a good alternative to this freeware soon.

Obviously this review of PC Cleaners needs updating (Empty Temp Folders and PC Decrapifier are not comprehensive cleaners and CleanUP! hasn't been updated since 2006) however I have used Privazer since it was released several years ago on all my home computers.
The comment by some experts that it is too dangerous for other than an expert user is nonsense.
I am a very average user and have never experienced any issues with it whatsoever and have cleaned hundreds of gigs of junk from my computers.
Obviously the whole question of whether or not to use PC Cleaners at all is a controversial subject which I do not wish to debate here but to those of us who believe they are a valuable tool I can recommend Privazer.
I previously used CCleaner but have found Privazer is a far more comprehensive and thorough program and it is also freeware with no bundled crapware.

Having used CCleaner since 2001 I found it to be very safe, however after installing and then uninstalling Autodesk AutoCAD I decided to do a manual search of the registry and found several mentions of AutoDesk. I found a free program that i have been using for a few years called Auslogics Registry Cleaner and noted a feature that i had never used before where i could enter the program name (or publisher name) and it shows all the keys that contain the search criteria. Autodesk left 13,965 traces, and, by using this function was able to remove the lot very quickly with a couple of clicks

CCleaner is good but it still leaves tons of crap and trash in the registry that you do not need or require especially when I had over 1.6m registry keys that get read before the machine is ready for use.

The reason why CCleaner is so highly rated is because it provides so many useful cleaning options without taking risks with registry cleaning, as you alluded.

Auslogics Registry Cleaner (I'll call it ARC from here on), by comparison, was the most aggressive registry cleaner I tested for the last update of the Best Free Registry Cleaner article (2014 ,Windows 7). I went back to my test data for Windows XP (2010 and 2012) and found a very similar result. It also provides some of the least descriptive information on the registry entries being deleted. It should provide more information. In its favor, it didn't pad out the number of issues reported by including higher keys when it deleted a whole registry branch. The same applied to MRU (most recently used) and history items but that was because that useful option was only available in the paid version.

ARC usually removes a much higher number of entries that relate to the operation of Windows rather than the operation of specific user applications. While the removal of some of those keys may be relatively trivial (e.g. the application path for CMMGR32.EXE which doesn't appear to have been used since Windows 2000) it is difficult for the average user to determine what is safe.

I wouldn't recommend it because of the need to be relatively expert and its less trustworthy business model (bundling, paid features, etc), which others have mentioned here.

Potential users should be aware that Auslogics Registry Cleaner is ad supported. It contains all sorts of garbage users do not want or need and will attempt to change your system settings. The main purpose of this program is to induce users to purchase their commercial software, which they also do not need. :) MC - Site Manager.

The only ads that I have got from Auslogics is the Get it Free on Start up. I run a PC as a home server as well as my own PC, two laptops and several android devices and there has been no crapware, malware or such garbage reported by Avira Pro or Malwarebytes (also checked the installation file with Virus Total) which has not identified any such things as being malicious' It has never attempted to change my system settings.over the years so i don't know where you got that from.

Please list the "Garbage" that users do not require or need. If you are one of those people who just want to click through the installation without reading the installation at each step then you deserve all you get

I certainlydo not want a registry of some 2m plus entries

Over time, Auslogics Registry Cleaner has been bundled with Conduit, Ask Toolbar, OpenCandy, BoostSpeed and others. This is why reputable download sites such as Softpedia and MajorGeeks list it as "Ad supported". The nature of bundled components is changed regularly and recycled along with "clean" periods to further confuse users researching product details online.

I have never used a so called registry cleaner in my life nor have I ever seen one make anything faster. What I have seen though is countless Windows machines rendered unbootable by the use of such software and I'm not alone.
https://blog.malwarebytes.org/social-engineering/2015/06/digital-snake-oil/
http://www.howtogeek.com/171633/why-using-a-registry-cleaner-wont-speed-...

You can have tens of thousands of redundant registry entries and their presence will not slow down your computer, neither will removing them make it any faster. If your system has become corrupted to the point that it slows down then professional help is the only way to fix it (possibly). MC - Site Manager.

I applaud the efforts of those critics to prevent users from falling for the blandishments of those over-promoting the benefits and understating the risks of registry cleaners. Newer versions of Windows have dramatically improved registry performance and removed critical bottlenecks. Unless I had a problem, I wouldn't use them, just as the critics recommend. But in their eagerness to save us from gullible ourselves, those critics make obvious errors. First, there are published tests results that do show performance improvements and these are easily verified if they bothered to test registry cleaners themselves. Second, they make generalizations which they universalize. These rules become untrue under specific exceptions. For example, increases in registry size can increase startup times. It makes sense that doubling the registry file sizes will increase the time to read the registry data into memory. And while a larger registry may work just as fast as a smaller registry, it is using memory that could force more memory contents to be swapped out to disk thereby slowing the entire system.

Am with Remah here too. I have seen performance improvements on computer's, even mine that have run Registry Cleaners and File Cleaners [mind you the true ones]. I could really see the difference in start-up times, file seek times, reducing errors while re-installing softwares [especially games] and For those who say that Registry Cleaners are the one's that messed up the system, it's mainly because

1. Their computer was already messed up from downloading unwanted material [keygens, cracks, patches, visiting unsafe websites] to start with

2. Downloading fake software's [click-baits], performing unnecessary survey's etc

3. Their system is affected by malware from any of the above or other means.

There are a few good file cleaners, and very few good registry cleaners that you can trust, and does their job as intended. Even BSOD's are resulted from software's that have bugs [I have experienced the same in download managers, pdf-viewers etc], and this is not limited to registry cleaners only.

Could not agree more. In my early days i would have been doing all three until i realised the cost in both money and lss of time on pc. Since then i have only downloaded from sites such as source forge and always run a scan on the download and have always used a top professional Security suite (currently Avira)

I use Auslogics for the simple reason of finding the crap which trial programs leave (eg the 13k plus ofAutodesk) and cleaning with a couple of clicks

As for the people that say you should not use a Registry cleaner I have two theories .

1.. They are terrified of messing up, which I completely understand
2 ... They are scared f finding all the crap they have downloaded

Me, I will stick with what I have

Hi Remah

Thanks for a balanced reply because i find that people have their favorites and rule out all others without giving it a chance, I know as I used to be one of them. People also comment on things that they have never used (and this is not a dig at any comments on here), this goes for all sites that I use for downloading and searching for better options this is one reason most of my software comes from Sourceforge.

I would like to see Clean Master tested. Seems to be new (and what I read was, that they only did it, because CCleaner jumped to cleaning Android devices).

http://www.cmcm.com/en-us/clean-master-for-pc/

Clean Master is a product of Kingsoft Corp.

Can someone PLEASE help me out. Am running Windows 7. In my (Control Panel – All control panel items - Notification Area Icons), are some files that I have already uninstalled from the computer, including exe files, but they are still showing there. Is there any way to remove them. Also since they are there, where would they be hiding in the system. I thought I had removed them, including from (Program Files x86).

Have you tried using CCleaner - and select the option "Tray Notifications Cache" under "Advanced" Tray Notifications Cache - This cache stores information about any items that have ever appeared in your System Tray, and whether or not you have set them to Hide, Hide When Inactive, or Always Show. http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ccleaner-rules/windows-tab/advance... You may need to restart explorer or reboot after running this for it to take effect.

I have EVERYTHING under the Advanced Section of CCleaner active, including Tray Notification Cache - but this has not helped.

I can't believe Bleachbit isn't included here. It cleans way more Megs than CCleaner and doesn't come with any dangerous registry cleaner.

I tried out Bleachbit (portable) and had an issue with it on my 64bit Windows 7. Tried 3 scans - just selecting for Firefox and it froze halfway through cleaning each time.