What is CCleaner?
CCleaner is a small, effective utility for computers running Microsoft Windows that cleans out the ‘junk’ that accumulates over time: temporary files, broken shortcuts, and other problems.
CCleaner protects your privacy. It cleans your browsing history and temporary internet files, allowing you to be a more confident Internet user and less susceptible to identity theft.
CCleaner can clean unneeded files from various programs saving you hard disk space, remove unneeded entries in the Windows Registry, help you uninstall software and select which programs start with Windows.
What can you use it for?
From its name, you can guess that CCleaner is used to clean up your system. In fact, the first ‘C’ in CCleaner stands for the ‘crap’ that it can clean out. It has other uses too:
- Privacy: Delete passwords, Internet files, configuration files, and remove System Restore points from a shared PC.
- Security: Clean out files from a PC you’re giving away or selling. You can also wipe free space so the remnants of any files you deleted previously will be erased forever.
- Speed: Speed up your computer by removing unneeded files. Speed up boot times by reducing the number of programs that start with Windows.
- Stability: Enable Windows to run more smoothly with a clean Registry.
- Space: Free up hard drive space by deleting unnecessary files. Detect and remove duplicate files that clutter up your PC.
- Real-time Protection (CCleaner Professional Only): Clean online traces every time you close Internet Explorer, Chrome, or another browser. Check and clean your PC regularly and automatically.
What it can and can’t do
CCleaner has many abilities, but it can’t do everything. Here’s a list of what it can and can’t do.
- Protect your Web browsing privacy on a shared or public computer by deleting passwords and other temporary Internet files, so that nobody will be able to see where you’ve been. CCleaner Professional can also delete browser tracks every time you close your Internet browser – automatically or on demand.
- Protect your privacy for many Windows applications by removing information about files and folders you’ve accessed using them.
- Remove traces of documents you’ve already deleted by securely wiping free disk space.
- Clean up the Windows Registry by removing information that’s incorrect or no longer needed.
- Reduce memory load and speed up boot times by letting you specify which programs automatically start with Windows.
- Uninstall software easily – even when the Windows Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet won’t let you.
- Manage your cookies – tiny files on your PC that Web sites use to track your visits.
- Find duplicate files – recover hard drive space and declutter your PC.
What CCleaner can’t do:
- CCleaner can’t detect or remove viruses, spyware, or malware.
- CCleaner can’t defragment your hard drive. We’ve written a free program called Defraggler that will do just that – check it out.
- CCleaner can’t recover deleted or corrupted files. Our other great free product, Recuva can!
Can data cleaned by CCleaner be recovered?
We often get the question, “If I clean my system with CCleaner, can the data be recovered later?”
The answer is that this depends on the skill and resources available to the person attempting the recovery, as well as what settings you used in CCleaner when you cleaned.
If you run CCleaner with its default settings, you’ll thwart most attempts at recovery, but you can decrease the chances that someone will be able to recover files as follows:
- Use secure deletion – the more passes that CCleaner uses to overwrite the data, the harder it will be to recover.
- Wipe free space on drives, and wipe the MFT free space.
- For the utmost in security, use Recuva to find files that have already been deleted but still are recoverable, and then securely overwrite them. Be sure to set Recuva to a high number of passes for secure overwriting as well.
What is CCEnhancer?
CCEnhancer is a small tool which adds support for over 1,000 new programs into the popular program CCleaner. The tool uses the winapp2.ini system built into CCleaner to easily add new rules and definitions for programs. The rules were sourced mainly from the Piriform Support Forum, with several sourced from other places around the internet. Directly download the winapp2.ini file here.
Here at GeGeek we used CCleaner all the time, especially with the Winapp2.ini file as well, this tiny file extends CCleaner and unlocks its true potential.
So if you’ve not tried CCleaner, give it a shot, it’s free to use and if you like what it has to offer, please consider upgrading.