How To Use CCleaner: Our Definitive Guide

How To Use CCleaner: Our Definitive Guide

It’s a familiar story. You find your computer has been slowing down at an increasing rate over the past couple of weeks. It’s getting more and more frustrating to do simple tasks on your computer. Particularly when you’re in a rush or have a lot of things to do, this can be a pretty frustrating scenario. Here, we will teach you how to use CCleaner so that you can keep your computer optimized and running as it should.


What Is CCleaner?

Before you learn how to use CCleaner, it’s essential that you know what it is. CCleaner completes some functions that help you keep your computer clean and free of the “junk” that tends to accumulate over time.

A Cleaning Tool

CCleaner is a utility for those using Microsoft Windows and assists in cleaning out the stuff that tends to accumulate over time. This includes temporary files and broken shortcuts. It can also help you clean unnecessary files from programs on your computer along with your Windows Registry. This will help in the performance of your PC and make it run more smoothly.

Privacy Protection and Security

CCleaner protects your privacy in a number of ways. It cleans your browsing history, cleans temporary internet files, and makes you less susceptible to identity theft. Also, it will help you delete configuration files, remove System Restore points from a shared PC, and can help you wipe clean a computer you’re giving away or selling to someone else.

All these help your information stay with you instead of getting into someone else’s hands. No one else will be able to see where you’ve been. You can do this automatically or on demand.

Stability and Space

One of the things that CCleaner is really good at is clearing up hard drive space that is being taken up by unnecessary or out-of-date files that no longer need to be on your computer.

By cleaning up your PC, you can improve load times and even the amount of time it takes to boot up your computer. It will also help you decide which programs you want to turn on when you log on to your PC. Also, by keeping your Registry clean, Windows will run more smoothly as well.

Manage Cookies

Whenever you visit websites, there are tiny files that are left on your PC that track your visits. CCleaner can help you manage them or get rid of them all together. This is part of their security and safety features.

CCleaner Professional

CCleaner itself is free, but there is a paid version that has a few differences. With CCleaner professional, you get paid support. Also, with Professional you can clean multiple profiles. The Professional version also has monitoring capabilities. This means that many of its functions can be done automatically or when your browser is closed.

What CCleaner Does Not Do

There are a few things CCleaner does not do. CCleaner does not detect or remove viruses, spyware, or malware. You would want to continue to use other programs for this since it will help protect your computer. CCleaner also doesn’t defrag your hard drive. If you need to access files quicker, the makers of CCleaner have also created a free program called Defraggler. And lastly, CCleaner does not recover deleted or corrupted files. To do this, they have also created a (free) program called Revuca.

How to Use CCleaner

There are some basic instructions everyone should be aware of if they want to know how to use CCleaner.

Cleaning Your PC

CCleaner will run well on its default options, but you can change the settings extensively if you wish to modify what should and shouldn’t be deleted, Either way, make sure you understand what will and won’t be cleaned up before running the program.

When in CCleaner, click in the Cleaner icon at the left-hand side. Choose the features you wish to clean by checking the boxes. Warnings might appear for specific items: read the text and then click OK to dismiss. Click on the Applications tab. This will list software, dependent on what you have installed.

Choose the applications you wish to clean. Then, click the Analyze button. CCleaner will analyze the files and Registry keys belonging to the Windows features/applications you’ve selected. This part might take some time.

Once the analysis has been completed, you can review the files that are to be deleted in the text window. If you wish to save any of the items that are listed to be deleted, right-click in the text window and click Save to Text File.

To clean items from the analysis list, right click and select Clean. Then click on Run Cleaner. A warning will pop up about permanently removing files from the system. Click OK to proceed. When complete, CCleaner displays a report of the deleted files. To save this list, right-click in the text window and then click Save to Text File.

Removing Duplicate Files

Removing duplicate files can help your computer run faster and more smoothly. If you wish to do this, click on the Tools icon and then click on File Finder. Scroll down and click on the Search button. Once the File Finder is done looking for duplicate files, you will see a list. Here, you can select and delete the duplicate files you wish to remove. You can also change the File Finder options in the program if you do not wish to use the default settings.

Managing Programs

In CCleaner, you can easily manage your programs and remove any programs you do not wish to have on your computer. In some cases, this includes programs that the Windows Control Panel won’t let you remove. To do this, click on the Tools icon to the left of the CCleaner program. On the Uninstall screen, select the program you wish to uninstall from the Programs to Remove list.

Here, you can do one of three things. You can Run Uninstaller to remove the programs, or you can click Rename Entry to give the program a new name (in this list only). Lastly, you can click Delete Entry to remove the program’s uninstall entry, without uninstalling it. The last option is recommended for advanced users only! To save a list of all programs to a text file, click Save to Text File.

Wiping Free Disk Space

There are two ways that you can wipe your free disk space with CCleaner. You can tell it to wipe the space automatically when it is cleaning your PC, or you can run it manually with Drive Wiper. To include wiping in the cleaning process, go into CCleaner and click on the CCleaner icon on the left-hand side. On the Windows tab, select Wipe Free Space. A warning will pop up about this process taking extra time to run this way; click OK. Then, run your CCleaner as usual.

To use Drive Wiper manually, go to Select Tools then click Drive Wiper. Choose your type of wipe. Free Space Only leaves normal files intact, and Entire Drive will erase ALL the files on the hard drive; all data will be erased. Choose the type of security you require and CCleaner will warn you before proceeding.

Web Browser Cleaning

To clean your web browser in CCleaner, click on the Cleaner icon off to the left. Here you will see a “Windows” panel which lists all browsers available for cleaning. Select (or de-select) the boxes from the list to choose browsers and the parts you wish to clean. Click Analyze to see a list of the files that can be cleaned. To clean them, click Run Cleaner.

For an extensive list of walkthroughs while using CCleaner, check out their website.

How To Use CCleaner: Pro Tricks & Tips

There are some tips and tricks that can help you know how to use CCleaner.

Consider What You Delete

Items like the Cache and Cookies have specific purposes, so consider this before deleting them. Make sure you know the consequences of deleting certain files before deleting them.

Not All Cookies Are Bad

By default, CCleaner will remove all cookies. If you find there are certain websites you’re always re-logging into (and would rather not have to), you can open the Cookies pane under Options. Right-click on the cookies you wish to keep and then click Intelligent Scan. This will remove all cookies, aside from the ones you have selected.

Include Custom Files

If you use that program not listed in CCleaner’s list of applications, you can specify custom folders and files. CCleaner will delete the files and empty these folders whenever it is run. To add a custom folder or file, open the Options section and use the options on the Include Tab. Be careful using this features, make sure you do not accidentally add important files or folders, only to lose them.

How to Use CCleaner: Conclusion

For those considering trying to clean up their PC and make their Windows work a bit smoother, we hope this tutorial on how to use CCleaner effectively has been helpful.

Featured Photo via Pexels

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