CCleaner (or Crap-Cleaner as it is also known) describes its function in the title of the software. Simply put, CCleaner helps you get rid of junk and unwanted files from your PC. There are three different functions which the software can perform, two of which are very useful indeed:

Cleaner Tool

The first ability that CCleaner can perform is the "cleaner" option, which allows you to remove a whole array of temporary files and history traces that your computer accumulates over time. It is possible to remove these manually by using Internet Explorer or Firefox and by browsing to temporary file locations. However, CCleaner can do all of this work in just one click.


Several options are presented on the cleaner screen, allowing you to select the types of data you wish to remove from your PC. One tab lets you select Windows related files to remove, the other is a list of popular applications which are auto detected.

There are several reasons why you may want to clean your system. After using your PC for a long period of time it is quite likely that temporary files have accumulated which are no longer needed. For example the Windows temp directory can fill full of 100's MB of unused files after enough use.

Secondly, CCleaner can remove all history traces left in many applications on your PC (such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Document History, Media Player history etc...). These can all be wiped in the click of a button.


The registry tool lets you check the integrity of your Windows registry, by searching for missing DLLs and obsolete software. It is debatable how useful this function actually is, as it is possible that you could remove something that you may actually need. However, a quick scan to look for any obvious issues shouldn't cause any harm (although we would recommend backing up your registry before hand).


Don't expect any magic from this part of the program, it is simply a bonus - your PC won't speed up from removing a couple of lines from your registry.


The tools menu has some very handy features which most windows users will really appreciate. Firstly, a selection of all programs appearing in your add/remove programs list is displayed - allowing you to uninstall as normal. But as you may have noticed before, some applications are still listed on the add/remove list which are not normally possible to remove from the menu. CCleaner can remove items from the list if they have been deleted manually, something which Windows does not currently allow.


Secondly, and best of all, CCleaner has a startup list which includes everything that loads when your first turn your PC on. If you have a rogue application that you want to stop loading, this is the place to disable it. It is best to exercise some caution with this option as removing the wrong startup application may cause some problems, but for power users that know what they are doing this is a great feature.


CCleaner is a small, efficient and free bit of software that works from Windows 95 all the way up to Windows 7. This is such a useful application, and as a freebie it is really worth installing on your machine. CCleaner ask if you wish to install the Yahoo toolbar when you install the application, which is how development is funded - if you want it you can leave the box ticked, if you don't you can just remove the tick.

Ian Cunningham
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