Ccleaner (originally stood for “crap” cleaner – no kidding!) is an excellent PC cleanup utility for daily or weekly use. As I mentioned in my review of Disk Cleaner yesterday, I use Ccleaner weekly to help catch the things that Disk Cleaner missed during the week – as an added bonus Ccleaner also contains a registry cleaner.
I have used Ccleaner for about 2 years now, and just recently upgraded to version 2. If you have an older version, you can install the latest version on top of it – you don't have to uninstall first. One thing I noticed about the newer version is that it will by default try to install a “cCleaner Yahoo! Toolbar” to your browser – I assume this means Internet Explorer, the install program doesn't explain - at any rate I unchecked this in the “Install Options” screen, because I don't like toolbars reducing my browser space.
The interface for cCleaner is clean and easy to understand. For disk cleaning, you can check or uncheck the types of files (i.e. cookies, browser history, etc.) that you want cCleaner to check for. Then you click on Analyze, and after a few seconds cCleaner comes up with a detailed list of the files to be deleted. Then click on Run Cleaner and the files are deleted. There's a setting in the options menu to delete the files securely if you are overly concerned about erasing your usage tracks.
In the registry cleaner interface, once again there is a list of types of registry entries to search for – you can check or uncheck each type. Then you click on Scan for Issues and Ccleaner comes back with a list of all the problems found in the registry. Next, click on Fix Selected Issues and cCleaner will prompt you to back up the registry – I always answer yes to this, since cCleaner can reverse any changes it makes as long as there is a backup.
Ccleaner has a couple of other features worth noting – In the Options dialog, there is a list of all the cookies found on your system - you can choose which cookies to keep and which to delete. Ccleaner is the only utility I have found that gives this control over cookies – I like to keep some cookies for easy login to some of the websites I visit.
Also, the Tools screen contains a list of all installed programs that have an uninstaller available – you can run the uninstaller directly from cCleaner. I find this list much easier to use than the one in the Windows control panel. The Startup tool lists all of the programs set to run at startup – you can delete these entries directly from cCleaner as well.
Ccleaner always finds temp files and registry problems that my other utilities overlook, so I would recommend giving it a try. I tested cCleaner on my Windows XP SP2 machine – the author's website states that it is fully tested and functional on Vista, but that they are still working on a few minor issues with Vista. You can download cCleaner here .