CCleaner is a maintenance program that cleans up your computer to keep it running smoothly.
What does CCleaner do?
CCleaner targets unnecessary files on your computer and deletes them. It focuses on areas that can get very bloated with useless data and temporary files, and cleans them up.
Why is this important?
Cleaning up files on your computer frees up more space on your hard drive for things you’ll actually use and speeds up your computer’s performance. Too many of these temporary files can slow down specific programs (including your internet browser) or your computer in general.
Contrary to what you might think, some of these “temporary” files stay on your computer for long periods of time, even if you turn your computer off and on again. CCleaner gets rid of these annoyances.
Can CCleaner do anything else?
CCleaner can also clean your Windows Registry by deleting invalid entries. However, there’s not a whole lot of benefit to doing so (as the Registry entries are very small), but there is some risk when tinkering with system files.
However, CCleaner’s other tools are much more useful. It can uninstall programs, change which programs automatically start when your computer does, securely wipe free space on your hard drive, and more.
How do I get CCleaner?
CCleaner, like Defraggler, is made by Piriform and is available from Piriform’s website.
There is a free version of CCleaner, with all the really important features included.
There’s also a “Professional” version, which includes automatic updates and real-time monitoring, for $24.95.
The last version is the “Professional Plus” version, which includes copies of Piriform’s other software: Defraggler Professional, the defragmentation tool; Recuva Professional, the file recovery utility; and Speccy Professional, the system information tool. It’s the best deal if you want to buy CCleaner and another Piriform product.
Once you’ve downloaded your version of choice, you have to run the installer. If you get the option to run it upon downloading it, go ahead and allow CCLeaner to install. Otherwise, go to your downloads folder and run the installer manually.
Alter your installation settings as you like and click “Install.” Let it finish the installation. Congrats, you now have CCleaner!
How do I use CCleaner?
To clean the files on your computer, go to the “Cleaner” tab and click “Run Cleaner” as shown below.
The Registry cleaner is found in the Registry tab, and the other tools I mentioned (like the uninstaller) are in the “Tools” tab. “Options” contains, oddly enough, options.
If you bought the Professional version of CCleaner, you can set it up to automatically run at certain times, Otherwise, give it a run at least every week.
Tip of the week: If you're going to get a gaming computer, build your own. Alienware et al. are almost always tremendous ripoffs.