CCleaner is a multi-purpose tool that can clean up junk files on your computer to make it faster and use less storage space. If your computer is slow or you’re running low on disk space, you might consider running CCleaner.
CCleaner Pro vs Free
There’s actually a lot that you’ll get if you pay for CCleaner versus use the limited, free version:
- Software updater
- Real-time monitoring of junk files
- Scheduled cleaning
- Automatic updates
- Premium support
A CCleaner Pro license is valid for one year at $24.95.
Easy Clean in CCleaner Pro
The Easy Clean screen in CCleaner Pro scans for tracking cookies and junk files. Specifically, all of the following:
- Tracking cookies in every browser
- Everything in Recycle Bin
- Temporary system files
- Temporary internet files
- Temporary application files
What makes Easy Clean different from the Custom Clean screen you’ll see below is that after the scan, you can just hit Clean All to immediately start the clean up process.
Easy Clean is for when you’re not interested in what CCleaner Pro found…you just want to speed up your computer in as little time as possible.
With that being said, you can select Review Trackers or Review Junk on the Easy Clean screen to choose items (those listed above) that you don’t want to erase. You’ll also see how many cookies or how much data can be deleted should you keep them checked.
Here’s what the Review Junk screen looks like in CCleaner Pro:
This is what the results screen looks like after cleaning up some cookies and junk data with CCleaner Pro:
CCleaner Pro’s Custom Clean
Custom Clean is the next screen you can access in CCleaner Pro. As you can see, it’s much more detailed, perfect if you want complete and total control over what CCleaner deletes.
It’d be tough to list here everything that the Custom Scan screen can tackle because the options it lists are only visible if you have those programs on your computer. For example, if you don’t have Firefox installed, you won’t see the Firefox options listed.
Below are some general things to look forward to cleaning from the Custom Scan screen. For example, when dealing with web browsers, you can clear away all of the following:
- Internet cache
- Internet history
- Download history
- Last download location
- Site preferences
- Saved form information
- Saved passwords
- Compact databases
Some supported application cleaning in CCleaner Pro include:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Foxit Reader
- Microsoft Office programs
Lots more are supported, but again, you’ll only see what you have on your computer. This is actually a good thing — there’s no reason to have to sift through all supported programs to select only the things installed on your PC.
Multimedia programs, utilities, and other Windows areas are cleaned in the Custom Clean screen, too, including these:
- Flash Player
- Windows Media Player
- QuickTime Player
- Adobe Air
- Windows Defender
- Microsoft Search
- Game Explorer
- Video card installation files
Honestly, the list is almost endless. The idea is clear: CCleaner Pro can handle lots of programs. If you have it on your computer, chances are CCleaner Pro can erase its junk and temporary files to make the software run smoother and to clean up unnecessary disk hogs.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can check or uncheck anything from the list. Anything checked will be scanned and removed by CCleaner Pro, and anything unchecked will, of course, be skipped.
Using the Analyze button will scan your computer without deleting anything, which is super neat since it shows you how much junk gets removed without actually doing it. To truly delete the junk data, use the Run Cleaner button.
Registry Cleaner in CCleaner Pro
CCleaner Pro cleans up Windows Registry items, too. Check any of the items in the Registry screen to scan for those issues, and then you’ll have full control over what to delete once you see the results.
When you choose to delete the selected registry items, you can back up the whole registry right there on that screen. A registry backup is super important, so it’s great that CCleaner includes it here.
CCleaner Pro Extra Tools
CCleaner Pro is known for its cleaning abilities, but there’s actually a lot more to this program. From the Tools screen are shortcuts to all of the following:
Delete any program that’s installed to your computer.
Update outdated software programs without ever leaving CCleaner Pro.
CCleaner Pro’s Startup screen includes four sub-tools:
- Windows: Control what starts up with Windows when you first log on to your user account.
- Scheduled Tasks: A list of tasks Windows is controlling the schedule for; you can disable any of them.
- Context Menu: For enabling/disabling the options that show up when you right-click files and folders.
- Windows Services: The portion of CCleaner Pro that lets you disable Windows services.
Enable and disable extensions that are installed in your various web browsers. This is great for those times when your browser won’t open and it’s due to a bad plugin; use CCleaner Pro to disable/delete the plugin so that you can get back into the program.
CCleaner Pro has a disk analyzer for showing you which files are taking up the most disk space. Not sure if it’s movies or software? What about your music collection; is it too big for your hard drive? Find these things out with Disk Analyzer.
As an example, say you want to scan everything on your C: drive to see what’s taking up the most space. Just choose Everything from the first section, and C: from the second, and then hit Analyze.
You can even delete these large files from your computer right there in CCleaner. If you’re not sure what any file really is, there’s an option to open its folder to research it more before deciding what you want to do with it.
This is another space-saving tool you can use in CCleaner Pro. As the name suggests, it locates duplicate files. What makes CCleaner Pro’s approach different than some duplicate file finder apps is the variety of search options.
CCleaner’s duplicate file finder can search across multiple locations at once to find things like copies of your music on two different hard drives, or documents saved on your flash drive and your computer’s hard drive.
You can also include and/or exclude entire hard drives, specific folders, and individual file types. For example, these options make it possible to search for all duplicate MP4 video files that exist on your Dropbox, local hard drive, and external HDD, potentially letting you free up loads of space.
System Restore is the feature built-in to Windows that creates restore points to which you can revert your computer should something really bad happen (like system file issues). Restore points are created automatically after certain events like installations, but having too many can suck up lots of disk space.
If you have any listed in the System Restore screen, CCleaner Pro lets you remove them easily.
CCleaner Pro can also erase every single file on your computer or other storage device. This is useful if you’re selling a hard drive and need it wiped clean, or if you’re tired of a sluggish drive and you want to reset it and start fresh.
You can use CCleaner Pro to overwrite data with 1, 3, 7, or 35 passes. The more passes, the “more gone” your file are supposed to be. For most people, 1 or 3 is probably just fine, but the bigger options are there if you want them.
There’s also a Free Space Only option in the Wipe menu that you can pick to delete the files that are already deleted. That might sound unnecessary, but believe it or not there are lots of software programs that can undelete files, so securely overwriting even those files can be helpful to thwart any file recovery attempts on your drives.
CCleaner Pro Options
As if the customizations thus far weren’t enough, CCleaner Pro offers a huge number of settings that you can tweak to your preference.
Here are some of the most notable ones:
- Create a Run CCleaner shortcut from Recycle Bin to quickly start the program at any time
- Choose websites for which cookies should be kept and not deleted (so that you don’t get logged out)
- Include and/or exclude items that you don’t want CCleaner to ever delete, including files, folders, file types, and registry keys
- Run CCleaner on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule at any time of the day; running at Windows logon is supported, too
- Set up Smart Cleaning to have CCleaner Pro notify you when so-many junk files have been detected, prompting you to remove them (e.g., alert you if cleaning would save more than 1 GB)
- Enable automatic browser cleaning to delete junk from web browsers every time you close them
- Choose which user accounts from which CCleaner Pro should delete data
- Allow updates to CCleaner Pro to take place automatically whenever necessary, ensuring you’re always up to date with the newest features and bug fixes
- Choose to only delete files that are older than 24 hours, or disable that option to ensure that even recent files will get removed, too
- Hide warning messages to speed up cleanup