By Gilbert Baca (New Braunfels, TX), Tex Contributor,
Having a slow computer can really drive you nuts! Clicking and waiting, particularly when you are in a hurry will make you pull your gleaming hair out. There are a lot of reasons that a computer can be slow. Computer may be old and out of date. The computer hardware may not be up to par and require some upgrading. You might have a terrible internet connection for a multitude of reasons. Your computer may be infected with spyware or viruses.
If any of the issues previously stated are a problem, poor hardware, bad internet or viruses, CCleaner (sometime misspelled in search engines as “ccleanner” or “cclener”) may help some but professional work on your computer may be required. On the other hand, if your computer does not suffer any of the issues listed in first paragraph; CCleaner will definitely help your computers performance. CCleaner is a larger program that has many functions. This article will focus mainly on the cache cleaning functions of CCleaner which include the operating system registry. Let’s get started!
Caching is a function that all computers perform as part of their operating procedure. Caching is unfortunately not addressed by a Windows operating system very well. It’s best to use third-party software like CCleaner to flush all caches. Just beware, the process we are about to go through will wipe out all Recycle Bin material, all saved passwords and logins used for various websites. If you use Recycle Bin for storage, be sure to back up what you don’t want deleted. If you rely on your computer to store passwords for online logins, you may want to make sure you have those written down somewhere or memorized prior to completing this exercise. CCleaner is designed for Windows XP to Windows 8, 32 and 64-bit operating systems.
I’ve personally seen up to 8 Gigabytes of cache come off a computer with this process. Computers store everything which is good for recalling but bad for performance and bad for your personal security should you ever be hacked. Also if you plan to sell or junk your computer, you may at the very least want to run CCleaner to remove all the caching plus remove all personal files.
CCleaner is available for download in a few packages. It is also available for download from a couple of places that do not install additional software in your computer. I try to stay away from sites like Softonic and CNET when downloading anything. These sites want you to use their downloader software which is basically installing software into your computer and using up the resources you are trying to free up! Yikes! Download CCleaner here: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds
It’s best to use the first download available, Standard Installer, and install like you would any other software. Make sure CCleaner hasn’t snuck a toolbar or extra browser installer in during the click-through install process. Usually not but on occasion, you will see a prompt to install a toolbar like Ask or Google. Take appropriate action to insure you don’t install any extra software unless you desire it. If you wish, you can download the portable version which is great as it doesn’t install anything, just runs right out of a folder. Copy the portable version zip file to your computer desktop and extract. The image below shows the portable version extracted from zip file. Note there are a CCleaner.exe and a CCleaner64.exe. Use the first if you have a 32-bit system or don’t know what you have. Use CCleaner64.exe if you know you have a 64-bit system.
Once you execute CCleaner, note the toolbar on the left. The Cleaner is selected by default and is represented by the sweeping broom icon. The other icons are the Registry icon featuring cubes, Tools with toolbox icon, and Options with the sprocket icon all below the sweeping broom Cleaner icon. You will see the list of files in the column to the right of icons. See image below.
If you look at the two tabs next to the sweeping broom icon, you will see a Windows tab and an Applications tab. Half of the checkboxes on the Windows tab are unchecked by default when you first run the program. Without discussing each and every item, I will simply tell you that I check all the boxes off. All of the boxes except the last two, Custom Files and Folders and Wipe Free Space. Those are the only two boxes that I DO NOT check. See images below.
If you have a few hours to spare, you can have this program Wipe Free Space which is basically writing 0’s to the physical space that is not currently being used on the hard drive. Otherwise, every other box is checked in the Windows tab. This is for maximum cleaning. I will share a link with you where you can find more information about each checkbox if you’d like to know more about what each entails. This article will not cover each individual item.
The Applications tab will vary as to programs and check boxes. I typically will check most if not all off. Keep in mind this isn’t uninstalling programs or wiping out any files. It is simply deleting cache that is present on the computer. You can delete cache from each of these softwares either manually or through the consoles. CCleaner allows you to delete all the caching at once eliminating the need to visit each software individually.
My recommendation would be to check all boxes under the Applications tab. Make sure you keep track of the passwords you use to access certain web sites like email. If you are relying on your browsers to keep track of sensitive login information to your bank accounts, you shouldn’t. Keep track of them somewhere else. Having a browser cache login information is a big security issue and could allow a hacker to easily compromise your bank accounts, email accounts, ebay account, etc.,.
When you are done checking off the appropriate boxes; At the bottom of the console are two buttons. Analyze and Run Cleaner. First click the Analyze button and allow the software to run. If your computer has been used for quite a long time and you’ve never run CCleaner, this might take a while. Once the analyzer is done running it will indicate so by a time bar across the top and 100% confirmation that CCleaner has completed analyzing based on your selections. Then click on the Run Cleaner button at the bottom right-hand corner of the CCleaner console. Allow that to run.
When Cleaner is done, Click on the Registry icon below the sweeping broom. All boxes checked by default. Click on the Scan for Issues button at bottom of screen. When the Registry scan is 100% all items are checked by default. Click on the Fix selected issues… button at the bottom right. Select ‘Fix All Select Issues’ button. If a pop-up console asks if you want to back the Registry up, click yes, then save previous registry settings and allow the registry backup to take place. You have just flushed cache and cleaned your registry up! Congratulations! Restart your computer and run a defragmentation on the hard drive. As promised here’s a link with more information on using CCleaner.
CCleaner for PC: https://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/using-ccleaner
CCleaner for Mac: You can either download ccleaner for MAC or use an online version below:
Now, if you can’t download ccleaner at Piriform, you can most likely download it FileHippo.Com. Here you can just do a file search and find it very easily.