Windows Maintenance with CCleaner

June 9, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Our initial look at the CCleaner utility focussed on the more obvious tools of cleaning up your temporary files and backing up and repairing the system registry. However, there is more to this vital utility for Windows, a set of tools that will make managing disks, deleting data and even staying in charge of what software is installed and what is removed.

In addition, CCleaner also adds a start-up tool, allowing you to add and remove processes from the Windows 7 boot. This is a useful advantage and can help you to speed up the launching of your PC or laptop by discarding any launch items that you don’t need.

If you have read the previous tutorial you should by now have an idea of how useful CCleaner is, as well as where to download your free copy from. The following set of utilities is available via the Tools tab.

Windows Maintenance with CCleaner

Uninstalling Software with CCleaner

You probably already know how to uninstall software. This is commonly done via Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program (although you might also run an uninstall process via Start > All Programs if the application concerned has a suitable shortcut listed), and can take a varying length of time depending on the size of the program you intend to remove.

Even after a reboot, however, not all of the components that enable the secure and stable running of the application in question can be guaranteed to have been removed, which is where the CCleaner > Tools > Uninstall tool comes in useful. All you need to do is browse through the list of installed applications, select the item you wish to remove and select Run Uninstaller. If any entries have been left behind, meanwhile, you can use the Rename Entry and Delete Entry options to discard of these.

Speed Up the Windows 7 Startup

In addition to clean uninstalls, you can decrease the time taken for Windows to start and your desktop to be ready using the Startup tab. In Windows you can access various startup tools via the MSCONFIG command, but adjustments here require a restart to be applied, and some processes are given their system names rather than something more user friendly.

Thanks to CCleaner you can quickly Delete, Enable and Disable any of the items that are listed as startup or run in the system registry, simply by selecting the item and clicking the button for the required action.

System Restore

If you have found yourself making too many System Restore points in Windows 7, the System Restore tab in CCleaner will help in organizing these. The screen lists all previous restore points that have been made, and allows you to Remove any historical restore points that you judge are no longer needed.

System restore points can potentially take up a lot of space on your PC, so using this tool to find and manage them is a good idea and can save you time searching.

Safely Wipe Drives with CCleaner

Finally, the useful CCleaner collection of Windows utilities features a drive wiping tool. This is ideal for any number of tasks, such as discarding an old operating system or shredding documents that you don’t wish anyone to be able to recover from your hard disk drive.

Accessed via the Drive Wiper tab, you can choose to wipe either Free Space Only (useful for data that has been “deleted” but still exists as recoverable) or the Entire Drive, which will result in all data being removed. You can also select a security level for deletion, from Simple Overwrite (1 pass) to Gutmann (35 passes), an ultra-secure method of completely shredding data on your hard disk drive.

These four, vital tools alone make CCleaner a free utility that you just cannot risk being without.

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