The 2018 Best PC Cleaner Software
Utilities • Sept. 28, 2018
Alot of us with Windows based computers need to manually delete unwanted files to free up space and to make sure that everything is speedy and running well. But what if these tasks could be done automatically with a few apps?
There are apps and programs available on the internet that one can use in order to automate the process of cleaning up unwanted files and to fix other parts of your computer by clearing up data that isn’t required on your computer. Beyond cleaning tools, some of these software suites also offer ways to optimize and protect your PC without leaving the app.
We’ve sifted through dozens to find the ones worth your time (and money, in some cases).
A word about Windows’ built-in Disk Cleanup tool
Windows already has a Disk Cleanup utility built in which can clear files and unwanted files saving you a ton of space but the main issue with Disk Cleanup is the fact that it isn’t that intuitive to use and can prove to be very confusing for someone who doesn’t know what it does.
Third-party cleaning tools provide a very simple to use interface and they also provide much more clarity as to what will be removed from the system and the user can then choose which components they want to remove and which components they want to keep.
Also, the third-party tools give you a ton of extra options and have dedicated support for their users to help them with any issues that may come up while using the program. Other tools like Registry Fixers, Startup Managers etc. are something that are required to be done manually on Windows but these third-party tools make it so easier with just one interface to do it all.
Is CCleaner the best cleaner?
CCleaner is the number-one program when it comes to PC cleaners. Back in 2017, Piriform, the company responsible for developing CCleaner was acquired by Avast which brought more than 130 million users to Avast’s own ecosystem.
The program comes with features like Registry fixer which checks your computer’s Windows registry and fixes it by eliminating errors and old registry entries.
Other features include clearing up the programs that slow down the start-up time of your computer and CCleaner also makes sure you have a safe and private browsing experience online by clearing up your internet history, cache and cookies.
CCleaner is very powerful. But in September of 2017, there’s a thing that brought down CCleaner reputation was a malware attack when hackers got access to Avast servers and replaced the CCleaner files with a modified CCleaner setup that hackers used to get access to the user’s computers. This affected a lot of users and a lot of losses were noted around the world due to this mishap.
Besides, if you try installing the free version of CCleaner today, you will be prompted to install Avast anti-malware program along with it. This is something that a lot of people don’t like.
In summary, CCleaner is tiny, fast and free. If you’re interested in a free PC cleaner, CCleaner is probably your best bet. But the free version has limitations like not being able to carry out cleaning completely and only providing standard cleaning of your Windows installation. You can choose to pay for their premium version (USD 24.95) and set CCleaner to monitor your computer and get personal support.
What makes a great PC cleaner software?
- Windows start-up speeder: A lot of the programs that we install on our computer nowadays tend to start up when the computer boots. This makes the computer slow down because there are a lot of things that start when Windows boots up. A PC cleaner should have this feature as one of its major offerings.
- Unwanted files cleaner: A good PC cleaner should also have the functionality to scan your computer for temporary files that aren’t needed on the computer and all they do is take up space on your PC, thereby capturing the storage space. These unwanted files also make your computer unstable under some conditions so it is always a good idea to delete these files to make sure your PC works normally without any issues.
- Deep uninstaller: When you uninstall a program using its own uninstaller, it usually leaves a lot of files and other traces on the computer. A deep uninstaller feature will make sure that a program, when uninstalled will be removed completely without leaving any traces or files on the computer.
- File and folder shredders: When you delete a file on Windows, the operating system deletes it from the system and stops showing the presence of the file from the system but a file can still be recovered by using easily available programs like Recuva. Having a file and folder shredder means that the files and folders will be deleted in such a way that it becomes impossible for anyone to recover that file.
- Privacy protector: Privacy protection should also be a feature in a PC cleaner since a lot of us spend large amounts of time on the internet and having this feature will help us be secure while we are online. These PC cleaners can make sure your privacy is secure by scanning your internet history, cache and cookies and by deleting them, making sure you aren’t being tracked when you are online.
The pick for most people: CleanMyPC
Let’s talk about a PC cleaner that fulfils all the requirements mentioned above. We will take a look at CleanMyPC from MacPaw and this PC cleaners is definitely one of the best ones you can find out there. As you can see in the image below, it is very easy and straightforward to use and has a lot of features like scanning your computer for unwanted files and even a Privacy option to help you stay secure while you’re online.
What is CleanMyPC?
Coming to the question, why have we chosen CleanMyPC as the best CCleaner alternative and the answer to that question lies in the feature set and the user interface. One of the best things about CCleaner is how easy it is to use and how well laid out all the options on the programs are.
On CleanMyPC, you can find the same features that have been provided to you in a very easy to use user interface. I would also take the liberty of saying that the UI that CleanMyPC has is even better as compared to what CCleaner has to offer. In this article we will look at CleanMyPC and take a look at its features in depth.
Is CleanMyPC safe to use?
The CleanMyPC program is completely safe to use but make sure you download it from MacPaw’s website and no where else. Scanning the program with Windows Defender resulted in no flags and the program worked fine on my Windows 10 computer.
The program also makes sure that nothing crucial on your PC is deleted thereby leaving no signs of danger or instability on your computer. But that doesn’t mean you just go ahead and delete whatever the program suggests, make sure you know what you are going to delete or tweak with the program.
Take special care while shredding a file using the integrated file and folder shredder since recovering a file or a folder once it is shredded is next to impossible so any chance you have of recovering the accidentally deleted file will be gone once it is shredded.
Also, backing up your registry before making changed to it or deleting entries from it is also recommended since some programs might start behaving abnormally once the registry is tweaked. Use the registry tweaker with caution.
CleanMyPC vs CCleaner
Before we move any further with the review, let us take a look at the differences between CCleaner and CleanMyPC. For most parts, both of the tools have similar features and the same tools like the registry cleaner, extension manager, Windows start-up manager and more.
Most of the differences become visible when you start using both of the tools. The major difference is the UI which I personally feel is better on CleanMyPC since everything is laid out in an easy to use and easy to access manner. Plus, CleanMyPC has no tricky options to corrupt files on your Windows installation and this seems to be one of the major issues with CCleaner.
Many other differences will be mentioned below in the review and the overview of the features that we will have on CleanMyPC so I recommend you to go through all the features and then later, my personal take to make sure you have enough knowledge to decide whether CleanMyPC is a good tool for you or not.
A closer look at CleanMyPC – In depth Features & Review
PC Clean up
As soon as you open the CleanMyPC program, you will notice that the program opens up in the My Computer section which is an alternate name for PC Clean up. Clicking on the Scan button will scan your computer for junk and temporary files that are taking up storage space on your computer.
As you can see in the image above, details about the junk files are displayed and clicking on the green Clean button will delete the files. You can choose the files that you want to delete from this window so you have the flexibility to delete what you want to and skip what you think you don’t want to be deleted.
The main purpose of this feature is to free up disk space on your computer’s storage and this will work great for modern laptops where we have to sacrifice storage space for speed because of SSDs.
The Registry Maintenance section of the app will scan your registry for errors and old registry entries. The app will make sure nothing that will break your computer is changes or deleted from the registry which is definitely a good thing to have.
One thing that MacPaw should have added here is the ability to backup the current registry so that the registry can be restored if something goes wrong. Having a backup is always useful and if you are going to use this feature, just go ahead and backup your registry before you make any changes to it. It will be great if the tool is updated with a registry backup feature in the future.
The Multi Uninstaller will deep uninstall programs by deleting all the traces of the selected programs. CleanMyPC can uninstall 10 programs and applications in one go and the program can also detect Windows 10 UWP apps which you can choose to uninstall.
The UWP apps have a Windows logo beside the name and programs that have leftover files on the computer will be shown with an icon of a red broken flag. Once you select the programs you want to uninstall, click on the Uninstall button.
Clicking on the Uninstall button will show the summary of programs that you are going to uninstall and the amount of storage that you will be freeing up. After the selected programs and apps are uninstalled, CleanMyPC will find the leftover files from the recently uninstalled programs and remove those files completely from the computer.
This feature of CleanMyPC will delete the system hibernation file which will be huge in size. The system hibernation file contains all the programs, apps, documents and other things on your computer that are currently opened and it is used when your computer hibernates.
The system hibernation file is mainly used on laptops since shutting down a laptop is something that not many people do and having the hibernation file in place helps booting up the computer faster than booting it.
Deleting the file will free up the space and it is a good option for those who use a PC instead of a laptop since on a PC, not many end users have use for this file since users mostly shut down and restart computers when it is needed.
The Extensions feature of CleanMyPC will scan all the browsers on the system and detect the unwanted extensions or add-ons installed in the browser. This feature is extremely useful if you have accidentally installed an extension or an add-on that causes pop-ups or shows ads while browsing.
You can select the extensions that you want to uninstall and have a clean browsing experience without any sort of malware or adware installed on your browser. This works for browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even Internet Explorer.
Autorun, as the name suggests, will scan for start-up programs on your computer that make your computer slow while it is booting. Disabling or removing the unwanted applications that you don’t want starting up when your computer boots will speed up the booting process significantly.
The Privacy feature will scan all the browsers installed on your computer and it will look up all the cache, cookies, history and download files. After the scan is complete, you can choose to delete what you want from the selected browsers.
It would have been amazing if CleanMyPC cleared the selected stuff from the browsers every time we closed the browser that we use. By going that, there would be no use for the user to do this manually every time.
Shredder does what the name suggests, you can use this feature to completely erase the files and folders that you select. But why use this option, you ask?
The Shredder option will ask you to select the files or folders that you want to delete from your computer and leave no trace at all. Once these files are shredded, recovering these files from a data recovery program is impossible. This is a great feature if you want to clear your storage and leave no trace of the data that was on it.
My thoughts on CleanMyPC
I am a very performance-oriented person and every device that I use has to work perfectly without any delays or lag. The CleanMyPC program for my Windows 10 PC and laptop is a very useful tool and I especially use the Multi Uninstaller and File Shredder.
Using other features like the PC Cleaner, Registry Fixer and Privacy Guard is something that I do every once in a while, when I am cleaning up my PC. For me, CleanMyPC is an amazing tool and I think this is definitely the best CCleaner alternative that I have ever used up until now.
If you want something that works more than a PC cleaner and lets you do a lot more things like securing your computer from unwanted logins, from malware infections, or while surfing the web, then you can choose to go for Advanced SystemCare PRO.
The program has been developed by IObit who is also known for their malware protection programs and other utilities like Driver Booster and more. The IObit Advanced System PRO is priced at $19.99 for a three PC licence which makes it one of the best tools in the price. Let us go through the features that the program has to offer and have a deeper look at the same.
Clean and Optimize
As the name suggests, the Clean and Optimize feature of Advanced System PRO is dedicated to finding general PC issues like startup slowdown, spyware detection, invalid shortcut checker, registry scanner and more.
As soon as you click the Scan button, the program will scan your computer for the selected things and will present the issues it will find and you can select what you want to remove and fix. You also have the option to allow the program to fix everything it finds wrong with the computer but it is suggested that you manually check everything before taking action.
Switching to the Speed Up tab will reveal a bunch of options that are developed to boost the performance of your computer. This is done by different options like clearing the RAM, removing unwanted apps or toolbars eating up your system resources or by updating the drivers on your computer.
You also have the Deep Optimization feature which will scan your computer for some advanced settings and it will change them for you automatically to ensure the best possible performance with the hardware that you are using.
The Protect tab is where Advanced System PRO has all the security related functions to help you make your PC more secure and the program does it by providing you browsing protection along with something very interesting called FaceID.
You can use FaceID in order to help your computer be secure and when FaceID is active, the Advanced System PRO program will take advantage of your computer’s or laptop’s webcam to take pictures of whoever is trying to bypass your computer’s security. This is very helpful when you have a computer which has sensitive information stored on it.
Other options like Homepage Advisor and DNS Protect make sure that you aren’t going through insecure malicious websites on the internet which is very crucial with the kind of anti-social elements on the internet today.
Toolbox and Action Center
The Toolbox has all the important add-ons that you can download in order to use them with Advanced System PRO and all of these add-ons will give you specific features like fixing Windows startup slowdown, fixing issues related to Windows 10, data recovery, internet booster and more.
The Action Center on the other hand, lets you do a lot of things like updating the software installed on your computer to their latest versions so they’re as secure to use as they can be. You can also download and install other IObit utilities like IObit Malware Fighter, IObit Smart Defrag and more which will act as extensions to the main Advanced SystemCare PRO app.
My thoughts on Advanced SystemCare PRO
I think the Advanced SystemCare PRO is a program for someone who wants a full suite of things that will help them manage their computer in a much better way. While some may not like the addition of the extra features, but since IObit is also known for their security programs, it is understandable as to why IObit has tried to integrate security related options in the app.
Personally, I think Advanced SystemCare PRO is a great program and at the price tag of $19.99 it definitely is worth the money you’re spending. But keep in mind that this program is meant to be for advanced users who know what they’re doing and just clicking random options in the app will only do more harm than any good for end users who don’t have much knowledge about how computers work.
AVG PC TuneUp
AVG is a company known for its anti-malware and security programs but the PC TuneUp is their PC cleaning tool that comes with a lot of features. The UI that AVG has used for this tool is quite nice and easy to use and it has features similar to that of CleanMyPC.
AVG PC TuneUp has features such as being able to detect and delete duplicate files, freeing up space by deleting unnecessary temporary files, and it also has a game booster to help you get better performance when you’re gaming. It also has a power management tool that AVG claims will help you get a better battery life out of your laptop.
The tool costs $49.99 which is higher than the competitors but the good thing here is that one license can be used for unlimited number of computers.
Glary Utilities Pro 5
Glary Utilities Pro is currently in its fifth version and the program comes with a lot of different features. The program offers 1-Click Maintenance for your PC where it will scan for issues and files that are not being used and will delete them for you. If you are an advanced user, you can access the Advanced Tools which includes tools for fixing your Windows Registry, disk management tools, file shredders and more.
Unlike CleanMyPC, Glary Utilities Pro 5 has a lot of options that can prove to be harmful for your computer if the program isn’t used properly. Options like encrypting files, repairing and defragging registry might make your computer unstable if not used under proper caution. But that doesn’t mean it is a good tool.
Glary Utilities Pro 5 is definitely a great tool in the hands of a professional or someone else who knows what the options mean. In the hands of a newbie, it can prove to be harmful. The program retails at $39.95 but the company runs promos where you can buy it for about 50% off which makes the effective price to be $19.97 for a year of subscription for three PCs.
Ashampoo® WinOptimizer 16
The Ashampoo WinOptimizer 16 is another good to use program that comes with features similar to CleanMyPC. It has features like Auto-clean that will clean everything and erase all the history, cache and cookie files once you have closed your internet browser. Another feature includes a Game-booster and as the name suggests, the program will eliminate and close any background processes that will be affecting game performance on your computer.
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 16 has an amazing suite of features but all of these features feel a bit useless when you think about an everyday computer user. It even has an Energy Manager which the company has developed to serve their users who use a Windows laptop.
The Ashampoo WinOptimizer 16 is priced at $39.99 but the company sells the program for $20 most of the time. You will need to pay $5 extra if you need premium support which will last for two years.
iolo System Mechanic (Free)
The iolo System Mechanic FREE is just what the name says. It is a free version of iolo’s System Mechanic which means it has a few limitations of its own. The free version lets you access the dashboard where you can remove internet and Windows junk files and also fix Registry issues but apart from that, every aspect of the program is not available for use on the free version.
If your major need with a PC cleaner is to automate the process of clearing up and deleting Internet and Windows junk files, the iolo System Mechanic FREE is a great choice for you.
The bottom line
Wrapping it up, CleanMyPC is a great CCleaner alternative for most people and since it comes from a respectable developer – MacPaw and has no history of being attacked by malwares (unlike CCleaner), I am going to completely switch to the program.
Coming to the price, CleanMyPC has an original price of $39.95 for a single PC license but MacPaw runs promos quite frequently where you can buy the program for $27.96 which is about 30% less than the original price. MacPaw also offers a two PC license for $59.95 and a five PC license for $89.95 which makes CleanMyPC an amazing deal for everyone.