CCleaner: How to use a free PC cleaner

CCleaner free

CCleaner is by far the most popular cleaning program and the most frequently downloaded on the Internet in its category. No wonder: the program removes information garbage from your hard drive and from the Windows registry, and thoroughly erases traces of use. Version 6.13 is currently available and can be downloaded here for free:

PC-Cleaner: removing data garbage and browser traces

Since the security provider Avast acquired the maker of CCleaner Piriform in 2017, the popular cleaner has changed its face. If you used to have to go through endless lists of configurations to clean your computer, the new “Health Check” is now a starting point for the program. The Piriform manufacturer has introduced this feature since version 5.57 and made it a standard cleanup: it shows not the usual multitude of settings, but an assistant that determines the “health” of the computer – and points to further optimization potential, which, however, is only possible with the paid Pro version.

After clicks, CCleaner will optimize what it finds if you need to scan your PC and fix problems. Disadvantage: Users will not know exactly what the software detects and removes here. It is possible that data that you would like to save will also be lost. Don’t worry: you can always go back to the old search function via Advanced Cleaner . There you can set the search and delete area for Windows and other applications . Then click “Analyze” , and once the search is complete, you’ll get a detailed prediction of the deletion. By clicking on Start Cleaner, it performs the cleanup.

Reg Cleaner: Clean the registry

In addition to data garbage and browser traces, CCleaner cleans the Windows registry database (“Registry”), where the operating system saves all settings. A lot of data junk also accumulates here over time, faulty links can even lead to problems with Windows. However, even cleaning the registry is not without risk. To safely clean the registry, do the following:

  1. Press “Registry”. , “Scan for errors” and wait for the scan.
  2. Click View Selected Problems…
  3. Save the entries you want to delete by clicking Yes and Save and clicking Correct selected errors. Since deleting registry entries may reveal more problems, repeat the process until no new findings appear.
  4. If there are problems with Windows and other programs after cleaning, double-click the *.reg file saved in the previous step and confirm by double-clicking Yes to reset the changed values.

CCleaner Free: Free Features

Even in its free version, CCleaner offers many add-ons that make it even more valuable. Here is an overview of all the extra features:


CCleaner lists all installed programs here. Unlike Windows settings, you can not only delete them with the corresponding buttons, but also repair, rename or delete them if necessary. The latter is useful if an already deleted program is still displayed in Windows settings.

Program software updater (pro)

In this area, CCleaner lists all outdated programs on your hard drive. To update them, click “Update All” or click on each desired program and “Update”.

auto start

Here CCleaner lists programs that automatically start with Windows as stowaways – usually unnecessary and slowing down your computer. Active autoruns can be recognized by marking “Yes” in the “Activated” column. To change this, click on each entry and select “Disable”.

browser plug-ins

Internet browsers often run many extensions that slow down your computer or are even dangerous. You can get an overview in this area: If the “Yes” note is in the “Activated” column, the plugin is active. If you don’t need it, click on it and select “Disable”.

Disk Analyzer

Want to know which files are taking up the most space on your hard drive? Then click here on all and analyze . After the following search, CCleaner lists the biggest wastes of space and shows which types of data are especially memory-hungry. If you want to delete a displayed file, right-click it and select Open containing folder . Then delete the file as usual in the Windows Explorer that appears.

Search for duplicates

With this feature you can quickly find duplicate files on your hard drive. If necessary, change the search parameters displayed and then click “Search” and “OK” . The program will now list each duplicate file along with the duplicate. Select the ones you don’t need and click “Delete Selected”.

System Restore

Here, CCleaner lists all available Windows system restore backups. Since they sometimes take up a lot of storage space, you can delete them if you don’t have enough space by clicking the entry and then Delete . The last backup cannot be deleted.

Disk Cleaner

With this feature, you irretrievably overwrite entire hard disks or just free disk space. For example, if you want to erase deleted files on a Windows drive, leave the “Free space only” cleaning option unchanged, select the C: drive and click “Delete “.

Customize CCleaner perfectly

In the Options area, you can customize the program to your personal needs. Here are the most important settings:

  • Settings: This is where you define basic settings such as the menu language. For example, if you want CCleaner to launch with a classic look instead of a health check, click “Advanced Cleanup” under “CCleaner Initial Look” .
  • Cookies: in this area, you specify the cookies that you don’t want CCleaner to delete automatically – for example, because the website in question no longer works properly. You click on the desired cookie in the list on the left and use the right arrow to move it to the list on the right.
  • Enable/Disable: here you specify the folders that CCleaner should clear or skip each deletion process.
  • Privacy: if you don’t want CCleaner to collect any user data, uncheck all the checkboxes here.
  • License key: If necessary, enter the key for the Pro version of CCleaner here.

Other options, such as time control, automatic browser cleaning (Smart Cleaning) and cleaning of other Windows user accounts, are only available in the Pro version.

CCleaner: free vs. professional

CCleaner is available to private users in different versions. The free version of CCleaner Free contains all the basic features that are usually sufficient in everyday life – such as deleting unnecessary data to speed up your PC and protect your privacy. Nevertheless, it comes with adware unless you uncheck the appropriate box during installation. Therefore Ai-Lookup as an alternative offers a portable version and a so-called thin version, which also contains no adware – downloads can be found above.

CCleaner Professional is interesting for advanced users . Among other things, the option automatically cleans and optimizes the PC, removes trackers and updates drivers. However, there is a fee for the Pro version: an annual subscription costs 29.95 euros for use on a PC. If you want to optimize up to three PCs, you can use CCleaner Professional Plus for 49.95 euros, which also contains Piriform Defraggler (defragmentation), Recuva (data recovery) and Speccy (hardware analysis). CCleaner Premium with five devices is available for €79.95, including Kamo tracking protection and macOS and Android versions. All options are currently available at Excessive 20 percent off . You pay only €23.96 instead of €29.95 for CCleaner Pro, €39.96 instead of €49.95 for CCleaner Pro Plus, and €63.96 instead of €79.95 for the premium version.

CCEnhancer: Find more junk

CCleaner cleans traces of many, but not all programs. You can do more with CCEnhancer: a free tool that requires no installation, greatly increasing the number of software traces you can remove. According to the manufacturer, once installed, CCleaner finds and removes data junk from more than 1,000 other programs – so you can free up even more memory space. Note. CCleaner is sometimes slower with new cleanup signatures, but the delays are mostly tolerable.

CCleaner free
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