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7 Ways To Use CCleaner Like A Pro

with 15 comments



(Guest Post by Ashutosh Mishra)

System cleaning apps for Windows are a dime a dozen these days, but there is just one that has been holding the throne for a long long time – CCleaner. With its small footprint, superfast cleaning, and attention to detail, CCleaner has remained insanely popular for years.

CCleaner is plenty good as it is, but did you know that it can do quite a bit more than manual system cleaning? In this post, we shall see how you can utilize some of the lesser known features of CCleaner to make the most of this wonderful app.

1. Amp up CCleaner with CCleaner Enhancer

ccleaner enhancer

While CCleaner can clean junk off a decent number of programs, there are many apps that it doesn’t support yet. CCleaner Enhancer singlehandedly eliminates that issue by adding support to over 270 apps to CCleaner. After installing the Enhancer and running a clean up, you’ll certainly gain more disk space than usual.

2. Put CCleaner on a thumb drive for quickly cleaning slow PCs

portable ccleaner

Being the staple tech support guy of my family, I am a sucker for portable apps. The fact that you can put them on a thumb drive and use them on any computer is nothing short of awesome. CCleaner is obviously one of those apps you will want while fixing up someone else’s computer, and hence a portable version is quite a necessity.

Thankfully, Piriform provides an official portable build of CCleaner with all the bells and whistles of its installable counterpart. Grab it here.

3. Securely wipe off entire hard drive partitions with CCleaner’s Drive Wiper

ccleaner drive wiper

Drive Wiper is a recent addition to CCleaner and it securely wipes off partitions and external hard drives that you have plugged into your computer. This is especially useful when you’re trying to sell or discard your hard disk, and you don’t want anyone to retrieve all the data on it.

As you’d expect, the Drive Wiper can only remove the free space from the system partition (and not the entire partition), as it’d otherwise corrupt your entire system.

You’ll find the Drive Wiper under the “Tools” side-tab.

4. Automate CCleaner clean-ups with Windows Task Scheduler

Keeping your computer clean and clutter-free isn’t exactly a task that should bother about – it should magically happen in the background! While CCleaner doesn’t have any automatic cleaning feature built into it, you can get it to run periodically using the Windows Task Scheduler. Just follow the steps below to get started:

  • Open Task Scheduler, and create a “basic” task from the right sidebar.
  • Give a name to the task, set its frequency (we’d say weekly). Under Actions, select the Start a program option, and enter the full path for CCleaner. It’s usually this:
    • C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe
  • You obviously want this happen without your intervention, so enter the /AUTO argument in the given field.

ccleaner scheduling

  • In the final step, make sure you’ve checked the “Open the Properties dialog….” option before clicking the Finish button.
  • In the Properties dialog, set the task to “run with highest privileges”, and set any suitable run conditions under the “Conditions” tab. You’ll be prompted for your Windows password so that the task can have elevated privileges.

Screenshot-0045

Once the task has been scheduling, it’s time you get back to doing some actual work on your computer, and let Task Scheduler and CCleaner do the job of keeping your PC clean. For a more detailed, screenshot rich guide on accomplishing the same, check out this piece by the How-To Geek.

5. Launch CCleaner in auto-cleaning mode with a keyboard shortcut

Lets say that you really don’t like the idea of creating a schedule for running CCleaner automatically, but would like the manual cleaning process to be as simple as possible. Well, we have got you covered here as well!

Right-click anywhere on your desktop, click on New > Shortcut, and enter the path for the shortcut as shown in the screenshot.

Create_Shortcut-0046

Now right click on the shortcut, go to Properties, and enter any suitable keyboard combination you’d like under the “Shortcut key” field (lets say Shift+Alt+C). You have to make sure that the keyboard shortcut hasn’t already been assigned to some other task by you or the operating system.

CCleaner_Properties-0038

6. Reclaim disk space by removing old System Restore points

Windows regularly creates system restore points, so that you can easily go back in time in case something untoward happens. However, these system restore points can accumulate over time and take up as much as 10-15% of your system partition!

CCleaner helps you quickly remove the old system restore points with a click of a button. Go to Tools –> System Restore, select all or any of the old restore points, and hit the “Remove” button to get rid of them. You’ll find that the newest restore point is always disabled, so that you always have a fall-back option  when something gets screwed up.

7. Prevent CCleaner from deleting useful browser cookies

Screenshot-0036

While browser cookies get all the hate of this world, the true fact is that a vast majority of them are actually useful. They should be deleted every once in a while, but definitely not every time CCleaner runs.

To tackle this issue, CCleaner 3 introduced smart cookie deletion, which allows it to remove only the unnecessary tracking cookies while keeping the useful ones. However, it’s a work-in-progress and still far from perfect. A better solution is to disable cookie deletion in CCleaner altogether. To do this, open CCleaner, look for the browser that use you use (say Chrome), and uncheck the “Cookies” option. You can also uncheck other options that you don’t want to be deleted, for example saved passwords, and autofill data.

So that was a list of lesser known CCleaner tricks. If you have your own little CCleaner hacks, let them out in the comments!

Ashutosh Mishra is the loony editor of PC Tonic, who wishes for a CCleaner for human beings.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

April 11th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Posted in software tools

Tagged with ,

  • http://pcgeekblog.com Gouthaman Karunakaran

    Never knew about launching CCleaner in auto-cleaning mode. That is a total #win!

  • http://www.bluetricks.co.cc Bluetricks

    I find many problems in ccleaner’s registry cleaner function. Once finish cleaning broken registry n all on next login Some problem will occur surely. So i just use 1st function thats it.

  • http://www.patenttrademarklitigation.com/index.html Patent Application

    The update doesn’t stop there, however. CCleaner is now better at scanning your registry for unused file extensions, obsolete software references, and invalid browser helper objects (BHOs). Cookie management has been improved with the addition of iTunes support and tweaks to CCleaner’s Intelligent cookie keeper.

  • http://twitter.com/jelleverg Jelle Vergeer
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Lord/100000995119397 Jack Lord

    I always knew CCleaner was awesome. It is amazing that this product is freeware! A cue to those other shameless “virus cleaning software” hawkers that thrusting oneself upon customers with scare tactics and underhanded alarmist pop-ups only serves to alienate people in droves.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    Indeed. Pretty handy because it can happen unattended.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    Agreed. CCleaner is a humble piece of software. The Piriform guys deserve even more popularity.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    This seems like a nice tool to have for all CCleaner fanboys like me. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    I’ve been using it for years and I’ve never had even a minor issue with it. Not sure why you are having trouble.

  • Joshua Tz

    These are awesome and almost all of them I had never heard about, but you did miss a rather important one. When it comes to cookie cleaning in CC you left out that there is an option that allows to exclude certain cookies from deletion. It is really easy to setup and lets you exclude any domain cookies, so you can keep your browser logged into various websites (google, facebook, really any site you want) and only eliminate cookies that you really have no use for.

  • Pingback: Checklist: Consider These 3 Things Before Discarding Your Old Computer

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    Thanks @5785cfdca378ff2586344409c57fccac:disqus  
    We totally forgot that one. I use that feature myself.

  • lorenzooooooooooea

    Hmm the only interesting one that im not aware of was the first for the unlocker program, the rest are pretty standard :D 

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    CCleaner is also available for the Mac, although at this time, not with as meany features as for Windows. I have used it on Windows for years and Mac systems for some time and have recommended it to many people. To date, I have never received a complaint about it from anyone. That alone, is a great statement about its safety and reliability.

  • http://milano.xbakeka.com/incontri-adulti/donna-cerca-uomo/milano-1 Donna Cerca Uomo Milano

    I just setup CCleaner to run when my computer starts. Why all these steps ?