If there was one word which could best describe your Windows Operating System it would probably be dirty. Over time, it accumulates tons of unnecessary data that take up space on your hard drive and uses up a lot of resources. CCleaner is a must-have tool if you want to keep your computer working at its best as it includes cleaning tools, start-up analysis, registry optimization, and an application uninstall assistant.
CCleaner includes a complete system analysis that can find its way to every corner on your computer in order to find all kinds of unnecessary files such as: temporary internet files, obsolete registry keys, badly done installations, cookies or other remnants of files on your browser, among many other things.
The cleaner can scan many different areas on your computer, including the recycle bin, temporary internet files and the clipboard, although its main benefit is that it supports many additional programs, from Adobe tools to Office packages. All of them can accumulate trash files which can then be eliminated.
You can set it up once it is installed so that the CCleaner options in the recycling bin menu appear, even though many of the tools are found within the program itself, with a very easy to understand interface and relatively high speeds.
HOW TO REMOVE MALWARE FROM YOUR COMPUTER
Infecting your PC is all too easy. Even if you have an up-to-date, active antivirus you might still accidentally click on a link you shouldn’t and within a few seconds you’ll be in malware up to your ears. Each case is a world unto itself as there’s loads of malicious software out there with different infection systems.
Stop malicious processes
Okay, so now we’re in safe mode. If you haven’t done it, you should disable your WiFi or cable connection to isolate the problem. We’re going to start to cross problems off our list. We start up RKill to stop all the resident processes and keep them from becoming invisible to your antivirus or directly prevented from launching. Click on the .exe file and in a system symbol window you’ll see the result of the analysis.
The next step is to check whether some software has been installed without your consent. To do so you’ll go to the Add and Remove Programs from Windows section, or better still, open CCleaner and go to Tools > Installed programs. You should sort your installed programs by date of installation and check the most recent ones. Get rid of all the ones you deem suspicious. While you’re in CCleaner it’s also a good idea to go to Tools > Startup and have a look. Never fear, there’s practically nothing indispensable here and you’re not going to ruin anything if you deactivate something.
Proceed to the disinfect phase
Now you open MalwareBytes, and go to the scanner tab, where you’ll click Analyze Now. After a few minutes you’ll see a final message where, if you click the Accept button, you’ll see a report of the detected elements. You’ll tick all of them and then click the lower Remove Selected button. If it asks you to restart, make sure you postpone it as you still have things to do.
In the case of disinfect tools it’s always a good idea to use more than one (note that I mean malware detectors, not antiviruses with resident protection, as the latter usually provoke conflicts amongst themselves if you install more than one). We’re going to use ADWCleaner, whose process is very similar to the one we’ve just done with MalwareBytes. You’ll start the program, click the scan button, and after seeing the results you’ll click the Clean button.
Before proceeding to restart it’s a good idea to look over your browser, as that’s probably where the infection came from in the first place. Each case is unique, but often the program is solved by resetting the browser to its default to reverse the possible installation of a malicious extension or any change made to the normal start page.
Check your computer is clean
So: are we good? Whether you have an antivirus installed or not, you’re going to use ESET Online Scanner to check your current status, as this useful online analysis tool updates your database and does the scan during the install process.
Clear out the debris
Last of all, we leave everything how it was before, and for that CCleaner’s registry cleaner and temporary file remover should do the trick perfectly. Likewise, it might be a good idea to uninstall ADWCleaner and with it the items in quarantine that it has sequestered. In the program itself there’s an Uninstall button that will take care of that for you.
CCLEANER FOR DUMMIES: HOW TO SQUEEZE THE MOST OUT OF THIS USEFUL TOOL
CCleaner shows up any place where people are talking about things related to the maintenance and optimization of your PC, and its utility and efficiency are undisputed. That said, do you really know what the program is capable of? The general idea is that it lets you ‘remove junk files’ and clean your registry, but actually that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the number of things you can do with it. Here’s a review of a few things you might not have known you can do with CCleaner.
The system cleaner lets you remove temporary files from loads of installed programs and system services. In both the Windows and Programs tab you can select what you want to analyze and start the automated process, the main aim of which is to free up space on your local drives. And it’s even possible to expand the list of programs that can be cleaned, which is already quite long, even further.
What Windows does, but easier
Let’s be honest, most of the maintenance you can do with CCleaner can be done with the default tools on Windows, although not as clearly and ‘cozily’ as with the processes offered by the Piriform software. If we go to the Tools section you’ll have access to the following sections:
- Uninstall programs: A substitute for the Windows feature of the same name to uninstall programs, with the benefit that you can remove the keys of deleted programs whose entries still remain on the list.
- Start: The viewer for programs and services that start with the operating system when you turn on your computer – it’s practically a copy of the msconfig service on Windows, where you can also manage your browser add-ons and scheduled system tasks.
- Duplicate files: Not much to explain here… a small tool to search your disk units for duplicate files, with enough filters to be as specific as you like.
- System restore: Don’t get confused here, this section doesn’t directly correspond with the Windows tool to create restore points and reset your system. It actually lets you delete the restore points, as each one can occupy between 300MB and 3GB.
- Delete drive: Everyone knows how to format a unit from the Windows file explorer, although the process isn’t completely efficient as there are lots of recovery tools. This CCleaner tool, besides removing the content of a unit, overwrites all the drive’s sections several times so that those recovery processes are impossible to carry out.
The section very few people go into, the Options tab is a small hodgepodge of different features you might find useful. In the Setup section you’ll find things as useful as the secure erase, which removes temporary files from the cleaner and overwrites them to avoid their recovery just like with the Delete Drive tool described above. On this same menu you can enable an option for CCleaner to scan when Windows starts up, as well as include a program within the system context menu.
The cookies manager lists all cookies stored by your browsers, and you can completely erase them or add them to an ‘allowed’ list to keep them. Both sections of including and excluding let you add exceptions and associate extra folders to consider (or not) during the different optimization processes on CCleaner. In the Advanced section you can find interesting features like the option to make the program or the computer itself shut down after a cleaning.