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Aiming to alleviate this slow down situation is a software entitled Ccleaner. Originally developed by Piriform, a company which has taken on the name of its most famous offering and now forms part of the Avast family of products, Ccleaner (the software) comes in a free version or the Professional option which I have been looking at for the basis of this review.
Now up to version 5.65, Ccleaner Professional follows a fairly standard pattern. After downloading the software and providing the necessary registration details, such as user name and license key which consists of letters, numbers and dashes, you can access the various features of the product. The opening view will be familiar to users of previous versions of the software as you are presented with a list of categories running down the left side of the screen.
But while appearing familiar, it is not exactly the same. Heading the list of categories is a new entry entitled Health Check. This new feature has been designed specifically to gather the various cleaning and tuning tools, for which Ccleaner is well renowned, in a single place for easier access. Included amongst its remit are elements covering the improvement of speed, space and privacy while not forgetting aspects of security.
Health Check, with its intension of extending the life of the computer and optimising its performance, starts off by checking your personal computers health and often seems to find issues which it is happy to attempt resolving. These issues could be categorised as Privacy, Space, Speed and Security. In the case of the test system, Health Check noted there were 1470 trackers to remove, 26.7MB of junk to remove (I do have a squirrel complex when it comes to disposing of unwanted items) and 2 apps to update. It was happy to retain all my start-up apps.
Giving the Health Check a free reign with regards removing issues, I let it set about making my computer better and free from the issues detected by Ccleaner. This process took just under two minutes but left behind 11 trackers and 1.2MB of junk. The two programs that Health Check felt required updates were Corel Paint Shop Pro 2020 and Skype. In the case of Corel Paint Shop Pro this software was fully up-to-date while Skype was not a program I ever use and so I was not too happy when Health Check insisted on re-installing the latest version. and so I removed it.
Running the Health Check several more times, revealed various numbers of trackers that the software felt should be removed while the space that could be regained by removing junk varied greatly with each run of the feature. I then decided to move on to the next option which was entitled Custom Clean.
Switching its approach to displaying its facilities, Custom Clean provides you with a list of topics that have been divided into categories of Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, System and Advanced. You can cherry-pick the items you wish to be included in the checking process that Ccleaner will carry out when required. You can first select Analyse to view what is about to happen and, when satisfied, run the Cleaner option.
Ccleaner will also scan for issues that may reside within the Registry. As with the Custom Clean, you can cherry-pick the items you wish to be tackled. Selections can be made from categories such as Missing Shared DLLs, ActiveX and Class Issues plus Obsolete Software and Windows Services. The software will scan for issues and list them in a scrollable list from which you can select those items to be fixed.
For those looking for a more direct approach to a particular issue, Ccleaner has a Tools section. Within this section, you will find tools to update software, check the programs running at start-up, check browser plug-ins, analyse disks, find duplicates, check restore points and wipe a specific disk. You also have the ability to adjust Ccleaner's performance with a Settings section as you exclude, include and schedule the downloading of updates amongst others.
While I was impressed with Ccleaner's speed of operation, I do have a couple of reservations that relate to the new Health Check facility. It was worrying to note the almost constant change in the number of trackers identified; its insistence at trying to update a program that was up-to-date and the removal of the "Remember me" settings from a couple of websites I access on a regular basis. With regards to the latter issues, I had to manually replace these personal settings
The price of Ccleaner Professional has remained the same as the previous edition with a single license costing £14.98. The program will run on any version of Windows since Windows XP 32 and 64-bit products.
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