by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Best System Cleaner for Windows - Part 1

Why yet another ‘best system cleaner’ article?  Googling for the term presents at least 30 pages of similar reviews, so why one more?  Because,  we are going to see the results of actual tests.  And you decide for yourself.

The System Cleaners are also called as System Optimizer or System Utilities or Junk File Cleaners.  By whatever name we call them, they perform the same function.  They clean junk files, cookies, various caches & temporary files - internet, Windows, browsers and other software - optimize the system and speed up the PC.

We will evaluate only the Junk file (temporary files, web cache, cookies, and the like) cleaning ability, and not their Registry Cleaning ability (not in this series of articles at least).

Caveats / Cautions:
The criteria for picking and testing the various System Cleaners or Junk File Cleaners are:
  • ease of use - should be easy for almost everyone to use;
  • easy and short learning curve - so that people do not make a mess of their PC;
  • free - free as in free beer at least;
  • not necessarily free for commercial use - only free for personal use;
  • preferably portable;
  • they *can* be Nagware or 'optional Adware' - though a system cleaner, optimizer, utility itself placing such crap on the system sounds self-contradictory.
For the record, I don’t have any commercial relationship of any type with any of the tool authors or their business.

Condition / Environment:
Test PC:
2014 & 2012:
Intel Core i5-2320 on Intel DH61WW MB,
4GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM,
Barracuda Seagate ST3500630AS HDD,
NVIDIA GeForce GT-520 Graphics Card.

The OS:
2012: Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1 64 bit.
2014: Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit.

During the test, only the following additional software were running -
2012: Comodo Internet Security 5.12; Lightscreen 1.01. 
2014: Comodo Internet Security 7.0; Lightscreen 1.01; KeyScrambler

The basic standard for cleaning - the benchmark - was what CCleaner & Bleachbit (with Winapp2.ini) could do.  [This is a personal and unilateral decision because these 2 system cleaners have never let me down].  So the test basically evaluates whether other junk cleaners do a better job than these 2.  A System Cleaner which does not present the details of ‘problems found’ after a ‘scan’ or offer options to uncheck / unselect a particular files is disappointing.

Similarly a System Cleaner, Optimizer or Utility which looks for an internet connection (apart from program update search) before scanning is not impressive.

Every tool was configured to clean the Internet Cache, Temporary Files, Temporary Internet Files, most cookies, User MRU Lists, et. al., and nothing else.

CCleaner was configured *not* to clean: (other System or Junk File Cleaners were configured, to match those settings)

  • (Wipe) Free Space;
  • AdwCleaner & Hostsman backups
  • Cached File Extensions
  • Saved Search Folders.
  • (Wipe) Free Space;
  • Windows 7/8 shellbags;
  • Menu order cache;
  • Tray notifications cache;
  • Windows size/location cache;
  • Windows backup (logs);
  • NVDIA (play on my TV);
  • NVDIA graphics driver installation files.

Update 3: Rewritten with Criteria and Settings of 2014 tests
Update 2: Rewritten to reflect the 2012 wrap-up test results.
Update:  Original post was edited and split into 3 posts for user readability. ;-)

The test results are in-
What is the Best freeware System Cleaner for Windows?- Part2, and
What is the Best freeware System Cleaner for Windows?- Part3

Related posts:
What is new in BleachBit 0.9.4
Saturday Routine for clean, fast PC

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