When cleaning the PC, there are two different concepts. Most programs focus on a few, few problems and take care of them very thoroughly. The other faction sells as a panacea and is mostly found in the commercial area. The difficulty of these “all-rounders” is that they are so hard to control and understand. They often go to several construction sites at the same time and the user notices, because of the mass of alleged problems, that he lacks important data and programs are no longer running. Often enough, these tools also forego the possibility of a previous backup.
So I introduce some good PC-Cleaner and start with the specialists. The tools that either or only individually take care of certain problems and remnants and eliminate them.
A PC Cleaner for Registry, Hard Disk and Temp Folder
Programs create files. That’s often their purpose. But they also create files that are only needed for a short time. These temporary files are often or not sufficiently removed. This has two negative effects. The remains mulch the disk and the remains may contain telltale traces. We do not want both.
For a software, however, it is difficult to decide what is garbage and what is still needed. So the best is a solution in which all known “Mueller producers” are already stored, so that it knows where to search. Such a program is the freeware CCleaner. Anyone who is bothered by the fact that there are all the nose updates of this program, who did not understand the principle.
Not only that there are always updates of the supported software, a community around this PC-Cleaner also provides new profiles again and again, which then contain the locations of the garbage of various programs.
CCleaner does not offer us a dangerous “one click solution”. Instead, the departments “Cleaner” (Windows, Browser and Applications), Registry, Deinstallation, Autostart and hard disk wiper are processed individually. For registry changes, the tool creates a backup. And the hard drive wiper can override the free space of the hard disk with random characters to kill the last traces.
The PC Cleaner for the autostart group
Many applications contribute to Windows autostart, so that certain functions are available at all times. Each of these entries delays the boot process and consumes memory. Often this is completely unnecessary, because the corresponding functions are not used at all or only rarely. And then you can start it manually. If you look at his autostarts, you will be surprised to see what’s going on there. A quick start program for MS Office, a control surface for the printer and countless small programs that you would never have voluntarily installed.
For a quick overview of the entries of the startup and the automatically starting services, the free tool Sysinternals Autoruns is the best choice. It lists all automatically starting processes in a clear order and sorted by category. Clicking on a hook determines whether we want to allow the automatic start with Windows or not. Especially appealing and useful is the ability to right-click entries and then search online for whatever it is. The settings are saved when exiting and then Windows starts with less ballast.
Autoruns lists u.a. also the installed drivers and shows which are started and which should be started, but are deselected or missing. In this respect, this PC Cleaner not only cleans, but also helps with startup problems.
If you want to clean up your startup properly, then you can even go one step further with the tool. Because deselected starts usually remain in the list, they will not be executed anymore. The right cleaner function also allows us to delete entries completely from the autostart at this point.
And now a tip to avoid problems: Many problems with the startup could be prevented in a simple, but effective way. For this you have to simply monitor the auto-start function in the background permanently and strike or reject the moment in such a program wants to smuggle into the autostart. The StartupMonitor does this job ideally. As soon as an application wants to start the autostart, a warning window pops up and we decide for ourselves whether we allow or deny it. Problem solved…
PC Cleaner against viruses and Trojans
Viruses and Trojans should not really be left on the computer. The slogan is “preparedness”! The current anti-virus programs are trying their best there. But sometimes that’s just not good enough. A virus scanner can only reliably find what he knows. If a Trojan is brand new, then it gets through and then the whining is great. Especially with particularly insidious representatives, the manufacturers of anti-virus software often provide special cleaning tools that concentrate on a specific problem.
For this reason, I can not give any current tip here, what concerns such PC-Cleaner against Trojan and Co. But as some Trojans continue to spread within their family, there is at least some advice for the worst candidates.
With the Avira Antivir Rescue System we can boot a computer when nothing works. The system creates a bootable CD and provides itself at startup with the latest virus IDs. Then it starts. All drives are thoroughly scanned. Being a Linux system on CD, this PC-Cleaner can also cleanse or isolate files that are normally blocked by Windows or the Trojan itself. However, it should not be concealed that you often have to install after scanning a lot, because especially lousy Trojans have damaged the operating system.
Use a PC Cleaner to uninstall programs without leftovers
Freshly installed and untested programs are in ideal condition. They will work safely and have not yet stored any annoying files or entries anywhere. If you uninstall them now, they disappeared without a trace. This changes very fast as soon as you use them. If you want to get rid of them, it is almost certain that there will still be drivers, DLL files, configurations, registry keys and folders created in between.
One way to eliminate such remains is the CCleaner mentioned on page 1. But usually does not remove any installation remains, but only temporary files. Interestingly, there is already a freeware tool such as the Geek Uninstaller. It lists all installed applications and then offers us the possibility of uninstalling. OK, Windows can do that alone. But what follows after the uninstall is really interesting. Then the program searches namely in the registry and on the hard drive for entries and remaining paths and shows us this. We can then eliminate it with a click or choose what may still remain.
This tool is actually surpassed only by specialized installation supervisors who compare a snapshot before installation with the current state and then eliminate everything that probably comes from this program. But these things are risky and so I recommend instead the Geek Uninstaller. It may not be 100 percent safe, but definitely more thorough than the normal uninstall.