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CCleaner install and use Tips

CCleaner is one of the better utilities (as of 2009) for cleaning up the junk temp files that Microsoft's Windows and many Windows applications regularly leave behind on your harddrive gradually slowing down your system and making it more likely to misbehave (crash, do weird things, etc..). Unfortunately the installation defaults are often not the most appropriate for many users, so here are Andy's recommendations on making the most effective use of this tool.


After downloading CCleaner to a good spot on your harddrive(ideal to have a folder called C:\Downloads or similar), you will have a file called something like ccsetup225.exe that you should run (double click on it). Most of the first part is fairly straightforward that you can take the defaults, until you get to the 'Install Options' page with everything selected by default.

  • uncheck "Add Desktop Shortcut" unless you like having a very cluttered desktop
  • The first time I install CCleaner I leave this checked, but if the menus are being managed like I do, I uncheck "Add Start Menu Shortcuts"
  • for most people leaving both "Add .... to Recycle Bin" is a good thing
  • "Automatically check for updates..." good for those comfortable with this process, I uncheck it for systems where the user is not at all comfortable with steps like this. (i.e. where I get to do the work periodically.)
  • Uncheck "Add CCleaner Yahoo! Toolbar ..." or what ever added 'bonus' as they usually just get in the way. I automatically uncheck this unless someone really wants to lose control of their browser.

  • CCleaner Install Options

    Cleaning the Cr@p

    The first time you run CCleaner you want to do it manually to set what it does and doesn't clear as some of it you may actually want to keep normally. This is also a good thing to do any time you've installed a major program such as the ones specifically mentioned below or after you've found it is clearing things you don't want it to clear.

    CCleaner Windows options - CCleaner Applications options
    Example of settings that appear to be appropriate and safe for most people.

    Notes on Windows options:

  • Internet Explorer: You generally want to clean out (check) the Temporary Internet Files, History, and index.dat files. Many people like to keep their 'Recently Typed URLs' to make it easy to get back to sites they've been, but if you don't want others using your system to see where you've been, you might want to select that. To clear Cookies or not. If it is a shared system almost certainly should be cleared, but for a single user system is a personal decision of the convenience of sites remembering you vs privacy paranoia levels.
  • Advanced: Hotfix Uninstallers can occupy a lot of space and are generally not usable therefor good to get rid of. Now if only it could be set to only purge ones older than a week when they might actually be usable.
  • Notes on Applications options:

  • Browsers such as Firefox and Crome: You generally want to clean out (check) Internet Cache and Download history. To clear Cookies and 'Saved Form Info' or not. If it is a shared system almost certainly should be cleared, but for a single user system is a personal decision of the convenience of sites remembering you vs privacy paranoia levels.
  • Applications: Any MS Office instances should not be checked unless you want to be running for the Office install CDs on a regular basis just to use MS Office. The above example lacks MS Office as LibreOffice works just fine for me and has no complaints from being cleaned. Previously I've also used Open Office, though it is no longer the leading edge it used to be once the main developement team moved to the Libre Office group.

  • work in progress, more to follow. I might even remember to grab fresh screen shots next update, but the fundimentals haven't changed.

    Advanced topics, automating CCleaner, and General PC Maintenance

    Last updated 2012-12-02 Copyright © 1996-2012 Andy Konecny andyweb @