CCleaner certainly has a faithful following. Seems every time I write anything negative about the popular junk file cleaner, there are plenty of users prepared to jump to its defense.
I’ve been messing with computers for over 40 years, have been fixing and building computers for 25 plus years, and started writing about computers, technology, and software, in particular, some 15 years ago. Way back in 2012 I wrote a series of articles comparing CCleaner’s effectiveness with a number of free alternatives and, in every case, CCleaner came out second best. I am now going to revisit that topic and show you just how CCleaner compares when performing its core functionality.
CCleaner vs Wise Disk Cleaner
First off, a comparison between CCleaner and Wise Disk Cleaner’s junk file cleaning abilities. I am performing analysis scans only, one immediately after the other, and on the exact same system in the exact same state (click on any of the images to enlarge):
CCleaner identified 562MB worth of junk files for deletion.
Wise Disk Cleaner identified 823MB worth of junk files for deletion. And, invoking the Advanced Cleaner option identified a further 231MB for a total of 1054MB. Near enough to double what CCleaner identified. It’s been a little over a week since I last ran a disk cleaner on this system so, by my calculations, at the end of 12 months CCleaner would have missed around 16GB of junk files still clogging up the system.
I could go on comparing CCleaner with other junk file cleaners – such as PrivaZer, for example – but I can assure you the results are just as bad, if not worse, for CCleaner.
CCleaner vs Wise Registry Cleaner
Now let’s take a look at CCleaner’s registry cleaning function. I am not an advocate for cleaning the registry myself but this is merely an exercise to prove a point. In a recent article – Should You Clean The Registry – I made the point that, while CCleaner’s registry cleaner has been proven to be safe to use, it errs so much on the side of safety that it is next to useless. Here then is a comparison between CCleaner’s registry cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner – again, analysis scans only on the exact same system in the exact same state:
CCleaner identified 19 registry items for removal.
Wise Registry Cleaner identified 296 items for removal. I might add that WRC includes two scan modes – Fast Scan and Deep Scan – the former being the safest option. The 296 items identified by WRC were a result of the Fast Scan. WRC’s Deep Scan identified 391 items for removal.
Again, this comparison can be made with any free Registry cleaning software and the results will be more or less the same.
I can understand and appreciate users’ loyalty to CCleaner which has been around for many years and withstood the test of time. And, I am not saying CCleaner is terrible software either, it does a half-decent job and includes several useful tools. What I am saying though is that CCleaner is nowhere near as effective at performing its core functions as other free alternatives.
NOTE: I chose Wise Disk Cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner for the comparisons because both have proven to be safe to use and both have a portable version available.