CCleaner vs PrivaZer – Which is more effective?


ccleaner vs privazer

A classic confrontation – the venerable old feller versus the upstart newcomer! Back in February 2012 we presented a series of articles comparing three alternatives to the well established CCleaner. You can catch up with those articles here: Part 1: SlimCleanerPart 2: Toolwiz CarePart 3: Wise Disk CleanerPart 4: Conclusion

At that point in time, PrivaZer was pretty new and unknown to me so didn’t feature in the comparisons. Since then though I’ve adopted this excellent [relatively] new freeware as my default cleaning tool of choice and published two reviews: PrivaZer: PC cleanup & privacy tool and more recently PrivaZer 2 Released: Revisit this excellent cleaning & privacy tool.

So, in order to round off the comparison series, and also to appease fellow author and good mate Richard Pedersen, what follows are the results of a comparison test between CCleaner and PrivaZer.

CCleaner vs PrivaZer – The Methodology

First off, I must point out that it is very difficult to configure two individual cleaning tools to clean exactly the same areas in exactly the same way. I set up CCleaner as I would if using it myself, enabling those additional options over and above defaults which I suspect would generally be selected by more advanced users. I also disabled cleaning of the registry and free space in PrivaZer, even though it would make very little difference to the end result. These items are treated separately by CCleaner and I wanted to sync settings as closely as possible. Besides which, the primary objective here is to see which of the two is most effective at getting rid of the junk.

I utilized the excellent Toolwiz TimeFreeze for this exercise. TimeFreeze creates a virtual environment whereby any changes to the system can be discarded and the system easily restored to its previous state.  So, the process involved the following:

  1. Start TimeFreeze
  2. Run CCleaner, clean the system and record the results
  3. Stop TimeFreeze and discard all changes
  4. Run PrivaZer, clean the system and compare the results
  5. Both tools were set to basic 1-pass only cleaning

CCleaner vs PrivaZer – The Results

ccleaner - cleanup

As you can see from the above screenshot, CCleaner removed 513MB of junk, with time to completion coming in at a tick over 3 mins 41 seconds


PrivaZer - cleaning results

PrivaZer freed up 791MB of space…  278MB more than CCleaner… with time to completion exactly 3 mins 15 seconds.

So, the differential is certainly enough to swear by. Both these excellent products include secure methods for deletion as well as the requisite safety precautions – each provides an option to “save’ changes to the registry, while PrivaZer offers an additional option to automatically create a restore point prior to cleaning. Featurewise they are pretty much on a par, although CCleaner does include several additional tools. Even though this has been a fairly basic test, I believe PrivaZer wins out in the efficacy department.

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele… as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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