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.

20 Comments

  1. Again, thanks Jim. An excellent and fair comparison. This is exactly why I use PrivaZer, because of its efficacy and ease of use.
    I run Wise Disk Cleaner, and CCleaner first, and Privazer last.

    PivaZer wins every time, getting many MB freed up. Using the three cleaners, the first two being very fast, seems to me good policy for maintaining a clean PC.

  2. I’ll have to check out the cleaner alternatives to CCleaner from this and the previous articles, but I’ve been using BleachBit instead of CCleaner. It’s appearance is similar to CCleaner, but it’s much faster and I believe cleans more for what I’ve selected. It does not have a registry cleaner, but then I don’t use CCleaner’s registry cleaner anyway. I use an old version of EasyCleaner for that, one which is still very conservative.

  3. I use Revo Uninstaller then run CCleaner the registry part and it finds quite a few registry entries left behind but I just might try Privazer for myself thanks for the test results.

  4. One thing I have learned (the hard way) about CCleaner, I used to trust it to remove registry entries that would not affect my computer, at least at the default settings. For several years, this seemed to work. But now I have had to reinstall windows because all my computers would start having the mouse and keyboard start to freeze up for 5-10 seconds, and then the computer would sometimes freeze up entirely. One online game I play also started giving me problems. Since reinstalling Windows, and avoiding cleaning the registry, I have not had any problems. I may continue to use CCleaner for clearing files, but now I will look into this program, thanks.

  5. I tried PrivaZer, but it didn’t create a restore point, although I checked the option. I use Win8 64-bit. Can you tell me why?
    Also, it would be interesting how CCleaner with CCEnhancer would stack up against “stock” CCleaner.

    • Sorry for the late comment. I use PrivaZer on 32 and 64 bit Windows 8.1 computers, without problems. Totally recommend this product, Mindblower!

  6. Comparing Privazer and CCleaner without knowing exactly what they do or don’t clean, and how they clean it, is ludicrous. You don’t even know precisely what it is you’re comparing. And, it is especially ludicrous when you aren’t even certain that what the program is doing to your computer is going to result in problems. CCleaner is known to take a fairly conservative approach to “cleaning” a computer, for just that reason. I’m sorry, but, in my opinion, this review/comparison is not terribly useful. I think it inappropriately attempts to simplify something that shouldn’t be viewed as a simple matter.

    • Comparing Privazer and CCleaner without knowing exactly what they do or don’t clean, and how they clean it, is ludicrous

      Seeing how each program includes its own list of exactly what is being cleaned, what would be “ludicrous” is anyone not knowing what they do or don’t clean. And, in both cases the “how” is industry standard and can be user selected – from the default simple 1 pass through to multiple pass options.

      And, it is especially ludicrous when you aren’t even certain that what the program is doing to your computer is going to result in problems

      PrivaZer has a userbase in excess of 200,000, if it wasn’t a safe application I think we might have heard about it by now.

      I clearly stated in the intro that it is difficult to compare these types of cleaning tools. I also enumerated the steps taken to try and sync settings for the two applications as closely as possible.

      I don’t mind at all when somebody disagrees, as is their prerogative, and I generally respect other people’s opinions, but I do take umbrage at unnecessary rudeness.

  7. 8 Months ago i installed Privazer on 2 computers, on a third i never installed Privazer, these are similar computers, after 6 months i have BIG problems with the first, this computer get instable, friezed screens, spontaneous program closings, spontaneous computer reboots.

    After a register check it appears that the register was corrupt, the only solution was a re-install of Windows 7, since 3 weeks the second one has the same problems and it is very irritating, especially with audio editing, this computer must also re-installed with Windows 7.

    The third computer has none of the problems so far, and it never shall be because Privazer is never used on this computer.

    Privazer kills very slowly your register in Windows like a slow working virus, if a surtain damage is reached then your system get instable and at the end you must re-install the computer because it is the only solution to repair your computer.

    DON’T USE PRIVAZER, it is the most terrible program to “Clean” you’re register, i used CCLEANER again, it is 100% SAFE and has never given a problem with one of my computers or laptops, in my opinion Privazer is a virus because it works excatly te same as a virus in your registry.

    • Dirk, I’ve been using PrivaZer on three Windows 7 machines ever since it was first released, I’ve not had any problems at all. I would be interested to hear what steps you took to check the registry?

  8. Hi friends…

    I have tried Privazer awhile back (1 year ago) with no issues at all but still using always trusted Ccleaner. I just find it difficult to leave Ccleaner. I have never encountered the slights problem with Ccleaner after so many years and I guess that after that kind of experience why should I try some other tool. I understand that technology is always advancing and we have new and better tools for our PC’s but I will stay with old faithful Ccleaner. It’s developers release frequent up-dates so it’s always in a good maintenance environment. Yes, Privazer, no doubt, is a good tool and worthy to be on our PC’s but I will keep on using Ccleaner.

  9. PS ….. Just had to come back and say that your site is really great and very informative. This is my first time here so you will see me very often. Thanks for you info and expertise on Wins 7 and all the other stuff you have here.

    George Melendez
    Puerto Rico

  10. Yes indeed Privazer may be more thorough than CCleaner but with CCleaner a novice or intermediate even is less likely to damage their system. Privazer in the wrong hands of one who does not understand what they are doing will send them right to the “Reinstall OS” stage.

    Privazer is a tool not to be taken lightly nor to be used by ANYONE who does not understand what they are doing, you CAN render your system unbootable with this tool. This is something Privazer never has and still does not warn users about when using it.

    • For the later reason alone is why I stick with CCleaner, with the size of today’s HDD’s a couple of hundred mb is nothing in comparison when you have to reinstall your entire OS.

      When Privazer starts instructing the users of it’s hazards, maybe I’ll reconsider.

      • Are you speaking from experience Ed or merely repeating what you’ve read somewhere?

        I’ve been using PrivaZer for years, ever since it first came out, never changed a setting, just use it at default right out of the box and NEVER had one single issue.

        These types of dramatic sweeping statements don’t really help anyone Ed, examples and specifics would be far more constructive.

  11. Just as we are all unique, we all have and use a unique computer, running unique software, with unique setting, with unique computer experience. As unique as we are, we have different health results, so do our computers. Might better explain why some have problems while others are problem free, Mindblower!

  12. I do computer work for friends and family and have used PrivaZer for two years with no problems. This includes all the computer that I have worked on which is about 50. I “fix” computers by using Malwarebytes and PrivaZer. Never had a failure. Thank you Malwarebytes and PrivaZer.

    I recommend that all my customers run these two programs once a week, except those that have the paid version of Malwarebytes which is memory resident.

  13. I tried half a dozen computer cleaners – admittedly this was several years ago – and ran into problems with them deleting necessary files far too often. Then I tried CCleaner and it worked – removed loads of junk and, over more than a decade and literally hundreds of computers (I run a home computer repair business), it had never deleted something I needed. So the fact that PrivaZer deletes more…really doesn’t make me want to use it. Nice to know there are good alternatives, though (as opposed to the adware “cleaners” that keep sneaking on my clients’ computers!).
    I also use MBAM – the combo does exactly what I need it to do.