PrivaZer: PC cleanup & privacy tool

PrivaZer is a relatively new cleanup/privacy tool, similar in vein to CCleaner, which has been developed by a US-based company and is reputed to be very thorough. There are lots of these types of free cleaning tools available but PrivaZer introduces several innovations and new areas which tend to make it stand out from the crowd.

PrivaZer is a 3.7MB download and scans 100% clean through Virus Total. The innovations begin with the installation process where users are offered three choices; Full install – Run without installation – Create portable version:

The installed version also provides additional right click menu options which are obviously not available via the portable version:

For the purpose of this exercise I elected to ‘Generate the portable version’ and in a twinkling the new executable appeared immediately above the original file in my ‘Downloads’ folder. Double clicking this newly created executable launches the application for the first time. PrivaZer’s initial seven screens present a variety of cleaning options requiring simple Yes or No answers – all are accompanied by a brief explanation and most include a recommended action. Here are screenshots of the first and last options, just to give you an idea:

Clicking the Save button will take you to a confirmation window, click OK and we now get to the nitty-gritty, the scanning and cleaning process. Select the drive or device you want to clean and click OK:

There are 18 areas in total pre-selected for cleaning; hover the mouse cursor over an item to view a brief description, left click on an item to access more information and further options (where applicable). And, of course, simply deselect any area you do not want cleaned:

Note the “Traces in free space” item included by default. This refers largely to ‘free’ space created by uninstalls and file deletions and should really be designated as ‘free to use’ (or re-occupy) – PrivaZer will scan free space for traces of those previous files and overwrite/reset to zero

Click on the Scan button to get things going, and PrivaZer will now scan all enabled areas on the selected drive/device, presenting a graphical display to the right of each item, an overall progress bar and count down timer:

At completion of the scan the results are displayed in numerical format rather the the more usual amount of space to be freed up (in megabytes). Clicking on an item in the results window provides access to detailed lists of traces set for cleaning:

Clicking on See cleanup options allows you to choose between levels of secure cleaning, from a simple one pass all the way through to the Peter Gutmann 35 pass method:

Once you’re satisfied, clicking the Clean button will now initiate the actual cleaning process:

The cleaning process took just a tick over 20 minutes which, for a first run and considering I hadn’t cleaned the system for a while, I thought was pretty quick. Now, at the completion of cleaning, we can ascertain how much space PrivaZer has actually freed up, via before and after readings. In the case of my C drive, PrivaZer reported 135.26GB free space prior to cleaning and 135.99GB after it had finished its work. That’s a whopping 0.73GB or a little over 747MB:

Some users have reported that cleaning with PrivaZer has affected installed programs to the extent where a specific program will no longer launch and requires re-installing. But then again, I’ve read similar user complaints regarding CCleaner, so tend to take such comments with a grain of salt.

HOWEVER, PrivaZer is indeed very powerful software which does clean a couple of areas at low level. So I advise taking all necessary precautions prior to cleaning , including creating a system restore point and possibly even creating a full system image.

PrivaZer would be eminently suitable for experienced to advanced users but I would suggest those who are unsure of what they are doing stick with known safe options such as CCleaner and SlimCleaner.

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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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