Three alternatives to CCleaner: Part 4 – Conclusion


This is the final of a 4 part series evaluating and comparing 3 alternative cleaning suites. The three products are SlimCleaner, Toolwiz Care and Wise Disk Cleaner: Part 1: SlimCleanerPart 2: Toolwiz CarePart 3: Wise Disk Cleaner

Time to make final comparisons, evaluation and recommendations. I haven’t previously made any mention of registry cleaning components, so I’m going to cover that now. As we all know, the registry cleaning component in CCleaner is not very aggressive so consequently is also not terribly effective, BUT it is VERY safe and also includes an option to back up changes.

  • SlimCleaner includes a basic registry cleaner under its Advanced tab. There is no apparent method included for backing up changes BUT, registry cleaning is disabled by default – in order to utilize this option users need to access the list of registry sections then select and enable areas for cleaning. It is pretty basic, ergo safe to assume it would not be overly aggressive nor terribly effective but, as with CCleaner, very safe.
  • Toolwiz Care includes a pretty thorough registry cleaning component, it’s quite aggressive so also very effective but, as with all registry cleaners, the risk level also rises exponentially with the level of aggression. Backup is provided via the built-in registry backup/restore tool.
  • Wise Disk Cleaner does not include any registry cleaning at all.

Here are the results of my basic comparative cleaning test. Remember, scans were initiated in ‘analysis’ mode with all programs at default settings and without any actual cleaning taking place:

  • #1 SlimCleaner – 330.9MB
  • #2 Toolwiz Care – 245.4MB
  • #3 Wise Disk Cleaner – 197.8MB
  • #4 CCleaner – 141.6MB

As you can see, the venerable old CCleaner has been well and truly outdone by its younger counterparts. Despite the countless updates CCleaner has gone through the numbers tend to suggest the old feller may indeed be getting just a tad tired and worn out. Perhaps it’s time Piriform forgot about the myriad minor updates and considered a serious overhaul instead.

SlimCleaner

A terrific product, outstanding cleaning abilities plus excellent startup, services and browser add-on management. What makes those management components in SlimCleaner so comparatively superior is the quick and easy availability of advice and recommendations – quite unique.That system of advice and recommendations drawn from a cloud database built on user input is prevalent throughout, and can prove most useful.

I do like SlimCleaner very much, it is a tad underdone in the tools department, but that is a minor consideration which is more than compensated by its excellent feature-set and supreme efficacy. I would definitely recommend SlimCleaner as a top notch choice for regular cleaning plus simple control over startup items, services and browser add-ons, and especially for less experienced users.


 

Toolwiz Care

To be honest, had I realized just what an all rounder Toolwiz Care is I probably wouldn’t have included it, I guess the “Care” in the title should have given me a clue. That said, it did place second in the cleaning test, bested only by SlimCleaner, so perhaps my original decision has been vindicated after all.

Unlike the others, Toolwiz Care’s primary function is not so much focused on the cleaning aspect, it is much more your complete cleaning/optimization suite. That’s not to say it does not perform the system cleaning admirably, it obviously does. Toolwiz Care is an outstanding program, combining system and registry cleaning with extensive tweaks and optimizations. The ‘Tools’ section definitely invokes the WOW factor, the most extensive range of quality tools I have ever come across in a suite. Although there are inherent differences, there is really nothing to pick between SlimCleaner and Toolwiz Care, both are top notch freeware and, in the end, it’s simply a matter of needs dictating which would suit best. In fact, I can see no reason why both could not be installed side by side.

Wise Disk Cleaner

This one is a huge disappointment to me, after reading favorable editorial and user reviews I really thought this software might be above average – not so. Compared with the other contenders it is pretty lean on features; zero registry cleaner, zero optimization, zero tools. None of that would have mattered so much though if WDC had performed admirably in the cleaning department, but as you have seen from the test results that has not been the case. Considering WDC focuses solely on system cleaning one could be forgiven for expecting well above average performance in that area. Annoyances such as the Ask Toolbar installation enabled by default (there is an opt-out) and the additional download of Wise Registry Cleaner also enabled by default (opt-out also) certainly do nothing to add to the appeal.

Wise Disk cleaner is very simple, very easy to use, and pretty basic. It did manage to just beat CCleaner in the cleaning stakes though, so although I would not generally recommend it, WDC may suit a section of novice users.

CCleaner

What can I say, my trusty old CCleaner has been well and truly taken to the…er…well…cleaners. I must say I am a tad surprised CCleaner didn’t compare more favorably in the test results.


 

 

And so time to bite the bullet – I’ve decided to go with SlimCleaner portable and Toolwiz Care installed. I’ll keep my old mate CCleaner too, at least for the time being, if only for sentimental reasons.

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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.

16 Comments

  1. Interesting review but it would be nice to see a chart comparing what files were cleaned by SlimCleaner that weren’t cleaned by CCleaner. Also, does the actually cleaning match up with the analysis?

    I’ll be sticking with CCleaner as it’s a proven product and I can’t imagine that the 190 MB’s it didn’t clean compared to SlimCleaner really have an impact on performance.

  2. Hey BGD – You could always download SlimCleaner, install in a VM or sandbox and make the comparisons yourself. 🙂

    The [“basic”] comparisons were performed after running a clean machine for just two weeks, so numbers are bound to be on the low side. One should be looking at the percentages rather than actual numbers. What makes you think that cleaning figures would differ from the analysis figures?

    I made the point that CCleaner is a “proven product” several times. But, just because a new product has not had time to establish a track record does not necessarily mean it can’t be superior, that was pretty much the point of the whole exercise. The article was never meant as an in-depth, blow by blow set of comparisons, more to encourage habitual users to open their minds, and to demonstrate that, regardless of what type of software or how institutionalized it has become, there may well be superior alternatives – you’ll never know if you don’t look. 🙂

  3. Jim, you almost made me cry! Then I noticed there wasn’t any mention of ‘CCEnhancer’ to expand the cleaning (Cleaner & Registry) capabilities of ‘CCleaner’. When I added it, it was an ‘OMG’ moment.
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/CCEnhancer_d6547.html

    Try it! CCleaner will move back up to #1 or #2.

    You talked me into checking out ‘SlimCleaner’ and ‘Toolwiz Care’ though. I think it was all the adjectives.

    I’ve been enjoying your articles and comments for quite a long time. Usually your articles are ‘dead on’ and I have nothing of substance to add. Keep up the good work!

    Florida, U.S.A.

  4. Hey sirpaul, thanks for the kind words. And I’m sorry I almost made you cry. 🙂

    I know of CCEnhancer of course but the comparisons were made at default levels by design, based on ‘out of the box’ performance.

    Besides, don’t you think it speaks volumes when a product’s primary function NEEDS to be enhanced by third party software in order to bring it up to scratch?

    Cheers mate…Jim

  5. Hi,

    You really can’t come to conclusions based on megatbytes cleaned. Simple general example: a history or log file “cleaned” for one person can be valuable information for another. CCleaner has a reputation for being conservative. You really have to know what was deleted.

    One big issue is cleaning the temp files of other users. In native format, CCleaner does not do that (understandably), although if I remember, there are workarounds. A more aggressive product could do that cleaning, and get higher numbers on the first pass.

    All that being said, I do plan to look at SlimCleaner and ToolWiz, simply because they may be good general products. I strongly advise any reference to automated registry cleaning be given with a triple caution. To a lesser extent, changing Windows settings has a lot of issues. There is even one program that simply returns to all OS defaults, to try to fix the problems created by settings programs.

    Steven

    • Hi Steven – You appear to be predicating your opinion based on guesswork – by your own admission, you haven’t even looked at the alternative products. I’ve made it clear throughout that the cleaning was all done at default settings, and I can assure you, all these applications encompassed pretty much identical areas at default. Furthermore, the “big issue’ you mention is totally moot – the machine on which the cleaning was performed involves a single user, me.

      As I have explained earlier, which you apparently failed to read; the comparisons were never meant to represent any sort of scientific assessment:

      The article was never meant as an in-depth, blow by blow set of comparisons, more to encourage habitual users to open their minds, and to demonstrate that, regardless of what type of software or how institutionalized it has become, there may well be superior alternatives – you’ll never know if you don’t look.

      I, we (at DCT) well and truly recognize the risk factor involved with registry cleaning software and certainly do not need your advice in that area … thank you.

      • Hi,

        Again, I will say simply. If one cleaners defaults cleaned more than another, I want to know what. it “found” that another cleaner “missed” . And wWe know from the experience of registry cleaner that “aggressive = stupid” (granted, registry cleaners are an extreme example).

        Since there is no documentation of what ccleaner “missed”, and since Piriform is obviously quite intelligent (read their forums) I have to go on the conjecture that ccleaner made a deliberate decision to “miss” those sections. And without knowing the details, I can assume more = better.

        Steven

        • Hi Steven – What you need to bear in mind is that we (at DCT) try to cater for all users, regardless of levels of proficiency. From my experience, the vast majority of your ‘average’ users would tend to leave these types of applications at default – many would not have a clue what the disabled options even mean. More advanced users, such as yourself, can make their own comparisons. In fact, that was largely the purpose of the exercise.

          You are obviously a CCleaner fan, that’s fine, I also believe CCleaner is a fine product but I see from your comments that you are indeed now planning to take a look at SlimCleaner and Toolwiz Care, and that was exactly the desired effect. Whether or not you go on to adopt one or the other is entirely up to you but at least you will have assessed a couple of the alternatives.

          Cheers…Jim

  6. there’s a setting in a ccleaner in advanced options…..where an option only delete files in windows temp folder older than 24 hours is tick…if you untick that options it will clean more temp files….

    • ToolWiz Care also had and option only delete files in windows temp folder older than 24 hours is tick. So that is not excuse to CCleaner.

        • This is the message I have sent to CCleaner

          What in the Hell makes you think that you have the wright to install Google Chrome on my computer without asking me? How much is Google paying you to sneak Chrome onto every computer that instals CCleaner? Chrome makes itself the Default Browser and nothing can be done to return Foxfire as my Default Browser. I have spent hours searching and trying everything and still can not set Firefos as default. I am MAD, VERY MAD! I am going to spend more hours finding every review site on the web and posting about your DIRTY LITTLE DEAL with Google Chrome. The word IS going to get out!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. If I were to compare, I would use your data and first clean with the one with the lowest score (CCleaner). Then, reboot, and use the next one (Wise); see what it found, etc. I wonder why you did not do that. It would quickly show what each one is cleaning that the others do not.

    • Hi Jon – Until you perform some sort of comparison test, you have no idea which is the most efficient cleaning tool or which is the least efficient, so you cannot place them in any kind of order. Sure, you could use your method as a follow up but what would that prove? You’ve already ascertained the desired comparisons.

      If you haven’t previously established an order and use your method… if, by chance, you start off with the most efficient, all those that follow would show zero cleaned, which would prove nothing.

      Hope that helps,
      Cheers… Jim

  8. Hi Jim,

    I may or may not be correct in seeing a comparison test between CCleaner and PrivaZer which you conducted a year or two back in time, maybe with FBB.
    I am interested to see how PrivaZer compares with ToolWiz and SlimCare, I will check in the next few days, and wait for the finished version of CCleaner.

    Regards,

    Jonno