For many years CCleaner has been the ubiquitous free drive cleaner, trusted and used by millions of people worldwide. However, I proved through a series of articles back in 2012 that just about any other free drive cleaner does a better job than CCleaner. That still holds true today and I guess CCleaner’s reputation for safety is what keeps people using it.
Personally, I haven’t used CCleaner for years and when I downloaded the free portable version for comparison purposes while compiling this article, the very first thing that happened, on the initial run, was a popup advertising the commercial edition… disappointing:
I had heard that CCleaner had moved into the dark side since being acquired by Avast but this was the first time I’d witnessed proof of that firsthand. Anyway, I’ve been using Wise Disk Cleaner (portable) as my default drive cleaner for quite some time now, on my own machines and on clients’ machines, and have found it to be extremely safe and effective.
Wise Disk Cleaner – Free And Portable
I admit that I haven’t been overly complimentary toward Wise software in the past, especially when they were bundling the awful ”Ask toolbar”. However, Wise’s range of freeware has certainly improved since those early days and they have also cleaned up their act– no more bundled potentially unwanted extras. I now find Wise Disk Cleaner to be among the very best, and the fact that there is a portable version available is certainly a huge plus. Wise Disk Cleaner is very easy to use and operates in much the same way as any drive cleaner– hit the Scan button for an analysis, then click Clean to remove the listed junk files.
First off, here is a comparison between CCleaner and Wise Disk Cleaner, both at default settings (out of the box) and in analysis mode so both cleaners are scanning a system which is in the exact same state:
As you can see from the screenshots, CCleaner identified 273 MB of junk compared to Wise Disk Cleaner’s 630.88 MB.
The Advanced Cleaner in Wise Disk Cleaner found a further 169.8 MB of junk — mainly .chk, .tmp, and .dmp files — so the difference in real terms is that Wise Disk Cleaner would clean up just over 800 MB of junk files– close to thre times CCleaner’s total.
The Slimming System tab provides more options for cleaning even more unnecessary files– in my case, almost 460 MB worth.
Wise Disk Cleaner also includes a scheduler to automate the cleaning process. Users can choose between Daily, Weekly, and Monthly, plus select a specific day of the week and time. Of course, Wise Disk Cleaner does not include the multiple tools available with CCleaner but it is clearly vastly superior at performing the primary chore of drive cleaning.
NOTE: A special mention for PrivaZer which, in my opinion, still rates as the best cleanup/privacy tool available. However, PrivaZer’s ultra-deep cleaning can also, potentially, cause issues for less experienced users, hence my current recommendation for Wise Disk Cleaner as #1.
- Download Wise Disk Cleaner Portable (scroll down the page and locate the entry for Wise Disk Cleaner, then click the blue text Portable Version):