The 5 Best Free Tools That Will Clean Your Windows PC Like a Pro
If you're like me and you spend a lot of time on your PC, then you probably have some junk to get rid of. Why bother? Two reasons:
- You can increase your PC speed by keeping it clean.
- Temporary files (Windows and Internet) can slow your PC down and harbor spyware, tracking cookies, and even malware. Sure, you can pay a pro to clean your computer, but why would you when you have these free tools at your fingertips? These free apps will have your machine cleaned up in no time. Do note that while they are free, some of them have advanced paid versions or at least ask for donations.
Listed below are my top five cleaners that have gained my trust over the years.
Five Best Free PC Cleaners
- ATF Cleaner
- TFC Cleaner
CCleaner (pronounced see-cleaner) is a little tool I use every other day. When you first install this little app, you have the option to use desktop shortcuts, start menu shortcuts, and attach it to the recycling bin. I like a clean desktop, so I attach it to my recycling bin. When I want to run it, I simply right click the bin and select Open CCleaner.
Not only does it come loaded with many customizable features, but it also has the only registry cleaner I actually trust (and its free). If you decide to clean up your Windows registry, make sure to select Yes when asked if you would like to save a backup. I've never had to go back and restore mine (knock on wood), but it's always a good idea to have a backup. Another included tool to note is the uninstaller, under the Tools directory. There are lots of things you can do with this tool, but if you just want to leave it set to the defaults and use the Windows cleaner utility, that's fine too. Just hit the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right and you are done. After running this tool, you'll notice a difference in your PC speed.
2. ATF Cleaner
ATF Cleaner, or All Temp File Cleaner, was created for Windows XP. It is not officially supported for Windows Vista or Windows 7, but it does work. Once you're done downloading the file to your browser in Firefox or Chrome, right click it and select Open Containing Folder. Copy it from that folder and place it where ever you like, such as your desktop. While CCleaner did a great job of cleaning your personal user profile's cookies and temporary internet files, ATF Cleaner will also clean the Windows Temp directory, Current Users Temp directory, and All Windows users Temp directories. Once you've run this cleaner, save it in a folder for later use.
3. TFC Cleaner
Next up is TFC Cleaner. This tool takes PC cleaning to the next level, as it cleans all of the temporary internet files and cache for all the Windows user profiles on your computer! Ever use a machine that has been handed around the office a few times, with 8 or 9 people having used it over the years? Chances are very good that there is a lot of junk sitting in their Windows temp folders. Download TFC the same way as you did ATF Cleaner and put it on your desktop. Click Start, let it run for a second or two, and you are done. You may have to restart your PC when it finishes. I would put this tool in your newly created cleaner folder for later use.
SuperAntiSpyware is essential for keeping your spyware tracking cookies in check! Like the name suggests, it removes spyware (tons of them) from your computer. Spyware and tracking cookies can greatly effect the speed of your PC. You can download the free edition (which is what I use), or the professional edition. If you already have an antivirus suite, then you want the free edition. The install package will fully install itself into your Windows program files directory and start up as soon as it's installed. You have two choices when scanning your PC, either a quick or full scan. I recommend running a full scan and then following up with a full PC scan at least once a month. You should run a quick scan once a week or so.
Malwarebytes is, in my humble opinion, the single greatest malware remover out right now. If you think your PC may be infected, this is the very first program you turn to. Chances are you could rid yourself of a nasty bug just by running a full up-to-date scan with this utility. Like SuperAntiSpyware, there are two choices when downloading, free and pro. If you already have an antivirus program, then you want the free edition (what I use). This program will install itself in your Windows Program Files directory. Upon its first run, I recommend a full scan. Always be sure to click the updates tab first to make sure your definitions are up to date, then run a scan. Your scan won't be nearly as effective if your definitions aren't up to date. Run a full scan once a month or so, and a quick scan once a week.
The Check Is in the Mail
Running these five cleaners will help you keep your Windows PC free of spyware, malware, cookies, and increase speed. Most importantly, they are all free! Pat yourself on the back, you literally just saved yourself 100 bucks for not calling a repair service.
Did you run these tools and increase your computer speed? Find any bugs along the way? Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you found!