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6 great free cleanup utilities for Windows

Update: Looking for more apps to help tune up, clean, and repair your computer? Check out this list of six programs that help you solve your problems for free!

Nobody likes useless junk taking up valuable hard drive space. Fortunately, there's a whole slew of good, free programs out there to help us keep things ship-shape. And yes, most of them are called [letter] + Cleaner. Here are five worth checking out.

If you use one of these apps, share your thoughts in the comments! As always, if I missed your favorite please share it with us!

Bleachbit (open source, installer) pictured - While it only handles file cleanup and is a comparatively large download (it's Linux and Windows compatible and runs about 8Mb with GTK), Bleachbit supports a much larger list of programs than most of the other cleaning apps. Apart from all major browsers, it also tidies up after Google Earth, Flash, Java, Second Life Viewer, Skype, Vuze, and more. Found 63.7Mb of crap files on my recently-cleaned drive.

CCleaner (freeware, portable, installer) - The most widely-known name in computer crud removal. CCleaner has a lot going for it: it's easy to use, scans quickly, cleans the registry, and also includes a lightweight Add/Remove programs alternative and startup items manager. Found 36.1Mb of junk and 20 registry issues on my machine.

Comodo System Cleaner (freeware, portable, installer) - CSC does file, registry, and privacy cleaning and also packages an autorun manager, system tweaker, and CRC checker. 32 and 64-bit versions are provided for both the portable version and installer. The installer doesn't play nice with Windows 7, but the portable version will get the job done - just double-click CSC.exe to get things started.

FCleaner (freeware, portable, installer) - Like Bleachbit, FCleaner doesn't handle registry cleanup. It does an excellent job of finding garbage files, turning up about 15% more than even Bleachbit. Also features an uninstaller, startup manager, and quick links to system tools like the command prompt, system restore, scheduled tasks, and Security Center. Found 72.7Mb of files.

Glary Utilities (freeware, portable, installer) - This one packs a whole lot more functionality into one package than the others, but it's still under a 5Mb download. In addition to scanning for files, registry issue, and broken shortcuts, Glary can also check for malware, optimize memory, edit your context menu, shred and encrypt files, and analyze drive usage. It's a must have, and totally free for personal use (and well worth paying for at the office). Found 23.4Mb worth of files and 42 registry issues.

nCleaner (freeware, installer) - In addition to cleaning files, nCleaner features a system monitor, Windows tweaker, free space shredder, and startup manager. It also supports an absolutely enormous set of plugin applications including ACDSee, ICQ, Incredimail, Kazaa, Winamp, and Windows log files. Doesn't provide an estimate on cleaning runs.

Tags: ccleaner, cleaning, cleanup, freeware, glary, opensource, temp-files, tune-up



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