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McAfee QuickClean 2.0 review:

McAfee QuickClean 2.0

  • 1
MSRP: $29.99

McAfee QuickClean 2.0

(Part #: MQC0001NA200)
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The Good Uncomplicated interface; file shredder; speedy cleanup tools.

The Bad Questionable technical support.

The Bottom Line McAfee QuickClean 2.0 is a good choice for removing junk files and Internet clutter. But its tech support proved unreliable in CNET tests.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

QuickClean 2.0 lives up to its name. This $29.99 package quickly cleans out unwanted programs, empties Internet caches, dumps space-clogging cookies and ActiveX Controls, and trashes old e-mail. Better yet, unlike its competitors, it can overwrite, or "shred," unwanted files, thereby preventing nosy types from accessing deleted files. (When you delete a file, the data remains on your hard drive until it's overwritten with new data.) While we were less than thrilled with McAfee's tech support, we found QuickClean 2.0 to be a speedy and reliable performer for fast cleanup jobs, comparable with Norton CleanSweep 2002. QuickClean 2.0 lives up to its name. This $29.99 package quickly cleans out unwanted programs, empties Internet caches, dumps space-clogging cookies and ActiveX Controls, and trashes old e-mail. Better yet, unlike its competitors, it can overwrite, or "shred," unwanted files, thereby preventing nosy types from accessing deleted files. (When you delete a file, the data remains on your hard drive until it's overwritten with new data.) While we were less than thrilled with McAfee's tech support, we found QuickClean 2.0 to be a speedy and reliable performer for fast cleanup jobs, comparable with Norton CleanSweep 2002.

Easy installation
QuickClean 2.0 steps you through a quick and painless setup that takes only a few minutes. The optional Instant Updater feature checks the McAfee site for QuickClean updates during setup, but you'll need to register with McAfee, that is, provide your e-mail address, to use it.

Clean interface
The orderly interface of this uninstaller is uncomplicated and simple to use. The opening screen features browserlike Back, Home, and Next buttons, making it a breeze to navigate among the app's numerous disk-cleaning tools. A handy pie chart shows the amount of free vs. used space on your hard drive so that you can visualize the drive's storage capacity.

This cleanup app's ability to completely shred files is unmatched. It overwrites deleted files, thereby preventing snoops from recovering sensitive erased data from your hard drive. QuickClean steps you through the shredding process, making it a snap to use. You can shred files, folders, unused disk space (which may contain deleted data), or an entire disk.

Speedy performer
QuickClean offers several ways to clear out disk clutter. The fastest is aptly named QuickClean Lite, a speedy utility that clears out Internet caches, temporary file folders, and the like. In CNET tests, QuickClean Lite tagged 8.5MB (171 files and 17 Registry entries) for deletion, roughly similar to the performance of Norton's Fast & Safe tool, which tagged 7.8MB on the same test PC.

This program has an Explorer-like tool for reviewing tagged files and selecting (via check boxes) the ones you wish to keep. The feature is critical because, like Norton CleanSweep, QuickClean is often overzealous in its disk-sweeping efforts. Its SpaceMaker tool, for instance, tagged 634MB of "unneeded" files on our 4GB hard drive. Many of these files were valuable music, image, and video files. But fear not. You can reconfigure SpaceMaker's settings to ignore popular file types, including WAV, JPEG, GIF, and AVI.

So-so support
We were less thrilled with McAfee's online support. Although it was easy to find a support representative using McAfee's Web chat utility--wait times were typically less than two minutes--the reps showed a surprisingly lack of knowledge about QuickClean 2.0. One told us the program doesn't uninstall Windows programs (it does). Another suggested that we reinstall QuickClean in Windows Safe Mode to fix a nagging crash, even though our PC couldn't read the CD-ROM drive in Safe Mode and therefore couldn't install the program. And when we asked to escalate our problem (that is, talk with a product engineer), we were given two nonfunctioning e-mail addresses to contact. Surely, McAfee can do a better job of supporting its customers.

Despite these support shortcomings, however, McAfee QuickClean 2.0 is a well-designed disk sweeper that makes it fast and easy to clean up your machine.

--by Jeff Bertolucci

QuickClean's SpaceMaker tool lets you select which files you want to delete so that you can save important multimedia files, for example.

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