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Poll: Do you think PC clean-up utilities really work?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 17, 2014 10:08 AM PDT
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I only use CCleaner pro, but not sure how much of an impact
by jigmeg / October 17, 2014 10:51 AM PDT

I only use CCleaner pro, but not sure how much of an impact it has on system performance. Pros for this tool include an easy way to backup the registry and to uninstall programs. It can also clean all your browsers gorp at once, instead of clearing data from each one individually. But do they really improve your system, I guess one has to have faith.

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Pc utilities
by reggazay / October 17, 2014 1:07 PM PDT

Question number three should really be removed. Of course of course it depends on the utility used. If a quality cleaner is used, chances of good results are much better.and if a non-quality cleaner is used results will be lower. It's the highest percentage that of little value.

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PC utilities
by reggazay / October 17, 2014 1:14 PM PDT

Sorry jigmeg! i
I was referring to the major questions listed above.

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Registry cleaners, yes; others, no.
by mach37 / October 17, 2014 3:31 PM PDT

With Windows 7 I have used CCleaner and AVG, but the only app in those utilities that makes a noticeable difference is the Registry cleaner - and that only works for two or three boots to speed up the boot process. After 3-4 boots, they start taking longer. I have occasionally attempted to defrag my drive, but the defrag utility always says I don't need to run it.

I used to clean out my browser history and cookies, but found that it really disrupted my browsing experience, so I don't do that any more.

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Tune utilities: no
by dre belgium / October 19, 2014 5:43 PM PDT

I tried TuneUp utilities in windows 7. It works, but seems to do no good and no harm. That is if you ignore the fact that it loads something during each startup, keeps running in the background, and sometimes gives some annoying messages. I removed it and my PC works just as fine.
Under XP I had Auslogics Boostspeed. I ran it once a month; can't tell if it ever did any good. But it found 100...300 registry errors each time, so I think it must have done something...
Then recently, I had a right-click problem with windows explorer: it crashed at each right-click on a folder. I tried many suggestions from different websites, without result. Than I ran CCleaner free, and the problem was gone...

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CCleaner is the onlyone I have confidence in...
by jrfoleyjr / October 17, 2014 4:49 PM PDT

I am a long term ccleaner user. I first do a clean-out of all the junk then scan and fix the registry. Then I might do a defrag followed by a chkdsk /r just to be complete. The defrag and chkdsk are once a month. Squeaky clean!

BTW ccleaner can also do a wipe of free space but that will drastically increase the run time of the program.

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I don't use PC clean-up utilities because I have a Mac
by Hemenwayc / October 17, 2014 5:40 PM PDT

I know this is about "PCs" and that my Macbook Pros (I own 3, the latest with Mavericks) aren't considered PCs by certain cohorts, but I had to post because the lessons I've learned with Macs may apply to PCs.

I've owned or used Macs since I became the default systems administrator with Lisa's (40kbs, anyone? Happy ). I own several that still work, back to my Duo. I had taken Fortran, Cobol, and Basic in college on terminals with mainframes and learned a bit of machine language, just because I had a hunch these computer things would become a big deal and as a budding journalist and philosopher, I wanted to know how they worked (long story). So admittedly, I'm a bit more savvy than the average user. But my (older) family and colleagues are not, and my advice to them is advice I take myself.

If you keep your system/apps up to date, have at least a basic understanding of how the OS works and how to prevent incursions, and stay up to date on the latest-OS news before installing anything (to identify incompatibilities, for example), you'll be good to go. Imho.

I do my research when cleanup utility agents get pushy. CNET is a #1 source for info, but it doesn't take much to get to other credible reviews and discussions. Some of these "utilities" are true scams. Some are just fear-mongering to the gullible. Some may work, but I haven't bought their rationales yet. Some are insidious and can get around the best of our web-surfing sleep-deprived brains (what a pain to remove!)

Except for Norton Utilities and defraggers on a couple of my Macs back in the day, I have never used an external cleanup utility. Org utilities like Duplicate Annihilator, yes, but that's my fault for getting messy.

You only need a few fundamentals for upkeep, and Apple comes with them. (I have zero affiliation with Apple except as a huge fan/user -- who has owned/uses all kinds of "real PCs," lest anyone think I don't know what's what.)

If you use your computer intensively, with multiple programs open and running and accessed almost simultaneously all the time (as I do - artsy, wordsy, and data all), you need to take a bit more care. I use Activity Monitor and Disk Utility just to keep tabs on things and occasionally fix disk permissions, backing up with TimeMachine and at least one external HD (excellent 3TB boxes are cheap). I'm starting to use cloud services, but just for data I would be loathe to lose or need to share (DropBox, iCloud and the like). I keep tabs on clutter and am careful with what apps I download. I've never had a crashed Mac; only a crashed external HD, so I use three. If I ever have trouble, it is 99% app- or wi-fi- related. Another reason to wait a bit for things to shake out before updating to a new OS (aka Yosemite).

I have a Lenovo running Windows 8 because I need it to access project file systems my clients use, and because QuickBooks Pro STILL is missing features on Mac versions. I may be biased (ok, I AM), but that system is incredibly clunky and non-intuitive, and I get all kinds of warnings and required updates (almost daily). Kind of a pain (for me, at least).

But I'm not here to start another war. I just want to strongly support the "good housekeeping; keep informed" approach to PC/Mac upkeep.

BTW, I'm a 50+ year-old "girl." (Part of that long-ago story I mentioned was getting a few marriage proposals from astounded guys in that funky basement terminal room... Wink

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Relevant, but let's keep it simple.
by Carsto / October 20, 2014 3:56 AM PDT

I have the same kind of background, but got lazy since I use computers as tools only. Out of the old days I open only one application at a time and finish what I need to do. Files go into a strict tree structure of directories or folders as they are now known. No names and no pack drill here, but some of the above cleaners actually destroyed a few of my hard drives in the old days. That kept me looking for something worthwhile, which I found.

For security reasons I still avoid MS stuff as much as possible. I used Glary Utilities Free for many years and now use G U Pro Paid. Previously I used Auslogics Defrag and it worked. Very responsive and open reporting on actions. Now Glary does the defrag as well, surely because it is the paid version. It has a whole raft of Utilities like Start up, file cleaner, shortcuts cleaner and a lot of other stuff I have not yet even looked at. Told you I'm lazy.

Anyway, with this application you can definitely see the difference. It has a one click cleaning kit if you want to call it that, but I use the single utilities in a specific way. And, no Glary does not pay me for this. If they did, I could not give it my One Wire Pliers Award in honesty. You get one only, or not, in all respects.

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