Picking a good piece of software to help keep your PC in top shape isn’t easy – not only are there hundreds of free options out there, the vast majority of them will do more harm than good. Most of the ‘optimisation’ tools out there are anything but, and instead come with various types of malware or viruses.
That’s why we compiled a list of safe tools that keep the promises they make. Be sure to only download your tool of choice from its official website – copies from other sources could, again, be infected with malware.
Definitely one of the most popular tools out there, Piriform CCleaner as it’s called has been around for some time – it’s ideal for cleaning up parts of your PC that other tools may miss. Although there is a paid version that offers additional tools such as to remove temp files and browser caches, the important chunk of the functions is included in the free version.
It features an easy to use registry cleaner that gets rid of unused entries, file extensions, uninstallers, fonts, help files, paths, icons and invalid or broken shortcuts. It also features a browser cleaner that deletes temp files, usage history, cookies and more, along with a third-party program cleaner that can get rid of things like Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Microsoft Office, Nero and more.
The best thing: You can set it to run automatically every time you boot up your PC!
This tool is specifically intended for gamers, though it can be used by anyone. It does feature some specific tools for gamers, such as providing ongoing FPS stats and having a tool to deliberately free up RAM for use with more RAM-intensive programs.
It’s frequently updated and does have a noticeable impact on performance, though it can’t perform miracles – it won’t make a game that doesn’t run on a certain machine work all of a sudden. It can defrag drives and is smart enough not to allow it on SSD drives, where it could actually harm the drive rather than benefitting it.
Despite the somewhat unappealing name, the programme does what it promises – it removes unwanted ‘crap’ from your computer. Specifically, this tool is great at getting rid of unwanted files, broken items, and outdated version files. It doesn’t just auto-clean everything but presents lists of files and lets the user make the judgement on what to keep and what to delete.
It also has a simple to use interface that’s great for users not too familiar with this sort of tool, plus a community feature that can help users to decide on what they should remove based on other user’s behaviour. This community feature shows a list of the 50 most commonly removed apps and files through the application.