If you don’t have time to read the full article and it is a long one – here’s the short of it.
Summary of Article
Most ‘speed up or fix your PC’ applications don’t live up to the hype and are usually little more than entertainment. They don’t usually have any positive impact on the performance of your system. You should instead ask yourself the question - why am I looking for this kind of software? If your answer is because your computer is performing slowly then it’s likely a fault with your hardware and typically related to your hard disk drive. There is the possibility you’re also being slowed down by bad software *cough Norton, *cough Norton Antivirus. Otherwise no amount of software will improve this situation. Hard drives can be swapped out for solid-state drives which are significantly more reliable and offer vastly superior performance. This upgrade has a meaningful impact on the speed of your PC and make it much faster, typically faster than it was brand new!
Both Windows & MacOS can be affected by these kinds of tools offering false hope. We're also going to list some other commonly found software at the end of this article that you should avoid and remove if you have it installed on your PC!
If you’re still with me let’s take a closer look at these ‘helpful’ applications and analyse what they really do. A good example would be the very popular ‘CCleaner’. It is also worth noting that CCleaner as it became very popular also became the target of hackers and recently lead to 2.27 million PC users at risk. Having said that we aren’t going to judge them for that in this review, we’re simply going to explain what they’re offering to you as a customer and reviewing if that’s actually worth it.
So Why Use These Applications?
Let’s firstly look at the main reason most people use CCleaner – that is to clean up their PC and remove ‘junk’ and temporary files. Windows stores these files within its own directory which is protected by a thin level of security. Why is that important? Well this security prevents any old application accessing it without permission or administrative access. Keeping this in mind, 99% of users have no idea how to open an application with administrative access therefore CCleaner usually operates with standard level of access and will report to you that it checked for junk and remove everything and that your system is now 100% fine. Unfortunately, that’s impossible because the software doesn’t have the authority to check the Windows folder and subsequent temporary and junk files to firstly find them and secondly remove them from your system. Windows 7 is a shocking operating system for this we often find 100’s of Gigabyte of data stored as temporary files. Both Windows and CCleaner fail to discover and remove these files. If we look at the increasingly common Windows 10 we see an improved Disk Cleanup tool that actually works. Ultimately, CCleaner offers little to no assistance in this area and is therefore unnecessary.
We also know a lot of users opt for CCleaner to defragment their hard drive. Simply put, defragmenting re-organises the sectors on your hard drive to make them quicker to access for your computer. This is great and we definitely recommend this however with Windows 10 it’s done automatically and can be ran manually at your convenience. You do not need CCleaner to help you defragment your drives, it’s already being done automatically and intelligently by Windows 10.
CCleaner is also widely used to ‘clean’ your computers registry. Your registry is like a background database storing vital information and configuration to ensure your software and computer works properly. When you install new software and make changes this will also populate your registry. However, these changes even from installing and uninstalling hundreds if not thousands of applications has very little – we would argue insignificant impacts on the performance of your computer. We strongly suggest you stay out of your windows registry and that you don’t use any software either as you can actually prevent Windows and your software from working. If you google ‘CCleaner broke my computer’ you’ll find out why we don’t recommend this! It simply isn’t worth the risk for basically no improvement to your computer.
Internet and Temporary Files
But CCleaner also cleans up my internet browsers history and temporary files!? Sure, it can do this but we would also ask, why would you want to? Your internet browser often stores temporary files and scripts to help your computer navigate the internet much faster. It’s a lot faster for your computer to access a temporary internet file and open it than it is for your computer to re-download that file from the internet and then use it. You can at any stage clear your browsing history using the browser of your choice. These tools are all usually a couple of clicks away and we don’t need CCleaner to do this.
This is just one example of the thousands of speeds up or fix your computer related applications. The short of it is that may of them merely provide what we refer to as entertainment. They reel you in with a free application - tell you that they’ve found thousands of problems and that they will solve them all with just one click and $39.95! If it sounds too good to be true? Well you know the adage. You don’t need any of these applications to improve your computer we recommend you run your computer with only the software you actually use for your day to day operations and entertainment.
CCleaner isn't typically harmful to your computer yet like most of its competitors it isn't that useful either. Your computer will run better without these applications, you’ll be exposed to less risk and won’t be wasting your time by checking in on them to make sure they’re ‘looking after you’. We hope this article helped you. If you are experiencing slow performance with your computer it’s typically either getting way too hot or your hard disk drive is on the way out. Either way we can help 07 5448 3096.
Some very common software we find that you should remove immediately are:
Advanced Mac Cleaner
Here's a comprehensive wikipedia list of rogue software.