It happens to all of us.
You might have bought the ticket online for an event, you've then downloaded the ticket, used it, and then forgot to delete it from your computer.
Or you wanted to install a new program for your PC, downloaded the installer, you performed the installation, and then left the installer’s executable somewhere in the download folders.
You saved a meme to share it with all your WhatsApp friends, and then you forgot to erase it.
Suddenly that 1TB hard drive got full, and Windows started working a bit slower. Red flags are appearing in your explorer window to remind you of the most inevitable of human conditions: storage shortage.
The more you have, the more you want to use; how do you recover storage space on your PC without getting mad reviewing through folders and subfolders file by file what is needed and what not?
With a storage optimizer, of course. Today I present you CleanMyPC with a few of my suggestions to help you solve once and forever your storage issues.
Slow PC: Is It About Storage?
Is a Storage Optimizer by itself going to make your PC Faster? Quick answer: No.
Storage shortage by itself does not make your PC slower.
A Storage Optimizer by itself won’t make your PC faster.
Having a good hard drive (with read/write values in the norm) and a robust system (no spyware, no junkware) affects your PC several times more than a storage shortage.
However, some issues like file fragmentation and automatic compression of folders can affect your system’s performance marginally, making it harder to estimate how optimized is your system effectively.
On the other hand, keeping your storage optimized can be extremely useful to be sure you have the space necessary to allow Windows and its program to perform at their best.
Remember that temporary files and updates also depend on your free storage.
Finally, let me be the devil’s advocate and vouch for cookies and other additional information that gets stored on your PC: they are there because the websites and the page you visit need them.
If you don’t want to deal with them, it makes more sense to change news websites or programs than erasing data periodically. The same applies to data you download and forget you have: learn to manage your PC space better.
I recommend you use a storage optimizer if you have problems keeping your PC free space above 10-15% and don’t know how to quickly and safely achieve that.
However, if you see a considerable lack of performance (e.g., long wait to open the browser, processes getting stuck often several times), you should check your system for other problems than just lack of storage (e.g., viruses, faulty hardware).
I hope this paragraph already helped you to improve your understanding of storage optimizers. Now let me now show how CleanMyPc can enhance your Windows experience.
CleanMyPc: Storage and Privacy Optimizer
CleanMyPc promises to help you save PC stay clean and smooth as new: “it scans your whole computer to clean up junk files, speed up your PC, and boost its performance.”
If you are not a technician or you don't want to waste a considerable amount of time in freeing up space on your PC, this software can help you achieve your goal quickly and efficiently.
CleanMyPc main feature allows you to scan your PC for unnecessary files and immediately recover a considerable amount of space, but you can do so much more with it. You can check for errors in your registry. You can select which programs start with Windows and perform multiple uninstalling with just one click; you can manage the browser's plugin and trackers or delete beyond recovery files and images from your PC.
This software suite has many features that can be as useful for an office workstation as for a home PC. However, some of them can only be accessed with the premium version; the free version can, in fact, result quite less productive, but more on this later.
Let's break the features down one by one.
A Plethora of Features for Premium Price
After downloading and installing the program, you will be presented with its interface that already feels Premium, setting very high expectations.
The first thing I want you to do is, of course, to perform a “Computer Cleanup.” The cleanup function scans the PC fast; I have two drives for a total of more than 1TB (SSD and HDD hybrid system), my processor is an average 2.4 GHz i7 for laptop, and it took but a few seconds to scan both drives and find more than 9.02 GB of junk. I'm very excited to free up a big chunk of my space when something happens.
It seems like the most essential feature is inaccessible with the base version of the product. I tried various of the others, and I encountered immediately the same result with the registry cleaner.
Except for the multi-uninstaller tool and the file shredder, all the features have a severe limitation, such as one-time-use or incomplete use in the free version.
The clear interface and the accessible commands luckily persuade me to go with the full version.
With the full version, the experience doesn't just look premium. It becomes premium by all means. The computer cleanup automatically separates the files into three categories that can help me identify what I might want to keep and whatnot.
As you can see in the previous image, the files are well divided by category, and it is interesting to note how this program identifies data related to additional languages (a feature not present in some of its most ferocious competitors but more on this later).
The same goes for the registry maintenance: everything is divided into categories, and additional information on the data I'm about to erase is given on the right bottom corner of the interface. The flagship tool of this product, however, seems to be the multi-uninstaller, a sort of rule-breaking feature, as it allows us to overcome one of Windows' oldest limits.
I can say that this tool deserves the highlight as it is surprisingly good in what it does.
Not only it found programs I didn't know I had, but it also managed to do so against the odds of the hybrid hard drives.
The multi-uninstaller managed to find old programs installed on the HDD (which is not the OS drive) and successfully remove them.
The removal process itself is fast and swift and makes you forget the fear of fragmented or junk data left usually by the uninstalling process.
The Hibernation controller, on the other side, felt quite an unease to use. This tool allows you to take away the hibernation function from Windows, freeing up a few GB on your drive.
Sure, if you are in a tight spot, those extra GB can make the difference, but in most cases, you would be trading off an essential feature (at least for a portable device) in exchange for a few GB. It seems quite an odd trade-off: giving up features for space is not quite optimal.
From the handy caption at the bottom of its page, I can derive some more info on the usefulness (or uselessness) of deactivating such a feature. However, I would have felt safer with additional info on the consequences of it. As an experienced user, I think it should be highlighted as the last resort optimization rather than a standard tweak.
Moving on, the Extensions tools keep up with the consistent experience had so far: clear, organized, and quick.
On a single page, all extensions are cataloged by browse, allowing me to keep only the extensions I need and (most important) only from the browser I use.
The tool, in fact, allowed me to find and delete data left there by previously uninstalled browsers. A few extra MB that while not life-changing is better spent on data, I actually make use of.
For what concerns the cleanup tool, on the other side, I must say that I was neither impressed nor disappointed, it is a friendlier interface over the one already provided by the task manager. It doesn't offer additional functions, but it still makes sense to have it there; after all, having all the optimization tools under one roof makes the whole process faster and less annoying as you don't have to deal with different tabs and programs.
The privacy tool, instead, feels like an addition to the traditional functions offered by Windows. This function allows me to quickly check on the quantity and quality of the private data collected by the various browsers and windows explorer. It is very appropriate that CleanMyPc takes into account user data collected by Windows, especially now that some new features keep track of programs and files opened. Some users more concerned with privacy might find this tool more interesting than others; I am just happy that I can quickly check on the data that are scattered across my machine.
I would like, at this point, to give a warning call to the less tech-savvy readers. As I said before: trading functionalities for space is not optimization. If you feel like some browser application or some program running at startup is impacting your experience significantly, then it makes sense to delete the pertinent data or turn or the respective executable.
However, do consider that your favorite programs (your most productive programs in case of a business) might need these data/executable to work correctly. Furthermore, if you cancel cookies or other navigation data from a browser you often use without changing your usage habit, you can stay assured the few spaces you retrieved will be refilled in no time. Beyond the computer cleanup, which can free several GB in one go, the other tools reviewed so far can only save a few tenths MB each and almost in every case at the cost of some loss of function. Thus, apply extra care.
On the matters of data privacy and extra care, I call upon the ultimate tool of the list: Shredder. Without going too deep into technicalities: when you delete a file from Windows (even after emptying the recycle bin), a consistent portion of data remains on your drive allowing recovery of the data.
Now, this phenomenon varies depending on your hard drive and the use you make of it, but it is a reality that you should consider when dealing with very sensible data. If you need a definitive and secure way to get rid of data, always use a Shredder like the one provided by CleanMyPc.
Especially for professionals that deal with confidential data, this is a best practice that I strongly recommend to implement.
On the other side, if you are a home user dealing with standard data (music, photos, documents), be aware of using this tool as it takes away from you any recovery perspective.
With this, I end the list of the main features, but the program offers much more than what I just described. For example, in recycle-bin command to free space, drag and drop shredder, and the background monitoring. This last feature, in particular, drags my enthusiasm a bit down. I never asked for the background tasks, and now that I have it, I am not sure I want to keep it, but unfortunately, I can't see the option that allows me to turn it off. It seems like a great occasion to test customer service.
This way, I found out that there is a 24/7 customer service always available to solve my needs. In a few hours (would have preferred a few minutes, but I tagged myself as ‘low priority'), I managed to get the reply I needed, and I found the right box to uncheck in the options menu.
The whole experience was bug-free, and it took me a matter of minutes to get acquainted with the interface and test all the commands, all this thanks to the fantastic tutoring interfaces and the material online. One last detail I would like to point out is that CleanMyPc, by default, installs itself as a “startup service”; you won't find it in your startup programs tab, so if you want to deactivate it you won't be able to do it from inside the app. It would have been thoughtful to give the user a means to change this option quickly, as startup services impact the performance, and performance optimization is what this tool is all about. Considering, however, that I didn't notice any slowdown, after running it on startup for a few days and that the background tasks performed have not shown any impact on performance or power usage, I wouldn't consider this a drawback.
A nice addition is the family pack pricing that allows multiple computers to use it (Family Pack.)
In conclusion: not bad at all, but will it stand the comparison with the competition?
What Others Say About CleanMyPc
The software house, MacPaw, has a solid 4.5 stars on Trustpilot. A score well earned in virtue of the reliability of its apps and the 24 hours customer service.
Quick research on this company will confirm that its products (especially the ones developed for Mac) enjoy an excellent reputation, and they seem to improve the users' experience concretely. As a reflex, CleanMyPc manages to stay among the most popular storage optimizer, even considering the vast amount of competing apps that offer this service. Unfortunately, some useful tools that are available for Mac don't find the Windows counterpart, but if you want further proof of MacPaw's product for PC, you can try out their Encrypto.
In general, regardless of the platform MacPaw's products are used on, the key satisfaction point that the clients seem to highlight is ease of use, excellent customer support, and effectiveness.
Comparing with Competition – Which Solution Do You Need?
To make a piercing comparison with CleanMyPc, I decided to choose three competitors that work in different ways but have the common goal of optimizing PC performance.
In the first place, the renown CCleaner, from Piriform. No need to introduce this popular software, which runs a free version that has a fully functioning hard drive cleaner, as well as a registry cleaner, plus some other utilities (startup controller, browser plugin checker, program uninstaller, etc.).
The most notable difference is that this program has a free version that actually accomplishes something. CCleaner has no limitations over the usage of its tools, provided that they are included in the free version.
Other tools are available with the premium (for example, automatic updater), but most functions are already included with the free tool. For example, the free version is included a tool that allows you to fully control startup programs as well as services and scheduled tasks, allowing you to fully control what goes on when you fire on your Windows system.
CCleaner lacks, however, the simultaneous uninstaller, as well as the easy to use file shredder, and the interface looks organized for more experienced users. Nonetheless, if you look for a cheaper solution and you know which features you are looking for, be sure to check out this one too as it might prove more fitting for your needs.
I would also like to suggest you look at the software from Malwarebytes. This kind of software, while less focused on the space issue, is more oriented on the performance issue. In particular, Malwarebytes, JRT (JunkwareRemovalTool), and ADWCleanre (ADWareCleaner) are handy free tools that can effectively take away malicious software that significantly impacts your performance.
As I explained at the beginning of this review: if you are experiencing a massive default of performance, your problem goes beyond storage optimization. To solve different issues, you might need various tools, and Malwarebytes can provide you with more than a few free to use.
If you want to take extra care of your PC, you should feel free to download them and mix the usage of the two suites; both CleanMyPc and Malwarebytes take little space on your PC, and they have a low impact on the PC performance even when they run in the background.
Finally, coming back to the issue of storage optimization, if you look for the cheapest quickest solution available, you need but to open your windows search bar. Hard Drive/Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense are two very useful tools now integrated with Windows 10 to get more disk space. The first allows you to scan for the most common junk files, and while it does not perform a thorough and varied scan like CleanMyPc and CCleaner, it can help you free some space straight away without having to install any additional software. Storage Sense, on the other side, can give you a more in-depth look at what is taking space on your PC, allowing you to perform the cleaning procedure where it seems needed. These two are more DIY optimizers but, as already said, are included by default with Windows, and I hope it will interest you to know that you can access them at any moment.
At this point, I imagine you understand the purpose of this comparison. While I was happy using the premium version of CleanMyPc, the lack of a complete experience with the free version really felt like a massive disappointment to me. I understand that premium software calls for a premium price, but it's a lousy presentation card to give a free version that just doesn't get the job done, especially when most of the competition can offer the essential functions for no price (and no additional setup in the case of Disk Cleanup for disk space).
Is CleanMyPc Worth the Premium Price?
When it comes to business productivity, an all-in-one solution is what you should always look for.
CleanMyPc, despite its limited of a free version, proves to be the best choice for Working Stations for three reasons: it's easy to learn, quick to use, and reliable in its results in giving you more disk space and getting your PC running faster.
It requires you to pay for the full experience. Still, once you step into it you are guaranteed you'll receive the optimization you paid for, all packed in a neat and understandable interface, and supported by a 24 hours customer service. Two benefits that will help you save something even more precious than space: time.