The 5 burning PC questions CCleaner can answer

Here in support we deal with all sorts of queries across a range of subjects, from functionality to license renewals and everything in between. It's our job to understand our products inside out. 

As you’d imagine, most of the questions we’re asked about CCleaner are about cleaning, but that’s not just what it’s all about. Look beyond the main cleaning screen and you’ll find there's more to CCleaner than meets the eye. Some additional tools exist, which were developed to answer questions that might arise during your day-to-day computing. As I find them really useful, I thought it would be helpful to share them in a handy QA format:

1. How much storage space do I have left on my computer?
When you’re storing hundreds (or even thousands) of pictures, songs and videos on your computer, your hard drive can fill up fast. CCleaner makes it easy to find out if your PC’s hard drive is reaching its maximum, before the dreaded ‘low disk space’ alert. Here’s how to check available space:

  • Open CCleaner and click on the ‘Tools’ icon on the left and then on ‘Disk Analyzer’
  • Select which file categories you’d like to search for (or select ‘Everything’ if you’d like to search for all file types)
  • Click 'Analyze' and you'll be presented with a list of files and how much space they're taking up

If you need to free up space, you should:

  • Clean your computer (see the ‘Cleaner’ tab) to delete junk files and settings
  • Uninstall any programs you don’t need (go to ‘Tools’ > ‘Uninstall’)
  • Consider deleting pictures, songs and videos you no longer need (or moving them to a cloud-based storage platform like Dropbox)

2. How can I find out which programs are set to automatically run on startup?
When you install a program it can sometimes set itself to run every time you start Windows, but not every program has to start automatically. In fact, lots of startup programs will prevent your computer from starting quickly.
Here’s how you can use CCleaner to manage your startup items for a quick and effective boost to your computer’s boot time:

  • Open CCleaner and click on the ‘Tools’ icon on the left and then on ‘Startup’
  • Go through the list of programs and if you spot one you don’t want to start automatically, click on it and then click ‘Disable’

A word of caution!
Disabling something your computer needs can cause problems, so you should only disable something if you know what it does. If you’re not sure that what a program is, we recommend you Google its name prior to disabling it, as it may be required for your computer to function normally. 
In general, most apps that you only run sometimes do not need to run at startup, and can be disabled.

Disabling Startup Items

 3. How can I see a list of everything installed on my computer?
Often, new machines are laden with additional apps which you might not want or ever need to use. You might want to delete these ‘bloatware’ apps, or free your computer of programs you no longer use.
CCleaner makes managing apps easy by listing them all in one place and allowing you to uninstall them - even if they're built-in. To do this:

  • Open CCleaner and click on ‘Tools’
  • Select any unwanted apps and click ‘Uninstall’

4. How can I get my computer to free up space automatically?
CCleaner Professional (which is the paid-for version of CCleaner), includes automatic cleaning so you can enjoy a clean, fast computer without you doing a thing! There are two auto-cleaning options to choose from: 

Monitoring
This triggers cleaning after performing a specified action.

  • Open CCleaner and click on ‘Options’ and then ‘Monitoring’
  • Choose a space threshold or select a browser action (for example, clean every time I close Chrome)

Scheduling
This triggers cleaning at a specified time period.

  • Open CCleaner and click on ‘Options’ and then ‘Scheduling’
  • Click ‘Enable’ and then set your preferred date and time (for example, every Monday at 12pm)

Scheduled Cleaning using CCleaner

5. How can I clean my computer without deleting my passwords?
CCleaner’s out-of-the-box clean should be preset to leave your passwords intact. To check this:

  • Open CCleaner and click on the ‘CCleaner’ tab
  • See the list of browser items to clean
  • ‘Saved passwords’ (which should be at the bottom of each list of browser items to clean) should be greyed out, so will not be cleaned

If you’re an advanced user, you might want to do this by selecting the cookies you want to keep. To do this:

  • Open CCleaner and click on ‘Options’ and then ‘Cookies’
  • Select any cookies on your computer that you wish to keep and click on the arrow to move them into the right ‘Cookies to keep’ column

I hope these are useful!

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us in support or you can tweet us (we're @Piriform).

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