Tag Archives: CCleaner

Clean Up With Click&Clean Firefox and Chrome Extension

imageIf there’s one thing regular readers here seem to agree on it’s – CCleaner is an awesome application. You can count me in the “awesome application” appreciation group. This free system cleaner is still my “go to” application for simple system cleanup.

CCleaner users know, that running this venerable utility can help keep a system clean by emptying the Recycle Bin, Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Old Chkdsk Files, Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and more.

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Generally, I would run CCleaner once a day – if I could remember to do so. I’ve now discovered a “no need to remember” way to launch CCleaner automatically, whenever I close my Browsers – either Firefox, or Chrome.

Click&Clean is a free Firefox and Chrome extension which not only does a major cleanup job on Browser activity in its own right (see fast facts), but the application can be set to launch CCleaner automatically (for a deeper and more secure cleaning), on Browser shut down. Additional external applications (rather than CCleaner), which can be set to run automatically include – Wise Disk Cleaner Free, Computer Janitor, and BleachBit.

Setup is simple and straightforward. From within the options menu, you can choose which external application you wish to run.

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For convenience, you can add an extension icon to the Browser’s navigation Toolbar, as illustrated below.

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Fast facts:

Delete your browsing history
Clear records from your download history
Remove cookies and Empty cache
Delete temporary files
Remove Flash Local Shared Objects (LSO)
Delete private data when Firefox closes
Automatically close all windows/tabs
Clean up your hard drives and Free up more disk space – including secure file deletion
Launch external applications, like CCleaner, Wise Disk Cleaner etc. on Windows – or Janitor, BleachBit, etc. on Linux

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Linux, Mac

Download the Firefox version at: Mozilla

Download the Chrome version at: The Chrome Web store

The Chrome version has several additional features not available in the Firefox version.

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Browser Plug-ins, Browsers, Chrome Add-ons, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google Chrome, Linux, Mac, Software, Ubuntu, Windows Tips and Tools

Link Not Working? Not Found (404 errors)? – Clear Your DNS Cache. Here’s How

In the past week or so, I’ve had five readers advise me that one or more of the links on this site weren’t working (this issue crops up occasionally). One reader pointed out, that on his desktop machine he had issues with a particular link – but on his laptop, the link worked fine.

Since I use CoolPreviews (a free application I highly recommend), to establish that article links are working before I post – as illustrated below – when I get this particular query, I’m reasonably sure that what we’ve got here is a “failure to communicate” (thank you Cool Hand Luke), caused by an issue with the reader’s DNS cache.

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If you’ve encountered similar problems here, or elsewhere – or problems with an unusually high number of Not Found 404 error codes while surfing, it’s probable that you need to flush your DNS cache.

Here’s whyFrom LCN:

DNS caching is a double-edged sword. It speeds up resolution by storing recent answers, and short-circuiting the normal resolution process. However there is a down side. Because DNS servers cache answers, and don’t delete these answers until the time to live (ttl) expires, it can take hours or days for the entire Internet to recognize changes to DNS information for your domain name.

Clearing your DNS cache forces your machine to query DNS name servers for updated DNS information.

Here are two ways in which you can clear your DNS cache:

The Geek way:

Go to “Run” in the Start menu (“Search” for “Run” if you can’t see it).

In the Run box, type CMD (doesn’t need to be capitalized).

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At the command prompt, (not in the Run box), type – ipconfig/flushdns.

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Hit “Enter”, and that’s it. Your DNS cache has just been flushed.

The less Geeky way (the easy way):

Install and run CCleaner – it’s free, and it’s really a “must have” for all computer users.

CCleaner will allow you to flush your DNS cache by simply checking the appropriate box – as illustrated below.

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My DNS cache is partially illustrated below before flushing with CCleaner. You can see what’s in your DNS cache by entering ipconfig/displaydns at the command prompt.

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DNS cache after flushing with CCleaner.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Browsers, downloads, Freeware, Help, Interconnectivity, Operating Systems, Registry Cleaners, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

A Reader Wants To Know….

imageWe receive a wide variety of questions here, from the very simple, to the complex – all of which are equally as interesting. The following thought-provoking questions were all recently posed by a reader.

Which Antivirus application(s) would you recommend?

Let me answer this by telling you what I run on my principal home machine. Despite the fact that I’m provided with a free license for all the security applications I test, I have chosen the following applications.

Microsoft Security Essentials (free)

Immunet Protect – a free Cloud based companion antimalware application.

ThreatFire (free)

WinPatrol (free)

Pc Tools Firewall Plus (free) – I recently changed from ZoneAlarm (free), since I finally tired of their incessant ads.

Zemana AntiLogger (paid) – I’ve managed to pick up a free license each of the last 2 years, however.

Each of these applications has been reviewed (some several times), on my site. A site search using the search box will lead you to the relevant article/s.

How many Antivirus application(s) should I have installed on my laptop.

Typically the answer is straightforward – one (in order to avoid potential conflicts). However, nothing is really straightforward with a computer. For an in-depth answer, please read Can I Install And Use More Than One Antimalware Application? on my site.

Which Firewall would you recommend?

Over time, I have installed virtually every available Firewall, and I must admit, my favorite has always been ZoneAlarm – not only for its effectiveness, but also for its ease of use. As I said earlier though, I recently made the change back to PC Tools Firewall Plus – a Firewall I’ve used in the past that is as effective and as easy to use as ZoneAlarm (without the annoying ads).

Comodo Firewall, which you’re presently using, is an excellent application. I’ve used and reviewed this application in the past, and I have no difficulty in recommending it.

Which Malware/Spyware application(s) would you recommend?

Since Microsoft Security Essentials combines both antivirus, and antispyware in the same application, this is a very workable solution. Additionally, the issue of maintaining good control over system resource usage is addressed by employing this combination.

How many Malware/Spyware applications should I have installed on my laptop?

The same answer applies here as in the Antivirus question.

Which Backup and Recovery program(s) would you suggest?

The principal issues affecting backups are determined by how (the skill level of the user), and for what purpose, a computer is used. Typically, average users are convinced that backing up is beyond their knowledge level, and so avoid this necessary chore.

The reality is, major advances have been made in the development of simple, “push button” easy, backup applications. There are a many applications to choose from, both paid and free, and the one I’m very enthusiastic about at the moment is Free EASEUS Todo Backup. You can reread my recent review of this application here.

Which registry cleaner would you recommend?

Registry Cleaners are often referred to as the “snake oil” of the computer industry. There is a major difference of opinion concerning the value of these applications.

Generally speaking, it’s my view that this type of application should not be used by an average user – except for a very mild cleaner, such as Ccleaner, which I do, in fact, highly recommend.

There are times when a powerful cleaner, (such as RegSeeker), in skilled hands, can be beneficial.

Which Anonymous Surfing application would you recommend? (My privacy is mine and important to me).

I’ve reviewed and recommended quite a number of such applications here, but the application I’m most partial to (at the moment), is Free Hotspot Shield. You can read the latest review of this application here.

Finally – while you mentioned WOT and SnoopFree Privacy Shield, additional Browser protection is a critical ingredient in overall system protection. I recommend that you read the following article here – An IT Professional’s Must Have Firefox and Chrome Add-ons

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Backup Applications, Browser add-ons, Computer Tools, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Free Security Programs, Interconnectivity, PC Tools, Point of View, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

CCleaner Updated (Again) – Now In Version 3.01

imagePiriform, the people who bring us not only CCleaner, but Defraggler, Speccy, and Recuva, released Version 3.0 of CCleaner on October 28, 2010, and have already updated this version with the release of Version 3.01 (November 25, 2010).

CCleaner users know, that running this venerable utility can help optimize a system by emptying the Recycle Bin, Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Old Chkdsk Files, Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and more.

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There are a number of improvements in the latest version worth taking note of, including –

Improved application startup time and INI loading speeds.

Removed need to reboot for Index.dat cleaning.

Improved cookie cleaning in Firefox 4.0 Beta 7.

Improved Chromium based browser detection and cleaning.

Added support for Adobe Reader 10 and Acronis True Image.

Improved cleaning for 7-Zip, Adobe Reader 9.0, Microsoft Silverlight Isolated Storage, WinPatrol and Microsoft Management Console.

Added support for local domains in “Cookies to Keep” list.

Improved debugging with log file support using /DEBUG command-line parameter.

Improved detection algorithm for 64-bit and Program Files.

Improved folder drag and drop in Include options.

Fixed bug in Uninstall Tool during cancellation.

Improved drive detection in Drive Wiper screen.

Added support to refresh cleaning rules using F5.

Improved translations.

Minor GUI improvements.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista Win 7 (64 bit compatible).

Download at: FileHippo

CCleaner is also available in a portable version designed for installation on USB thumb drives (including U3 compatible thumb drives).

Download the portable versions here.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Secure File Deletion, Software, System Utilities, Tracks Eraser, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free Comodo System Cleaner – CCleaner On Steroids

imageJust a few days ago, I posted my usual annual review of CCleaner – in which I made the point, that this free system cleaner is still my “go to” application for simple system cleanup.

But, if you’re looking for a more powerful free solution, then Comodo System Cleaner might just be ideal. This free application will do what CCleaner will do, and a whole lot more – and I do mean, a whole lot more.

I’m a big fan of Comodo’s products, including their free Firewall and AntiVirus software. So, I was expecting big things from Comodo System Cleaner when I first installed it, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, this is now my “go to” application when I need to dig the deep dirt out of a system.

Installation is easy, and preference setup is checkbox simple – as the following selected screen captures indicate. All screen shots are taken from my personal machine – clicking on any graphic will expand it to its original size.

Clean up menu

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Settings menu

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Autoruns menu

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System settings menu – System Tweaks

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Fast facts:

Registry Cleaner – Optimizes and repairs your Windows registry by running an in-depth scan to remove, or repair, unnecessary or corrupted registry keys.

SafeDelete and Registry Protection – Use these features to backup all your files before cleaning. When cleaning is complete, you’ll be able to make sure your PC is in perfect condition before deleting for good.

Disk Cleaner – This utility lets you quickly clear them all, to free up space and improve performance. Also allows you to schedule regular clean up routines.

Privacy Cleaner – Obliterates your digital paper trail and helps protect you from identity theft by cleaning history, cache, cookies and usage records from Internet browsers, Windows locations, and popular software.

System Settings – With over 50 tweaks in the ‘System Settings’ area alone, you can optimize Windows behavior in a more powerful and intuitive way than ever before.

System Information – Detailed and easily accessible ‘dashboard’ summary of all the hardware and software installed on your computer.

Autorun Manager – Fingertip control over exactly which programs and services start with Windows. Helps improve Windows boot up time, stops unwanted programs from hogging system resources and boosts overall system performance and stability.

File Pending Delete – Provides the ability to delete files that are locked and cannot otherwise be deleted when in Windows ‘User Mode’. Specifying a file with the ‘File Pend Delete’ tool will schedule that file to be deleted immediately after the next system restart.

File Wiper – Allows you to permanently remove confidential or sensitive files from your hard drive. When you delete a file in Windows, you are really only removing the reference to that file from the system table. The file itself remains on your drive and could be easily re-opened by data thieves. ‘File Wiper’ ensures that the files you want to delete are comprehensively erased and cannot be recovered.

Free – for both home and business users.

View the video.

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I’m a big fan of “all-in-one” system utilities and I have to admit, I really like this all-in-one free application with its simple and effective user interface. I particularly like the easy access the user interface allows to Windows system settings, which makes tweaking the OS a snap.

As the fast facts point out, this application has a wide range of built in system utilities, which in my view, are perfect for the new, or casual computer user. I should point out however, that the built in registry cleaner, just like all registry cleaners, should be used cautiously.

Overall recommendation: Comodo System Cleaner is definitely worth considering as an addition to any users system utilities toolbox.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and Server 2003 (all – 32 or 64 bit)

Download at: Comodo

Bonus: What makes this free application even more interesting is; it’s available as a portable program which can easily be run from a USB drive. Great for geeks!

Portable version download at: Download.com

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, Comodo, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Secure File Deletion, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Windows 7, Windows Update, Windows Vista, Windows XP

CCleaner 3.0 released – Now Native 64 Bit Compatible

imageWhat can you say about CCleaner (the granddaddy of all system cleaners – it’s been around since 2004), that hasn’t already been said of this freeware system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool.

Even though I have tested a fairly large number of free system utilities, over the years, that offer to improve system performance and help maintain privacy, I always find myself coming back to CCleaner. It’s just hard to beat perfection, and in my view CCleaner is as close to perfect at its assigned task, as a free program can be.

CCleaner removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. As well, it cleans up traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it includes a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is – it’s fast; normally taking just seconds to run.

Piriform, the people who bring us not only CCleaner, but Defraggler, Speccy, and Recuva, have just released (October 28, 2010),  the latest version of this venerable utility.

New in Version 3.0

A new 64-bit native EXE designed specifically for 64-bit systems.

A new Drive Wiper tool screen under the Tools section, which allows users to securely erase the contents or free space on a specified drive.

Improved support for Internet Explorer 9 and the Google Chrome browsers.

We have also added improved cleaning support for HTML5 database storage, allowing CCleaner to effectively manage the next generation of web applications.

Additional cleaning support for Microsoft Silverlight Isolated Storage.

We’ve added three new environment variables (%SystemDirectory%, %SystemDirectory32%, and %SystemDirectory64%).

New application icon.

New Intelligent cookie keeping feature.

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Running a Hard Disk cleaner such as CCleaner, will help optimize a system by emptying the Recycle Bin, Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Old Chkdsk Files, Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and more.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista Win 7.

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, Disk Cleaners, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Privacy, Registry Cleaners, Secure File Deletion, Software, System Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download Free Comodo System Cleaner – Gets the Deep Dirt Out!

What could be a more powerful free solution, than that old standby CCleaner, which removes unused files, and ensures your privacy by cleaning traces of your online activities? Well, how about Comodo System Cleaner (last update February 09, 2010), which will do all that, and much more.

I’m a big fan of Comodo’s products, including their free Firewall and AntiVirus software. So, I was expecting big things from Comodo System Cleaner, and I wasn’t disappointed. After considerable testing, I gave this free application a big “thumbs up”.

Comodo Privacy Cleaner 1

Fast facts:

Registry Cleaner – Optimizes and repairs your Windows registry by running an in-depth scan to remove, or repair, unnecessary or corrupted registry keys.

Disk Cleaner – This utility lets you quickly clear them all, to free up space and improve performance. Also allows you to schedule regular clean up routines.

Privacy Cleaner – Obliterates your digital paper trail and helps protect you from identity theft by cleaning history, cache, cookies and usage records from Internet browsers, Windows locations, and popular software.

System Settings – With over 50 tweaks in the ‘System Settings’ area alone, you can optimize Windows behavior in a more powerful and intuitive way than ever before.

System Information – Detailed and easily accessible ‘dashboard’ summary of all the hardware and software installed on your computer.

Autorun Manager – Fingertip control over exactly which programs and services start with Windows. Helps improve Windows boot up time, stops unwanted programs from hogging system resources and boosts overall system performance and stability.

File Pending Delete – Provides the ability to delete files that are locked and cannot otherwise be deleted when in Windows ‘User Mode’. Specifying a file with the ‘File Pend Delete’ tool will schedule that file to be deleted immediately after the next system restart.

File Wiper – Allows you to permanently remove confidential or sensitive files from your hard drive. When you ‘delete’ a file in Windows, you are really only removing the reference to that file from the system table. The file itself remains on your drive and could be easily re-opened by data thieves. ‘File Wiper’ ensures that the files you want to delete are comprehensively erased and cannot be recovered.

Free – for both home and business users.

Comodo Reg Cleaner 1

I’m a big fan of “all-in-one” system utilities and I have to admit, I really liked this all-in-one free application, with its simple and effective user interface. I particularly liked the easy access the user interface allows to Windows system settings, which makes tweaking the OS a snap.

As the fast facts point out, this application has a wide range of built in system utilities, which in my view, are perfect for the new, or casual computer user. I should point out however, that the built in registry cleaner, just like all registry cleaners, should be used cautiously.

Here’s why – despite the fact that the registry cleaner has a neat feature; it will restart your machine to test if the registry removal will adversely affect your system, on a test run this module screwed up my game settings.

I’m not blaming the module. It was my own fault, since I did not exercise proper caution. Just shows you – even geeks can be careless! It was not a big deal to recover but……….

Comodo provides a comparison chart, on their site, which illustrates the differences between their application and the competition, which you may find interesting.

Comodo Cleaner Comparison

If you’re a casual computer user, Comodo System Cleaner is definitely worth considering as an addition to your system utilities toolbox.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and Server 2003 (all – 32 or 64 bit)

Download at: Comodo

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Filed under Comodo, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, Registry Cleaners, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP