Software

Five apps that will clean up Internet Explorer

Brien Posey discusses five utilities that can help you to clean up Internet Explorer and cover your tracks.

Even if you are not in the habit of visiting questionable Web sites, you may occasionally find it necessary to clean up Internet Explorer in an effort to protect your privacy and/or improve the browser's performance. This article discusses five utilities that can help you to clean up Internet Explorer and cover your tracks.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Five Apps

1. CCleaner

CCleaner is a free tool for cleaning up Windows and Internet Explorer. This versatile tool fixes registry errors, removes temporary files, and things like CHKDSK fragments and memory dumps.

When it comes to cleaning Internet Explorer, CCleaner clears the browser history, and removes cookies and temporary Internet files. The nice thing about this utility (besides its versatility) is that it doesn't have to perform a blanket deletion of your cookies. You have the option of specifying cookies that you would like to keep.

2. Free Internet Eraser

Free Internet Eraser is a free tool for cleaning Windows and covering your tracks in Internet Explorer. This utility covers all of the basics, such as deleting browsing history, cookies, and temporary Internet files. A particularly nice feature is the Schedule option, which allows you to automate the clean up process. However, if you want the option of securely removing deleted items from your hard disk then you will have to upgrade to the professional version.

3. System and Internet Washer Pro

System and Internet Washer Pro is a utility for removing Internet Explorer data such as Web browsing history, temporary files, and cookies. In addition to its support for Internet Explorer, the utility also contains a cleaner for Windows and a pop-up blocker.

Each of the utility's functions are presented on a separate tab. These tabs allow you to select the individual components that you want to clear and click an Erase button. A Quick Erase tab lets you perform Windows and Internet Explorer cleaning simultaneously. A nice touch is the Disk tab, which lets you securely remove deleted files from your hard disk.

System and Internet Washer Pro sells for $34.95, but a free 15 day trial is available for download.

4. RealTime Cookie and Cache Cleaner

RealTime Cookie and Cache Cleaner is rather unique among Internet Explorer clean up programs in that it attempts to clean the browser in real time, while the user is browsing the Internet. While the clean up process does not happen in true real time, it does happen about once a minute and seems not to disrupt the browsing process. This utility works well on Windows 7, but did not work correctly on Windows 8.

RealTime Cookie and Cache Cleaner sells for $9.95, but a free 30 day trial is available for download.

5. Tracks Eraser Pro

Tracks Eraser Pro is a browser cleaner that goes way beyond just taking care of the basics. For starters, this cleaner works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox, and other browsers. The utility also includes a test feature so that you can test an erase operation before committing to it. Other nice features include a file shredder and my personal favorite, a boss key that lets you quickly hide a browser screen when the boss (or anyone else) walks into the room.

Tracks Eraser Pro costs $29.95, but a free 30 day trial is available for download.

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About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

16 comments
JamesMathewJJ
JamesMathewJJ

I am using Windows 7 and last week, my computer started to hang and become slow. Then after clearing all the temp file folder manually, I couldn't be able to solve the problem. But after searching on google, I came to know about the utility i.e. http://www.ninjatuneup.com/ which clean up all the crap files of the system in minutes. 

techieindeed
techieindeed

The use of Internet Explorer has become a dying breed due to Microsoft’s long lasting unwillingness to cope with challenges posed by mobile technologies. They did not stay tuned with on-the-go technologies, and now when any such articles about their crown browser get into public notice, I have to read them unwillingly because some customers in network repair tasks still sticking together with IE for internet browsing. However, the Chrome and Mozilla browsers are a lot more user friendly in this context.

murraye3
murraye3

Bleachbit has been a nice cleaner for temp files, but beware of over-reaching with the selections available depending on your machine.

orovan
orovan

The best way to clean IE is not to use it. Use Firefox of Chrome instead and learn how to control their settings. Set them to always start in In-Private (Firefox) or Incognito (Chrome) and go over all the settings, making sure everything is set to not keep any data from browsing sessions. As an added bonus you will not have to restart your computer to install a new version of a web browser.

emailadsspam
emailadsspam

I read the same statement over and over about "deciding which cookies to keep". When I open Internet Options and go to what Windows calls "Objects" what I see may as well be written in Chinese. I can't tell one of these "objects" from another. Whether it is a tracking cookie or whatever. So I delete them all. I have been using CCleaner for ten years or so with no problem at all.

mdrake
mdrake

Internet Explorer already includes a tool to clean it up – it is legally required to come standard and is called 'uninstall'. Anything less is not enough! Internet Explorer has been the bane of my existence for 10+ years and I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive. In fairness later versions do show improvement but there is still the insistence on proprietary methodology and limits to their support of standards so there will still be extra work to support IE OR a need to hold back on standards that all of the other major players readily adhere to.

gfinms
gfinms

I agree with markku.niskanen. I tried CCleaner, and the system performance degraded. Also, about the Boss Key. We all know, Boss Key or not, the Boss knows what you are doing. The system logs, will out you.

markku.niskanen
markku.niskanen

It is amazing to see something like this still being published. Anybody with the basic knowledge about Windows (I have been writing windows software as early as 1990) knows that the utilities like CCleaner should be avoided. As a REAL Windows specialist said: "At its best CCleaner does not help at all and when things go bad it will render the system useless. The latter has happened to a couple of friends. Anybody with some maths talents understands that removing a few dozen keys amounting to a couple of kilobytes from a binary tree containing at least tens of thousands of values will not result in even microseconds of search efficiency. As one analyst put it about five years ago: "It may result in, say, 1% performance improvement in some very rare cases but generally the change is either zero or too small to be measured". Memory optimizers, registry cleaners, misc. erasers etc. are the snake oil of our time. Even disk defragmenters have gone practically obsolete during the past few years.

mountjl
mountjl

I found this depressing enough a read anyway, wondering why anyone would need much beyond the default clearing of browsing and temp files afforded by IE and disk cleanup. And then the truth outted. The "boss" button. Way to advocate inappropriate use of institutional resources. A poor article.

SlowPCHelp
SlowPCHelp

Excellent suggestions I use these types of programs everyday when I write for http://www.fixingaslowcomputer.com but surprisingly all but CCleaner are new to me so I can't wait to try them out and let you know what I find. Then again I use Internet Explorer mostly for work which is usually safer. As an IT professional I can tell you that IE has gotten a lot better as far as safety and speed! (Plus I really like the way it looks).. Whatever you do, DO NOT download toolbars they make your system more vulnerable! Use the new disable feature in IE liberally!

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