If you are a Microsoft Windows user you know how quickly a machine can become littered with bits of unused and unnecessary data. Of course, there are plenty of applications that offer to clean up those unwanted files, but few of them do so with the ease of freeware application Ccleaner. But having to go through the process of opening Ccleaner, configuring it, and then executing the cleanup takes more time than most are willing to expend.
However, adding another freeware application, Click&Clean, to the mix makes this process very simple. With Click&Clean you can remove all the unwanted files you have preconfigured with Ccleaner in a single click. Let's see how this is done.
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Before you begin
You first have to have Ccleaner installed and working. Once you have it installed, you will want to configure Ccleaner to clean up your hard drive. Let's quickly go over this process.
Running CcleanerYou will find Ccleaner in its own directory of the Start menu. When you run the application, the main window will appear (Figure A).
Notice there are two tabs in the Cleaner section: Windows and Applications.
What you want to do is go through Ccleaner and add or subtract all the types of files/data you want to clean up. I would make sure to go through each section, taking great care when picking through the registry section. Within the registry section you can have Ccleaner clean up:
- Missing shared dll files
- Unused file extensions
- ActiveX and class issues
- Type libraries
- Application paths
- Help files
- Obsolete software
- Run at startup
- Start menu ordering
- MUI cache
Once you have that configured to meet your needs, you might want to run Ccleaner to ensure it runs successfully.
Getting and installing Click&CleanAll you need to do to install Click&Clean is download the Click&Clean installer binary. Double-click on the downloaded file to install. Once you have installed the application, you will notice an entry in the Windows Task Bar (Figure B).
This is not the only quick access button you will find.
Once you click the shortcut, Ccleaner will open with a warning message. The warning message reminds you that the process will permanently delete files from your hard drive. If you feel confident in this process, you can click the Do Not Show This Message Again check box in order to run this process automatically. Make sure you check this box before you click OK. When you click OK, the process will begin. You may also get another warning if your browser is open and you are attempting to delete the browser cache. Close the browser and click out of the warning to continue.
Once Ccleaner completes the process, the window will automatically disappear.
Another quick access tipAs stated earlier, there are other ways to use Click&Clean. If you use Firefox you can add a Click&Clean button on the toolbar by clicking Customize in the Toolbars submenu within the View menu. In the customize window, you will see the Click&Clean icon (Figure C) that you can drag and drop onto the toolbar.
Don't drag it to the bookmark toolbar; drag it to the main tool bar.
Once you have that button added, you can start Cclean with a single click.For Internet Explorer, the Cleaner icon should automatically be added when installed. To find it, click the drop-down on the Command Bar to reveal the hidden commands (Figure D). If the icon isn't there, you can add it by right-clicking the Command bar, selecting Customize Command Bar, and then clicking Add/Remove Commands. In this new window, select Cleaner to add it to the toolbar (Figure E).
You can move this icon so it always shows from the Customize Window.
If the Cleaner icon is in the right pane, it should already appear in your Command bar.
Both Ccleaner and Click&Clean are a great duo for keeping your system clean of unwanted files and cleaning up the tracks left behind by your browser. If you are a smart (or a paranoid) PC user, you would be wise to employ this handy application's one-two punch.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.