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How do I ... remove unwanted files with Ccleaner in one click?

Combining the features of Ccleaner with Click & Clean gives you the power to remove unwanted and unnecessary files from a Microsoft Windows PC in one click. Jack Wallen shows you how to set it up.

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.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.

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 Ccleaner

You will find Ccleaner in its own directory of the Start menu. When you run the application, the main window will appear (Figure A).

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
  • Applications
  • Fonts
  • Application paths
  • Help files
  • Installer
  • 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&Clean

All 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).

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 tip

As 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.

Figure C

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).

Figure D

You can move this icon so it always shows from the Customize Window.

Figure E

If the Cleaner icon is in the right pane, it should already appear in your Command bar.

Final thoughts

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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About

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 getjackd.net.

28 comments
fm21496
fm21496

Hello there, Is there a way to configure Ccleaner to delete the temp and temporary internet files folders on multiple user profiles? Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks. F.Maselli

IC-IT
IC-IT

Be careful with the registry cleaning option. One caveat for users of Pharos (a pay for print program), It will kill the necessary reg entries for Pharos to work. I found out the hard way after leaving CCleaner installed in an Open Lab environment. Test, test, test before going live, DOH! ;-)

efs710920mex
efs710920mex

The whole idea is to get rid of crap, not adding more. As it's already commented, ccleaner has an auto function by its own, so why installing additional software to automatize something that is already automatic?

Sirgwain
Sirgwain

I have never needed a "helper" app to get CCleaner to "clean" in one click. I found everything is right there to do that without using a helper or add-on.

scottvjayne
scottvjayne

CCleaner works so well that IExplorer 7.0 freezes now any time I surf. Main web page comes up real quick, but as soon as I attempt a link to somewhere, the ole "no respondorama" game begins and I have to close out IE 7.0 and start from scratch. Usually, when I get back to where I was, the link will then work....until I get to the next new link....what is CCleaner cleaning that I should reconfigure NOT to clean so damn well?

726tacrecon
726tacrecon

That is a good way to clean one user at a time I guess. I prefer the ATF cleaner since it cleans all users junk at once with 2 clicks. I'm not so lazy I will spend 5 minutes to save 2 seconds each time I run something.

dav532000
dav532000

Hi. After you have downloaded CCleaner, if you right click the Recycle Bin, you have two options Run or Open CCleaner, choose Run and it runs and cleans in the background. I enabled it to delete files without asking me, then when its finished it will close the App. Dave

gjwbiker
gjwbiker

You can also use the "auto" switch in CCleaner for a one-click cleanup. The shortcut properties would look something like this: "C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe" /auto

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

With normal use, Microsoft Windows will attract unwanted and no longer necessary remnants of files and applications. How do you clean house in your Windows PCs?

dandr76
dandr76

In using Ccleaner I have found that it also killed the necessary reg entries for some Roxio software. There is a way to solve that problem by entering data into the Exclude section of the software. Maybe someone more experienced than I an can talk to the exclude function of Ccleaner.

s31064
s31064

I guess one would have to assume that there is more to this than stated in the article, something that makes Click & Clean a better option than the /auto switch. Of course, since the /auto switch was never mentioned in the article, we may never know...

c-tom.matthews
c-tom.matthews

Dispensing with all the noise about other browsers/OS's - One, can you try starting IE with all 3rd party addons disabled, and see if it works then? If that fixes the issue, is there any ActiveX/BHO that is getting involved? Review the BHO's and controls that load when IE loads, I suspect it involves one of them. I have used CCleaner for awhile now on many machines, never an issue. Also, whenever trying to troubleshoot IE issues, I always request that "Show friendly HTTP error messages" is turned OFF. Often that is the answer you need in resolving the issue.

Blau67
Blau67

Beam me up Scotty.. to a place where someone answers a call for help!! I would like to apologize ScottyVJayne for the waste of time responses to your question!! While I by no means claim to have all the answers I will attempt to help with your problem. I have been using CCleaner for quite some time and have run into a few glitches myself(I use IE6 XPsp3)! ~First, A simple reboot may solve your IE7 freeze as CCleaner deletes all the files in your "Temporary Internet Files" folder(IE6). All of them including if checked, the "dat" files and I have found that this will cause IE_6 to hang after loading and sometimes in the middle of surfing! Try a re-boot after cleaning so Windows(not sure which OS you have) will re-create the needed files! I have also found that clicking "Recycle Bin" causes my restore points(XP) to disappear sometimes. Don't know why and don't care so I unclick it! I also go to "Options" and I tell CCleaner which cookies, if any, I want to keep and any files I don't want it to delete! You can also tell it to delete certain files that it would not normally delete if you wish! Double check all your checked choices on the main cleaner page under Windows/Apps just to make sure you aren't deleting things that can cause problems later, for example: "Autocomplete Form History" will delete all stored passwords. I like CCleaner because it works pretty good and its FREE! I hope I have helped in some way but sometimes you just have to tinker with apps like this to get it where you want it to be! Set a restore point or make a backup just in case till you have worked out all the bugs and have it customized to fit your needs! Good Luck, Blau

scottvjayne
scottvjayne

And I expected this blog to find some help about my freezing IE since I started using CCleaner. WHAT was I thinking? This whole thread would be an excellent example for applied communications classes that are examining the value (or lack thereof) of blogging sites. As for my PROBLEM....it still exists. I'm bummed because CCleaner is by far the MOST thorough cleaner and very easy to use, but I'm afraid I have to reload IE and stop using CCleaner since no one has an answer. Too bad a thread about CCleaner can't get sent to someone SMART at CCleaner? Thanks for the kindergarten lesson boys....

eurojames
eurojames

ditch the bloatware that is IE and switch to an open source superior browser. Try Firefox for one.

eurojames
eurojames

back in the day of NT4.0 I used to use this program which worked well. Was a simple one click affar and even made a backup of changes too if i rememeber rightly - so if something f*cked up you could back out. http://www.regclean.com/

jawgee2k
jawgee2k

How does this one-click process handle updates to CCleaner? It seems like I spend more time getting and installing updates for CCleaner than actually using it. Will this process also automate those steps as well? Thanks.

glnz
glnz

I've refrained from using CCleaner for some time because it seems to be TOO thorough, as seen from some of the posts here. What are the safe entries? For example, Mr. Kaelin says it's safe to clean the following in (from?) the Registry - does everyone here agree? Missing shared dll files Unused file extensions ActiveX and class issues Type libraries Applications Fonts Application paths Help files Installer Obsolete software Run at startup Start menu ordering MUI cache Thanks.

seanferd
seanferd

to clean files and the registry. Now I use CCleaner. For deeper registry inspection or cleaning, I still do it manually or use JV16.

ron.dondelinger
ron.dondelinger

It is interesting to note that some users have had issues with IE7 or Roxio or Pharos. I am aware that Ccleaner will target temporary working files such as for applications such as Microsoft Word and Lotus Notes, so I always advise my users/customers to close all active user applications prior to using Ccleaner. Aside from that, I have never had a negative experience with Ccleaner when removing temporary files or cleaning out the Windows Registry. I run Ccleaner with its default installation settings, with the exception of turning on the /AUTO switch to run it at Windows boot, and clearing the "Backup Registry?" prompt.

detours
detours

... right-click the Recycle Bin and select 'Run CCleaner' This option is enabled by default during the CCleaner install. You can enable it later in Options -> Settings if you unchecked it there.

s31064
s31064

Don't you just love love when someone has no clue how to answer a question they just spout forth with their own personal anti- agenda? If you can't answer the question, don't. Let someone that can answer it do so, then you might actually learn from the answer as well.

jeff
jeff

Contrary to popular belief/opinion many of us that use IE do so either because we like it, or we can't or don't have the ability to advocate changing it. As another user stated perhaps a bit harshly, we know about the benefits of alternative browsers all ready and simply giving us the 'ditch IE' or 'ditch Windows' answer does absolutely nothing to help us solve our problems. It actually makes me less likely to use them in the first place. It has the same effect as 'bible thumping' has for the Christian faith, driving more away that attracting.

C_Zakalwe
C_Zakalwe

Nice job ignoring a request for help, and instead offering only an opinion. As the saying goes, opinions are like @$$holes - everybody's got one and they all stink. I like and use FireFox for a number of things, and Safari, and Opera too, so don't think I don't know the beauty of alternate and open source browsers ... but he didn't ask you for your recommendation of a new browser, he asked for help fixing the one he already has. Maybe he's at work, and they mandate the use of IE (like we do, since FireFox has issues with our Citrix setup) - you don't know, since you never bothered to ask. With all due respect to the hours/days/weeks/years of effort that people have put into open source software, leaving people like you to "sell" it to others is the single stupidest IT decision I've ever seen.

eurojames
eurojames

Dear pro-IE brigade, The question was how to remove unwanted files that IE hoarded. I offered a solution for the long-term. I notice none of you have jumped on the 'on no i don't understand' bandwagon haven't actually offered anything to the question other than irrational hatred towards something different. Don't use firefox, use IE, use Windows, don't use Windows, learn don't learn. I don't mind or care, but paahlease, dont rubbish something because your embarrassed with your own failings.

john
john

Well said indeed, I couldn't have said it better. I too have had about all I can take of the open source "sales force" folks sticking their opinions in our face like a junior high school student mooning his classmates from the school bus.

petershum
petershum

I must say I agree with Zakalwe although he certainly could be more diplomatic. He is correct that the other chap was looking for a help and solution, not a suggestion for an alternative. If he was he'd have specifically asked for it. If you don't have a solution (other than suggesting the use of another browser), you are certainly within your right to offer an alternative and I applaud that - if it is a genuine kindness to help (rather than to grab an opportunity to dump on MS). You should also advise the person that you do not have the solution he was looking for.

eurojames
eurojames

I think you'll find that I did answer the question - I offered a solution to the problem. a single click to get it working - double click the firefox installer - ever you probably could manage that. Try thinking outside the box then perhaps you'll be able to solve your citrix/ff problem you don't seem to be able to solve. any work place that makes IE compulsary (like your place) probably needs a new strategy. what value-add are you providing - very little by the sound of it. hope wisconsin is keeping you smug.