Though my own use of Microsoft Windows has fallen off sharpely, I still have family (that I will acknowledge) who use Windows. Since I’m a “computer guy”, I’ve been called in before to clean family computers that have grown slow from crap building up on their hard drives. There’s a lot to clean: since Windows isn’t housebroken, it tends to gather all sorts of garbage: TEMP files (*.tmp), bad Registry entries, bad data discovered by Window’s chkdsk hard drive scanner (*.chk), log files, cached internet files, and all sorts of other junk. And this doesn’t include that malware, viruses, and spyware that are ubiquitous on Windows.
CCleaner, a freeware utility from Piriform, has long been my goto Windows cleanup utility. It’s graphical user interface is self-explanatory enough that my father and my late mother could be taught to use it and they are/were in their late sixties. My years spent doing technical support have revealed one inescapable fact: most people over 65 have difficulty making the mental leap needed for use personal computers effectively. The leap can be made but the largest component of their mental block, a paralyzing fear that they’ll “break” their computer, is hard to overcome. Explaining that having Windows on their computer meant that their computer was already broken was rarely comforting.
Now I learn that there’s a version of CCleaner for MacOS X. MacOS X is superior to Windows in almost every way (mostly because it “lacks” the Windows Registry). But it is not immune from accumulating crap on your hard drive. So far, CCleaner is just as good at cleaning out obscure corners of MacOS X (I’m using MacOS X 8.0 “Mountain Lion”) as it is at cleaning out obscure corners of Windows.
If you’re using MacOS X or Windows, download, install, and run CCleaner regularly. Given the price (free), it’s a no-brainer.
[Disclaimer: I am not an agent provocateur from Piriform]