Free Up Space
To access the Free Up Space tool on Windows 10, head to Settings > System > Storage and click “Free Up Space Now” under Storage Sense. Windows will automatically scan for files you can delete. Check the files you want to delete and click “Remove files” to get rid of them.
Warning: If you check “Recycle Bin,” Windows will also empty your Recycle Bin. Be sure you don’t want to recover any deleted files from your Recycle Bin before checking this option.
On Windows 7, you can launch the classic “Disk Cleanup” tool from your Start menu to delete these files. The classic desktop Disk Cleanup tool is still included on Windows 10, but the new interface in Settings does the same thing and runs a bit faster.
Manage Startup Programs
Clear Your Web Browsing Tracks
In fact, you shouldn’t even need to clear your browsing data in the first place. Just use private browsing mode whenever you want to access a sensitive website without any history being saved to your computer. If you never want your browser saving any private data, you can make your browser always start in private browsing mode. This is better than clearing your browsing data in CCleaner, as it prevents that data from being created in the first place.
We don’t recommend constantly clearing your browsing data or always running in private browsing mode. You’ll have to keep logging into the websites you use every time you open your browser, as their cookies won’t be kept on your PC. Deleting your cache files will slow down your web browsing, too. But, if you want to clear this data anyway, your browser has you covered.
Find the Files Wasting Space on Your Computer
If you have some big files hiding somewhere on your computer, you’ll find them with this tool and you can remove them manually. If the files in question are part of a program, you should uninstall the program from your computer to remove them. If they’re temporary, cache, or data files, you can probably just delete them. You may want to perform a web search for the name of the files or the folder they’re in before deleting them just to confirm you’re not deleting anything important.
Some programs do waste space. For example, NVIDIA’s graphics drivers use about 1 GB of space on your computer for old driver installers. Thankfully, NVIDIA told us they now automatically delete older driver versions, so this folder shouldn’t continually grow in size. You may need to delete folders like this one manually if you’re really tight on space.
Encrypt Your Hard Disk to Really Cover Your Tracks
Here’s how to enable full disk encryption on your Windows 10 PC. Some Windows 10 PCs already have encryption, while others need Windows 10 Professional to enable BitLocker. if your PC didn’t come with encryption and you don’t want to pay for Windows 10 Pro, you can use VeraCrypt instead.
Most of the same tips apply to Windows 7. You can upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate for BitLocker or install VeraCrypt for free encryption.
With your hard drive encrypted, you don’t have to worry about erasing your private data so much—whenever you turn off your computer, its hard drive will be encrypted and people will need your key to boot it up and access your data.
How to Download an Old Version of CCleaner
If you do want an old version of CCleaner, you’ll have to download it from another website. Version 5.45 of CCleaner forces Active Monitoring, so you may want to download version 5.44 from a website like UptoDown.
To prevent CCleaner from checking for updates, launch CCleaner and click Options > Settings. Uncheck the “Inform me of updates to CCleaner” option here.
You can also disable System Monitoring from Options > Monitoring, and deactivate analytics from Options > Privacy.
Again, this is a short term solution. CCleaner may stop working well if you stick to an old version for years.
CCleaner has quite a few tools that you don’t need, either. For example, you just don’t need a registry cleaner. While there may be some outdated entries in your registry, they take up a miniscule amount of space and don’t slow your computer down.
For anything else in CCleaner you might want, you can find a CCleaner alternative. For example, if you want a list of the programs installed on your computer, you can save a list of your installed applications with a single Windows command. To find duplicate files on your PC, you can install a duplicate file finder. For anything else, you can find a built-in Windows utility or a free application that won’t nag and monitor you.