CCleaner is probably one of the most popular utilities I will recommend to install to keep your PC clean, mostly to clean up junk files and registry fixes. Little you may not know, there are other powerful features you can take advantage of. It has a build-in feature to allow user to securely delete files, leave no trace of what files were previously on your system, to make recovery software harder to retrieve deleted files. The other trick you can leverage is the ability to find duplicated files and folders. And have an overview glance of what’s taking up all your disk space.
To understand why you might want to use this feature, first you need to understand the basic of how Operating Systems like Windows stores your files and folders, how those files are stored on the physical disks. Imagine there are millions drawer you can put the files, there is one central place that records which files are under which drawer. When you save the file on your computer, this central records get updated, when you deleting the file the bare minimum operation that Operating System needs to do is remove the record from the central place. The file itself might be stored in the drawer but nobody knows where to find it, this is what happened when you deleting a file from Windows. It doesn’t remove the actual file rather it only removes the path to the actual file. The secure wipe essentially will replace all the empty space with random data.
In CCleaner you can go to Tools > Drive Wiper > pick the security level to adjust how many times those empty spaces are going to get wiped. So next time when you are returning your company laptop or resell your existing computer to others, be sure to do this. Files that you thought you have deleted might not be gone after all.
Find Duplicate Files and Folders
Another trick you can do with CCleaner is the ability to find duplicated files and folders. You might not consider this to be much of use if you are not worry about running out of disk space. For those of you who are short on disk, this is a great way to find extra storage space by removing all the duplicated files.
If you go to Tools > Duplicate Folder, by default CCleaner will find all duplicated folders and files for any type. This might be too wide scope to search, so you can limit it down by which directory you are interested or narrow down to only say duplicated pictures or videos by narrowing the file extension when searching.
Disk Usage By File Type Report
Last but not least, is also released to disk and hard drive. If you are ever wonder what’s taking up all the space. Go to Tools > Disk Analyzer will give you a better view of what’s occupying all the space. By default it narrows down to colour coded files into its group like Pictures, Music, Documents and Video.
If you run this on your machine, it should be more colourful than a fresh Windows 10 install. As you can see most of which are occupying the disk space are other files in this case is the Windows 10 executable files and all the dependencies.
Those are some additional features offered by CCleaner, give them a try.
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂
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Last updated: 06/28/2015