There are a bunch of PC cleaner apps and tuning programs that offer to help keep your Windows computer running smoothly. Some are free such as CCleaner while others are premium, like PC Health Advisor. There are also ads everywhere online offering PC cleaning software for a modest cost. Do you need things applications running on Windows 10? Do you need to pay to keep your computer running well?
The short answer is no, you certainly do not need to pay to keep Windows 10 running smoothly. I would definitely avoid buying any ‘PC cleaning’ software from an internet ad. Whether you install a free program or not is up to you. The guys here at Dave’s Computers have tried all kinds of cleaning and tuning software in our time. Some of the programs are useful, others not so much.
During the Windows 95 to Windows 8 era, these programs did offer modest value. Windows wasn’t so good at housekeeping and would use up all your disk space, not completely clean the registry when you uninstalled an app and was something of a sulky teenage when it came to keeping things tidy. This is where tuning and cleaning applications were useful.
Now we have Windows 10, you don’t need anything else to keep things running smoothly.
Windows 10 housekeeping
While still far from perfect, Windows 10 has made huge strides in usability, utility and appeal. It now manages its own disk space, offers to clean the recycle bin every month, does a far better job at cleaning the registry when uninstalling and tries to keep everything running smoothly.
Windows 10 can repair it’s own registry. It enables you to empty the junk folder yourself. It has its own disk cleaner. It can defragment its own drives and you don’t need to defrag an SSD. You can clear your own browser cookies and history in a couple of clicks. You can cleanly uninstall your own applications.
These things are what most PC tuning or cleaning applications offer to do.
Never buy PC cleaning software from an ad
When I say ads, I don’t mean sponsored ads by recognized companies, I mean web ads for companies you have never heard of for programs that offer to revolutionize your computing experience by speeding it up, clearing out the junk and cleaning the registry.
At best all these programs do is what Windows can do itself. At worst, it will scare you with hundreds of ‘errors’ and ask you to pay to fix them. Some of these apps try to charge users up to $50 for a license to do what Windows can already do.
Don’t fall for the hype.
Use CCleaner if you want a tune up
If you like being able to perform all housekeeping tasks from a single place, Piriform’s CCleaner is the way to go. There is a free version which is plenty enough or a decent Pro version that automates all of the processes. For most home users, the free version is plenty enough.
It can clean out old files, free up disk space, tidy up the registry, change startup items and offers an easy way to uninstall old programs. All things Windows can do but in a tidy interface. Best of all, it’s free and it works!