The world is not exactly short of clean-it tools for the PC, and there are plenty of excellent free utilities out there. So what can CleanMyPC, from Mac developer MacPaw, offer that other cleanup programs can’t?
First, it’s all wrapped up in a pleasant, shiny interface. After installation, the program invites you to scan for files you can potentially clean up. It scans your computer for potentially redundant files, dividing them into four categories: caches and logs, help files, additional languages, and a rather vague setting, trash and junk. Thankfully you can review exactly what’s going to be deleted by selecting each section, then drilling down using the navigation tools to view what’s going to get trashed. Everything is properly labelled, right down to the actual folder locations (which can be accessed directly from the program too). Items can be selected or deselected as required, or you can trust your life to the program and click Clean.
That’s not all CleanMyPC does, however: it also includes a secure erase utility for individual files and folders, plus an uninstall tool that promises to do a more thorough job of cleaning up behind program installers. There’s also a Registry maintenance tool, a startup programs manager and “gadgets and extensions manager”, which covers most major browsers as well as rarely used Windows components.
CleanMyPC bends over backwards to tell you exactly what it’s found and what it intends doing with it. It promises to clean up gigabytes of data, but the bulk of this can be traced to System Restore points - which are selected by default, something we don't agree with - as well as an option to disable Hibernation, which seems a little cheeky - in reality, you're looking at reclaiming just a few hundred megabytes in most cases. Despite the program’s assurances, it’s important you always review exactly what it’s marked for cleaning before clicking the Clean button – just as with any other cleaning utility.
It’s also worth noting that there are no backup options within the program, and neither are there any confirmation dialogs. The net result is that you need to be extra vigilant with reviewing what the program intends to do before committing to it: there’s no safety net here.
This is a function-limited demo – only the cleaning tool is fully functional, and this will only clean up to 500MB of data before requiring registration.
CleanMyPC is undoubtedly a shiny, glossy and friendly product, but much of the functionality can be had elsewhere for free – and the lack of any rollback or backup options makes it potentially very dangerous.