Why PC cleaning software is a scam (and how to actually clean your PC)

Bradley Nice
Nov 20, 2019 · 3 min read

by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool

Web around you is full of ads, and often those ads scream “SPEED UP YOUR PC!”. Sounds interesting, huh? Who wouldn’t want to speed up their PC? Why not make your workhorse a little faster? But besides being plain useless, these “cleaning” apps can do harm to your pc.

I went on Google and searched for “best pc cleaner”, and clicked a couple of links that came up on the first page. I’ve installed IObit Advanced SystemCare (ASC for short) 13 and Advanced System Optimizer (ASO for short) so you don’t have to.

Upon launch, ASO suggested that I run a “system analysis”. These are the results:

This one is pretty subtle, I must say. Often these cleaners render the issues in red, with large exclamation marks and notifications all over that your system IS VERY SLOW. SystemCare is pretty gentle in telling you “bad news” as well:

But nevertheless, these numbers are intended to scare people who don’t really know what all of this means. Well, here are some of the things that count as a single issue:

  • Every single browser cookie (called a privacy trace in ASC, for even stronger dramatic effect)
  • Every temporary file
  • Every invalid registry entry
  • Every fragmented file
  • Every typed URL
  • Every visited web page

I don’t have 43000 issues related to files in my system. I have one. And it’s not even an issue! To have temporary files is perfectly normal. It’s how the system works. What I’m trying to say is — none of these “issues” are actually issues. And none of them actually slows your system. Not even a bit.

Let’s get this clear. These apps can, in fact, help you clean cache/temp files or delete missing registry entries, or clean up invalid shortcuts. But these are mostly either a byproduct of Windows working or leftovers from the apps you’ve installed and deleted at some point. They do not harm your PC and don’t slow your system.

So how do I clean my pc?

  • Use Disk Cleanup utility to free up some additional space on your hard drive.
  • Run Microsoft Drive Optimizer from time to time (once a month should be enough).
  • Uninstall any unnecessary apps
  • Disable unwanted apps startup through Task Manager (Windows 10)
  • Run an antivirus and malware scans just in case

As you can see, there’s not much you can do in terms of cleaning your PC. But that’s okay because PC is designed to work in such a way that a user doesn’t have to clean it constantly.

As for the cleaning apps… In the best-case scenario, they will do the same thing built-in Windows utilities will. But they are also capable of breaking your Windows installation completely. So don’t even think about buying full/pro versions of these programs — they do not offer anything of real use.

Have a nice day!

Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors

Level Up!

Stories for technical writers, web developers and web…

Level Up!

Stories for technical writers, web developers and web designers. It's time to level up your skills!

Bradley Nice

Written by

Content Manager at https://medium.com/level-up-web 👈. I write about web design, web development and technical writing. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Level Up!

Stories for technical writers, web developers and web designers. It's time to level up your skills!