WinCleaner claims to improve system performance, free up hard drive space and improve overall PC performance for $29.95. We investigate in this review.
WinCleaner OneClick Professional Clean 11 is a $29.95 software package designed to do the following:
The company says the software should do all the above with just a single click. The included functionality is not as broad as that of iolo System Mechanic 2011; however WinCleaner is about half the price and does not require a subscription. However, the company sells updates for the software at $19.95/year; one year of updates is included with the original purchase.
Test System Setup
Our test system is an Acer Aspire AS5735Z with a Pentium Dual-Core T3200 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 160GB 5400RPM Western Digital hard drive, and Windows Vista 32-bit.
Installation and Program Interface
WinCleaner is a mere 5MB download and takes less than a minute to install. The main program interface is relatively simple with eight main buttons plus the "OneClick" button:
The idea behind this interface is that novice users can simply click the OneClick button while more advanced users can select and run program components individually:
The OneClick button uses the default settings for everything. It is not possible to drill down and find out exactly what the program is removing or changing from this screen; for that you need to run the individual program components one at a time. I'll go through a few of them.
The registry cleaner (above left) is basic but effective; it found about 300 invalid keys the first time around and another hundred when I ran it a week later. Highlighting any of the problems brings up a description and more importantly, the exact path of the key. Other software I reviewed like iolo System Mechanic 2011 did not allow me to do this.
The browser cleaner (above right) supports all major browsers including Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. It really does not do anything you cannot do from the browser itself; for example, pressing [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del] in Firefox will clear out the same items WinCleaner shows.
The same goes for the rest of the software, actually -- clearing out the Windows temporary files and such can all be done manually in a few minutes.
I ran FutureMark's PCMark05 before and after the installation of WinCleaner to determine whether it actually improved performance:
The benchmark showed no difference but I honestly was not expecting it to. I did notice my startup time decrease by several seconds after I ran the WinStartups Cleaner component, which prevents non-essential items from starting with the computer; for example, it removed useless items like Apple QuickTime.
WinCleaner freed up about 1.8GB of hard drive space the first time I ran it, which is good; make sure you tell the program not to save a backup of the cleanup if you actually want to gain that disk space back, however -- otherwise it will simply throw it into a backup folder.
One of my main complaints about this software is that it has no automatic scheduling options; it is unrealistic to think that the average computer user (the target audience for this software) will remember to open this software every week and run it.
WinCleaner provides very little unique functionality -- that is, things that cannot be done without the program. Clearing Internet browser files, Windows temporary files, and so on can all be done manually with native Windows functions or utilities. The $29.95, therefore, is for the convenience of doing it all at once with a couple of clicks in a lot less time.
Did the program work as advertised? Yes -- I don't doubt the software maker's claims. Windows computer users can benefit from this software; it will clear out temporary file clutter and other junk that collects over time. Even the relatively low price tag is kind of expensive, however; some free software on the market (take Piriform's CCleaner, for example) provide much of the same functionality for nothing.
My main complaint with this program centers around the fact that it cannot be scheduled to run automatically; assuming that people will remember to run the software is simply not realistic. I will tentatively recommend the software since it does save time, however an automatic run feature would have made me much more eager to do so.
Software & Support
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