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Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

Most of us don’t keep our computer as clean as it should be.  I’m not talking about the exterior (although I’m sure that could be cleaned as well).  I’m talking about cleaning up your hard drive and getting rid of all the unneeded junk that everyone accumulates over the years.  You might have anything from partial installs to some nice malware or spyware.  Either way, it slows you and your computer down.  The following programs will help you keep your computer clean and running fast.


Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

10.5 gigs of fragmented files, I’m glad I wrote this article.  Defraggler is an application that will replace the default Windows defragging options.  Defraggler is great, because it is extremely light weight and works much faster than defragging in Windows.  It also allows you to pick and choose the files you want to defrag.  This can make defragging painless and much quicker.


Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

nCleaner is the Swiss Army Knife of this list.  It allows you to clean your system, find unneeded junk, tweak your settings and manage your startup.  In the past, I had a few programs that did all of the things that are included in this program, but I only need nCleaner now.  It’s extremely easy to use, because it is very clear about what settings are recommended and what settings are not.  Cleaning programs can often be intimidating or unclear about what they are changing, but nCleaner makes sure to be clear about the changes it is making on your computer.

AVG Free

Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

AVG Free is often regarded as the best free anti-virus software available.  It offers basic anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for your computer.  The protection is basic, but if you know your way around the Internet and know what to avoid, it should provide sufficient protection.

Spybot-Search & Destroy

Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

Spyware is a problem for most computer users, and the thought of something trying to collect as much personal information as possible from my computer is more than enough to scare me.  Spybot S&D is one of the best tools to remove all of that spyware and make your computer more private and run faster.

Ad-Aware 2008

Top 5 Free Programs to Clean Up Your Computer

Ad-Aware does for malware what Spybot does for spyware.  It will clean up and remove any malicious software that the other programs may miss.  Ad-Aware rounds out my list of programs you need to get all of that stuff on your hard drive trying to slow you down.



ccleaner_boxCCleaner have greatly improved and now features perfect functionality for personal and business users alike. According to its developers, this computer cleaning software has been downloaded over 1 billion times. What we liked about this software is its functionality that allows the users to fix issues that might slow down their computers with just a few clicks. True, that there are native apps that come with Windows that can do most of these, but average users don’t know how to use these apps.
CCleaner comes with 4 sections: Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options.

The Cleaner functionality looks for files and data that may affect how fast your computers work. This feature

Verdict: If you are looking for a program which allows you to manage your computer storage and resources in one place, CCleaner is it.


Using all of these programs together will help keep your computer running fast for years to come.  Are there any other programs you use to clean up your computer?

(By) Kyle Judkins is a marker researcher, tech enthusiast, social media contributor and the owner of LostInTechnology.  If you want to connect, you can find me on Twitter.

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  • http://techie-buzz.com Keith Dsouza

    I use Defragglr, CCleanr and AVG for spyware I use Webroot Spysweeper, though the alternatives here look pretty good too.

  • http://xatal.com Paul

    I’m pretty fond of CCleaner, but nCleaner might be something I’ll try out. The others are all pretty good. Nice list!

  • Tyler Lanphear

    Even though my computer needs to be cleaned up from time to time, I have to say that the #1 Security Trick is:

    LINUX!!!! (You knew this was coming :D).

    I dualboot, however, and I think that Ad-Aware and Defragglr are pretty good tools. However, another good trick is to prevent the viruses and malware to be prevented in the first place with Firefox.

    Not to make any IE fanboys scream on their blogs, but not only is Firefox more safe, customization (although IE has its own plugin system that isn’t as hyped). Also, Firefox makes CSS simpler to write; When writing CSS for a form to change colors when active to inactive, I required only bare CSS for it to work in Firefox, and Javascipt and CSS integration for IE.

    I hear Opera’s good too though.

  • http://www.ubuntu.com Tux-man

    Or you could just use an OS that doesn’t required constant babysitting with resource draining nanny applications.
    Ubuntu is Free; free of cost, free to modify, and free of virus.

    • Thomas Sheridan

      1) ubuntu does NOT recognize my sound apps: sound recorder, volume controls, windows media player, etc

      2) I am more familiar with Windows 95, 98, 2000, 7 etc

      3) the person, who created Ubuntu, is a clown who writes defective programs that do NOT work right, hard to use and configure

  • David

    I also use DeFraggler and CCleaner. For the all purpose computer tweak and clean I use glaries Utilities, BUT I will say, I will have give nCleaner a try. It looks Like a great program. Thanks for the info.

  • Human Bagel

    I personally use JKdefrag and CCleaner.

    I love CCleaner because it allows me to shread personal data ^_^

  • asnom

    Used nCleaner, must say it is a GREAT too offering stuff that others only offer for money. It is not for beginners.

  • Brandon

    Universal Extractor(http://legroom.net/software/uniextract) is a pretty good tool to extract files from basic application installers. Pretty handy to have around if you don’t want to have to install anything, but just run it from a folder(thumb drive runs).

  • http://www.lostintechnology.com kyle.judkins

    @Everyone Thanks for the feedback! I am a going to check out some of the suggestions. Keep ’em comin!

  • NotALinuxFanBoy

    Hey, Linux zealouts: I realize you need to preach your evangelism everywhere you go, but this blog entry is obviously for Windows people. There’s no need to spew your “Switch to Linux” stuff here. Go do it somewhere else.

    • Jeff

      I agree, I used Umbutu and thought it sucked!!

  • http://www.awows.blogspot.com Ashwin CS

    Use most of these, haven’t tried ncleaner though will give it a try.

    I Use Avira antivir, I feel it’s better than AVG.

    • Jeff

      I also use Avira it is lighter on your system and does better than the others. I see them in this order.
      #1 Avira
      #2 Avast
      #3 AVG

      The only disadvantage I have found with Avira is it does not scan e-mail but it grabs anything in the e-mail as soon as you open it.

      • Coenie

        Try a go at Microsoft Security Essentials cause all free antiviruses in from those vendors are limted in one way or another…

        • Jollygrn_74

          Just got rid of MSE….let something walk right in, shutdown the MSE and Restore.Yeah my own fault in a way, I had to open the door but isn’t that why we have all this scanning stuff. Worst was that the virus just shutdown the MSE and the Restore without any notice. First thing I noticed was net pages popping up. Took me alot to get things back. Thank god I’m reasonably knowledgeable or a comp place would have loved me paying them to fix things.

  • http://www.threatfire.com/ spitfire111

    Have you all ever try Threatfire? If not, you should try one. it’s free!

    ThreatFire continually protects your PC against attacks by detecting malicious behavior, such as capturing your keystrokes or stealing your data, instead of only looking for known threats like normal antivirus software. By implementing sophisticated real-time behavioral analysis ThreatFire is able to stop never- before-seen “zero-day” threats solely by detecting their malicious activity.
    Zero-day threats are usually designed to take advantage of new vulnerabilities or exploits that are currently unprotected by traditional security products. They are usually distributed in huge quantities very quickly by mass email (SPAM), website hijacks, instant messaging or over peer-to-peer networks. Because they are undetectable they are able to wreak havoc and compromise your PC even when you have up-to-date antivirus software installed.

    ThreatFire’s patent-pending ActiveDefense technology offers protection against all types of internet threats – both known and unknown – spyware, adware, keyloggers, viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, buffer overflows, and other malware. ThreatFire uses its unparalleled protection to hunt down and paralyze those threats that are either too new or too clever to be recognized by traditional “signature-based” antivirus software.

  • http://www.threatfire.com/ spitfire111

    the link/url to threatfire website


    • Jeff

      I also use this program and like it alot. (Threatfire)

  • Morridin

    Relax there NotALinuxFanBoy,Tux-Man and Tyler where just making a valid suggestion. No one is spewing anything.

    Also this article isnt written for just Windows users, NCleaner and Spybot can work on some Linux Distros, but there isnt much of a point when little to no spyware or viruses exist for Linux.

  • Francisco Cortes

    I’ve been using for malware cleaning: a-squared… beautiful program.. I use it with the classic adaware (2007 and 2008 adaware are both buggy based on my experience), and the always trustworthy s&D, avg 7.5 is still my antivirus (found some issues with s&d and avg 8 that is keeping hesitante to move on to avg 8). I’ll give ncleaner a try and see!

  • http://www.myspace.com/mifferd dave

    relax there Morridin, since there isnt much of a point when little to no spyware or viruses exist for Linux, this post is pretty much written just for windows users.

  • evasive

    I’d axe AVG and nCleaner for better freeware.

    Antivir: for viruses
    cCleaner: crap cleaner
    Spybot: spyware
    AdAware: spyware
    Dial-a-Fix: will fix most random glitches and errors in XP
    Defraggler or Jkdefrag(takes longer)
    HiJackthis: startups, hijacks

    I’ve been doing this for years and these tools are absolutely essential.

  • Natovr

    Last time I used SpyBot, it came up as spyware or adware or something (can’t remember, it was a while ago). It was detected by Norton.

  • OsaBarima

    I use the following on my laptop;

    avast — antivirus
    Defraggler — De frag
    Comodo FP — Firewall
    SpyBot S&D — Spyware
    Eraser (http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/) — Shredder
    Revo Uninstaller (http://www.revouninstaller.com) — Swiss Army Knife
    cCleaner — crap cleaner

    Downloading ThreatFire right now (http://www.threatfire.com/). Tell me, do SpyBot and AdAware do the same job? Must say I like the sound of nCleaner, think I’ll try it out. :)

  • Mike

    they are all a good list but i came across a new cleanup program called AtomicCleaner and i found this program really fast and amazing a lot faster than ccleaner…


    i think it might end up becoming big maybe even bigger than ccleaner but i dunno

  • Shane

    I used to use CCleaner, but I like Glary Utilities a lot better then any of the others mentioned here.

  • jayden

    My computer is really low on disk space and can’t get rid of anything and has viruses that i cant remove which is making my computer really slow when it is suppossed to be fast if I’ve got a 12 gig internet

  • http://apple.com steve jobs

    i bought a mac. lulz.

  • Chris

    I’ll suggest another .. Advanced System Optimizer is another good one. Contains a lot of tools to clean, defrag, clean registry etc…. voted number one by toptenreviews.com excellent piece of software, although its not free.

    • Hawk

      I have had this for awhile and really it works ok but when i was testing my speed the place where i was testing it said to try and scan my pc with Regpro i think that what it is anyway…it said i had like 109 errors ..how can that be if i have ccleaner,malwarebytes,advanced system cleaner,spyware blaster,Avira? how the heck is that possible? can someone enlighten me?

  • Burger

    I tried threatfire and it did crazy things to my computer so I took it off. Sorry I dont know technical terms.

    Hey my computer is constantly low on virtual memory and is always going to get some more from somewhere. Its doing it 2 or 3 times a day. Is it Normal for a computer to do this or do I have a problem?
    I am thinking of trying regcure as it says it solves virtual memory problems. I run all the programs in this list at the moment, so if I used regcure would I need to delete something?

    When I put Ad-Aware onto my computer Spybot got mad and said it would conflict with its mojo. Is Spybot just moody or should I take Ad-aware off? Do they do the same thing? After installing Ad-Aware it has sent me nothing to say it does anything, is it doing anything? Do I need it?

    Sorry Im not so technical with my computer language.
    Thanks for all your help.

    • Alvin

      I don’t know the reason but Spybot always hates Ad-Aware so you can’t use both of them together on your computer.I use Malwarebytes and find it seems to work good as well.

    • http://www.twitter.com/@melissakisses melissa

      im not a computer wiz at all.but that happens to me with my house comp. its sorta old and needs some new RAM. i bet thats whats wrong with yours. there are times where i try to watch vids or play games and a gray cirlce with an “!” pops up. thats a memory prob.

  • http://sleepys.com/Sealy-Posturepedic sealy

    Thanks very much for the links, I don’t know why but I always limit myself to using Window’s built in defragger and I never see any real improvement in performance, you would think that a program built for the OS by the people who created the OS would be a little more effective

  • Pingback: Computer Security | General Blogger Here()

  • andy

    These are weak…(

  • Amber

    nCleaner crashed on Vista everytime I started to clean. Can’t find any solutions online. It’s frustrating because it looks like a great program.

    • http://www.lostintechnology.com Kyle Judkins

      It is a good program, but if it is crashing you might want to look into CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller.

  • Amber

    Thanks, Kyle… I used to use CCleaner on XP, so will give it another shot. :)

  • http://rparus2000@yahoo.com ralph

    Are there ant free Registry cleaners out there?

    • http://www.lostintechnology.com Kyle Judkins

      nCleaner includes a registry cleaner, but CCleaner is also a good alternative if you prefer.

  • VDub

    These work well for me:
    revouninstaller portable version,
    avast antivirus
    advanced system care
    smart defrag

    other software that I still have but rarely use include;
    CClearner, X-Cleaner, Tune-Up Utilities 2007 (not freeware)

  • http://greenleafimaging.com Ariel

    Interesting. I’ve always used EasyCleaner, but nCleaner looks like an interesting alternative. Maybe I’ll check it out and see if it’s as quick and through as EasyCleaner.

  • nick

    add malwarebytes antispyware. its lightweight and powerful

  • http://www.freebestsoftware.com Catalin Nichita

    CC cleaner is a very good software. You shoud try Dust Buster. Is more powerful !

  • http://www.twitter.com/geeknik Brian

    Glary Utilities should be on this list. :)

  • Jeff

    A really great program is Advanced System Care. If you like Ccleaner, Glary’s etc you will like this program. There is the free program and the pro version, and both are great. Check it out, just click the downloads button and pick free or pro. Good luck.

  • Jon

    1. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
    2. CCleaner
    3. ComboFix
    4. Xoftspy
    5. ATF Cleaner

    My personal top 5

    Ad Aware and and AVG are getting more bogged down with every new version. Ive seen hundreds of computer with Spybot that are infected beyond belief. Defraggler is a great tool that is definitely in my top 10. Cant say much about nCleaner because ive never heard of it lol.

    • Alvin

      smart defrag also works very well

  • http://www.flazfun.com flazfun

    CC cleaner is a very good software

  • Daniel

    Thanks for the info. Didn’t knew about nCleaner.

  • pigboys

    thank you

  • pigboys

    done well

  • RZ

    I always use:
    All of these are free and the 2 I have not seen mentioned on this page yet are the Auslogics Disk Defrag and Registry Defrag. Check those out, they are free and quick and excellent programs.

    -Revo Uninstaller (great and thorough Application Uninstaller)
    -CCleaner (crap cleaner)
    -AntiVir (virus)
    -Malwarebytes (spyware)
    -Auslogics Disk Defrag (Awesome, free, and quick Disk Defrag application
    -Auslogics Registry Defrag (Optimizes OS registry and fixes errors with bad installs and uninstalls.

  • Paul

    For all of you that think Linux or its derivatives is virus free, your wrong. ALL operating systems and that includes linux can get virus, its just not as common.

    Incidentially that includes APPLE o/s too. The first virus was created and spread across Apple II computers (it was called “Elk Cloner” ).

  • LOL

    CCleaner, MyDefrag, A-Squared, SuperAntispyware, and eusing regestry cleaner is FTW

  • Mizzie

    Whats the best program for deleting unwanted/unused registry space? Just got 5 gb left on my computer, and my prvate fles takes 80 gb, so what’s taking the rest of 120 total space? The biggset program I use is adobe photoshop, just got some fem but smaller programs. Yesterday i deleted films and music, cleaned it for 9gb, but today it’s full again:S

    I got Vista Enterprise.

    I also gave AVG-AdAware- Defraggler and the software named here. Just worry to defrag the system bebause of the 5% left of free space.

    Is there any spftware to repair the Vista registry all over without reinstalling it? Any ideas?

    Thanx from Norway 😀

    • http://www.lostintechnology.com Kyle Judkins

      CCleaner will clean up a lot of your registry stuff and temporary files. You might want to check that out.

  • Mizzie

    Thanx, but allready tried. But it was not exactly what I was looking for. I’ll give t another shot: Is there a software which re-news the windows registry, and get rid of everything else.. ?? Like the fabric installation or somethning? Without re-installing windows or loosing private files? Remembered once I got a Dell laptop, and there were a short key, which could reset the computer settings to fabric installation….

  • http://avgdownload.org free avg download

    I really love what you post here,very insightful and smart. One issue though, I’m running Opera on Fedora and portions of your content are a little off. I know it’s not necessarily a widespread system, but it is still something to keep an eye on.

    • http://www.lostintechnology.com Kyle Judkins

      Thanks for the heads up!

  • chucky83

    So how would any of these compare to uniblue powersuite 2010. Are there any better programs out than this one?

  • Tonee

    If I was to download the below list, are these free to download only, but I still have to purchase to maintain ’em?

    I’d axe AVG and nCleaner for better freeware.

    Antivir: for viruses
    cCleaner: crap cleaner
    Spybot: spyware
    AdAware: spyware
    Dial-a-Fix: will fix most random glitches and errors in XP
    Defraggler or Jkdefrag(takes longer)
    HiJackthis: startups, hijacks

  • http://gnrsu.com G.N.R.S.U

    All the five are the good ones !

  • Mike

    BS. Ncleaner totaly trashed my computer , it made my antivirus licens invalid and made it impossible for me to format my computer even with original start windows cd by sqrewing up my bios, it gives me now harware root error, it didnt want to uninstall, the computer dont want to unrar or open any programs and is sluggish, it reset my computer time and the new antivirus is still complaining about the time.It behaves exatcly like a trojan or some other shit virus. only way to be able to reboot the computer and to work with it in any way is in failsafe mode.

  • ertert

    Ccleaner is better than nCleaner.. it is easy to use

  • lori

    How do you get rid of the Crawler.com toolbar??

    • Josh

      Should be able to uninstall it manually with an uninstaller application somewhere

  • Pola

    Thank You , You save my life

  • Josh

    Advanced System Care, look it up also, one of the best programs I’ve ever found.

    • Theresa

      Does it offer virus protection and is it free?? My computer is extremely slow so will this program help with that or do I need to add Defraggler as well??

  • Jessica

    I’m a big fan of Advanced System Care as well…novice-friendly.

    Any previous users have adverse feelings toward it?

  • Sherman

    Just one more scam It is not free….

  • http://www.mathsoftwareforkids.com Math Software For Kids

    I love spybot, it really gives what it takes…

    • Jonathanmaio

      yeah and it slows down your pc some awful. I used to use this program until I found that teatimer (which is spybot’s real-time system monitor) was hogging my resoures (at random times it would take up 100% of the cpu before returning to normal). Now I use Microsoft Security Essentials with advanced system care 4, and haven’t had an issue yet

  • bob

    is nCleaner free?

  • Mikewrites4u

    I’ve been using Ccleaner since forever. One of the best tools in my kit. Recently started using Defraggler and have been very pleased with its capabilities. A real smoothy to add to my toolkit. I intend to try nCleaner today. AdAware and Spybot have been part of my armory for a very long time. I usually install both (especially on my Internet computers), but set one to work auto and the other to do manual scans, with no particular preference as to which is set to auto.

  • Mike Copy Writer

    Just a note about the antivirus software I use. It used to be AVG, which remains a good choice for most personal computers, but I now prefer Avira. Avira does a better job than AVG in my opinion, with its only drawback being the pop-up that appears after updates. Apart from that, it rates as my number 1 antivirus tool. On all my computers, apart from the operating sytem, all software is free versions. I do not use one single commercial product – absolutely no need.

  • Doom279

     I have used spybot sd and superantispyware how do you know that it is really doing its job I have noticed my computer goes slower since I added them to get rid of viruses and stuff

    • Jonathanmaio

      just dont use the above programs, especially spybot, I use to use and and it hogged my pc’s resources. You’re better off using a light antivirus program (like microsoft security essentials, which I use, its free, its from microsoft) keeping your system up to date with windows security updates, and having a lightweight spyware program like advanced system care which removes spyware and also optimizes your computer

  • http://enria.org/ get rid of security protection

    We should often clean up our computers. 

  • http://top5free.com Chaty1

    I like avg

  • Steve Copland4

    I’ve used Ccleaner mostly all the time, the program is good, really, but I kind of always felt as though my computer is not as fast as it should be. I also have a Mac (air) and used CleanMyMac by MacPaw, which is amazing! And once I read that MacPaw has made a clone of CleanMyMac only for PC, which is called CleanMyPC (http://macpaw.com/cleanmypc) – I got it immediately and I tell you people, sometimes it’s better to spend a few bucks that will be working for you constantly. 

  • http://tobto.org/ tobto

    I like cleanmymac. try it

  • Naga

    Avira was number one

  • http://distrojaketmotor.com Jaket Motor

    i prefer use ccleaner combine with tune up utilities. but i’ll try this later

  • http://distrojaketmotor.com Jaket Motor

    i prefer use ccleaner combine with tune up utilities. but i’ll try this later

  • http://distrojaketmotor.com Jaket Motor

    i prefer use ccleaner combine with tune up utilities. but i’ll try this later

  • Ricardo Santos

    Is Ad-Aware free ?

    • http://www.lostintechnology.com Kyle Judkins

      There is a free version.

  • http://fixcleanerreview.net/ FixCleaner Review

    I agree that Defraggler is a great alternative to
    the default Windows defragging options. It seems to work faster, while solving
    all the issues it should. Thanks for suggesting the nCleaner, I didn’t know of
    it before. I did some research on this program, and it seems like on of the
    most comprehensive system and application cleaner to have. It comes with over
    90 cleaning items, like Registry Cleaner, Tweak Manager, an advancedStartup Manager,
    a Junk Finder, a Free Space Shredder, a System Resource Monitor, a System
    Adviser. nCleaner also supports logging and statistics as well as advanced
    Scheduling. This is a respectable amount of features, considering it is for

    • http://www.twitter.com/@melissakisses melissa

      hi..maybe u can help me.. u seem pretty computer savvy! =) hehehe.. ok well i just got a refurbished laptop.(that is amazzzing btw) and i need a program to clean it up …i used to use advanced system care on my old laptop and i liked it. however ive heard its not good at all from people. at the moment i have mse on my laptop. BUT that doesnt do the cleaning thing…does it?? help me please

  • Brashad Lewis

    Are any of these free?

  • Katrina

    i have that free avg and i can asure you that the built in pc cleaner does not work

    • arbankhan

      ok thangs

  • UnbiasTruth

    SlimCleaner > Ccleaner (I Preferred) > nCleaner
    SuperAntiSpyware (with Spybot is a GREAT-Combo) > Malwarebytes > Spybot >  Ad-Aware 2008
    Avast (Free) or Avira (Free) > AVG (Free)
    Windows Default Defrag > Auslogics Disk Defrag > SmartDefrag > Defraggler
    NOTE: 3rd party Defrag can cause registry errors & or blue screens (rare).

  • Jcoolness45

    Ccleaner should be added there

    • Safeplanet

      No one seems to have mentioned ‘Sweepi’ in the above comments – its worth a try as well.

  • Theresa

    From what I am reading, I am getting the impression that by just installing an anti-virus program isn’t enough. It appears I also need to download a cleaner as well?? I have protection through my service provider, which is a prominent company in my area, but the anti virus protection is not free and has to be added. My computer has become EXTREMELY slow lately!! I am running Firefox..any suggestions?? Very helpful page…thank you to all you computer savvy people!!!

  • cool

    I am using recently came soft cleaner http://softcleaner.in which is strongly cleaning temp to cookies without any single word,becase i was using ccleaner,now soft cleaner stands on my pc,some power is there.

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