Junk Files Cleaner

very good
key review info
application features
  • Free up valuable space on your hard drive
  • (6 more, see all...)

Regardless of whether or not you are organized in file handling, sooner or later the system will be crawling with unwanted files. These may be under the form of empty folders, temporary files or simply junk items left behind upon uninstalling software. Manually removing them is one solution to improving the read/write speeds of your CPU, thus the overall performance, but it is also a tedious, time-consuming task that can be done automatically with the use of applications dedicated to quickly scanning the drives and detecting them.

A customizable application ready to take out the debris on the computer and look for invalid shortcuts as well as clean the various temporary folders in the system is the way to go. Junk Files Cleaner can not only perform per-drive scans for useless data and empty folders, but also look in the start menu and allow you to create custom masks.

The price is $17.99 and the limitations of the evaluation copy prevent you from eliminating more than 5 junk files at each scan. There is no time limitation on using the software so you can test it for as long as you want with all other features fully functioning.

Upon launching Junk Files Cleaner a plain and simple interface will welcome you. From the beginning you are ready to start the scan and let the app do its job with detecting useless data. The main screen of the software is divided into three major sections that allow you to select the type of files to be found (Scan Options), the drives the program should look into (Disks to Scan) and the result area that displays all found elements (Scan Results).

The Scan Options list is not extensive and can be customized as to the areas that should be searched for invalid entries as well as the elements to be detected. A tick of the box is sufficient for enabling or disabling a specific scan option. Junk Files Cleaner supports user intervention with regard to the type of files to discover.

Worthy to mention is that, if all scan options are enabled and you choose to search only one drive, the application will return results from system drive too, given that it is the partition hosting temporary, installation and system files. So if you want results only from the selected disk you will have to adjust scan options and disable start menu, temporary files, Program Files, shortcuts and MSI files in the list.

The list of available disks brings about additional information such as the type of the drive, volume label, file system used, total capacity and amount of free space. It is important to bring up the fact that Junk Files Cleaner can look into removable drives as well.

When returning the results the program also makes sure to specify the type of file detected, its location on the drive and its size. The context menu available for this section provides options for opening the folder containing the detected item in Windows Explorer, accessing its properties sheet, deselecting it from the list or deleting it completely. Another option is to add it to the Skip List, which is nothing but an exclusion list. Once added here it will never be picked up in future scans.

The application comes with a default list of junk files to be detected but you can add your own choices as well. You can add whatever extension bugs you and provide a brief description, just in case you forget why you put it there. The process is as simple as can be and instructions come with the file mask window.

Should the list comprise some extensions you deem they should not be eliminated you are offered the choice to deselect them from the list or delete them altogether.

If in the File Mask list you get to add extensions, the Skip List deals with both folders and specific files. By default it is already populated with some folders that can be removed if you wish so, but you can also enrich it with some custom locations. The files instead have to be added by you.

A piece of advice: do not add to the Skip List a file that has the extension added to the Custom Mask list because the custom masks have priority and the file will appear among the scan results.

Regarding the removal of the junk files, Junk Files Cleaner makes available three different choices. You can opt for permanent deletion (similar to Shift+Delete), as well as for moving the files to Recycle Bin or to a user defined location. The last two options come as a safety net in case you want to act with caution, thinking you might need those junk files later.

Junk Files Cleaner proves to be a pretty straightforward application with a robust scan engine and very precise rules as to what should be detected and added to the result list for deletion. However, the $17.99 price seems quite large a fee to pay for its services considering that the Internet does not run short of freeware designed to do pretty much the same. On the upside, the application is reliable and can handle any type of disk, be it removable or fix, as long as the operating system acknowledges it.

The Good

It is very helpful with freeing up disk space and cleaning it of useless files. Junk Files Cleaner offers the possibility to add customized extensions to be deleted from the disk as well as create an exclusion list with specific folders and files.

The application successfully scans and eliminates empty folders, invalid shortcuts and empty files. There are three methods for deleting junk items and two of them prevent you from scraping the items completely.

The Bad

The price makes the head of the baddie list as there are plenty of freeware applications designed for the same purpose as Junk Files Cleaner.

Another drawback is the fact that, if you add a specific file to the Skip List and its extension to the Custom Masks list, it will still appear in the scan results. A nice workaround would be to alert the user of the fact that the extension of a file in the exclusion section is already appended to Custom Masks.

The Truth

Price aside, Junk Files Cleaner comes with a very good scan engine that does not leave room for false positives and which moves pretty fast. Also, the software is perfectly capable of searching removable drives as well.

The interface does not pose any trouble, not even to a beginner and you have the possibility of checking the folders containing junk files yourself.

However, it would be nice to see more features implemented in the software, such as automatically emptying the Recycle Bin (not only when there are more files to throw there) or cleaning system files.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 3

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good