No matter how large the storage device, cleaning up the junk files, especially on the system drive, is a good idea. Not only does this result in recovering some free space but, in some cases, it may even improve overall performance.
Wise Disk Cleaner
has been created specifically for this type of activity and comes free of charge. Furthermore, you can create a portable version to use on various computers without having to install it all over again.
Installation is nothing special, but you should keep an eye towards the end of the procedure because it offers to download another tool from the developer, which is designed to clean up the registry (Wise Registry Cleaner), also free.
The interface is straightforward and easy to use, with the modules for cleaning various areas in visible spots.
The application features a Common Cleaner, which targets the file clutter on the system drive. This includes data dumped in temporary folders, thumbnail cache, error report files, memory dump, web browser cache (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome supported).
Additionally, the traces left behind from using the computer are also targeted. This refers to history in areas such as Run menu, recent documents, Explorer MRU or search history. Jump lists are included as well, together with web browser data (cookies, history and saved passwords).
Wise Disk Cleaner offers the possibility to automate checking and cleaning of all these files according to a user-defined schedule.
As Opera remained undetected by the application during our tests, we used only Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome for the job. It managed to delete cache for all three browsers. On the other hand, history data and cookies were all deleted except for those in Microsoft’s browser.
You can use the “Advanced Cleaner” tab to search for more unnecessary data on all drives, not just the one reserved for the system. In this case, Wise Disk Cleaner looks for files with specific extensions.
A full list is available in the advanced settings of the module, along with three preset selections: recommended, all or none. You can also pick them yourself, as well as add new file types.
However, we noticed that scanning does not work flawlessly. During our tests we set the search to be conducted on a single drive and, after starting the scan, it sometimes returned no results although there was plenty of clutter to be flagged.
Sometimes we had to hit the “Start Scan” button up to three times to see some results. On the upside, we saw no false positives among the clutter.
One of the most interesting modules available in Wise Disk Cleaner is “Slimming System.” Upon installation, the operating system copies more files than a user may need. These are made available just in case they’re required.
IMEs (Input Method Editors) are such an example. If you know you do not need non-standard keyboard layouts, you can safely delete them to save some space.
Additional data that can be safely removed also accumulates as a result of updating Windows, as the installation patches remain behind under the Software Distribution folder. Purging the files in this location does not affect future updates of the operating system.
Furthermore, Wise Disk Cleaner offers to delete Windows Installer baseline cache, but the list also contains items you may not want to eliminate, like Windows help files, sample image, video, and music, as well as the wallpapers included in the operating system.
The last module available in the program does not address cleaning of the hard disk but instead defragments it in order to improve its performance. The options at hand also include full optimization of the selected drive, which means that the files are also rearranged (even if they are not fragmented), so that the free space becomes a contiguous chunk.
Wise Disk Cleaner can be configured to clean up specific locations set by the user, as well as to avoid certain files and folders, and also cookies, websites and file types. You can use it to restore the system to an earlier date, as it makes available all system restore entries. The Good
The application is extremely easy to use and allows you to check all the files it targets for deletion before dumping them.
It can eliminate unnecessary files left behind by the operating system, as well as data resulting from web browsing. Furthermore, it makes available a defragger to rearrange the files on the drives to be contiguous. The Bad
During our testing it failed to detect Opera browser. Cookies and history in Internet Explorer were also not removed.
Sometimes, scanning with the Advanced Cleaner returned no result although file clutter was definitely present on the target drive. The Truth Wise Disk Cleaner
is free of charge and beginner users won’t have any trouble working with it. It allows you to check all the locations file clutter is removed from and you can also program it to automatically scan and clean the drives.
However, there are some problems with it, and in the case of web browsers it did not show 100% efficiency during our testing.