How often should you run CCleaner for Windows?

This depends on how often you use your PC and what your priorities are:

This page gives you some suggestions based on whether you use CCleaner to help with privacy, optimization, or both, and also explains how CCleaner cleans different types of hard drives. 

Note: The questions within each section below provide some general information to guide your decisions, but we rely on your knowledge of how you use your PC.

We cover these topics:

  • 1. How often you should clean your PC to optimize it
  • 2. How often you should clean your PC for privacy and security
  • 3. Cleaning different types of hard drives: SSDs and HDDs

1. How often you should clean your PC to optimize it:

What type of PC user are you?

How you use your computer impacts the number of junk files your PC collects in the short term and long term. If you use your computer every day for several hours or more, cleaning once or twice a week may be sufficient. Most of the data that CCleaner cleans comes from your web browsers. So, it is also worth considering how much time you spend on the web.

How much space should you keep free on your hard drive?

Cleaning is particularly important if you have a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD) that is almost full. We recommend keeping at least 15% free space on an HDD and 25% space on an SSD to help your computer run at its best. 

Note: Not all hard drives are the same, and some SSDs have in-built technology to stop your PC from slowing when the hard drive is near to full capacity.

Special tools (CCleaner Professional only):

If you have CCleaner Professional, you can use Smart Cleaning to clean your PC automatically once CCleaner detects a certain amount of junk (in gigabytes) on your computer. You can also clean your web browser automatically once you close it.

To set up these options, go to Options > Smart Cleaning > Settings for Smart Cleaning.

Software Updater, another tool that's exclusive to CCleaner Professional, is worth regularly checking to keep your PC secure and ensure you're not missing out on any upgrades to third-party apps.

To use it, go to Tools > Software Updater.

You can also run CCleaner Pro on a regular schedule, so it cleans your PC automatically at a certain time and date of your choice. 

To set this up, go to Options > Scheduling > Schedule CCleaner to automatically clean your PC.

2. How often you should clean your PC for privacy and security:

How often do you perform data-sensitive tasks online?

It's a good idea to clean your web browser (or browsers) after visiting a banking website or performing other data-sensitive tasks online, such as shopping, stocks, investments, paying bills, etc. This helps stop this data from becoming accessible to spyware or different malware types if your PC ever gets infected. 

There are different options for web browsers that can help with this in Custom Clean > Windows or Applications. For example, the checkboxes for Saved Form Information and Saved Passwords delete auto-fill information such as saved login details or email addresses. 

Note: The options you choose in Custom Clean don't reflect in Health Check.

How often do you want to stop your online activity from getting tracked?

You may also want to delete browser cookies to stop websites and advertisers from tracking your online activity or delete browsing history or temporary internet files to keep your online activities private on a shared computer. 

Health Check gives you the easiest way of doing this via the categories in its Privacy tab: Cookies, History, and Temporary Internet Files. The first can stop websites from tracking your online activity, and the second and third are more useful for keeping your data private on a shared computer, etc.

4. Cleaning different types of hard drives: SSDs and HDDs:

You can clean the older types of hard drives (HDDs) as much as you like, but we don't recommend cleaning solid-state drives (SSDs) or Flash-based storage as much. The number of times you write or delete files from SSDs or Flash-based drives impacts their overall lifespan. Most SSDs have a high tolerance for this specific issue, but this is still worth keeping in mind when using CCleaner.