Windows operating system cleaning rules

Cleaning your Windows operating system with Custom Clean:

We explain how you can clean your Windows operating system using CCleaner's Custom Clean. If you want to find out more about Windows Explorer's specific cleaning rules in CCleaner, skip to Files and data you can clean in your Windows operating system further below.  

What is Custom Clean?

Custom Clean is a function within CCleaner that allows you to customize how the app cleans different parts of your PC, such as your operating system and applications (like web browsers).

What are 'cleaning rules'? 

These are the specific files and data that you allow CCleaner to delete from your system. You can see some in the screenshot below as checkboxes you can select beneath the Windows tab.

CCleaner Professional, Custom Clean, Windows window, System rules

Files and data you can clean in your Windows operating system:

  • Empty Recycle Bin - If you select this checkbox, CCleaner will empty your Recycle Bin. It is possible for this rule not to be able to remove the files in the Recycle Bin. For more information, see this troubleshooting article on the Recycle Bin.
  • Temporary Files - CCleaner will delete the Windows temporary files which are not in use. By default, it only removes files that have not been accessed in 48 hours, as deleting newer files can reduce your computer's performance. This can be changed to clean all temp files in the Advanced Settings.
  • Clipboard - CCleaner will clear the contents of the Windows Clipboard.
  • Memory Dumps - When Windows crashes, it stores small memory dumps so that technical users can debug their systems. CCleaner will delete these files. We wouldn't recommend doing so if your computer is still having problems as this can prevent effective troubleshooting.
  • Chkdsk File Fragments - These are clusters and chains that are left over after you run CHKDSK. CCleaner will delete them.
  • Windows Log Files - Windows logs many events and activities, such as access, policy changes, internet use, tasks, and so on. As a result, the dozens of logs it creates are scattered across the system. They will all be deleted by CCleaner. Much like with memory dumps, we do not recommend deleting these if the computer is having problems. This may prevent effective troubleshooting.
  • Windows Error Reporting - Whenever a program crashes, Windows saves details of the crash and reports it back to Microsoft. This option will clean all the error reports from your system. Much like with memory dumps, we do not recommend deleting these if the computer is having problems. This may prevent effective troubleshooting.

Note: We do not recommend using the following items regularly. They are, instead, included for troubleshooting purposes.

  • DNS Cache - When you visit a web site, Windows attempts to speed up future visits to that site by writing its DNS information to the DNS cache. This option will clear out the cache so that Windows can start storing DNS information from scratch.
  • Font Cache - Windows caches commonly-used fonts to optimize performance. This option will clear the cache so that Windows will rebuild it.
  • Start Menu Shortcuts - This option will delete Start menu shortcuts that are invalid (they point to files that no longer exist).
  • Desktop Shortcuts - This option will delete invalid desktop shortcuts (they point to files that no longer exist).
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