When it comes to cleaning temporary files in Windows, the first program that comes to the mind of most computer users is the popular CCleaner by Pirisoft. There is an abundance of alternatives, of which I have reviewed more than a dozen over the years. Among them nCleaner, ACleaner and Browser Cleaner.
AppCleaner is a new contender, created by the developers of the software updater Update Star. The program is currently offered as a beta version for all recent versions of the Windows operating system.
It displays a tabbed interface after installation and startup. The Cleaner tab lists the four sub-tabs Apps, Browsers, Registry and Windows. It uses the usual checkbox system to enable or disable cleaning of specific temporary files.
Here is a short overview of the available cleaning options:
- Apps: Java, Adobe Flash Player, 7-Zip, Internet, Multimedia, RegEdit, Remote Desktop
- Browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, including temporary files, cookies, internet history, login data and sessions.
- Registry: services, missing clsids, missing shared dlls, mui cache, run at startup, obsolete software, fonts
- Windows: Recent Documents, Clipboard, custom folders, dns cache, file fragments, temporary files
Each section offers additional options, but the overview should be enough to give you an understanding of the program capabilities. When you compare the offered cleaning options to CCleaner, you will come to the conclusion that they are almost on pair. UpdateStar offers to add custom file locations under Options > Custom Files just like CCleaner does. The latter has the excellent CCleaner Enhancer tool which adds about 300 additional programs to CCleaner automatically.
Some other things are missing in a direct comparison. It is for instance not possible to exclude cookies comfortably from the cleaning. While it is possible to ignore files or directories to prevent them from being cleaned, it is rather cumbersome to add them to the program. All you can use is the standard file and folder browser to exclude items.
A click on the analyze button checks all enabled items for temporary files and displays the findings in list form in the interface. AppCleaner displays the overall size of the temporary data as well as the name, size and amount of each individual item. A click on Clean deletes the temporary files on the system.
AppCleaner comes with three tools, a tool to uninstall software, to manage startup items and a third to manage system restore points. They are nice to have but only as comfortable as the default Windows tools for the job.
AppCleaner is a program to look out for. It is currently in beta and it is likely that the developers will continue working on it to improve it further. It is a solid CCleaner alternative. There is however no portable version available, which some users may see as a negative.
If you like the idea of testing another temporary file cleaner for Windows, you find the program download and further information at the developer website.