I first thought that PrivaZer was just another system cleaner like CCleaner or the myriads of alternatives that are available: boy was I wrong. First thing that I liked was the option to run the program as a portable application or install it.
When you then start the program you are asked what you want to do and which device you want to scan.
Besides the option to scan for every trace on the device, you can also perform scans for specific traces. This includes Internet traces, software use, the USB history or Registry traces.
If you are not sure what to select, I suggest you go all-in and select the in-depth scan to see what the program turns up with after the scan. Note that it takes the longest to complete.
You are then presented with a list of locations that you can scan on the selected drive. If you went with the in-depth scan option, you should see all locations selected. You can still uncheck items before you start the scan. When you look through the list you will notice several items that are not really covered by the majority of cleaning applications. This includes traces in the MFT, in free space, the USN Journal or the system memory.
The scan time depends largely on the storage device that you have selected. A scan on a connected 120 Gigabyte Solid State Drive took 1:28 minutes to complete.
The program then gives you the option to look at the traces that it has found before you click on the clean button to remove them from the system. These traces usually open in a new window, and display detailed information.
You can for instance click on website traces under Internet browsing to see which websites were visited in the past on the computer. One issue that you may encounter is that there is no way to select only some of the traces of a location for cleanup, it is always everything or nothing.
Once you are done going through the traces and selecting the locations that you want to cleanup up you should click on cleanup options first. If you do not, Privazer will select the most appropriate option for you. If you choose for yourself, you can select between secure deletions of files, RAM cleanup, or free disk space cleanup operations here.
Once you have clicked on the clean button, you are taken to a new window where the process is displayed in real-time. You will also receive a warning that the first run may take one, two or even more hours, and that consecutive runs will be much faster. The program details the files and Registry objects cleaned, and displays the free space gain as well in the window.
Besides what has already been mentioned, you can use the program to delete files, folders or the Recycle Bin securely, and to schedule regular cleanups. This is all handled from the main program window where you make your initial selections.
PrivaZer offers features that other cleanup programs do not offer. That alone should be reason enough to have a copy of it - portable or not - on your computer systems at all times.
Especially the option to clean specific traces, e.g. Internet activities, and options to clean locations that other programs do not support are what sets the program apart. All in all a great program that you should definitely try out if you are interested in privacy and security related topics.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.