Speed up Google Chrome, Chromium or SRWare Iron with IronCleaner

Melanie Gross
Jul 23, 2012
Updated • Jul 23, 2012
Google Chrome, Software, Windows, Windows software

There is not a lot that you can do when Google Chrome starts to slow down after you have used the web browser for a certain period of time. While you could try and delete the browser cache and make some modifications to the browser's advanced preferences and experimental features, it is usually something that goes deeper than that.

IronCleaner is an Open Source program for the Windows operating system that you can run to clean and speed up Google Chrome, Chromium or SRWare Iron.

All it takes is to download the latest version of the program from its Sourceforge project website and run it from your local system afterwards.

You will notice that it asks you to pick your browser's directory from the local system which may pose a problem to users who do not really know where it is located. As far as Windows 7 goes, it is located in C:\Users\Martin\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome by default if installed. The program supports portable versions as well.

Once you have selected the browser's program directory, you should click on the options button to make sure the correct browser version is selected. Here you can also add data that you want to clean-up to the process. You can clean-up the following information and settings:

  • Favicons
  • Reset the language
  • Passwords
  • Bookmarks
  • Settings and extensions

It is not necessary to select those though. When you click on the start button you notice that a different set of locations and information are cleaned by the program:

  • Cache Folder
  • Media Cache Folder
  • Temp Folder
  • Certificate Revocation List
  • History
  • Cookies
  • Extension Cookies
  • Shortcuts
  • Transportation Security
  • Quota Manager
  • Web Data

Clean-up should not take longer than a couple of minutes tops, and you should make sure that the browser is closed down before you run it on your system.

Please note that the program does not provide you with the means to select the locations and data that should be cleaned. It is either an all or nothing approach which may make the program unusable for users who would prefer to keep some of the data on the system. Programs like CCleaner do also take care of several of the folders that IronCleaner takes care of.

IronCleaner is a free program that is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 on the system.

Will it really speed-up the browser again? That depends largely on the issues that you are experiencing when using the browser. I would not get my hopes up to high that it will do wonders to the performance of the browser. Then again, if you have accumulated lots of data and not cleaned it previously, you may notice an increase in speed after all.


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  1. Antonia said on August 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    New more powerful version is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ironcleaner/

  2. Gregg DesElms said on July 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    The article, near its end, states that we should not get our “hopes up to[o] high that it will do wonders to the performance of the browser.” I agree…

    …except in the case of a copy of the IRON browser that’s actually “installed” manually portably (in other words, not installed using the installer but, rather, manually placed into whatever folder it’s placed by the user when first put onto the computer… or even onto a USB flash/thumb drive).

    System cleaners like cCleaner (and others) know to go clean all folders associated with installed browsers because they bother to look at the system and see which browsers are installed; and most browsers all install themselves in the same places on everyone’s machines, so that makes it even easier for system cleaners to know where to look for stuff.

    But when something like SRWare’s IRON browser is manually/portably “installed” on the machine (or on a flash drive plugged-in to a USB port), then system cleaners sometimes don’t “see” them; and so don’t clean-up any of their accumulated temp and other files.

    This tool seems to have been created to take SRWare’s IRON browser — whether installed (using the installer), or whether manually placed into a folder of the user’s choice/creation — into consideration. And that, I must say, is unusual.

    Even Comodo System Cleaner (which I don’t think is even what it’s called anymore… wait… lemmee go look it up… [moments pass] …okay, it would now appear to be called “Comodo System Utilities”, but it’s the same thing) which is actually pretty good because it’s capable of SERIOUSLY deep cleaning, can often not find the IRON browser’s cleanable files when it’s manually/portably “installed.” Same for cCleaner. Same for most other cleaners.

    So whether or not there’s a serious improvement after using this tool is almost secondary to the fact that for SRWare IRON browser users who’ve “installed” same portably, there’s at least finally something capable of cleaning-up its messes… or at least trying. For IRON portable users, that’s actually kinda’ huge. That, alone, makes it interesting for at least me, because I’ve now standardized on IRON portable as my default browser.

    I’ve so stanardized, incidentally, not only because of IRON’s incredible security/privacy features (as compared with Chrome), but also so that I can move it all to a thumb/flash drive if I need to whenever I go do work on someone else’s machine, and I can still have all my bookmarks and plugins and extensions and whatnot; and, also, so that I don’t have to use the machine owner’s browser and goof-up whatever it’s already logged-in to, or login to my stuff in his/her browser and risk my secure cookies and other information somehow getting mixed-in with his/hers.

    There are surprisingly few — almost none, other than IRON — Chromium-based (so, in other words, Google Chrome alternative) browsers out there that are truly portable. That, for me, was what initially attracted me to IRON; and, in fact, its cool security/privacy features were really just gravy on top of the portability thing. With this IRON CLEANER thing, now, I might have finally found something that can really and truly help keep my manual/portable IRON copy more or less clean… er… you know… as clean as tools like this are capable of achieving (which, sadly, is often not terribly clean… but we’ll see… I’m eager to try it).

    Thanks for the tip!

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Gregg interesting, thanks for pointing that out. Did not think of portable installations.

  3. ComicHippo said on July 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    “It requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 on the system.” Deal breaker !!

    1. Gregg DesElms said on July 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      @ComicHippo: Just curious… why is the .NET requirement a deal breaker?

      I ask because one reason I can think of is if one is using SRWare’s IRON browser in true “portable” mode (so, in other words, manually placed into a folder on, for example, a thumb/flash drive), then one cannot always be assured that the machine into which one has said flash drive plugged-in necessarily has the .NET framework installed; and so, in such case, IronCleaner would not work.

      The only other reason I can think of, though, is that you’re one of those people who’s just kind of fundamentally anti-Microsoft and so refuses to allow the .NET framework onto your machine for all kinds of classically Linux-minded (even if you’re not actually using Linux; it’s a mindset, after all) sorts of reasons.

      If it’s the latter, I gotta’ tell ya’ that my 35+ years of IT experience attests to that’s just convoluted and misguided thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Microsoft for the exact same reasons that most anyone else doesn’t like it; and I wish, just as much as anyone else, that it didn’t so have us all by the shorthairs in so many way. I’m with ya’, there.

      But the .NET framework, if you stop and think about it, is no different from the JAVA runtime that even Linux lovers think is perfectly okay to have on one’s machine. In either case, they’re roughly equivalent platforms which must be installed on our machines in order for programs written in them to run. “What’s the difference?” I routinely ask. JAVA even has is very own nasty habits that are just as irritating as those of the .NET framework, only in different ways. So what? Again, what’s the difference, really?

      Even having to have Silverlight installed on the machine: Why do people complain about that, I often ask myself. How’s having to have Silverlight installed on the machine any different, really, from having to have Flash installed on the machine? Between the two makers (Microsoft, maker of Silverlight, versus Adobe, maker of Flash) let me tell you that Adobe is the far worse and more egregious corporation without a conscience. Don’t kid yourself. I’ve been around since Adobe first got started… way back in the old Linotype typesetting and Adobe font days. It’s a company which, to this day, loves the Mac and only tolerates Windows; and its numbskull, right-brained programmers are the worst, sloppiest, most convuluted and uncareful coders on the planet who have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to Windows API standards…

      …and it shows in every Adobe product’s non-standard, art-for-art’s-sake, bloated code, overpriced program and its interface. I have NO love lost for Adobe; yet I’m not so stupid as to try to get through life without using at least those of its products which everyone pretty much has to use (such as the Flash player, for example; or Adobe Air, just to name two).

      The .NET framework is little different. It’s a necessary evil; and it certainly won’t harm or slow-down your machine; or present undue security/privacy issues. The trick with .NET is to never, ever mess with it once it’s installed. That’s where everything falls apart, because .NET becomes so integrated into, and a core part of Windows, that to try to, for example, uninstall it will just break Windows. Next thing you know, you’re reinstalling Windows because, let me tell you, even guys who used to work for Microsoft in the .NET group, who later become independent consultants, can’t fix many of the things that trying to fiddle with an already-installed .NET framework can cause. JAVA’s got it over .NET in that regard. At least you can successfully uninstall JAVA and no harm is done to the Windows installation. But not so with the .NET framework. I’ll give the Microsoft-haters that one. But so what? All one has to do is make sure that all versions of .NET (back to 1.0, if possible) are installed on the Windows machine; and then just bother to keep them patched and up-to-date. Simple as that. The machine never even hiccups if one does that simple thing.

      So, if it’s just about so hating Microsoft that you refuse to use anything created by it (beyond Windows, itself) which isn’t absolutely necessary, then I gotta’ say that that’s just silly… like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Pointless.

      Is that it, for you? Is that your reason? ‘Cause if it is, then you’ve obviously not really thought it through very well; and you’ve likely just jumped-onto the whole “Microsoft hating just for hating it’s sake” bandwangon; and you’ve so drunk that Kool-Aid that you’re not really taking the necessary giant step back from it all and really assessing, truly objectively, exactly what you’re hating, and why; and, moreover, how it compares with what you and the other haters consider to be reasonable alternatives… like JAVA, for example, just to name one.

      If your reasons for .NET being a deal-breaker are other than what I’ve guessed, then I’d sure like to hear (er… well… actually, technically, read) them, here. I’m seriously interested…

      …because, so far, whenever I’ve asked anyone to really and truly defend their “no .NET on MY machine” position, it’s usually based on some kind of insensible anti-Microsoft misguidedness that they picked-up from reading posts in some forum somewhere, and which position they didn’t really think it through very well, and so all it is is following, like sheep, along with what OTHER equally misguided anti-Microsoft, Linux-loving idiots believe.

      And, by the way, to be clear: I love Linux, too. I’m not just a Microsoft hater, but in reverse. In my enterprise system installations I put nothing but Windows on the desktop (or Macs if they’re the desktops of graphic, music or publishing artists) because those are the defacto standards, and no amount of wishing on Linux’s part will change that. However, I’m notorious for only installing as many Windows servers are a minimally necessary to run things that absolutely require them, and then make all other servers Linux-based. So no one can accuse me of being as blindly loyal to Microsoft as I accuse others of being blindly loyal to Linux. I use the right tool for the job, whatever it is. That’s the sort of thing doing this for three-plus decades can teach a guy.

      [sigh] Anyway, ComicHippo, I’d sure like to understand your “.NET’s a dealbreaker” rationale. I’ll bet dollars to donuts it’s not based on much more than blindly following along with the other insensible Microsoft haters. If I’m wrong, then I apologize, in advance, for it. But I’ll bet I’m not.

      If so, then I invite you and your like to take a giant step back and re-think it all. I’m not saying you’re wrong to dislike what even I agree is thoroughly dislikable about Microsoft; or even to try to find better alternatives to its products, when necessary. I’m with you, there.

      But when it goes so far that even the simple .NET framework becomes “a dealbreaker,” and so you deprive yourself of the use of excellent software products on which it’s based, then you’ve gone too far. I’m sorry, you just have.

      Hope that helps… but I’ll bet you’ll think it didn’t.

      Gregg L. DesElms
      Napa, California USA
      gregg at greggdeselms dot com

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