Privacy Eraser is a gorgeous looking cleaner for Windows
Depending on how you use your computer, you may be able to recover quite a bit of storage space when you clean temporary files regularly.
The most popular program for the job is probably CCleaner followed by Microsoft's own Disk Cleanup tool.
There are lots of third-party solutions that more or less offer the same functionality but differ in terms of the locations they can remove temporary files from and programs that they support to erase information from.
Privacy Eraser is one of those programs. It is available as a free version and a commercial version. The only difference between the two versions is that you do not get priority tech support and no custom data wiping algorithms that you can select from. You do get an option to fill the space with zeros though.
Privacy Eraser Review
When you first run the program you immediately notice the gorgeous interface. Here you can click on the scan button to run a full scan of the system, or check out the sidebar first to modify what is being scanned.
The program covers many important programs and folders. As far as web browsers go, it supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, and here the usual removal of caches, passwords, history information or preferences.
Tip: You may want to disable the cleaning of sessions or cookies for your browser of choice before you run the cleaner, as you may lose access to tabs that were open the last time you used the browser and may need to sign in to services again as you will be logged out if you clean cookies.
One interesting option here, at least when it comes to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, is the option to remove typed urls or individual cookies from the browser without running a cleanup.
The program supports 50 applications currently including the usual suspects such as Adobe Reader, 7-zip, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Foxit Reader, Evernote, or Windows Media Player. If you run Windows 8, you may see Windows Store apps listed here as well.
One interesting option here is the option to add custom Registry locations and file & folder locations that you want deleted as well. While you cannot load a winapp2.ini file into the program (using CCEnhancer for instance), you can customize what is being scanned and removed on your system during a scan.
The frontpage of the application displays the total size and other values that will be deleted from the system if you click on the clean button after running a scan.
All items that it will remove are listed in a table on that screen. Here you have the option to uncheck individual items to protect them from the removal. It is highly recommended to go through the list to make sure that everything listed here is not needed anymore and can be removed to free up space and remove information from the PC.
Privacy Eraser ships with a set of tools that you can use in addition. Below is a quick overview of the applications the program makes available:
- File Shredder can delete files and folders permanently.
- Drive Wiper deletes spare and hidden data areas on the selected drive. The free space will be wiped clean so that it cannot be recovered anymore.
- Windows Startup Manager displays all enabled and disabled startup programs. It lists names, publishers, commands and autostart entries.
- System Restore lists all existing system restore points. It only offers to remove those though.
Comparison to CCleaner
So how does the program compare to CCleaner? It has the looks on its side, but that does not really mean much as functionality weights more.
Both programs ship with a considerable amount of support programs, and both can be extended. You cannot bulk add custom locations though as you can in CCleaner.
Another difference is that you can only keep cookies if you are using Internet Explorer.
CCleaner on top of that offers features that Privacy Eraser does not yet. It can scan the Registry, uninstall programs, and find files based on your preferences.
Those are not related to cleaning directly though, so that you may not mind if they are missing in the application.
Most features are identical though, and that is definitely a good thing.
Privacy Eraser looks and feels great, and the scanning and cleaning is fast and unproblematic. The program interface looks great, and if you like a good looking interface, you may want to give it a try.
If you are already using CCleaner, then there is little incentive to switch to it other than that. Even then, this is definitely a program that you want to keep an eye on as the company developing is very active right now.
The title “Privacy Eraser” gave me pause … so what, it erases my privacy? Like Facebook then? *lol*
You wish ;)
This garbage of program destroyed my Firefox after one cleaning. I only selected to delete Firefox cache. Now styles do not work. You can imagine how everything looks. Tried to replace profile folder with backup copy. Does not work. System Restore does not work either. Do not even try it.
Finally fixed it. Cleaned system with CCleaner and reinstalled Firefox.
What about speed ? How does it compare to CCleaner ?
It is fast, probably even faster than CCleaner when it comes to scanning and cleaning, but that is not based on benchmark data.
Thanks Martin, I’ll give it a try, the interface looks really nice & I like well designed interfaces.
While it may not do everything CCleaner does, the speed & interface make it good as a second low-level cleaning tool.
In addition to “privacy” related files, will it allow easy clean up of unecessary files, e.g. for me at least non English language files supplied with software, or clip art images etc
I think it is restricted to temp files, caches and the like. You can add other locations though.
I use CCleaner and the Enhance CCleaner. Together they go way beyond any other cleaner. I also use Windows Disk Cleanup.
I’ll stick with CCleaner followed by Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup tool.
PowerUser Tip: Open Command Prompt with Admin Rights and type the following cleanmgr /sageset :100 were :100 is what you’ll be selecting when it’s open. Note it don’t have to be :100 it can range from :100 to :256 I believe you many have to look that one up, and doubt you’ll need 256 different settings as there’s no more then 21 the latest one is Windows Update.
When your done selecting what you want to clean close the window and type the following cleanmgr /sagerun :100 and let the cleaning begin. Thanks for the Tutorial.