First look at Microsoft's CCleaner-like PC Manager application

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 21, 2022
Updated • Nov 3, 2022
Windows software

Microsoft PC Manager is a new beta application by Microsoft that promises one-click speed boosts, full system check-ups, virus removals and more.

microsoft pc manager

If that reminds you of applications such as CCleaner, or game boosting apps that are more or less snakeoil, then you are not far off.

First, the bad news. PC Manager is only available from a Microsoft website that is entirely in Chinese. The application itself has an English interface.

Most web browsers support translations, but you may also activate the first button on the page to start the 5 Megabyte download of the app. The app checks out fine on Virustotal; there is only one hit by CrowdStrike Falcon, and it is labeled grayware.

Microsoft PC Manager

microsoft pc manager security

PC Manager displays information about the system and several options on startup. The system's memory usage, temporary files, available storage, the last startup time and a process running count. Links lead to the boost feature, and the security tab. There is also a Health Check link, and links to storage management, process management and the startup apps.

A click on Settings reveals that PC Manager is configured to run at system start and to auto update. Both options can be disabled there.

A click on Boost reduces memory usage temporarily and cleans-up all temporary files.

Health Check analyses the system to make recommendations. It is just a basic scan that focuses on the three areas "items to cleanup", potential issues, and startup apps to disable. To Microsoft's credit, not all options are checked by default. The only issue detected was that Edge was not the default browser of the system. The startup apps to disable listing ignores Microsoft apps that start up with the system.

Storage Management looks similar to the disk cleanup options that Windows provides. There you find options to run a full cleanup scan, manage large files on the main drive, configure Storage Sense in the Settings app or Manage apps, which also links to the Settings app.

Deep Cleanup checks locations such as the Recycle Bin or certain caches, and suggests to clear them to free up space. Most disk cleaners support more options than Microsoft's beta application.

Process Management displays user-run processes. Each process is listed with the memory that it uses and an option to terminate it.

Startup apps, finally, lists third-party apps that start with the system to disable that feature. Again, Microsoft apps such as OneDrive or Edge are not included in that listing.

The security tab lists an option to run a scan, check for Windows updates, and browser protection. Browser Protection, once again, offers an option to change the default browser. Edge is listed as the recommended option, but other installed browsers, in my case Firefox and Chrome, were also displayed.

The security scan checks various areas, including browser extensions, startup apps, key system locations and hardware drivers. The scan takes some time to complete and displays suggestions in the end that may improve system security.

Closing Words

Is the Microsoft PC Manager application a useful tool for Windows users? It certainly shares some characteristics with snake-oil applications and tries very hard to make sure Edge is the default browser and Microsoft's own startup apps remain activated.

Some of the other features seem more useful. The ability to run a system security scan is one, and some may like the ability to free up memory and clean up temporary files quickly. All in all, it is not too bad of an effort. Still, most Windows users may use built-in tools or better third-party applications to achieve similar results. Autoruns, for example, is way better at managing startup items than Microsoft's PC Manager application or the built-in Windows functionality.

Since it is a beta application, most users may want to wait with the installation of the app until it is out of beta and officially announced by Microsoft.

Now You: do you use programs like PC Manager or CCleaner? (via Aggiornamenti Lumia)

First look at Microsoft's CCleaner-like PC Manager application
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First look at Microsoft's CCleaner-like PC Manager application
Microsoft PC Manager is a new beta application by Microsoft that promises one-click speed boosts, full system check-ups, virus removals and more.
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  1. Stellar Conqueror said on November 23, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Nirsoft has little useful tools, as Sysinternals from MS itself. Wise Tools, from China, go a good job: you can block any connection to avoid tracking.

  2. Ddd said on November 19, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Just use DeepFreeze after updating important software.

    All garbage and malwares would be erased after restart.

  3. riri0 said on November 3, 2022 at 10:47 am

    you should update the article that the website now displays in english.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 3, 2022 at 11:29 am

      Thanks for the tip, I have updated it.

  4. Sebas said on October 23, 2022 at 2:36 am

    Most of those snake oil software were good in 1 thing on my desktop : putting back an image due to corruption.

    Only CCleaner V. 5.39, firewall connections blocked, and only to remove restore points and sometimes the context menu under Startup. The old CCleaner was not bad at all.

    And of course Autoruns.

    Nirsoft has made so many context menu software it ‘s dizzling. Not bad at all, but too much, for me.

  5. CalixtoWVR1 said on October 22, 2022 at 10:54 pm


    That’s what I will do. I don’t like to take any chance with Beta Apps. On top of that, MS has not even officially announced it. I will wait and see what the beta testers have to say in their feedback. Patience is a virtue.

  6. y0himba said on October 22, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    I just want a little program that runs in the background and curbs Chrome’s memory usage. Yes, I know, Chrome, but I am 23 years into Google’s ecosystem, and moving everything to another would be next to impossible.

  7. y0himba said on October 22, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    This is sketchy at best. I honestly can’t see Microsoft having anything to do with these types of programs, and a Chinese only site? Why not Microsoft’s main or Github?

    Gonna be a hard pass from me.

  8. Tom Hawack said on October 22, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    I run a batch file which runs three cleaning tools,

    1- CCleaner (ver. 5.40.6411 – last non-adware non-tracking version);
    2- Nirsoft’s Cleanafterme
    3- Speedyfox, to defragment Firefox’s SQLITE databases (handles Firefox/Skype/Chrome/Thunderbird).

    I still use CCleaner, as mentioned its last non-adware non-tracking version, because it includes features I appreciate such as including/excluding files & folders. CCleaner before its descent to hell was quite a nice app.

    1. vanp said on October 23, 2022 at 3:04 am

      “descent to hell”

      Is this a reference to Avast, or something about CCleaner itself?

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 23, 2022 at 9:59 am

        #vanp, both. Several articles about CCleaner here on GHacks and elsewhere, i.e. :
        [ ]

    2. Trey said on October 23, 2022 at 12:07 am

      Nirsoft’s Cleanafterme was last updated to work with Windows Vista. I’d be a bit weary of that one.

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 23, 2022 at 9:55 am

        @Trey, I ignored that. OS here is Win7 …

      2. Tom Hawack said on October 23, 2022 at 11:02 am

        @Trey, good thing you pointed out Nirsoft’s Cleanafterme obsolescence.
        What happened is that I run Nirsoft applications via its Nirlauncher all-in-on app, and that in order to avoid removing each application’s cfg file, when updating Nirlauncher I simply unzip it into its dedicated folder : this adds new apps but doesn’t remove old ones : perfect example of the implications of non-clean installs …

        I compared my my Nirlauncher apps with those of latest Nirlauncher 1.23.65 and realized that not only Cleanafterme was no longer included in Nirlauncher but several others as well were no longer supported :



        But one word : thanks :=)

  9. pHROZEN gHOST said on October 22, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    I wish Microsoft would just focus on creating a good operating system instead of trying to reinvent all these third party tools.

  10. Thorky said on October 22, 2022 at 9:51 am

    I prefer Cleanmgr+ .

  11. Yoda said on October 22, 2022 at 4:48 am

    > Now You: do you use programs like PC Manager or CCleaner?

    bleachbit and nwipe.

  12. iranamia said on October 22, 2022 at 2:56 am

    beta app, then use with caution

  13. Dennis said on October 22, 2022 at 1:55 am

    A second look at dodgy Chinese software?

    I’m in!


    1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:44 am

      I played with it in windows sandbox. A simple VM that’s just a clean install of whatever version of Windows your running. Takes 2 seconds to load up. Nothing can escape the VM. At least nothing has.

  14. algrave said on October 22, 2022 at 12:15 am

    I’m still using an old (pre-sale-of-company) version of CCleaner, with its “phone home” and updating leashed by firewall rules. (how? see ). I update CC’s rules – and allow it to cover programs beyond what CCleaner normally cleans – using CCleaner Enhancer ( d/l here: )

    Why? I still prefer CC’s speed and tweakability. I also use Privazer, and Privazer is what I recommend to non-geeks, but you can’t tinker with it as much as with CC. Plus CC kept me out of jail once. Let’s just say I don’t live in a democracy.

    I haven’t had good luck with Bleachbit. It’s crashed a couple of machines for me in the past.

  15. Anonymous said on October 21, 2022 at 11:26 pm


  16. Jose said on October 21, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    testei em todas as versões do Windows, instalar mas não funciona, nem abre

  17. MSFailedInternshipProgram said on October 21, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    The new settings is so useless that an independent program was required to perform the same function as the one that has been working perfectly in Windows for more than 25 years. Why not just use Task Manager and Disk Cleanup? There’s no need to load your computer up with pointless student made applications. Why cannot the program window be resized? Why has everything been squeezed into such a small window?

    1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:43 am

      It’s a beta, a very early one. Disk cleanup misses at least 50% of abandoned files, can’t fix the registry or tons of other things that USERS mess up.

  18. Trey said on October 21, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I trust it way less than some faceless 3rd party, which is sad. What’s better for your personal PC in the eyes of Microsoft is likely much different than yours.

    1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:42 am

      The only thing in there that someone might not like is the option to set edge as default… Of course edge is actually good now so if you use Chrome then switch.

      Everything else becomes necessary after about 3 months for the average user. Less if things are constantly being installed and uninstalled. The registry gets so full of trash it drags performance down like crazy.

      That’s 100% user error not MS or Win.

  19. Urajmal said on October 21, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    What do you prefer or use for now?

    1. plusminus_ said on October 22, 2022 at 7:37 pm

      Hibit Uninstaller Portable!

    2. VioletMoon said on October 21, 2022 at 7:24 pm

      Advanced System Care provides a safe experience and cleans out lots of junk and errors in the registry. May be a privacy issue, but I’ve never had issues with it, as in computers won’t boot after usage. Lots of one year “gratis” licenses provided on various sites.

      Glary Utilities Pro
      Wise Care 365 Pro

      One of the above programs ends up creating a “blue screen” on reboot.


      Privazer, okay.
      Puran Utilities–oldie.

      The one I use most is Kerish Doctor. I was using 2019, but there is a good giveaway for Kerish Doctor 2022. The program has it all–driver updates, program updates, services optimizer, junk files, registry, tweaker, etc. The Internet Optimizer is a killer feature, much better than TCP Optimizer. The best part is the scanning: the program scans for issues and then presents them for review. One can uncheck any changes that may be unfamiliar or not fully understood.

      I just ran it and had loads of stuff to clean, optimize. Couldn’t believe it.

      Yes, some of the programs may be “snake oil,” but then I think “Why do third parties create the programs?” Because Windows and other programs leaves a lot of rubbish.

      And it gives the developer, potentially, full access to one’s computer.

      What to say? Really good computer users create their own process.

      1. Anonymous said on October 22, 2022 at 2:58 am

        With all those seemingly nice cleaner programs, autorun programs are almost stealthy introduced. So why is that, why not open about that? Be very careful!!

      2. userpassadmin said on October 21, 2022 at 8:33 pm

        IOBit products are adwares.

      3. Caio said on October 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm

        agreed, IOBIT never more!

        i never use opitmizers because crash the windows, sistem mechanics i pay a pro for 1 mounth and crash 2 times my PC with your original tecnologia optimal cores

  20. Funkyy said on October 21, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    PrivaZer for me.

    1. David said on October 21, 2022 at 9:07 pm

      PrivaZer looks like an application from the year 1999.

      1. upp said on October 23, 2022 at 10:43 am

        It’s, we don’t need 2022 application to clean junks

  21. Artur said on October 21, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    How the hell can Microsoft do this? All the cleaning programs just focus on cleaning up the mess that Windows does by itself. If Microsoft releases a cleaner, it means admitting that their own system makes such a mess…

    1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:39 am

      People make a mess of their own systems by installing tons of crap. Eventually the registry gets bloated, files are left all over the place… It’s not their fault.

      I looked at my son’s PC about 3 weeks after I re-imaged it and it was full of trash slowing everything down. We had identical hardware and my system is easily 5x faster than his and I even use Edge.

  22. Tachy said on October 21, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    Please test it on a pirated copy of windows, I’m curious to see what it does then.

  23. ECJ said on October 21, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    One of those items is not like the rest… “Reset default browser to Edge” demonstrates what a deceptive sleazy company Microsoft have become.

    1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:37 am

      Oh yes super sleezy to recommend their own program which has actually become better than Chrome and despite trying every browser out there I ended up really liking edge because it isn’t Chrome.

      I also use Adguard at the system level so there’s no nonsense going on whether it’s a MS app or someone else’s.

  24. Paul(us) said on October 21, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    It’s just another snake-oil application! Not even a ferry good one it seems after reading this easy-to-read informative article.

    Personally, I still think that the best registry – & all-in-one utility snake oil application is PrivaZer – v.4.0.55.

    A really good number two registry & all-in-one utility snake oil application is the paid Yamicsoft Windows 10 Manager 3.7.1 & windows 11 manager v1.1.6.

    1. Caio said on October 21, 2022 at 9:44 pm

      about that privazer for me is nothing to use… slow the POC to rum and nothing change… i use only treesize for delete archives and nothing morew… ccleaner for me free or pro slowing PC

  25. userpassadmin said on October 21, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Will this piece of garb clean bloatwares from Windows 11’s itself ?

    1. Frankel said on October 21, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      >Potential issues: Reset browser to Edge

      Looks more it will default people to spyware.

      1. d0x360 said on October 24, 2022 at 5:35 am

        Not me, I gave edge a chance and since it’s chromium with a twist I’ve actually come to like it more than chrome. I can use my chrome extensions but Microsoft has added a bunch of useful stuff to it and it can all be disabled if you want.

        Also if anyone wants more control over Windows 10/11 check out Chris Titus’s PowerShell Script tool. He recently added a UI which makes it easier to use. It’s fantastic.

      2. Jek Porkins said on October 21, 2022 at 3:26 pm

        Doesn’t that classify the software as malware?

  26. Jek Porkins said on October 21, 2022 at 11:57 am

    At the end of the day people will still use 3rd party programs, like they have always have.

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