Ian MacMillan is one of those guys that I always like hearing from as after 228 issues of Click it is becoming difficult at times to think up new and original subjects to write about.Fortunately Ian always has a handy suggestion up his sleeve:

Hi Chris.

It is becoming quite difficult to suggest something that has never been in Click before, but perhaps you should highlight CCleaner as it is a helpful alternative to Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup utility.It is a piece of freeware available at which I have used it for a while without any problems.As well as freeing up some disk space it can remove privacy items such as web history.Most interestingly for a piece of freeware, it contains a registry cleaner which can find and remove old registry entries.This is useful as most registry cleaners are not freeware.

Ian MacMillan, via e-mail.

This is a fantastic suggestion as after downloading and installing CCleaner (I’ll leave you to work out for yourself what the first ‘C’ in CCleaner stands for) I can see what a helpful little utility this could turn out to be.

Microsoft Disk Cleanup suffers from the fact that it only removes the most obvious surplus files however CCleanup took a good look at my hard drive and immediately suggested over 250mb which could be immediately deleted.In addition to the obvious stuff that the free Microsoft utility picks up such as temporary Internet files and a full recycle bin, CCleanup also searched my hard drive for temporary files left by a number of popular applications such as Windows Media Player and Office XP, the Internet Explorer history as well as dozens of other redundant file types.This software could also be useful as a privacy protector as it will also allow you to quickly remove your Internet history, auto-complete entries, cookies etc which would be helpful for those readers of mine who have something to hide!

Amongst the more useless features is an uninstaller so you can remove old program files however in reality this doesn’t do anything that the standard Windows ‘Add/Remove Programs’ utility can’t do.

One welcome feature was the integrated start-up manager which allows you to easily decide which programs you want loading up when you first start the machine which will be extremely useful if you find your computer is slowing down under the weight of unwelcome and often useless utilities starting up whenever you load your machine.Those unsure as to how much of a difference removing these surplus programs can make to the overall speed of your machine should head to to read one of my previous articles on the subject.

As Ian mentioned a surprising feature in the form of the inbuilt registry cleaner which scans for unnecessary or incorrect entries present in the Windows registry.The registry is an area of Windows that stores all your valuable system settings and parameters and keeping it in shape can only be a good thing.

Whilst the utility isn’t the most comprehensive nor the most powerful available out there it benefits from the fact that it is free and is also extremely compact (just half a megabyte to download).I can’t understand people that spend money on software just to free up a couple of hundred megabytes; especially if the software in question is extremely bloated itself.

Head to, spend approximately one minute downloading the software, run it through your system once and then at only half a megabyte you can happily keep it sat tucked away on your hard-drive ready for when you feel it has to be used again.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.