CCleaner is one of the oldest system cleaners out there. Having been around since 2004, the veteran now boasts over 5 million desktop installs each week.
CCleaner is well known for its Performance Optimizer that removes junk files from your computer. Among other things, users flock to it because of its comprehensive features, ease of use, and free version that gets the job done at zero cost. Plus, its competitively-priced Professional version is a pull for those looking for good value, too.
But CCleaner isn’t without its flaws. From security concerns to occasional glitches, certain users have been very vocal that they have a bone to pick with CCleaner.
So, is CCleaner still worth your time? Well, in this CCleaner review, we will look deeper into features, performance, ease of use, pricing, and more. Read on and answer all your burning questions.
|💵 Price:||From $29.95/month|
|✂️ Free version:||Yes|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Android|
|🔥 Current deal:||Get up to 11% OFF CCleaner!|
CCleaner pros & cons
Is CCleaner safe?
Yes, CCleaner is safe. That said, CCleaner has battled several security concerns since its acquisition by Avast. First up, a backdoor 2017 attack compromised software installed on 32-bit Windows systems, and an estimated 2.27 million machines were affected by the attack.
Then, in 2019, Avast revealed that malicious actors breached its network and were likely planning to target CCleaner in a supply chain attack but were foiled. Here, the hacker used stolen credentials to gain admin privileges but was unsuccessful at pushing out a malicious release.
To Avast’s credit, it was quick to react. The Czech cybersecurity company halted upcoming CCleaner releases and checked prior releases for malicious alterations. Additionally, it also disabled and reset all internal user credentials.
After all, as of 2023, there has been no report about recent cyberattacks on CCleaner or any further security issues that you should be aware of. And now it offers a decent amount of advanced security features to improve your device’s performance.
Nevertheless, a device cleaner itself won’t make a huge difference in your safety and adding an extra layer of security, like a reputable antivirus, can noticeably improve your online experience.
CCleaner has quite a few features to offer. However, most of them are off-limit to free users and only available if you’re on the CCleaner Professional plan. And, understandably, several even more premium features are exclusive to CCleaner Professional Plus plan users.
Unused files, settings, apps, and out-of-date drivers are a huge drain on computer resources. Cleaning the mess by yourself can be both frustrating and unsafe, as you can easily miss an unnecessary file.
his feature cleans up these files, temporarily freezes unused apps, and updates software drivers — all in the name of boosting speed. This way, not only your online experience gets better, but also the chance of damaging your device decreases.
PC Health Check
Overlooked system updates higher the risk of getting infected with a virus, malware, and other cyber threats. Hence, it’s crucial to regularly check for updates to fill in all the missing gaps. Fortunately, CCleaner’s PC Health Check can do that for you.
It automatically analyzes your PC and recommends quick fixes for privacy, space, speed, and security. So you don’t have to worry about missing out on a single fix.
Online activity tracking is one of the most common ways for a third party to collect information about you. This can be either for marketing purposes or to blackmail you, so staying protected from it is recommended.
CCleaner's Privacy Protection feature removes tracking files and browsing data. Meaning, you can improve your online privacy with a click.
And if online privacy is one of the major factors that concern you, getting a robust VPN service next to CCleaner can ensure you a fully anonymous browsing experience. It encrypts your online data and even blocks online trackers using top-notch security features.
Each added program and file to your device burdens its performance. This way, your online experience gets worse and you can also easily overlook cyber threats.
Performance Optimizer detects unnecessary startup items as well as background activities and freezes them to boost speed and performance. According to CCleaner’s tests, you could see up to 30% more laptop battery life, 72% faster startup speed, and 34% boost in overall performance with Performance Optimizer.
If you’re not a tech-savvy IT user, updating your device’s drivers sounds somewhat mission impossible. However, the fact that they play a big role in your device’s performance is undeniable. Luckily, CCleaner has the Driver Updater feature.
It quickly scans and updates drivers, including hard-to-find drivers for older devices. CCleaner said that it could identify up to 25 million drivers and update them. Once done, it minimizes cybersecurity threats, hardware problems, and crashes. You should also see an improvement in your PC’s visuals, audio, and internet connection.
Plans and pricing
Most people gravitate towards the free version for obvious reasons. While that’s perfectly fine, it’s still worth noting that the free version comes with only core features. For more features, upgrade to CCleaner Professional. Otherwise, you’ll need CCleaner Professional Plus to unblock all the features — including Recuva and Speccy.
|CCleaner Free||Free||PC Health Check, Faster Computer, and Privacy Protection|
|CCleaner Professional||$29.95/year||Everything in Free and Performance Optimizer, Driver Updater, Software Updater, Cleans Everywhere, Guards Against Junk Files, and Automatically Clears History|
|CCleaner Professional Plus||$44.95/year or $79.95 for 2 years||Everything in CCleaner Professional and Recuva and Speccy|
Is CCleaner worth the money?
The question of whether CCleaner is worth it depends on a few things. First, if you tend to keep your computer clean and secure at all times, you don’t necessarily need to fork out the 30 bucks to clean up your computer.
All you need is the free version, especially if you’ve been using the computer for some time. Alternatively, you could also make use of the 14-day free trial to CCleaner Pro, which is great for cleaning up and optimizing your computer without actually shelling out for the software.
However, if your computer is super messy and you want to have a well-working device, then $30 is a low price to pay for a faster, cleaner, and safer computer.
Ease of use and setup
CCleaner setup is a breeze for both Mac and Windows. Just make sure to download the installation package from CCleaner’s official website. Here, the download process is extremely straightforward. Rest assured that you won’t be corralled or pressured into purchasing add-ons. From there, simply follow the onscreen instructions to set up.
As for the CCleaner’s interfaces, everything worked smoothly on both Windows and macOS devices.
In the Windows version, navigation is as easy as it gets. All the tools and available options are within reach and clearly labeled. Plus, you won’t be forced into updating or deleting older files. Instead, every deletable file is simply shown, and you’re free to choose the ones to delete and the ones to keep.
Additionally, CCleaner isn’t resource-intensive, which means that its scanning and cleaning processes wouldn’t adversely affect or interfere with your usage of the computer. That said, it could still affect older and slower devices.
The one hiccup we encountered was that the Driver Updater failed to cancel scanning properly and was left staring at the “canceling - might take a couple of seconds” message for about 10 minutes. However, once relaunched, everything worked perfectly again.
As for macOS, the app is clean and sleek for both the free and the premium versions. The free version is understandably quite sparse on options. However, navigation is intuitive and easy to understand. The only drawback is that it can be a bit tricky to uninstall the app. Our solution to this is to delete the app in the CCleaner app.
Meanwhile, the premium MacOS isn’t all that different from the free version except for more tools at your disposal. Some additions include automatic Clean Browsers and Empty Trash.
CCleaner mobile apps
CCleaner only has a mobile app for Android, and we’ll cover both the free and premium versions for this CCleaner review. On the free version, you’ll mostly get removal tools to remove apps, photos, music, videos, and other files.
If you spring for premium, instead, you’ll see quite an upgrade to functionalities. Some included features are:
- Deep clean to clean the cache of apps
- Automatic cleaning where you can mark items to clean automatically
- Long-term boost to force stop running apps in the background
As for looks, CCleaner’s mobile app is the most modern and polished of all its apps. Clean, aesthetically pleasing, and with a full menu to the left, is very easy to navigate, even for beginners. Plus, everything is clearly labeled and explained for clarity.
CCleaner offers a variety of customer support options. However, they’re mostly skewed toward DIY help. Moreover, there isn’t any live support or 24/7 assistance.
Your first avenues for help and solutions with CCleaner are its help center, community forum, FAQs, or YouTube channel. If you’re unable to find an answer in the forum and help center, you could also submit a request for help. However, just don’t expect immediate replies since CCleaner doesn’t offer phone support or live chat.
Overall, CCleaner’s customer support lacks accessibility and availability. A 24/7 live chat option could do wonders to improve this area.
Is CCleaner worth it?
Ultimately, the answer to whether CCleaner is worth it depends on your needs. The free version is a great tool to clean up unused files and settings but, personally, we wouldn’t pay for this software. This isn’t an issue since, as mentioned earlier in this CCleaner review, we suggest keeping your PC as clean as possible.
However, if you’ve been using your computer for some time, you shouldn’t pass on the 14-day free trial either. This is a great opportunity to get all the convenience and needed help for cleaning up and optimizing the computer without spending a single cent on the full version.
On the other hand, it could be a worthy investment for those who don’t really understand or care about a computer’s cleanliness and security. Then, paying the extra bucks for better performance might be well worth it.
Is CCleaner Pro a one-time purchase?
No, CCleaner Pro isn’t a one-time purchase since it requires users to pay a subscription fee of $29.95 each year. Alternatively, there’s also a possibility to buy the software for 2 years if you upgrade to CCleaner Professional Plus, which costs $79.95 for the 2 years.
Does Windows 11 require CCleaner?
No, there’s no requirement to use CCleaner with Windows 11. Instead, CCleaner is merely an additional service that you can use to clean up unused files, settings, and out-of-date drivers — all of which could slow down the PC.
Is CCleaner owned by Avast?
Yes, CCleaner is currently owned by Avast. The Czech cybersecurity company acquired Piriform, CCleaner’s UK-based maker, back in 2017. Avast is known mostly for its antivirus and VPN as well as for being the parent company of AVG, another cybersecurity software company.
Is there a better cleaner than CCleaner?
Yes, there are better cleaners than CCleaner but they’re significantly more expensive. Avast Cleanup Premium comes with Disk Doctor, Defragmenter, Shortcut Cleaner, and more but it costs from $29.99/month.