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free alternatives ccleanerIf your argument is that CCleaner is the best resource to cleaning out Windows’ junk and temporary files, then I won’t be the guy to argue with you. I’ve even made a post in the past complimenting and appreciating all of the Piriform applications Piriform's Suite of Tools Puts You In Control Of PC Maintanence [Windows] Piriform's Suite of Tools Puts You In Control Of PC Maintanence [Windows] Individual tools such as CCleaner and Defraggler have received their fair share of attention here at MUO, and deservingly so. As a bigger picture, Piriform (the brains behind those two pieces of software and others)... Read More , as I believe they are some of the best on the entire web. That being said, there are those of you out there who have no interest in using CCleaner.

There are plenty of applications out there that will help you in automating the process of cleaning up your hard drive. Today, I’ve got two of my favorite free alternatives CCleaner that I’d like to share with you. Like CCleaner, they offer portable versions.


The Xleaner site is natively in German, though Google translate helps us in instantly translating that to English. The page may look like a bit of a mess, but downloading the archive that includes the Xleaner files is as simple as clicking the Download button in the screenshot below.

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The main interface of Xleaner looks a bit like a dumbed-down version of CCleaner. It isn’t quite as pretty, but just as effective and simple to navigate.

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As it ships, Xleaner cleans out most of the expected areas of Windows, such as your recent documents, temporary files, and Internet Explorer history and cache. Clicking the Manage Cleaning Jobs option to the left will allow you to specify exactly what you should have cleaned when you run Xleaner. It is very extensive.

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Here, you’re able to see all of the available Windows tasks that can be cleaned with Xleaner.

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In the options tab, you’ll see, like CCleaner, Xleaner breaks down options separately for each of the most popular browsers. It’s good to be able to not clear the history of all browsers at once, and instead only for a certain browser.

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Xleaner also includes many settings specific to the application itself. You can set it to start with Windows, check for updates automatically, and more. There are several tabs under Settings for you to check through.

When you’re all done configuring the application, simply clicking Run Cleaner will run the operations.


On the face of DriveTidy, it couldn’t get any more straightforward.

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Of course there is more to the application than only that, as you can tell by clicking to show the advanced options. Not nearly as full in features as Xleaner, it still manages to includes most of the common areas to clean.

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Further down that list is the thumbnail cache, Windows installation files, sample videos, temporary files from applications like iTunes and Steam, and junk file extensions such as LOG and DMP. It’s on you to decide what you’d prefer to have cleaned.

Clicking the question mark directly to the right of the header in the application will allow you to quickly check for updates. It’s not automatic, but it’s easy.

Which of these two applications comes closest to replacing CCleaner for you? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Rigoberto Garcia
    November 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Great article Craig: very detailed. Thanks...

  2. Jake Thompson
    November 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I'm definitely gonna check out DriveTidy. Xleaner's GUI looks really similar to CCleaner's :P

  3. Igor Rizvi?
    October 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Alo try SystemNinja or pc decrapifaer from syngular labs

  4. Optimus Dildo
    October 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm


  5. More Than A - Support
    October 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Hello Ladies& Gents of MUO, Thanks for the walkthrough/review of Xleaner!
    It is really appreciated :)

  6. kumar raja
    October 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    nice article very useful stuff

  7. Efi Dreyshner
    October 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks :D
    I will try it on the next few days.

  8. Nikhil Chandak
    October 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    amazing softwares like CCcleaner
    I downloaded both of them
    they were just above amazing

  9. GF
    October 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Xleaner portable is not portable. It puts its hands into the registry!

    • Craig Snyder
      October 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      You're correct, but at this point we'd be challenging the true definition of "portable." I, like you, swing more towards applications that leave no fingerprint at all. However, there are many that would argue that any application that requires no hard installation process should be considered "portable." It's good material for a future article.

  10. nagelfar
    October 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

    You could also mention Disk Clean (
    It is small but efficient freeware app that supports more than 70 programs that leave various traces/temps on a disk.
    It can operate in "silent" mode, so you hardly notice it's there, and yet the unnecessary garbage is purged from your PC.

  11. Henk van Setten
    October 26, 2012 at 8:04 am

    This article suffers from the same basic shortcoming as many articles of this kind (meaning many of the articles discussing lesser known alternatives to well-known software). This shortcoming can be defined simply like this: the author of this article is lazy.
    The author will superficially describe the alternative software, but he is simply too lazy to tell us to two basic and essential things: (a) exactly what are the main DIFFERENCES between this alternative software and the reference software; and (b) are there any specific reasons why we should PREFER this alternative software over the known one, and if so, what are those reasons?
    Completely failing to answer these basic questions leaves an article like this mainly useless. After reading it, we still don't have a clue why we should be supposed this alternative software a try...
    In short: dear Craig, in writing this you've been just plain lazy. Sorry!

    • Craig Snyder
      October 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      It's a criticism that I'll try to carry with me into similar articles, but you may be reading a little too much between the lines. As others in these comments seem to have acknowledged, there are definite and obvious differences between CCleaner and the alternatives that I'm comparing, and I feel that the article does its job in pointing towards them.

      I reference screenshots very often in my articles. Often times, things that are not plainly stated are expected to be noticed in those screenshots. As you'll notice in the first two paragraphs beneath the DriveTidy header, points are made that are then supported by screenshots.

      Rather than state "Not nearly as full in features as Xleaner, it still manages to includes most of the common areas to clean," I surely could have listed some of the areas where DriveTidy is effective, but I feel like providing a screenshot accomplishes that same goal and is a little lighter and easier on the casual reader.

      I try to do my best to write articles in a way that that helps introduce applications or services both textually and visually, and in neither direction too heavy on the reader.

  12. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 26, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Problems with CCleaner is sometimes it's too powerful for basic computer users. DriveTidy sounds like something safer. I can just tell them to press Quick Cleanup and don't bother with anything else.

  13. William Smaling
    October 26, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Drive Tidy looks good. Nice and simple interface does basically what you want, but truthfully, I've been using CCleaner for a long while now and haven't had a reason to change over. There is a portable version of CCleaner available too.

  14. Anonymous
    October 26, 2012 at 2:24 am

    This is a really nice program

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