The quest to unclutter your computer and make it run better is a never-ending one. The heavyweights in the scanning and cleaning arena are CCleaner and Soluto, but it is a large market and there’s plenty of room for alternatives.
System Ninja comes to us from SingularLabs, makers of CCEnhancer, an application used to power up CCleaner and help it detect even more junk files. Unlike CCEnhancer, System Ninja does not require CCleaner. It is free, and there’s a portable version of it, as well.
Scanning For Junk
System Ninja is split up into four sections: the all-important Junk Scanner, followed by System Tools, PC Analysis, and lastly, a modest Options screen. What most users care about most is the junk scanner, which is the first tab that greets you on startup.
As I began scanning, it popped up this message:
Since a scan can take a long time, I was somewhat reluctant to close Firefox – I wanted to keep on working while System Ninja was doing its thing. Indeed, the scan ran just fine while I was browsing the Web. Firefox became a bit slow at times, but then again, it does that anyway. As System Ninja was scanning along, I could keep tabs on its progress via a simple progress bar at the bottom of the window.
After about 30 minutes, it finished scanning my C drive (which is the only one I asked it to scan), and presented me with the following report:
So, it claims to have found about 3.6GB of junk on my drive, categorized by the classes you see on the right. The Delete Everything button asked for confirmation, and then proceeded to obliterate everything System Ninja found. Deleting so many small files takes time, and indeed, the process was not very fast.
As always with applications that delete files in bulk, you must exercise judgment and caution. I deleted the cache files for this very post, and had to re-take all of the screenshots from scratch. I hope you’re more careful than I was!
Monitoring Startup & Processes
If I were a computer technician, System Ninja would be one of the tools I’d carry around on a USB stick, and not just for its junk scanning capabilities. It packs a compact Startup Manager for controlling the applications that load on boot, letting you quickly remove applications from the boot process, as well as control scheduled tasks:
My personal go-to application for controlling startup items is Autoruns, but it is nice to have this functionality bundled into System Ninja as well. What’s weird, though, is the Process Manager:
As you can see, it’s just a listing of the processes you have running, along with their process IDs, program paths, and memory footprint. This is possibly the least useful feature of the entire application – why not hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc and load the Windows Task Manager, which offers plenty of extra details and control options?
When you’re trying to take care of a friend’s (or client’s) computer, they may not always even know what computer they have. While right-clicking the Computer icon and choosing Properties can give you some information, and the Device Manager built into Windows can give you even more information, this is one part of System Ninja that’s quite handy:
Here you can see information about major hardware components, as well as Windows itself. The Windows information includes the serial number, which is handy for reinstalling the system.
Here’s what the Hard Drives section looks like:
Last but not least comes the modest Options screen:
Not a lot to tweak and configure here, but it’s a fairly simple program as it is.
System Ninja is a modest application that doesn’t try to do everything at once. Excepting the Process Manager, I did not see much evidence of feature bloat. It’s a focused utility that lets you clean up a computer with relatively little fuss, and get up-to-date hardware information, which can be very helpful for evaluating a system you’re asked to help with. It’s free and portable, too – not bad.
Let us know what you think of it in the comments. Or do you prefer another app to do these tasks?