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drivepurgeWindows systems get cluttered and become slow over time. This is a known problem that many companies and products have been trying to fix for years. There are a bunch of established players in the field, such as Soluto Use Soluto To Improve Your Windows Boot Up Time Use Soluto To Improve Your Windows Boot Up Time Read More and CCleaner Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner Over the last two years, CCleaner has changed quite a bit in terms of version numbers...up now to version 3.10 at the time of this writing. While visually the program actually hasn't changed much (it's... Read More , but today I’m here to tell you about a small, free utility that you’ve probably never heard of before, called DrivePurge.

This is a relative newcomer, only at version 1.0, released just a few weeks ago. It’s free, tiny, and pretty easy to understand.

The Language Menu

drivepurge

Unless you speak German, this is where you’re going to want to head first. The app starts in German by default, but English comes preinstalled, and it takes just a single click to change over to it (the app doesn’t even need to restart). Once you’ve done that, it’s time to look at the rest of the interface.

System Cleanup

drive purge

DrivePurge is sensibly divided into four tabs, which we’ll be looking at in order. The first tab is System Cleanup. At first, the details pane is blank, because DrivePurge doesn’t have any recommendations. You need to check the menu entries you want DrivePurge to analyze (all entries, for me), and then click Analyze. You’ll get a progress bar, and at the end of the process, DrivePurge shows a list of recommendations similar to the one you get with CCleaner and just about every other system cleaner:

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drive purge

Again, nothing special, but it’s sensibly laid out and you can see how much space everything takes. The only thing really missing is a way to sort the list by size. Once you’re done, click Cleanup, and get one last prompt:

drive purge

It would have been nice if the app showed what exactly it intends to clean up and let you confirm or deny on an individual basis. As it is, it just cleans everything the scan found. The “selected files” refers to your initial selection before scanning. Once the scan is done, anything that came up is cleaned. This is a bit of a gotcha; still, I was brave, bit the bullet and had DrivePurge clean my drive. The computer did not explode, nor did it BSOD or did anything weird (I tested this on my “real” computer, not on a VM).

As always, you need to be careful with system cleaning applications, and make sure you really know what you’re doing before you go around deleting stuff with abandon. You can easily damage your system when trying to clean it up.

Drive Cleanup

This app is called DrivePurge, so it would only make sense if it had a feature for cleaning up the hard drive. So:

purge hard drive

You select a drive, select a bunch of file types that are usually not needed, and then analyze it. This part takes some time, particularly if you have lots of files.  Let’s see what it finds on my C drive.

purge hard drive

Not so much, really. Just 71MB of crud, but that’s still something. And of course, this is really computer-dependent – on some systems you may find considerably more junk files. Again, be careful with this one. I deleted one too many temporary files when testing the app, and messed up this very post (which I’m writing in Windows Live Writer), as well as the spell checker. Not the app’s fault, but you need to really think about whether or not you want to delete something (and the app can definitely be a bit more granular).

User Tracks Cleanup

purge hard drive

This tab gives you a long list of apps that the program can check for traces. These are mainly things like lists of recently used files, Flash cookies, and so on. Here, the fact that the analysis is not detailed does get in the way. For example, I might want to delete some Flash cookies, but not all. I found no way of selectively doing that with DrivePurge, at least not in this early version.

Report

This tab is basically good for a sense of accomplishment. It looks like this:

drivepurge

So you can see exactly what the app has been cleaning, and when.

Final Thoughts

DrivePurge may not be as comprehensive as CCleaner or as pretty as Soluto, but it’s lightweight, portable, and free. I think this is an app that’s starting out on the right foot, and has a bright future ahead of it. What do you think?

  1. Imvain2
    November 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I noticed that the post said you can't see/confirm what files are being deleted in system cleanup. This isn't actually true, it just isn't obvious; in the pane on the right after you run analyze, just right click on the task that you want to control and click on "change selected items".

    • Erez Zukerman
      November 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Oh wow, that's pretty well hidden! Thanks for sharing!

  2. KingPessoa
    October 31, 2011 at 3:59 am

    If you're getting the Evernote error, try this: Go to the program folder (wherever you installed/extracted it, eg. C:Program FilesDrive Purge), then navigate to PackagesSysClean, and open the Applications.dpp file with Notepad. Press CTRL+F and search for the string "Evernote". You should see a line with the [Evernote] text, followed by 7 more declarations. Just select everything between [Evernote] and the next entry ([EwidoAntiMalwareLogFiles], in my case), delete it and save the file (CTRL+S). It should work ok now.

  3. John
    October 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

    #FAIL.  If you are a user of Evernote, this app will not install on your PC.  There is an "evernote" script or something with this app that conflicts with the existing installation of the software program "Evernote."  #FAIL

    • Erez Zukerman
      October 29, 2011 at 9:54 am

      #FAIL indeed. I guess the solution is to stop using Evernote? :)

      Just kidding. This is indeed an issue, and I didn't pick up on it because I don't use Evernote myself. Weird that they use the same name.

  4. jasray
    October 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Rather dubious when using apps like this, but Wipe 2011 was posted on another site and Drive Purge on a different one the same day.  (No problems with Evernote here.)  What usually happens is an important file is deleted which renders my system useless.  It must have been an emotional state because I used both programs, purged all away, eliminated lots and lots and lots of files, and my system still runs--didn't even make a restore point first.  I guess the programs work.  Wipe really wiped. 

    • Erez Zukerman
      October 29, 2011 at 9:54 am

      You actually had good reason to be concerned: I agree with you on the potential negatives of system cleaners... That's why I went out of my way to warn people in the post, that if they do use it, they should use it responsibly and know what they're doing. Good thing it didn't mess up your system!

  5. Anonymous
    October 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Gave the utility a try. Apparently some module in drive purge tries to use the task name "evernote". That shuts the drive purge install down. That filename gets used by  Evernote app on a lot of systems.

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