<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/image.png” />Life with multiple browsers, numerous applications and a constant use of IM and file sharing programs leaves our computers cluttered with temporary files, histories etc. Many times these files are unnecessary, and can slow down our computers and take up valuable space. Sometimes we want to delete traces of things we did on a computer, like chat histories and traces left by file sharing programs.
There are many tools out there that solve this problem, the best known among them being (probably) CCleaner. Browser Cleaner (Windows) is yet another one of these tools.
As the name implies, Browser Cleaner deletes temporary files in your browsers’ cache, cookies, history etc., but it can also do this for many additional applications and other Windows items. All this is packed into a 900K file which you can carry around on a USB stick and use wherever and whenever you need it.
Installation is a breeze: You don’t have to waiver the privilege of having any new toolbars or other unwanted additions, and you can start working almost immediately.
Many of us use multiple browsers. When you clear your browser’s temporary files, you can choose what you want to delete and what you want to keep. But what if you could do this for all your browsers from one single window and in one single click?
The first window you’ll see in Browser Cleaner is the Internet Items tab. Here you can choose which browsers you want the program to clean up for you. You can also choose whether you want it to clean IM programs and file sharing programs.
When you click the “options” button next to each of the browsers, you’ll get to choose exactly what you want it to clean for each browser.
For the IM and file sharing programs you can choose which programs Browser Cleaner will clean. This is a set list and you can’t add to it if the program you use doesn’t appear in it, and it is missing some names. But it works well for the names that do appear, clearing chat histories etc. with a snap.
Windows Items and Applications
Clicking on the Windows Items tab will bring you to a significantly longer list of items such as the clipboard (clear your clipboard tracks), temp folder (clear temporary files), recent folder (clear all the recent open documents and files) and many more.
Choosing to clear all of these can guarantee that at least the average person will not be able to find traces of your activity on that computer. And most of the time, this is more than enough.
The Applications tab provides a respectable list of applications and a description of what temporary files Browser Cleaner will clean. Again, this is a set list, but it contains many important applications you may want to clear your traces from.
After performing the clean-up on your selected items, you will get on OK result if all went well.
The clean-up speed depends on how much you want to delete. When I chose 3 browsers and several applications, the process was almost immediate. After you go over everything once and select your preferred items, all you have to do next time is run Browser Cleaner and press the big, shiny Clean Now button. This way, you can get rid of all the unwanted files in just a few seconds (or a few minutes if your deleting many many things).
If you’re really paranoid about those more than your average person computer experts, the Wipe Free Space tab is what you need.
When files are deleted, they are generally just marked as free space to be overwritten at some point in the future when the need arises. If someone really wanted to, he could recover your browsing history files and recent documents and prove that you were actually downloading picture from Facebook when you were supposed to be working. Browser Cleaner can wipe this free space and make the files harder to recover.
Don’t forget to check out the basic-yet-useful settings, where you can arrange for Browser Cleaner to perform its magic every time you exit a browser or shutdown Windows, and also control its notification methods.
When you’re all done, you’ll hear an 80s sort of beep and a balloon will pop up to reassure you that all is well. You can control this, of course, if you don’t want the whole office wondering why your computer is beeping.
Browser Cleaner is a lightweight, portable and easy to use application. If you’re using multiple computers and need some data wiped after each usage, this one is a must-have for you. It’s not big and it’s not fancy, but it works well and does so with finesse.
What do you use to clear your computer and your tracks? Share in the comments!