WinCleaner is a product that has inspired me to not waste any more time on these stupid computer products advertised in cheesy TV commercials (see FixMeStick). Honestly, this is one of the stupidest products I’ve ever encountered. Don’t get me wrong, it’s functional and it will certainly clean up some useless stuff off your computer, but there’s plenty of free product available that does the same thing – And better.
A company called Piriform has a product called CCleaner that cleans out more crap from your computer than WinCleaner (using the default settings). In fact, when I originally used WinCleaner out of the box, it wouldn’t even clear files out of the Windows temporary folder on Windows 7, even if I used the setting they had for it! Support had to send me a link to download a newer version where it actually worked.
The stupid commercial boasts that CNet gave them 4.5 stars. Mind you that was in 2007, or almost 8 years ago, when XP was the most widely used operating system. And their free shipping is a joke. Why send an old version of the software on a flash drive that you’ll have to replace with one that you’ll download anyway!? It wouldn’t be so bad if the flash drive could be reused, but it can’t (it mounts as a CD!). I suspect these people have a bunch of these sitting in a warehouse somewhere and figured they could dump them on unsuspecting computer illiterates. It reminds me of an episode of the Honeymooners where Ralph Kramden bought a bunch of worthless apple coring utensils and decided they could sell them on TV. Funny stuff on a sitcom. Not so funny when you have to pay about $20 per year for WinCleaner.
Bottom line here: Don’t waste your money. Go download the free version of CCleaner. In my own tests, it cleaned up far more than WinCleaner and they don’t have insipid commercials on TV.
Larry Hutchinson (Hutch) is President of Twin Cities eMedia,
an IT problem solving company that’s been in business since 1990