There are two computer issues that really get my blood boiling: a crashed Internet connection and a slow bogged down system. I can’t stand it when it takes 30 seconds or more for an application to launch, and it really irritates me when it takes more than a minute or two for my computer to boot and be usable. The problem is, however, that there are a million different causes of a slow computer system.
There could be operating system files at play, a dirty registry, a web browser with too many cookies, or simply too many startup applications launching at the same time…the list goes on. And believe it or not, a ton of people have the same problem.
It’s inevitable, no matter what operating system you use (yes, even if you use Linux or Mac!). Over time, resources like HDD space become depleted, and most people inevitably forget or don’t know how to perform simple housekeeping tasks.
That’s why “computer cleaner” software exists, such as CCleaner and CleanMaster. They both promise to speed up your old, bogged down PC, but are they any good? Do they actually work? And which one is better? I aim to help you answer these questions and more, so let’s get started with a pricing analysis.
One thing I love about these providers’ pricing model, apart from how cheap they are, is how stinkin’ simple they are. It’s really a pain trying to compare prices when the pricing model is so contrived that there is a myriad of pricing options that only slightly discount the price of the software. Instead, there needs to be a blend of granularity and savings.
The good news here is that both providers are already extremely cheap, and both offer a free version of the product. Furthermore, the paid version is a one time fee instead of a subscription, which simplifies things even further.
I will warn you, however. CCleaner does try to bundle several other applications with CCleaner when you try to make the purchase, which is a little annoying. If you don’t want the extra software, you can, of course, opt out.
CCleaner’s pricing models are as follows:
- Free – $0 (check here)
- Professional – $24.99 (check here for the latest price & discounts)
- CCleaner Professional Plus – $39.95
CleanMaster’s pricing model is as follows:
- Only offers a free version
As you can see, there is a free version of each, though CCleaner is the only one that offers paid versions. So, before we can decide which is better, we’ll need to take a look at each one’s respective features.
But before we dig into the features, I wanted to let you know that both tools have both desktop and mobile versions. Since the desktop versions are more full-featured, we will be focusing on the desktop version of both products.
CCleaner has a tiered approach to their features. In order to unlock more features, naturally, you simply need to purchase a more expensive subscription. And CCleaner, despite having a very aggressive online marketing presence, is popular because it’s chock full features. Even the free version provides a ton of value and can help speed up bogged down systems.
The free version comes with the following features:
- Hard drive optimization tools that clear duplicate and unnecessary files
- Browser history and cookie deletion tools to help protect your privacy online and prevent browser fingerprinting
- A feature that helps optimize the startup process and kill startup apps that hog memory and CPU resources
One thing I absolutely adore about the free version is the web browser security features. I’m huge on Internet privacy, encryption, and anonymity. Even though CCleaner can’t provider security like a VPN service or antivirus program, the web browser security feature is extremely valuable to me.
Clearing dangerous cookies and clearing your browser history will help prevent scripts and other malicious online entities from scraping personal data from your computer.
But the free version doesn’t have all the features you would want.
The following features are added to the Professional Plan:
- A scheduling feature that automatically performs housekeeping functions to prevent your computer from becoming bogged down again
- A real-time process monitor to prevent suspicious activity and malware threats
- Automatic updates to keep virus signature database up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities
- Premium tech support
I think the antimalware features are incredible, especially since the price isn’t too high. Still, I wouldn’t even consider this a full replacement for an antivirus or antimalware application. Instead, it makes a nice secondary layer of security against viruses. And thirdly, there are even more features added to the Professional Plus Plan:
- Hardware inventory features keep records of your system configuration
- File recovery tools that can recover the majority of deleted files, assuming they weren’t deleted with a file shredder
- Disk defragmenter to optimize your HDD; even though most operating systems come with one, the CCleaner defragmenter is more versatile and offers more options
In my opinion, the features added to the Professional Plus Plan don’t have all that much to do with cleaning a computer. In fact, you could find file recovery tools and a disk defragmenter on your own for free. Still, it’s nice having them all packaged together into one tool.
CleanMaster only has one version, and it will work on Windows versions dating back to Windows XP. The whole application is extremely small, too, and only takes up less than 5 MB total. All in all, however, it isn’t nearly as powerful as CCleaner and lacks most of the advanced features. For that reason, I count on CCleaner to do a better job.
On the other hand, CleanMaster is faster and easier to use. Its main feature is to reclaim wasted space on your hard drive by removing redundant and unnecessary files from your PC. It can quickly scan your PC, looking for junk files and categorizing them into a group such as audio, video, system cache, junk, browser, social junk, registry keys, and other less prominent groups of data.
Then, at your discretion, you can choose to wipe the junk files from your computer. You can also set a junk file threshold, and the application will raise a notification when you’ve reached your limit to prompt you to delete the junk files. Furthermore, it even integrates with the recycle bin GUI, so you can start a scan while you have your recycle bin window open.
Though that may not sound too impressive, it is a way to keep PC maintenance in the forefront of your mind. After all, “out of sight, out of mind,” and running a scan every time you open the recycle bin can help free up wasted space.
I know that we didn’t get into the mobile versions, but I prefer the mobile version of CleanMaster over CCleaner. However, for PC, the clear winner is CCleaner for Windows. It simply has too many features that CleanMaster doesn’t even come close to matching.
CCleaner can scan and identify more types of files and clean up more components of your OS than CleanMaster. And since they both have a free version, price really isn’t a factor.
Even though I think CleanMaster does a good job and that it is a respectable app, CCleaner wins for desktops.
How does CCleaner compare to other computer cleaning software?