[Case-Study] Why Cleaning Software is Unnecessary in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1?

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When you do a search for best registry cleaner and cleaning software, there are hundreds of products. All of them boast around 100% performance gain and tempt you to shell money on them. But are they really necessary? The only product you will need for cleaning your PC and registry is CCleaner (even this is required only if your PC becomes really slow). There is not even a maintenance software for this purpose in Windows 7 and 8.1.

How to Believe my Words?

Recently, “Fred Langa of Windows Secrets” (source: windowssecrets.com) has performed a case-study on the efficacy of 3 cleaning software in Win 7 and Win 8.1. These 3 cleaning tools are one of the leading products for system/registry cleaning in the industry.

  1. jv16 Power Tools X
  2. Advanced System Care
  3. Piriform’s CCleaner

One of these tools even claimed to improve the speed of your PC by 47%. Another product is highly popular in this category and promoted well in the Internet industry. But after-all, what the results say? You can look at this screenshot of the case-study data, which again envisages my case that, only CCleaner (once in a while) is required to have performance gain.

best cleaning software for pc

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From the above screenshot we can at least say that, the test-systems do not require any maintenance with third-party tools. Also as boasted by some, “47% percent faster boot times” are nowhere to be seen by using these third-party cleaning software. Finally, if you still require any maintenance, it is only through light-weight tools like CCleaner which are sufficient enough.

A Deeper Insight into the Case-Study?

As each system is different from another with its own unique hardware, software, uninstalls and installs. One should not come to conclusion, by just believing this case-study. You need to study your own system if you want to come to a conclusion. My personal experience of 15 years of Windows experience goes with the author of the case-study.

First-of-all, my words are to be taken for Windows 7 and 8.1 systems only. Because earlier legacy systems like 9x, XP, Vista used to have a tendency of leaving lot of software debris during install and uninstall. This also added up to the registry baggage and cleaning them up from time to time, improved system performance and boot times. But in 2015, that is not the case.

If you observe the Microsoft’s page of for the use of cleaning software, you can see it here. (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2563254).

A damaged Windows registry can exhibit a range of symptoms including excessive CPU utilization, longer startup and shutdown times, poor application functionality or random crashes or hangs.  These random crashes and hangs can ultimately lead to data loss due to the systems inability to save data back to the storage location during the occurrence.

Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners

Microsoft is not responsible for issues caused by using a registry cleaning utility.

Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved

Before you modify the registry, make sure you back it up, create a restore point, and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs.

More Details on Windows Secrets Case-Study?

The author makes it clear that all review of PC-cleaning software share a major obstacle. The results of the performance tests only apply to the test machine. Your system configuration may give different test results, depending upon the OS, hardware, software and other non-sense done on the system. Hence, published test results only used as a general guide.

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Note: Before running a third-party cleaner on any PC, just backup your work and registry).

Test-Set up for Base-line system

To help ensure fairness and repeatability in my tests, I used two long-established, plain-vanilla, virtual PCs (VPCs) as baseline systems. One runs Win7 SP1 and the other runs Win8.1, upgraded from Win8.0. Both are real-life Windows setups I’ve used routinely for work for years.

For a full configuration you can look at the original article.

Test-Set up for “dirty” system

Next, to simulate a real-life system, I downloaded and installed 15 popular apps on both test VPCs. To select which apps to install, I used the then-current user-popularity ratings reported by Download.com.

Test-Set up for Control Panel Uninstall

After installing and running the 15 apps, I then uninstalled everything via Control Panel’s standard uninstall applet. Because this is not an aggressive tool, it typically leaves behind at least some orphaned files, excess Registry settings, and so forth.

Then the above 3 tools are used one by one and compared with the above results.

For example,

  • Win7-clean: baseline system
  • Win7-dirty: baseline system with 15 apps
  • Win7-std.uninstall: The “dirty” system cleaned from Control Panel uninstall.
  • Win7-jv16 PTX – system cleaned with jv16 Power Tools X
  • Win7-ASC Free – system cleaned with Advanced SystemCare (Free version)
  • Win7-CCleaner – system cleaned with Piriform’s CCleaner.

The first word only changes for Win 8.1 system-setup.

jv16-powertools-x-system-cleaning-software advanced-system-care-cleaning-software-windows ccleaner-best-cleaning-software-2015

Are you to Dump all the Cleaning Software/Registry Cleaners/System Cleaners?

It depends actually. If you are still using the old legacy systems, they might still be useful. But on Win 7 and 8.1, they are not of much significance. As told in the article by the author, you can try the maintenance challenges and you can have your own test results for 2015. Also if you frequently keep uninstalling applications and use lot of third-party software not authorized by Microsoft, you may have lot of “debris” left over.

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In such cases, it is better to use a tool like Revo Uninstaller (Free or Pro), to have a perfectly cleaned registry.

But in most of the cases for Win 7 and 8.1, the cleaning software have a tendency to cause more disease rather than cure the system. These third-party tools unnecessary remove lot of required registry items and software pieces, which will ultimately cause you to format the system.

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