Microsoft’s Gov Maharaj gently denounced CCleaner

We all know that CCleaner is among the most popular freeware Registry & Junk Cleaner for Windows. It cleans out the registry and junk files and supposedly makes your Windows computer faster. We say supposedly because it is not entirely sure if such is the case.

channel-9

Recently, Microsoft tech troubleshooter extraordinaire Gov Maharaj was troubleshooting problems for Windows users via The Defrag Show on Microsoft’s Channel 9 website.

He was attempting to help a person who had issues upgrading his computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10 – and had booting problems, so he was suggesting the software and drivers the user should remove from his computer before trying the upgrade process again.

Maharaj began to list the programs, and when he reached CCleaner, it was clear from his tone that there’s no love for this program at all.

Here’s the conversation regarding CCleaner with Maharaj and the host. Hear him say this on channel9.msdn.com around 6.50 minutes.

“CCleaner is … how do I put it mildly … Don’t… let’s just move on!”

CCleaner is perceived to be an excellent program, and thousands, are using it. So when someone from Microsoft says something like this, it it bound to catch our attention. And we are assuming he is referring to the Registry Cleaner part of CCleaner, and not the Junk Cleaner part.

For the records, here is Microsoft’s original take on Registry Cleaners on onecare.live.com (link now removed):

Over time, the Windows Registry can begin to contain information that’s no longer valid. Maybe you uninstalled an application without using the Add or Remove Programs function in the Control Panel, or perhaps an object or file in the registry got moved. Eventually, this orphaned or misplaced information accumulates and begins to clog your registry, potentially slowing down your PC and causing error messages and system crashes. You might also notice that your PC’s startup process is slower than it used to be. Cleaning your registry is the easiest way to help avoid these common problems.

Now however Microsoft does not support the use of Registry Cleaners on modern Windows operating systems, yet many still prefer to use it.

Some products such as registry cleaning utilities suggest that the registry needs regular maintenance or cleaning.  However, serious issues can occur when you modify the registry incorrectly using these types of utilities. These issues might require users to reinstall the operating system due to instability. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved without a reinstallation of the Operating System as the extent of the changes made by registry cleaning utilities varies from application to application.

Over to you. Do you use CCleaner and what is your take on it?

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Vamien McKalin possesses the awesome power of walking on water like a boss. He's also a person who enjoys writing about technology, comics, video games, and anything related to the geek world.

33 Comments

  1. dave

    troubleshooter extraordinaire,,hahaha me thinks he needs to sort out the problems with win10 1st..start menu and cortana would be a good one to sort out mate.

  2. Hadrian Embalsado

    What’s the problem with it?

  3. Hadrian Embalsado

    Well CCleaner did crash my Windows 10 computer three times in a row with black screen. Ugh.

  4. the ‘c’ in ccleaner, is for crap. at least in win7, i does a fine job flushing out M$ gunk, and is the best registry cleaner out there. m$ doesnt want you to use it, it removes their trackers.

  5. Nicholas Larson

    Start menu and Cortana become completely unresponsive for a rather large subset of Win10 users. It’s embarrassingly common.

  6. Juan Figueroa

    I disabled it, not because it was not working, it just i felt i do not need it. I was amazed the first day using it and then disabled it.

  7. D M

    CCleaner is really very useful, although if I were using a new OS like Win10 I wouldn’t start using any such cleaners immediately but give the programmers a chance to get used to the new field, and a little down the line try it out. d

  8. Firstly, registry cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about CCleaner, it’s more for junk file cleaner.
    Secondly, it’s commonly known cleaning registry does not actually help much in the grand scheme of things in Windows, it’s more for a peace of mind, hence a light hand approach is generally recommended, as in don’t remove anything unless sure that harmless. But in all my years of using ccleaner of registry cleaning, never have I ran into any problem that I can remember!

  9. Mark Newman

    I’m not convinced of the benefit of running any kind of ‘registry cleaner’ but so long as you back up your registry (and know how to restore it, if you have to!) before you use one of these utilities then you shouldn’t have too many serious issues. Like another poster suggested… even if you do like these kinds of things… on Windows 10, I’d hold off using it for a few months.

  10. Ty Christian Meador

    CCleaner is the ONLY pc cleaning utility i would EVER recommend to ANYONE. M$ doesn’t like it because, as aforementioned, it removes their trackers and other M$ crap

  11. Hadrian Embalsado

    It works fine in my end. I did make my region to USA to make it work. I mean Cortana. I do like everytime I say, “Hey Cortana” and activate her.

  12. Carl

    Not many people use ccleaner for the registry part. It’s used a majority of the time to rid cache because most software makers are idiots when it comes to cleaning there own programs with the built in utilities.

    If you venture to piriforms forums they have a sticky that clearly says:
    “ADVICE FOR USING CCleaner’S REGISTRY INTEGRITY SECTION
    DON’T JUST CLEAN EVERYTHING THAT’S CHECKED OFF.
    Do your Registry Cleaning in small bits (at the very least Check-mark by Check-mark)
    ALWAYS BACKUP THE ENTRY, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’LL BREAK IF YOU DON’T.”

  13. john

    Interesting that he thinks that registry cleaners can create an unstable system! Windows is an unstable system! It creates its own problems with no help at all! Win Vista is a great example! Funnily enough, I have used a registry cleaner (Iobit ASC) for many years (since Win XP was no longer an option) and my computer is faster, no longer has crashes or blue screens (BSOD), etc. When is Microsoft going to admit that they have not resolved the problems their OS creates?! Win 7 is much better than Vista, but doesn’t take long to slow down and start having problems if left to itself! One big issue is the junk that accumulates whilst using a browser to navigate on the web! This does create a lot of problems, but even without using internet, Win OS creates plenty of junk even in the registry as this guy admits! When MS invents an OS that doesn’t slow down, crash, or create the many problems you have to go looking on the internet to find a solution for, then I’ll believe they’ve really created a great OS! Until then, you can either sit watching circles go round and round or use a registry cleaner to get your computer working the way it ought to and get on with your work! 😀

  14. Danny

    Check only the entries related to softwares which have been uninstalled. Those are safe to delete

  15. CCleaner is not infallible. It once broke the Windows 7 context menu: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/ccleaner-breaks-the-windows-7-context-menu Although, they were quick enough to fix it.

  16. Tim Marciniak

    Microsoft has never like third party tools for management of their OS and for the expected support reasons but now because Win10 is basically a targeted ad generator they have even more ($$) at stake. Malware companies don’t like them either because they need work harder to track and ID users. I’ve used them in the past but they have only been marginally effective.

  17. Radrick

    I use CCleaner, but only to remove junk files. I do NOT use the Registry cleaner, nor do I use any other Registry cleaner.
    CCleaner is also useful in removing and disabling startup programs.
    For these tasks, I definitely recommend it.

  18. Dan

    I still use CCleaner even in Win10, but in years I don’t use its registry cleaner component; in my singular experience, the only “automated” reg cleaner I can safely use is the “shellbags” cleaner component of Privazer (it only removes reg keys not in use any more with the powershell, which over time depending on types of programs used can lead to a lot of needless reg space eaten)…I don’t get reg-caused BSODs any more, and agree one can’t blindly trust any reg cleaner made by anyone at all to clean more than “…shell/bags/…” keys on its own.

  19. MmeMoxie

    I like that Gov Maharaj truly supports his company, that pays his rent and bills. Having said that, I have used CCleaner, when it was “Crap” Cleaner and never looked back. I also, use PrivaZer, but, very, very carefully. PrivaZer is a very powerful utility and if, you don’t how to use it or are not a geek, you can get into some big trouble! However, I don’t need to worry on this forum, since, I have only found Geeks or Savvy PC users commenting here! CCleaner can and does interfere with Registry, like it is suppose to. So, caution is always needed, when using a powerful program.

    I don’t use any cleaning program, to increase speed, really. To increase speed a good Defragger will do the trick, after, cleaning the rest of the junk, out of your Desktop or Laptop or Mobile device. This is something that is not talked about, as much as other geeky things. From my understanding, I don’t think Windows 10 even has a defragger in it’s programing, like all of the other Windows flavors have had. Now before, anyone jumps all over me, I thought that I read that somewhere. However, I have read soooooooo much about Windows 10, that my brain sometimes scrabbles the information. 🙂

  20. MmeMoxie

    More important, don’t use CCleaner or any other Utility — Until, these programs have upgraded their software, to Windows 10!!! MS will always be updating their Windows OS’s and always have! This is what has been the BIGGEST problem with MS and Windows — Bloated program coding. This is why there are so many vulnerbilities to the MS OSs!!!

    Yes, I know that the Hackers/Crackers have gotten a lot smarter, but, you would honestly think that MS programmers could be smarter, too. Lessening the load, on bloatware and past coding for Windows. What did NOT work, don’t pass it on and yet, MS seems to have done that, quite abit. I also know, that no OS is truly safe today, be it MS or Apple or Linux or Ubuntu and if, those who want to support those OS’s, just be realistic, knowing that the Hackers/Crackers of this world, are truly after your PC or Mac or whatever your flavor of OS is.

  21. MmeMoxie

    Nothing is infallible — Just look to the Windows OS and it’s years of infallibility. Please, I have used Windows since, 1996 and want to use, nothing else. But, I also, am very realistic in knowing that Windows Os’s has been and is full of “bugs” and probably, always will be.

  22. clayto

    I have used CCleaner for a great many years and now on Windows 10, mainly to clear junk, without any problems being identified. But for a few years I have not used the registry cleaner function as there is so much advice from technicians to leave it alone. CCleaner does however prompt you to backup the registry first, and automates it if you choose.
    I have a few other junk cleaners too, as part of suites of utilities such as Glary Utilities, but do not use their registry functions, plus there is Windows’ own quite effective disk cleaner.
    Dedicated registry cleaners are often marketed in what seems to me an unethical way, with exaggerated claims, so that is another reason to avoid them.
    I need junk cleaners now because I have an SSD tablet with quite limited storage space. SSDs should not be defragmented so I no longer use that function either.

  23. Digerati

    A 27 minute video with lots of useful information and the take is the 10 seconds on CCleaner which really said nothing? 🙁 The reference was about the very few people having problems upgrading to W10 from W7 yet the focus here is CCleaner’s registry cleaner. How is the registry cleaner, which does NOT run in memory during Windows upgrades!!!!!, prevent W10 from installing?
    This seems to me to simply be registry cleaner bashing where sadly it is assumed all registry cleaners and system “optimizers” that promise miracles are the same. CCleaner is not the same as all other registry cleaners and again, it does not run in the background either.

  24. Norman Bates

    5 years of using CCleaner, 0 problems…

  25. I would agree that you shouldn’t use CCleaner’s registry cleaner. But for junk files, it’s been great.

  26. John Ryan Farson

    they need to fix their problems first before saying another program is the cause of all the problems first of all i had a older computer that had vista and for 6 years it kept trying to install the same update so i got worn out by the continuing annoyance installed ccleaner and ran the 2 cleaners and bam no more messed up update

  27. Kenneth Cole

    Having worked with several linux distros, and windows since around the 98 era, I’d have to disagree, windows registry and junk files do need to be cleaned. However as with any system utility that a normal user can use, use with caution. If you don’t know what something is or does, then don’t delete it. It will be there later, look it up and ask, nine times out of 10 it will be something you can delete, but look first, and save yourself some headaches later.

  28. Phate

    I use Iobit uninstaller because it will remove any left over registry entries & left over files etc after uninstalling a program & it has never caused me any issues.

  29. Gloria

    I ONLY use the junk cleaner portion and NEVER the registry cleaner, yet I still got a black screen after running CCleaner. I restored my system and everything seems to be back to normal. But I won’t be reinstalling or using CCleaner again just to stay on the safe side. I checked my graphics and other drivers and they’re all up to date. I also ran Malwarebytes and Avast! and everything is in order. Not saying it was CCleaner but it’s a bit odd it happened after I used CCleaner.

  30. Zezu Zaza

    i dont use CCleaner because everytime i used that thing, it makes my others software crashed and this i blame windows for bluesceen. The bluescreen is the protection to windows crashed. Then I installed Wise Care 365 and it perfectly restored all the encountered error and makes my program running smooth without crashed again. I totally suggest to used Wise Care 365 instead of Ccleaner.

  31. LAUGHATRACISTS

    So CCleaner makes your others software crashed, and you know that CCleaner was the culprit? But wait.. it also caused Windows to bluescreen? So you’re saying that you used CCleaner and after running CCleaner all of you applications crashed and then it bluescreened Windows. Yet somehow, Wise Care 365 would miraculously run and impossibly preemptively prevent Windows from bluescreening to allow you to run it… AMAZING!

    Or, is it possible that everything you wrote is a bunch of sh1t that leaked from the sack of sh1t that is you and your spam.

  32. Robert Smart

    You don’t have to back up the registry yourself, Ccleaner offers you the option before cleaning it, duh. Microsoft Registry is the slowest database on Earth and is a pain in the butt. Empty the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of cash that belongs to Microsoft users because they paid for an OS that is not “Fit for Use” and give it to another company to write a lean mean OS powerhouse?

  33. Robert Smart

    Just as “Oils Ain’t Oils”, Programmers Ain’t Programmers” … You don’t know what you’re missing …

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