O&O DiskCleaner

O&O Syspectr: O&O DiskCleaner

System optimisation: O&O DiskCleaner

The O&O DiskCleaner module identifies files that are no longer needed and that can be safely deleted to make free space available on all drives. Among them are temporary and Internet files, miniature views, contents of the Recycle bin, and dumps. As a result, it’s often possible to free many GBs worth of used space that is not needed.
  • Identification of unneeded – usually temporary – files
  • Clearly laid-out display of space that can be easily made free
  • Deletion of all identified files or individual categories with the push of a button
  • When running out of space some computers, it’s often enough, as a “First Aid”, to delete data that’s no longer needed as a way to prevent or repair performance breakdowns
  • All O&O Syspectr data is saved exclusively in our German data center and is subject to German laws concerning privacy – among the strictest in the world

Background information

While using Windows the system repeatedly creates a lot of files, which often only have a short-term use. For example, files are cached by the Web browser to expedite the reopening of a web page, as they are already stored locally and therefore no longer have to be reloaded. But, if you no longer open that web page or the files are changing rapidly, as is often the case in social networks or news portals, these files are lying around in the hard disk unused and take up space.

The same applies to other files created by applications. A detailed list with explanations can be found at the end of this document.

The biggest advantage is regaining free space. Quite often several gigabytes of hard disk space can be reclaimed by deleting these files. This can help to relieve a very full partition of “garbage”, and thus guarantees a smooth running Windows on the system partition.

Deleting these files can also significantly increase the speed of the system, because too many files slow down access to files. Also, many applications and functions of Windows repeatedly browse directories for specific files and information, so that unneeded files extend this list and therefore the slow the scan.

A further aspect is the better quality of data when recovering deleted data. Temporary files often have the same or similar content to the source files. Microsoft Office applications should be mentioned here as an example. When you restore these files, a data recovery program will have difficulties to distinguish the original and the temporary file. In the best case both files will be restored, in the worst only the temporary file with a correspondingly false or erroneous content is.

In general, you should only delete the data that you really no longer need. That’s not rocket science, but very obvious and logical. Normally, you purposefully delete certain files or even the entire hard disk as a PC user. The user thinks about, what data is no longer needed.

The automatic deletion by applications also called “cleaning” is still very popular. Software publishers of these tools outdo each other with the number of applications that supposedly delete useless (temporary) data. But the devil is in the details: how exactly should a publisher know which data is really needed by another software program to run smoothly?

This often ends in a sort of trial-and-error process: so basically, try and see if after deleting a file everything still works. Unfortunately, this process can have a lasting effect on the stability of the system, so that it may well come to a complete program crash or even data loss. Annoying for those who will suffer because of this.

We have decided to only consider data that are dispensable according to the applicable Windows policies with O&O DiskCleaner. These are mostly data to speed up certain system processes (for example, thumbnails of images) or temporary files that are no longer needed after program completion. This data can either be regenerated (thumbnails etc.) or are no longer needed (temporary files of applications and browsers). The risk of losing important data is therefore minimal. Some risks, however, can never really be ruled out because of course a software publisher might come up with the idea to store important information in temporary files. While this would violate any standard, it cannot be prevented.

Also, there are some users who use the recycle bin as storage location!? So when emptying the recycle bin this would naturally destroy not only the files in there, but also the archive. As mentioned above, the probability is extremely low. But it exists and that’s why we want to mention it.

In the settings you can set the minimum age of the files in the recycle bin that you want to be considered by O&O DiskCleaner. That way you can prevent, for example that recently deleted files are removed from the recycle bin, if they have been accidentally deleted.

Temporary files Files that are created by Windows itself and by applications during operation and are as a rule no longer needed after the program ends.
Temporary Internet files Internet Explorer stores all files that are required for viewing Web pages locally to not again access the web servers for reload. These are particularly unnecessary if the page changes frequently or is no longer accessed.
Windows Update files The corresponding installation files are stored during each Windows update. They are no longer needed after the update.
Dump files Memory images are created if an application crashes. This is virtually a copy of the main memory, so that the manufacturer can locate the fault.
Error reporting files They are created in the event of a fault analogous to dump files and only serve software publishers to search for the error.
Thumbnails When displaying image files in Windows Explorer, it requires little images in order to represent them as files. These files can quickly become very large, because the entire directory is indexed.
Setup log files When installing applications log files are generated regarding the process. These are used for fault finding, should an installation not go as planned.
Data of the Windows-Indexing Service The Windows Indexing Service creates an index for all files that it should index, so that queries can be performed very quickly.
Recycle bin The recycle bin contains deleted files before they are permanently deleted. In the case of a mistake they can be restored. Therefore, the files themselves are not actually deleted, but moved to a special folder and still intact.

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