Is CCleaner safe in 2022?
Yes. CCleaner is both secure and safe to use. We’re passionate about what we do and proud to serve millions of users around the world, and as we're owned by Avast — one the world's largest digital security companies — our industry-leading software practices ensure that our apps are designed and developed to run safely on your devices.
Security, safety and privacy are at the core of how we build our products and the features they provide — if you download CCleaner from a trusted source like ccleaner.com, Amazon, the Microsoft Store in Windows, or a reputable download portal, it will be safe to use.
In this article:
- Is CCleaner secure?
- What is CCleaner?
- How does CCleaner work?
- Is CCleaner a virus?
- Is CCleaner malware or spyware?
- What our customers say about CCleaner
- What experts say about CCleaner
Is CCleaner secure?
We take pride in the fact that CCleaner is the world’s most popular optimization tool, and deliver regular updates to add improvements, and ensure it stays secure. Although CCleaner is not an antivirus or malware-detection tool, we are part of Avast, a global leader in cybersecurity.
Thanks to our shared experience and zero tolerance for cybercrime, our robust processes and protocols ensure our commitment to providing you with a secure product that will keep your devices clean, safe, and fast.
We have dedicated teams in place that constantly fish for potential exploits and make sure all our products are engineered with the highest security standards in mind.
What is CCleaner?
CCleaner is one of the most well-established tools for cleaning and optimizing your device. First launched in 2004, it is now available for PC, Mac, and Android, and has grown to become the world's favorite cleaning and optimization suite, with millions of users across the globe, and a dedicated team of almost 100 people taking care of the core cleaning functionality, new features, design, support and marketing.
CCleaner is designed to:
- Clean up redundant junk files from Windows, Android, Mac, and more than 300 applications — to free up space and help fix problems. CCleaner does this safely and quickly, which is why clicking Analyze then Run CCleaner has become routine for millions of users.
- Speed up PCs by enabling users to quickly disable any unwanted background programs, which typically drain resources and battery life.
- Update drivers and software: The built-in Driver Updater makes sure that all integrated devices are fully up-to-date to boost performance, and fix hardware bugs. Software Updater detects new versions of many popular programs to ensure they are up-to-date and plug security gaps.
- Easily manage your PC using a variety of tools, including a thorough Software Uninstaller, Drive Wiper, Disk Analyzer, and a Browser Plug-in Manager.
What does CCleaner do?
CCleaner is a small, effective optimization app designed to reclaim storage space of your devices. It does this by cleaning out the 'junk' that has accumulated over time. Junk could be:
- Temporary or deleted files
- Broken shortcuts
- Unneeded registry entries
- Unused or unnecessary programs
- Browsing history
- Duplicate files
If this sounds confusing, here’s two simple examples of junk data, and why it’s beneficial to not only get disk space back, but also improve your privacy — and even fix things:
Privacy and space: The built-in Windows utility ‘Snipping Tool’ lets you take handy screenshots. But most users (and even experts) don’t know that screenshots taken weeks ago can remain in a hidden temporary folder: not just a waste of disk space, but potentially a risk to your privacy. CCleaner can detect these hidden temporary screenshots and delete them regularly in one go.
Troubleshooting: The popular music app Spotify has its own data and song cache, storing album art, songs you’ve listened to and other temporary data. Sometimes this data can become corrupted, which might result in songs not playing, album art not displaying or Spotify failing to launch. Clearing this cache with CCleaner, causes Spotify to rebuild this data and fix the problems.
So, CCleaner is more than just a cleaning tool. It can help speed up your PC, fix your privacy and even troubleshoot your machine if it’s not running as expected.
How does CCleaner work?
CCleaner’s various features scan your computer before presenting a summary of results. Whether the scan shows up junk files, browser cookies or out-of-date drivers, you get to view the results before deciding whether to delete files or make other changes.
But how does CCleaner decide what to clean? It includes a highly mature and ever-growing library of ‘cleaning rules’ which are based on over 15 years of experience. We define ‘junk’ as anything your PC and apps don’t need to continue working, and which can be safely removed. We also create optional, advanced rules enabling more advanced PC users to clean even further.
We do a lot of research for each new cleaning rule. This work is led by our ‘Cleaning Squad’, a group of passionate engineers that wake up in the morning with one mission in mind: how to clean your devices better, more thoroughly and, more safely than any other product on the market.
An example of these rules can be found in CCleaner’s Custom Clean section. Every cleaning rule is carefully vetted, tested, and implemented before we release them to our users.
Based on these cleaning rules, CCleaner checks dozens of Windows features (such as the built-in browser or list of recently used files) and more than 300 applications (such as Spotify or Office) for all sorts of junk files, including logs, temporary data or wasteful duplicate files— simply hit the Run CCleaner button, and we’ll help you to safely delete them.
How CCleaner’s Driver Updater works is just as safe. Our Driver Updater team has built a reliable engine to detect the latest and most stable device drivers for your PC, including its integrated and connected components such as graphics cards, sound cards, or even your printer.
The database has grown to over 25 million drivers over the years, and new features are constantly added to make sure drivers avoid any negative impact to improve your computer’s performance, functionality, and safety.
Will CCleaner break my computer?
We designed CCleaner with default settings so that you can enjoy the application’s benefits without worrying about things going wrong.
As you can see in the screenshot above, CCleaner’s default cleaning sweep does not include any items that might impact your daily life - such as deleting passwords from your browser. If you wish to do so on a regular basis, you can include it in the cleaning procedure manually.
We also have lots of support pages to help non-experts safely clean junk from their computer or device, and our support team is always on hand to provide specific instructions when they’re needed.
We also make it very clear if certain precautions are required—for example, if you use a solid-state drive (SSD), or creating a system restore point when using Driver Updater so you can revert back in the unlikely event that something doesn’t work as expected. We’ve built CCleaner to work at a safe maximum, to ensure it doesn’t damage your software or hardware, and making it very safe and easy to use.
Is CCleaner a virus?
No, CCleaner’s code doesn’t include any type of virus, spyware or malicious software. However, CCleaner did experience a security compromise in September 2017. As soon as were made aware of it we worked immediately to neutralize any threat to our users by:
- Working with law enforcement to shut down the server the non-sensitive data was being transmitted to, so the malware was disarmed
- Taking multiple steps to update users who had the affected versions
- Working with law enforcement to identify the source of the attack
- We then built CCleaner in a new infrastructure and released it with a new digital certificate.
It is typical and unfortunate that attackers choose to target widespread and trusted software like ours but since the attack, CCleaner’s new build environment is clean and CCleaner is safe to use.
This happened about five years ago and CCleaner has remained a safe-to-use product. It is not a virus nor does it contain malicious code.
Unfortunately, you will see articles online that are from 2017 and have not been updated, (except for their date) which are incorrectly claiming that CCleaner is not safe to use. Sadly, they are spreading misinformation for their own gain because doing this gives their websites clicks and traffic and ultimately, revenue.
CCleaner is owned by Avast — one of the world's largest security companies — therefore, we operate security procedures and protocols to the highest possible standard.
Is CCleaner malware or spyware?
No, CCleaner’s code doesn’t include any malicious code, or digital monitoring of any kind. Privacy is a core element of our products, and we want to keep it that way.
What our customers say about CCleaner
Our customers are almost as passionate about CCleaner as we are! But don’t just take our word for it. With more than 12,000 user reviews on Trustpilot, CCleaner has an ‘Excellent’ rating overall. CCleaner for Android is also highly rated with more than two million reviews on the Google Play Store.
What experts say about CCleaner
Computing experts in the media love CCleaner too. Check out these reviews:
Recommended maintenance to keep your computer running smoothly Simply freeing up space by regularly deleting old, unnecessary or temporary files, and disabling unnecessary startup software can do a lot to speed up your computer and fix potential issues. Also, if you have a lot of apps installed on your machine that you’re no longer using, maybe it’s time to clear them out. But where to start?
CCleaner helps you do this quickly, easily and safely, for free. CCleaner can also disable unnecessary startup programs, find and fix out-of-date drivers, update old software, and more—and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Download CCleaner Free to get started.
When you use CCleaner, data about the websites you visit and the files you are cleaning is processed locally on your device and not reported to us. CCleaner does not read the contents of files or databases when cleaning them, because it does not need to. It is necessary for some statistical, aggregated, non-personal data to be reported so we can safely deliver the app (e.g. operating system, CCleaner version, and language). We are very transparent about the data we collect and why in our Data Factsheet.