CleanSweep cleans out web debris.

Question: I recently purchased CleanSweep and I thought, before I load it and use it, maybe I should check with you to see whether you have any particular comments or warnings. – T.P.

Answer: One of the coolest new features of CleanSweep is the way it handles Internet flotsam and jetsam – you know, all those web graphics and files that eat up all kinds of hard-drive space.

It cleans cookie files, ActiveX controls, Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer cache files. It also wipes out browser plug-ins. Of course, only if you tell it to. But it’s a great way to reclaim a nice chunk of hard-drive space in a hurry, especially if you haven’t been cleaning up after yourself as you go.

CleanSweep also tosses out duplicate, unused, underused, and orphaned files as well as redundant DLLs. A DLL (for “Dynamically Linked Library”) is like a toolbox for a Windows program and, since many programs use the same tools, there are shared toolboxes. When a program is removed, often the DLL is left behind because it’s assumed that other programs might need access to it.

I particularly like the Windows registry editor in CleanSweep. Windows 95 and 98 place entries into this digital filing cabinet when you install new applications. If you delete installed files manually, the registry entries don’t always get scrubbed out. This bogs it down and can hinder performance.

CleanSweep contains a utility that can get updates for you. It’s located under the Options tab.

One final tip. Keep SafetySweep on until you’re familiar with CleanSweep. That’s a function found under Configure CleanSweep also under the Options tab. It prevents CleanSweep from deleting anything that is necessary for your computer to run smoothly. When SafetySweep is off, some items can be flagged for possible deletion.

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