Piriform released CCleaner 6.0, a new major milestone for the system optimizer, this week to the public. The new version is available as a feature-limited free version and a professional version.
CCleaner is a popular tool for Windows to free up storage space occupied by leftover files or temporary files. Piriform extended the program’s functionality in recent years, but most of the added features are reserved to the professional version
The main feature addition of CCleaner 6.0 is a new tool called Performance Optimizer. It is designed to improve the performance of the PC in several ways. When enabled, Performance Optimizer checks the system for programs that do not need to run in the background. When found, these programs are put into sleep mode so that they use little system resources while they are in the state.
When the programs are needed again, e.g., when the user brings them to the front, sleep state is automatically ended by Performance Optimizer.
A quick scan returns a list of programs sorted by the impact to the PC’s performance according to CCleaner’s algorithm. Three performance levels distinguish the impact a program has on the PC’s performance.
On a test system, 16 programs were identified by Performance Optimizer. Three of them, VMWare Player, Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Office 2021, were listed as having a high impact on the performance. The remaining 13 programs, among them Microsoft Edge Canary, VeraCrypt, KeePass, or several browser updaters, were listed with a low impact.
Programs are not closed when they are put into sleep mode according to Piriform. Performance Optimizer stops a program’s background activity while it is in sleep mode; this saves PC resources according to the developers.
A click on a program displays details, including the list of processes, services or tasks that have been identified by CCleaner.
Performance Optimizer disables “all startup items, background tasks, scheduled tasks, and services” when a program is put into sleep mode.
Programs that were put into sleep mode responded immediately to user activity. Keyboard shortcuts, for the screenshot tool PicPick, worked as usually, while the program was put into sleep mode.
It is unclear whether all programs are capable of functioning normally while in sleep mode. Several of the listed programs act on their own without user interaction; this is the case for all browser updates, e.g., Mozilla Maintenance Service or Google Update, but may also be the case for Microsoft OneDrive, depending on how it is used.
Piriform highlighted the improvements of Performance Optimizer in a blog post on the official site. The company ran benchmark tests using PCMark to highlight the performance gains while using Performance Optimizer.
The PC Mark score jumped from 2660 to 3326, the boot time from 33 seconds to 14 seconds, and the battery life from 2 hours and 35 minutes to 3 hours 21 minutes on several test systems. Independent tests are needed for verification.
It is clear though, that the disabling of startup items, scheduled tasks and the like, will have an impact on a system’s performance. Startup will be faster, and the PC will use less RAM and other resources while it is running.
CCleaner’s Performance Optimizer looks like a useful tool to speed up PCs that are slowing down. While some of it can be achieved through other means, e.g., by disabling the autostart of certain apps, it is the promise that programs remain accessible like before that gives Performance Optimizer an edge over many of these manual options or competing programs.
Now You: what is your take on Performance Optimizer?