Cleanup Wizard

The cleanup wizard is an easy to use interface that guides you step by step through a series of choices to free up disk space and remove unwanted information from your system.  In addition to removing files that are not needed and not used by any applications on your system the clean up wizard allows you to clean up your Internet Explorer cache, cookies, history and also your desktop run and document histories.  This also includes removing the index.dat files.  Index.dat files redundantly store all of the visited web addresses and cookies and are not cleared even after the user clears the temporary cache folder manually or via Internet Explorer’s Tools.  And these files cannot be easily erased even if you know where to find them because they are always opened (i.e., locked) when Windows is running.  With a few quick steps the Cleanup Wizard cleans up your hard drive and protects your privacy.  The following panels and choices are displayed as part of the wizard process:

 

File Types

The files types panel lets you select a DiskFerret filter for files to delete.  DiskFerret filters are a set of one or more wildcards that can be used to identify certain files or types of files such as temporary files (*.tmp) or backup files (*.bak).  The built-in filter “Temporary & Backup Files” is the default filter but you can create and use your own filter.  See the Creating Filters section for more information.

Locations

The location panel displays a tree view of your system to allow selection of the drives, folders, or network shares to clean.  To include a drive, folder or network location, select the check box for the node.

Temporary Folders

The temporary folders panel allows you to specify whether to remove all files from the user’s temporary fielder, and from the Windows temporary folder.  By definition these temporary folders are for temporary system and application files, therefore once the system or application has finished using the files they are no longer needed.  However, some file in the temporary folders may currently be in use by an open application.  Closing all applications prior to running the cleaners wizard is recommended.

Windows Updates

Windows Update Uninstall Files

Microsoft wants you to have a chance to recover gracefully if an update doesn't work out.  The update might conflict with other software you have installed or it might conflict with your particular hardware.  But if your system is working well as updated, you typically don't need to keep the files that allow you to back out a previously installed update, and they can add up to a lot of wasted disk space.

Windows Update Source Files

Windows uses this folder to download and store patch files.  The files in these folders can consume a lot of disk space and can safely be removed provided the patch has been installed.  Make sure that all patches have been installed before selecting this option.

Cleaning Method

The cleaning method panel lets you specify whether files should be permanently deleted from your system or moved to the recycle bin where they can be recovered.  If you are not sure that the files can be safely deleted then select the recycle bin option and then remove them from the recycle bin once you are certain that your system is working properly without the files.

Temporary Internet Explorer and Desktop

Please note that items selected on this page are permanently deleted (i.e., not moved to the recycle bin) regardless of the clean method selected on the previous page.

Internet Explorer Cache

The Internet Explorer Cache, also referred to as Temporary Internet Files, is a set of files on Microsoft Windows computer systems. The files are used by Internet Explorer to cache pages and other web content from websites visited by the user. This allows the websites to load more quickly the next time they are visited by the same user, but these files can consume a lot of disk space and many of the temporary files are never used again if you don’t revisit the web site from which they were cached. Also, the name “temporary” is misleading because the files are stored on the system until the user clears the cache or manually deletes the files from the system.  This is a privacy issue, because if not deleted these files provide information about your working and browsing habits to anyone with access to the computer.

Internet Explorer Cache Index

Another privacy concern is that clearing Internet Explorer’s cache via Internet Explorer Tools gives users a false sense of security.  Internet Explorer creates a file named index.dat that functions as a redundant database of information such as web URLs, recently opened files and search queries.  This file cannot be easily erased because it is always open when Windows is running.  Open file are considered “locked” and cannot be deleted in any way when they are open.  Even after a user has cleared their temporary cache, either manually or via Internet Explorer’s Tools, the information in the index.dat file is not removed and the file is not deleted.  This is a big privacy issue, because if not deleted the index.dat file provides information about your working and browsing habits in the same way that temporary files do to anyone with access to the computer.  DiskFerret has the technology to delete the index.dat file.  If this option is selected a reboot is required before the file is deleted.

Internet Explorer Cookies

A cookie is a small text files that web sites send to the browser when you visit the site.  Some cookies are saved on your compute and sent back to the web site when you visit the site again.  Cookies can be used for activities such as showing you a different advertisement each time you visit, show you ads and information relative to previous information that you have clicked on, or for your personal information such as user name and password for the site.  Cookies, as with the cache, are a privacy concern to some individuals and can be cleaned to restore file storage space (although you won’t save much space because cookies are typically very small).

Internet Explorer Cookies Index

Internet Explorer creates a file named index.dat that functions as a redundant database of cookie information, similar to the cache index.dat explained above.  If this option is selected a reboot is required before the file is deleted.

Internet Explorer History

Internet Explorer automatically saves webs sites that you have visited.  This makes it convenient for you when to want to visit the same site again.  By clicking the address bar or keying in a partial web address, Internet Explorer shows you a list of previous sites visited.  This list of visited web sites is available to anyone with access to the computer and can be used to learn about your working and browsing habits.

Internet Explorer History Index

Internet Explorer creates a file named index.dat that functions as a redundant database of history information, similar to the cache index.dat explained above.  If this option is selected a reboot is required before the file is deleted.

Desktop Run History

The commands previously typed at Start/Run are visible by expanding its dropdown control. They are known as RunMRU list (MRU stands for the Most Recently Used).  Select this option to clean the run history list.  The list is not cleared until the system is restarted.

Desktop Recent Documents History

This list tracks the recently opened documents, such as Word, Excel, Notepad documents etc., and is accessible from the Start/My Recent Documents menu.  Select this option to remove the recent documents history.

 

Wizard Results

After completing the wizard steps DiskFerret scans your system for the options that you have selected and displays the results in the data view.  DiskFerret’s tree view changes to display a single node with a Wizard Icon.  You can use any data view that you like to further analyze the files located.  The typical process would involve verifying and deleting the files in the detail size view once you are satisfied that the files located and displayed are in fact files that you want to remove from your system.