Russian security vendor Kaspersky has released Kaspersky Cleaner, a free beta for Windows XP and later.
The program is designed to delete junk Windows and application files, check your system settings are giving you the best level of privacy, and restore broken settings which might be interfering with your PC’s operations.
Kaspersky Cleaner is targeted very much at the novice, and the interface keeps any complexities to the absolute minimum: four icons, a “Start Scan” button, and that’s about it.
There’s no waiting around, either. We launched a scan and within 5 seconds were told our system had “38 problems”, and were presented with a green “Fix” button to resolve them all.
If you’d like to know more, then clicking one of four icons displays the checks made and any individual fixes Kaspersky Cleaner wants to apply.
The System Cleanup area lists assorted Windows and application caches which could be wiped (temp folders, Firefox leftovers, Flash, QuickTime, Windows memory dumps, more).
“Restore System Settings” lists broken or poorly configured Windows settings, in particular items which might have been trashed by a malware infection (autorun enabled, invalid file associations, REGEDIT/ Task Manager/ Control Panel blocked, more).
The confusingly-named “Private Browsing” section has nothing to do with the private browsing mode of any web browser, and seems to be more about disabling assorted Windows logging, telemetry and general privacy settings.
“Remove activity traces” is all about removing some low-level signs of your PC activities, including Windows log files, Direct3D and DirectDraw history, and assorted Windows and network cache files.
Selecting any of these areas displays all the checks made. Items you’ve passed are displayed in green, any “fails” are highlighted in red.
By default every red item is checked, which means it’ll be “fixed” by default. If you don’t want that setting to be touched, clear its checkbox and the program will leave it alone.
Once you’ve happy, return to the main screen, hit “Fix” and every issue you’ve left checked will be resolved in a few seconds.
Kaspersky Cleaner isn’t a tool for the advanced user. There’s no in-depth scanning for junk files, no file-level list of what it wants to delete (or the total space to be recovered), no way to permanently define the extra areas you’d like to check, no scheduler to run cleanups automatically.
Right now it’s probably best used as a simple way for PC novices to get their system working again, post-infection. In a click or two just about anyone can wipe away malware traces in their temporary folders, remove blocks on Control Panel or Task Manager, restore safe Autorun settings and more.
Kaspersky Cleaner is a free beta release for Windows XP and later.