Windows and the applications that run on it have a tendency to store temporary data. All web browsers, for instance, automatically save cookies and browser history information to reduce webpage load times. Other programs also sometime save various preferences and settings leading to a slower system and putting one’s privacy at stake. Privacy Eraser is a Windows tool that helps you optimize and protect your system by cleaning up all such traces and past computer activities. The program is very easy to use, sports an excellent UI, and comes in two different variants. Let’s take a closer look at its free version.
Setup of Privacy Eraser is extremely easy, a simple download and installation following a straightforward wizard is all that’s needed to get the job done. And thankfully it’s free from any intrusive toolbars and unwanted crapware, something that many users will find welcoming.
The most striking bit about Privacy Eraser is its slick interface. It sports a dark gray background, which carries big bold buttons and a navigation menu in bright orange and blue colors. The navigation menu to the left side allows you to access the various tweaking tools the app offers. It opens up to a Home screen when launched, and you are greeted with four buttons; Scan, Quick Clean, Clean & Restart, and Clean & Shutdown. The buttons are self-explanatory; from the four buttons on the home screen you can scan you computer, and clean it. There are three options for post-PC-Cleaning operations; one cleans your PC and does nothing, the other restarts the system post clean-up, and the third shuts your PC down once the app has finished cleaning.
The time it takes for the scan process to finish depends largely on your device, after which you can review and fix various issues with the system by going for one-click ‘Quick Clean’ button. Privacy Eraser can then clean the system by removing information like internet cache, cookies, browsing history, address bar history, auto-complete form history, saved password and index.dat files of web browser, in addition to Windows run history, search history, recent folders, temporary files, clipboard items, dns cache, log files, memory dumps, error reporting and more.
After the scan, the data and files found are sorted into categories so you know what type of data you’re looking at. The categories are Windows, Browsers, and Applications. You can clean them all by selecting one of the clean options from the drop-down at the top (next to the scan button).
Advanced users who require greater control over which items to remove or not, can toggle them individually from the side menu. For instance, by heading to Windows, you can toggle Windows related components that you want to delete during clean up.
Privacy Eraser is also extremely effective for removing browser information such as cookies, passwords and history etc., from all major web browsers, including but not limited to Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
The program boasts a built-in file shredder and data wiper utilities for permanently erasing files and folders from a directory or storage drive such as USB flash and external drives. Speaking of the file shredder, it’s not very feature-laden but does support all major shredding algorithms including the ever popular Peter Gutmann method, in the program’s Pro variant.
When it comes to system maintenance, startup programs and services play a major role. Fortunately, Privacy Eraser’s integrated start-up manager lets you specify which programs to be loaded automatically during Windows start-up and turning off those items that deem to take too much resources thus speeding things up a little.
Of course, Privacy Eraser has many more areas to explore and the best way to experience those would be by trying the software yourself. It also has a Pro version which offers additional shredding methods in file shredder and 24/7 free technical support.
Both versions work on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.