Frequent Windows maintenance is very important to keep our computer running in tip top shape. One of the first thing you should do in Windows maintenance is removing temporary junk files. Most of your Windows applications create temp files on your hard disk when they are running. These files are supposed to be removed but not all programs do it automatically. The temp files may have accumulated to several megabytes, or even Gigabytes is not unheard of, since you have begun using your PC, and that can waste large amounts of your hard drive space without you knowing it! This will lead to the reducing of free space on your hard disk, fragmentation and reduction of the system performance.
Even when a computer is being infected by virus of spyware, the first thing you should do before running a scan is to delete all the temp files on the computer. Without a doubt CCleaner is one of the best free programs to clean up junk and it supports cleaning many third party applications temp files. But it does have one major drawback, and that is CCleaner only cleans the temp files from the currently logged on user and not every user on the system. This is obviously a problem when you are scanning for malware because your Administrator account might be free from temp files but other user accounts could still be filled with hundreds of Megabytes of junk. Using CCleaner alone, you would have to manually log on to each users account and run run each time, or use another program that can do all this for you…
Here’s another great temporary file cleaner which is very small in size (49.5 KB) and widely recommended by malware cleaners. ATF (A Temporary File) Cleaner is a completely portable standalone executable and works with Windows 98/ME/2K/XP and Vista, there is limited functionality for Windows 7. In addition to cleaning the Windows temp files, only the current users temp files or the temp files of all users of the system, ATF Cleaner can also clean the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera internet cache and cookies all within an easy-to-use and understand interface.
The main screen allows the user to either clean all temporary files (by using the “Select All” tick box at the bottom), or individually select files and areas for cleaning. The program also knows if Firefox and or Opera is installed on your system, and gives the option of cleaning the temporary files, cookies, history and saved user data associated with those applications with a new set of cleaning options in the window. After the cleaning has finished (this could take a few seconds to several minutes) a popup window will show the total bytes freed.
Note for Vista users and Windows 7: To empty “Windows Temp” ATF-Cleaner must be “Run as an Administrator”.
The ATF Cleaner tool is commonly recommended by malware cleaners in forums to clean all the temporary files in your computer before running scans with programs like HijackThis.