Webroot – Window Washer 5 review

removes unnecessary files
Photo of Webroot – Window Washer 5

A small utility this, but really quite a handy one. It’s aim is straightforward – to ‘wash’ (that’s the company’s word for delete) any files you don’t need from your computer, to make it run that bit faster and get yourself a bit of disk space back. It gives you a bit more privacy too, by deleting temporary browser files.

Upon installation, you choose whether to go with the standard or advanced menu, and depending on that choice, you open up at a bright and breezy menu laden with some of the plaudits that the program has already picked up. We chose the basic interface at first, although a simple click in the top right of the menu switches you between that and the advanced livery.

The key to the program’s operation, though, is the ‘Wash Now’ button in the top left. Hitting that tells you what the program is going to explore, and then you click ‘start’ to begin the cleaning process. It’s a fast operation, too, although that clearly depends on the PC it’s running on. It hunts through areas such as your history files, temporary files, your cache and even Media Player as it looks for wastage, and gives you a real time report on its findings.

Once its work is completed, you can then simply click ‘off’ until the next time, or you can call up the results list, which is a more detailed report screen telling you how much space has been saved. The program did get results for us on our tests; even on a month-old laptop it found 500MB of space savings. Our testbed desktop system, which has been in action a lot longer, was 1.2GB lighter by the time that Window Washer had done its work.

Further options within the program allow you to schedule when to have a wash, to enable a wash on every shutdown (fortunately the program is efficient enough to make this viable) or startup, or to schedule ‘autowashing’; for example, running a cycle every hour.

Switching to advanced mode brought in choices pertaining to cookies and plug-ins, as well as allowing you to focus in on a specific area – e.g. temp folder, Microsoft Word, registry streams or memory dump files – for a special clean. Your mother would be proud.

We were quite impressed with Window Washer. It’s a breeze to use, although its slight appearance could wrongly leave you with the impression that this is a small utility that doesn’t pull its weight. It claims to be able to remove unnecessary files and remove history files to keep your Web browsing habits between you and your keyboard. It meets these claims, too, and what’s more, it does it in an efficient, speedy way.

Company: Webroot

While we'd perhaps like the price to come down a little, and options to see exactly what the program has removed in a bit more detail, Window Washer is a good app and a worthwhile addition to your arsenal of utilities.