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WinUtilities History Cleaner - Erase Internet History & Protect your computer privacy

WinUtilities History Cleaner - Privacy Eraser
WinUtilities History Cleaner for Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, 98

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Your Windows operating system keeps tracks of many things that you do with your computer, like the websites you visit using Internet browsers , the pictures you view using image viewers, the movies you watch using Media player etc. Likewise, many of the third-party applications that you use keep a list of the 'most recently used' files.

Owing to the fact that such information is stored at different places by different programs, it is impossible, or rather tedious and time-consuming, to maintain your privacy by manually searching for such entries and eliminating them.

'WinUtilities Erase History' tool makes the job much easier by taking care of everything at the click of a button: freeing up wasted hard-drive space and getting rid of your past activity records from the PC.

This tool is categorized into different sections as explained below.

Main

This tab integrates all the sections of 'Erase History' tool so that once you have set your preferences for the other pages, subsequent use of this tool only demands you to simply click a button and the rest is done automatically.
Select, from the list given, what all 'group of actions' has to be done. Then all you have to do is click the Start Cleaning button.

Note: You should quit all applications before starting the cleaning operation.

Clicking the
* Options button will take you to WinUtilities main Options page where you can manage a couple of settings for the 'Erase History' tool.
* Empty Recycle Bin lets you clear the contents of your Recycle Bin.
* Cookie Manager lets you manage the cookies created by Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, Opera and Netscape internet browsers.

Options

To reset all the previous changes you have made to the different tabs, click the Reset All Options. This will set all the options to its default state.

Windows

Erase Windows History and Tracks

This section cleans general Windows usage history and has the following options:

Empty the Windows XP Prefetch folder
Windows XP monitors the files that are used when your PC starts and also when you start various installed applications. By monitoring these files, Windows XP can prefetch them. Prefetching data is the process whereby data that is expected to be requested is read ahead into the cache. Prefetching boot files and applications decreases the time needed to start Windows XP and start applications. If you're frequently using the same few applications over and over again, prefetching can greatly increase the speed of your system. However, after using Windows XP for some time, the 'Prefetch' directory can get bloated, which can slow down your computer noticeably. You can safely remove these files.

Delete empty folders in the Windows Temp folder
Many programs that you use may create folders inside the Windows temporary folder. This option will remove all such subfolders if they are empty.

Delete Outlook Express' email auto-complete history
Use this option to clear the auto-complete history of Outlook express.

Delete Outlook Express' deleted emails
Mails deleted from the 'Outlook Express' will exist in its 'store folder' even though they are not shown by the program. With this option, you can get rid of those deleted mails.

Erase folder streams in the Windows Registry
Each time you open a folder using the 'Windows Explorer', its layout attributes are saved in the Registry so that the next time when you open that folder Windows will show it according to the preferences you set last time. Even though this is an useful feature, more and more entries are added to the Registry as you navigate various folders in your hard-disk. This option will let you remove all such entries.
Note: Executing this option will reset the layouts for the folders to the default state.

Empty Clipboard (copy/paste data)
Working with files normally involves the use of 'copy' and 'paste' operations. 'Windows Clipboard' remembers the last copy operation and may contain relevant information about your activities like password, credit card or personal information. Clear such entries from Clipboard with this option.

Delete Open/Save Dialog history
When you use the standard 'Open file' and Save file' dialog boxes of programs, Windows remembers the filenames you opened or saved. Get these entries removed using this option.

Empty Print Spool folder
When you issue the 'Print' command for a document or file, your printer-driver software tends to make a rather lengthy set of instructions, called a 'Spool File'. This temporary file is written to your printer's Printer Spool Folder. Delete left-over spool files using this option.

Clear Windows Swap/Page File
Windows Swap File is a large hidden file located in the root of your boot drive used for keeping your virtual memory. It is only a temporary file, but Windows does not delete it from your disk upon shut down. You can delete this file using this option.
Note: Swap file will be automatically created by Windows at a later time, for example - upon reboot.

Clear past icon history of System Tray (XP)
In Windows XP, if you start a program that makes a 'System tray' entry, Windows will store information about the notifications that program displays in the Tray. Even if you do not use that same program for a while, the previous information still persists. Using this option, you can clear such history.
Note: The 'Explorer' process may terminate and restart when you execute this option.

Erase the list of mapped network drives
When you map network drives to get access to them via drive letters, Windows remembers all your mappings in the registry. Get rid of that information using this setting.
To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

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Start Menu

This section deals with Windows Start Menu history, and has the following options.

Delete Start Menu order history (forces alphabetical order)
When you use the 'drag and drop' operation to reorder items in your Start Menu, Windows remembers the item-order and records it in Registry. You can clean it to return the Start Menu to alphabetical order.

Erase the list of recently open network drives in Windows
Use this option to remove the recently opened network drive entries from the Start Menu.

Remove all Start menu click history (XP)
Windows stores the list of most recently clicked items on Start menu. Check this option to clean the such history.

Remove Old Start menu click history (UserAssist key)
'UserAssist' registry key contains the information regarding every program or files that you have launched ever since your Windows installation. Use this option to remove those entries.

Erase Start menu 'Find Computer' history (needs reboot/logoff)
Check this box to cause the history stored in 'Find Computer' dialog-box to be erased. This feature requires rebooting your system.

Erase Start menu 'Find Files' history (needs reboot/logoff)
When you search for something on your PC, on the Internet or on your local area network by using the Search/Find command on your Start Menu, Windows records all your search keywords in the Registry. Clear those entries using this option. This feature requires rebooting your system.

Erase Start menu 'Run' History (needs reboot/logoff)
When you start programs using the 'Run' option on the Windows Start menu, Windows remembers all application filenames and their paths in Registry. Clear those entries using this option. This feature requires rebooting your system.

Delete recently opened document history

Whenever a file is opened, a shortcut link to the location of the file is created to facilitate easy access henceforth. These links can be accessed from the 'Documents' section of the Start menu. Check this box to erase this history.
To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Plug-ins

Eraser Plug-ins

Many of the third-party applications you use keep a record of the most recently opened or executed files via them. To erase this 'recent document history' of such applications, Win Utilities comes equipped with a list of 'plug-ins'. Using these plug-ins, you can get rid of the MRU history of many popular applications.

Note: Win Utilities may not contain the plug-ins for all the applications you use. We'll update the plug-ins list every now and then to address this issue.

Select the plug-in(s) you want to execute by placing a 'check mark'. Check All, Check None, and Invert Checks buttons in the bottom of the page can be used to selects/de-selects an application plug-in.

To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Check-marked plug-ins now !.

Note: Though we have fully tested these plug-ins in our systems, we cannot guarantee that it will work on all the systems.

Internet Explorer/MSN

The options on this page let you clean internet clutter, like the discardable files in your browser's cache folder, auto-complete list for webpage text fields, visited websites' list, etc.

Delete IE 'Favorites' menu's order history (forces alphabetical order)
This option clears the order in which entries are stored in your Internet Explorer 'Favorites' menu. All the entries will be sorted in alphabetical order.

Delete Cookies (use cookies manager to protect cookies)
Websites store information in a small text file, called a 'cookie,' on your hard disk. Cookies contain information about your preferences on a particular website, or it might only contain a record of which pages you visited on a website to help the site customize the view for you the next time you visit. Since some cookies are useful, you may want to keep them. Use 'Cookie Manager' to select the cookies you need to keep. All the unmarked ones will be deleted.

Delete locked URL cache files (index.dat) (needs reboot)
Index.dat file keep a list of websites you have visited, cookies received and files downloaded. If you have never cleaned the index.dat file, your online activities since you installed Windows are stored there. This file cannot be deleted manually because Windows locks it. Use this option to delete this file. This feature requires rebooting your system.

Delete all auto-complete data (auto-suggest feature of edit fields)
When you fill in forms in the web pages, enter your credit card details, your passwords, address, email, etc., Internet Explorer remembers all these information. Anyone can extract the information from the Registry and so it's recommended that you always erase such information after using the Internet Explorer. Use this option to clear the data.

Clear typed URLs of Address bar (clears URLs not protected by the Address Bar Editor)

When you type a website address into the Internet Explorer browser, it remembers that address and records it for later use. In this way, all those addresses you typed in the browser are kept on your computer and can be easily extracted from there. It is highly recommended that you always clean this history if you are concerned about privacy. Use 'Address Bar Editor' to select the addresses you want to keep. All the unmarked ones will be deleted.

Clear browser history (needs reboot)
The 'History' folder stores all the information about the websites you visited, web searches you performed and along with Temporary Internet Files can be used to determine when and what you did on the Internet. It is strongly recommended to always clean history after every online session using the Internet Explorer.

Delete cache (files in the 'Temporary Internet Files' folder)
The 'Temporary Internet Files' folder on your hard disk is where web pages and associated files are stored when you surf the net. This speeds up the display of pages you frequently visit or have already seen, because Internet Explorer can open them from your hard disk instead of from the Web. However, with time, the number and size of these files will grow, slowing down your system. Check this box to clear these internet files.

Delete Macromedia Flash cookies
Flash cookies help a flash movie store information like username, a favorite color or the progress in a game on a user's computer. Unfortunately, few consumers are aware of where Flash cookies are stored or how to control their use. In most browsers, managing these flash cookies are not possible. Since there are no expiration dates on Flash cookies, they can remain on a user's computer indefinitely. Enable this option to get these flash cookies erased.
To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Cookie Manager
Clicking on 'Cookie Manager' button shows you all the cookies that are saved in your computer from the internet sessions that you had. Here, if you want, you can select those cookies which you want to keep, and delete the rest. To select a cookie, check-mark the box beside it. To deselect, uncheck it. By default, all cookies are deselected.

Using Cookie Manager you can keep or remove cookies created by Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, Opera and Netscape browsers.

Note: If Delete 'index.dat' file in the 'Cookies' folder option is enabled, all the cookies created by your Internet Explorer browser will be deleted even if they are marked not to be deleted.

Address Bar Editor
'Address Bar Editor' shows you all the web address that you have typed in your Internet Explorer's address bar. You can keep those address which may be used for later sessions and delete the rest. To select an url, check-mark the box beside it. To deselect, uncheck it. By default, all entries are unchecked.

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Firefox

This section deals with erasing recent history of the popular Firefox browser. A list of Firefox user profiles is given from which you can select your profile so that the following actions can be performed on that profile.

Cache
Use this option to remove the internet files cached by Firefox.

Cookies (which are not protected)
Use this option to remove the cookies saved in the Firefox cache folder. Since some cookies are useful, you may want to keep them. Click 'Cookie Manager' to select the cookies you need to keep. All the unmarked ones will be deleted.

Browsing history
Remove all those address typed into the Firefox address bar using this option.

Saved form information
Use this option to clear the 'search history' and also the data saved by Firefox when you filled in the webpage forms.

Download history
Clears the history regarding the files you have downloaded from the Internet using Firefox.

Saved passwords
Clears the passwords stored by Firefox.

Google toolbar search history
Clears the keywords you have searched in Google search engine using the 'Google Toolbar' extenstion for Firefox.

To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Opera

Here, you can clear the cache, cookies, address bar, history, etc of the Opera internet browser.
Cache

Use this option to remove the internet files cached by Opera.

Cookies (which are not protected using Cookie Manager)
Use this option to remove the cookies saved in the Opera cache folder. Since some cookies are useful, you may want to keep them. Click 'Cookie Manager' to select the cookies you need to keep. All the unmarked ones will be deleted.

Address bar history
Remove all those address typed into the Opera browser's address bar using this option.

Visited Pages history
Remove the internet usage history of Opera using this option.

Download history
Clears the history regarding the files you have downloaded from the Internet using Opera.

To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Safari

Here, you can clear the cache, cookies, address bar, history, etc of Apple's Safari internet browser.

Cache
Use this option to remove the internet files cached by Safari.

All Cookies
Use this option to remove the cookies saved in the Safari cache folder.

History
Remove all those address typed into the Safari browser using this option.
To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Chrome

Here, you can clear the cache, cookies, address bar, history, etc of Google's Chrome internet browser.

Cache
Use this option to remove the internet files cached by Chrome.

Cookies (which are not protected)
Use this option to remove the cookies saved in the Chrome cache folder. Since some cookies are useful, you may want to keep them. Click 'Cookie Manager' to select the cookies you need to keep. All the unmarked ones will be deleted.

History
Remove the browser history using this option.

To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button Erase Now.

Misc Items

Catalog Files for the Content Indexer - The 'Indexing service' speeds up and improves file searches by maintaining an index of the files that are on the disk. The Catalog files remain from a previous indexing operation and can be deleted safely.

Downloaded Program Files - Downloaded program files are ActiveX controls and Java programs that are downloaded automatically from the Internet when you view certain pages. These files are temporarily stored in the Downloaded Program Files folder on the hard disk.

WebClient/Publisher Temporary files - The 'WebClient/Publisher' service maintains a cache of accessed files on your disk. These files are kept locally for performance reasons only, and can be deleted safely.

System archived/queued Windows Error Reporting Files (Vista only) - Delete the files used for error reporting and solution checking.

To perform the actions selected in this section, click the button 'Erase Now'.

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