File and folder optimization is much less risky than editing and cleaning up the registry. In most cases it is very unlikely that applications or your Windows® system will malfunction or stop working completely when Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9 deletes files and folders that were identified as redundant.
Redundant files identified by their extensions
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9 identifies some file types as redundant on the basis of their filename extensions. This is almost always safe, but only almost. For example, for reasons best known to the programmers the Eudora e-mail program has an important file called donotdel.tmp (this is included in the exceptions list and won’t be deleted by the Drive Cleaner). If either you or an unknown program use extensions like .tmp and .bak for crucial files, Drive Cleaner will identify them as redundant.
If this happens, simply locate the files in question in the Recycle Bin and restore them. (Yet another good reason to check everything thoroughly before emptying the Recycle Bin — see below.)
This risk is particularly high for older applications written before the current conventions were established, especially DOS programs.
Delete the contents of the Temp folder for all users:
Security Rating: GENERALLY SAFE / CAUTION ON SERVERS
The same applies here as for the Windows® Temp folder for the current user. If there are any files here belonging to applications used by other users, the applications are already closed, otherwise the other users would still be using the computer! This does not apply on servers however, where other users may still be using the files. DON’T activate this option, if your computer is being used as a server!
Delete the contents of the Temp folder for the current user:
By definition, the contents of the Windows® Temp folder are there to be deleted after they have been used. Deleting them can only cause problems if the programs using the files in them are still running (this is one of the reasons why you should never run other programs while using Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9). This option only finds the items in the Windows® Temp folder of the current user and using it should be completely safe.
Scan for orphaned shortcuts (*.LNK)
For a number of reasons, Windows® and Windows® applications often “forget” to delete shortcuts when they are no longer needed. These orphaned shortcuts serve no useful purpose and can always be deleted because the objects they refer to no longer exist — even if you tried to use them you would just get an error message.
Scan for orphaned DOS program shortcuts (*.PIF)
The same applies to orphaned DOS program shortcuts as to Windows® shortcuts, but with one exception: Although they are just as useless as Windows® shortcuts because they point to objects that don’t exist you may still want to keep them. This is because the .PIF shortcut files for DOS programs contain all the settings you need for running the program they refer to. If the .PIF file is the only place where you have the settings, you need for a DOS program you still want to run you definitely want to keep it! If you have any DOS programs like this you should check your results in Details before deleting anything!
Ignore write-protected files and folders in use (recommended).
Files are not normally write-protected, and if they are there’s probably a good reason for it. For example, programs often write-protect .tmp (temporary), .bak (backup) and other files that they need to access. Don’t activate this option unless you know what you’re doing, and if you do select it always check in Results before deleting anything!