Webroot Window Washer 6.5 £30
15th Nov 2007 | 00:00
Almost the perfect tool for covering your tracks
If you're the paranoid type, a program like Window Washer will appeal. It's designed to eliminate all traces of your activity, enabling you to wipe your Internet trail, reset program settings or clean free space on your hard drive. Version 6.5 adds support for both Windows Vista and browsers such as Firefox, but drops support for Windows 98 and Me.
Installation is straightforward. Once complete, Windows Washer checks your installed programs against a list of 470. You can then choose which ones on your system are to be included when the program "washes" your PC clean of incriminating evidence.
Set it and forget it
The program's interface is refreshingly simple, uncluttered and accessible. The main screen enables you to wipe your PC using a single click. If you're particularly paranoid you can configure Window Washer to shred your files and settings by selecting "bleach".
The Wash Setup screen is where you choose what needs to be washed, with options for Internet settings, some Windows settings, plus your custom list of programs. The Internet settings include the Cookie Keeper tool, which enables you to single out cookies you want to keep (for log-on details and so on). Sadly, it's only compatible with Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
You can schedule automatic washes using the Options button. These can be timed from every 15 minutes to once a day, or whenever you close your browser or start/shut down Windows.
If all of this functionality isn't enough, clicking "Free Space Washing" securely wipes all your drive's free space so that deleted items are unrecoverable. The basic one-pass method is refreshingly quick, too. Choose System Eraser to create a boot disk and securely wipe your drive if needed.
Window Washer has come a long way since its debut 10 years ago. It's not perfect (Firefox users will curse the lack of cookie support), but it's close. If you've got sensitive data or settings to hide, it's an essential buy.