Microsoft’s official PC Cleaner app is now on the Microsoft Store – and makes big promises about speeding up your PC for free

Microsoft is making its powerful clean up tool PC Cleaner easier to install by adding it to the Microsoft Store (which is built-in to Windows 11) – and it could be a handy tool for speeding up your computer and fixing issues.

The tool is similar to CCleaner, a long-established third-party system cleaner for Windows (now also available for Mac, Android, and iOS). Apps like CCleaner aim to clear out clutter from Windows system folders and improve your PC’s performance due to the cleared space.

Microsoft has been testing its own system cleaning and maintenance software since 2022. Originally, Microsoft’s PC Manager app was being developed and tested by Microsoft’s for the Chinese market. Now, Windows Latest has spotted that the PC Manager app is available for download from the Microsoft Store and is also available in more regions including the US. You can use PC Cleaner in both Windows 10 and Windows 11 as it’s supported on both operating systems. It didn’t come up on either of my Windows 11 devices in the Microsoft store, but have a look for yourself. It seems like if you can’t get it yet, it is coming soon according to an official Microsoft PC Cleaner page.

A screenshot of the official Microsoft PC Cleaner page

(Image credit: Future)

What features and tools users can expect

The latest version of PC Cleaner introduces a floating toolbar which allows you to quickly access PC Cleaner’s tools. These include:

  • PC Boost which deals with unnecessary processes and deletes temporary files, along with a Smart Boost option for spikes in RAM usage and temporary files that exceed 1 GB file size.
  • Deep Cleanup that seeks out older Windows update files, clears out recycle bin files, your web cache, and application caches. However, you can select what you’d like to keep or remove.
  • Process which provides a view of all of the processes currently running on your PC, allowing you to end any process in PC Cleaner without opening up Task Manager.
  • Startup that allows you to manage the apps that launch on start-up
  • Large Files which locates large files on any of your drives more quickly than if you had to find them manually using File Explorer.
  • More tools like Taskbar Repair to revert it to its original state and Restore Default Apps to restore all default app preferences. In true Microsoft fashion, it looks like the company will apparently use this feature to encourage you to use Microsoft apps such as Edge, according to Windows Latest.

Man using download manager on laptop

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Microsoft's take on third-party system cleaner apps

Microsoft has spoken less than favorably about third-party PC cleaner apps and sometimes called them harmful. It would warn users that these apps would be more likely to delete crucially important registry files by accident to clean up as much ‘junk’ as possible. CCleaner even got Microsoft’s potentially unwanted program (PUP) stamp of disapproval. A PUP is a piece of software that may be perceived as unwanted, unnecessary, or harmful by users. While Microsoft has its own vested interest to have people use as many in-house apps as possible, CCleaner has had legitimate security concerns in the past because of malware-related incidents. 

However, it should be noted that while Microsoft has labeled CCleaner a PUP, it’s available to download from the Microsoft Store as well.

Microsoft’s PC Manager is free to use and it can be set to correspond with your Windows theme. It’s got a host of useful tools designed by Microsoft itself for Windows, and the company promises it won’t delete any necessary system files. While options like third-party apps are good to have, this seems like a solid bet and I’ll be installing it myself when it's available to me. It’s less likely to come with malware since it comes straight from Microsoft, and will be able to be downloaded via the Microsoft Store. It also has features for free that you have to pay for in other apps like CCleaner. If you can’t see it in the Microsoft Store yet (like me), there is an official Microsoft page for PC Cleaner that indicates a direct download link is coming soon. 


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WWDC 2022 is official for June 6 – expect to see iOS 16, M2, and more from Apple

After much speculation, Apple has announced its developer conference, WWDC, will be held in San Jose between June 6 and June 10, with a keynote being held on June 6, where it's expected to announce iOS 16, macOS 13, and more.

Mirroring previous years, the event will be fully remote, with the keynote being streamed on June 6, and developer sessions across the week will also be held remotely.

Apple's conference is usually where we will see updates to iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and its other software be showcased. Last year brought widgets to iPadOS 15, while we saw Focus be brought to iPadOS, iOS 15, watchOS, and macOS to help your productivity.

We expect the next versions to be announced, but we'll be covering everything that Apple announces, once June 6 arrives.

How you can take part in WWDC 2022

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WWDC has always been a week-long event, as Apple wants to communicate with its developers on the newest features that it hopes will benefit the apps that are across the App Store.

Regardless of going online-only in the past two years, the sessions have always been a helpful guide to developers, in talking to Apple engineers in solving some issues and being inspired to try out new features.

But there's also been plenty of events and apps held by Apple enthusiasts, whether they've been held around San Jose or as online events.

However, the first port of call would be Apple's Developer app. This will allow you to see which events you can keep track of, while also allowing you to download certain sessions to watch at a time that better suits you.

But if you're planning on visiting San Jose regardless, plenty of developers on Twitter will most likely be going too. And if you're a developer, see if you can take part in community sessions for when the next versions of iOS and macOS are announced, so you can brainstorm features and ideas for your apps.

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Windows 11 22H2 update is official – and could be a PC game-changer

The next major version of Windows 11 will officially be called Windows 11 22H2, according to notes within a recent update. 

While many of us assumed that this would actually be the name, due to Microsoft's previous naming conventions for its Windows operating system, this is the first time the major upgrade has been officially referred to as Windows 11 22H2.

Previously, this major feature update for Windows 11 went by the codename “Sun Valley 2”. From what we've heard about this update, it looks to be one of the biggest changes to Windows 11 yet, adding some exciting new features to the operating system, many of which users have been asking for since the launch of Windows 11 last year.

Some of the most exciting changes, such as bringing Android apps to Windows 11, allowing you to potentially use your favorite smartphone apps on your Windows 11 device, overhauls to iconic apps like Note Pad and Windows Media Player, and additional features for the taskbar could be real game-changers for the new operating system, finally convincing people to make the leap from Windows 10.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft refers to 'Windows 11, version 22H2' in the release notes for a new Windows update, the first time the company has used that name. 

Not only does this show us what the official name for the next big update to Windows 11 will be called, but it's also gives us an idea of when this update will release.

The ‘22’ part of the name refers to the year the update will launch in, and the ’H2’ part of the name corresponds to the part of the year the launch will be. So, this essentially confirms that we'll see the update previously known as Sun Valley 2 in the second half of 2022 – sometime after June.

Windows 11 launched on October 5 2021, so could Microsoft be planning to launch Windows 11 22H2 to coincide with the operating system’s first anniversary? It's certainly a possibility, as it’s something Microsoft has done before with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update back in 2016.

Analysis: When could it arrive?

However, October may feel like too long a wait for some people, especially anyone excited for the new features Windows 11 22H2 is said to be bringing.

It's not all bad news, however, as the Windows 11 22H2 update could also launch earlier in the second half of this year. After all, the fact that Microsoft has now confirmed the name could mean that the update is almost ready to launch.

Windows Insiders who have been trying early versions of the 22H2 update have also stated that, even at this stage, the update feels pretty solid, again suggesting that Windows 11 22H2 could be ready for launch soon.

While Microsoft will want to make sure that a major update like this is thoroughly tested for any potential issues and bugs, the company also wants to help keep momentum up for the new operating system. 

It’s still struggling to convince some Windows 10 fans to upgrade, but a big headline-grabbing update packed with new features could spur on people who were holding out.

If you’re eager to try out some of these new features, including Android app support, plus improved Notepad and Windows Media Player apps, then you can sign up to be a Windows Insider to help test it out before launch.

To start, open up the Settings app on your PC. Head to the ‘Update & Security section, then select ‘Windows Insider Program’ and choose the channel you want to join. You will then begin receiving updates through ‘Windows Update’ on your PC corresponding to the channel you joined.

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You can now test WordPress 5.9 before its official release

A new version of WordPress that's currently under development, WordPress 5.9, is now available in beta for testing purposes.

Given WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 is not a stable release, the developers recommend tests should be carried out on test websites rather than live sites, in case any issues reveal themselves.

WordPress has released a set of detailed instructions for users to follow in order to carry out the test successfully.

The final version of WordPress 5.9 is scheduled for release on January 25, 2022.

WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 testing 

With eight weeks left until the software goes live, WordPress has developed three different ways for users to test WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 on their sites.

The first option is to install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream. 

The second way is to directly download the beta version, and the third way is to use WP-CLI to test: wp core update –version=5.9-beta1. However, the third option is not advised for filesystems that are case-insensitive.

WordPress said in a blog post that the main reason for these tests is to polish the release in the beta stage. The release already contains 580 enhancements and nearly 450 bug fixes, and contributors have addressed 297 tickets for WordPress 5.9 so far, including 110 new features and enhancements.

This latest WordPress version will also introduce WordPress’ very first block-based default theme, Twenty Twenty-Two.

“It’s the very first theme that’s block based and needs thorough testing as a result,” said a WordPress contributor in the detailed guide.

WordPress also dished out extra tips for those who want to participate in testing the new version on their sites, which include testing across different browsers, testing in different languages, and seeing what the new features look like on different screen sizes.

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Germany bans Zoom for official use

Parts of the German government have blocked the use of Zoom following concerns around its privacy and security protection.

Officials at the German Foreign Ministry have had their use of Zoom restricted following a government memo warning about the risks in using the software.

Amid the coronavirus-led lockdowns, Zoom and other teleconferencing apps have experienced a spike in usage.  However, the company has faced severe backlash after reports surfaced of traffic being routed through China, Zoombombing, a lack of proper security measures and other privacy-related issues.

According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Zoom was already being widely used across the ministry’s international partners, meaning it would be difficult to ban its use completely, so employees could log on using private machines for professional purposes if there was a crisis.

“Based on media reports and our own findings we have concluded that Zoom’s software has critical weaknesses and serious security and data protection problems,” the memo read.

Zoom ban

The move comes hours after Taiwan’s government said it would avoid using Zoom due to a number of security and privacy concerns, suggesting that alternative applications from competitors like Microsoft and Google are safer. 

As China doesn’t acknowledge Taiwan as an independent state, official data being relayed through China is considered as a privacy threat for the nation.

A statement issued by the Taiwanese Department of Cyber Security states, “if the organization must use non-domestically produced software for international exchanges or some other special situation, many global and communication giants—like Google and Microsoft—are offering such technology for free amid the current pandemic.”

“Organizations should consider these options after evaluating any associated data security risks,” it added.

Zoom, which saw its user base balloon to 200 million in March, had been struggling to control the spike in usage. The company admitted that it had mistakenly routed data through Chinese servers and has clarified that it has stopped using the backup servers for non-Chinese customers.

Similarly, reports of Zoom calls not being end-to-end encrypted, hackers being able to eavesdrop into calls, records of meetings available publicly on the internet, and un-invited attendee’s able to hijack calls caused major concerns globally.

Elsewhere, various schools in the United States have also switched to Microsoft Teams for remote classes and banned Zoom immediately. Even Elon Musk’s SpaceX has barred the usage of Zoom by its officials and Canada's electronic surveillance agency also didn’t approve the platform for “any government discussions that require secure communications.”

Last week, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan apologized for the incidents, and announced that the company will stop working on new features to focus on securing the platform. 

Zoom’s market value has been reduced by one-third since it registered a record high in late March and its shares also experienced a drop by one per cent in pre-market trading on the Nasdaq.

Via: Bloomberg, Reuters

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