Best Free Tune-up Program For Computer

Other Language?
  Read this article in Spanish
 
In a Hurry?
  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide
 
Introduction

PC tune-up utilities are a great way to get a performance bump for personal computers without upgrading hardware.  They can repair issues that lead to instability, and help make a computer more secure by removing traces of personal information. PC tune-up utilities should be part of your overall PC maintenance strategy, which should also include a firewall, anti-malware, anti-virus and a defragmenter. This category will focus on tune-up utility suites.

These utility suites are a collection of modules which address most common problem areas and or potential trouble spots found on PCs. While some suites focus on data cleanup, some provide continual monitoring and real-time system statistics like monitoring CPU temperature and RAM usage. The common thread with all these suites are their abilities to clean temp files, remove incorrect registry entries, ensure privacy by deleting traces of information left by Internet sessions and more. For the purpose of these reviews, the focus will be on the ease of use, and how effective a utility is using a one-click feature.

All the software reviewed here was tested while installed at the same time. I didn’t detect any incompatibilities between them or other programs. We at Gizmo’s like to keep in mind not all users are created equal. Therefore the major consideration in the ranking is how simple a program is to use yet remain effective. The advanced features are secondary. The user can determine their own expertise and whether or not to delve into the advanced functions.

If you have never tuned up your PC, then you should see a real improvement in speed and responsiveness the first time you run these programs. However, on subsequent runs the improvement may be less noticeable, if at all, but it is still a good idea to run them regularly.

Caution: These programs make changes to system files. Before you start with any tune-up programs there are important steps you should always take to help prevent problems and provide a way to recover if anything should happen. Prevention can be your most valuable tool.

  1. Create a Windows system restore point.
  2. Have a recent back up of your critical data.
  3. Read about the utility, review the documentation, become familiar with the automatic vs. manual modes before running.
Discussion Prelude

All the programs tested offer similar features. My first objective was to test them against each other to determine which programs removed the most data using the one-click option. While CCleaner performed admirably (comparable to Glary), it lacked the one-click feature and the additional suite options so it wasn't included in my list. All of the programs reviewed are suitable for the novice user. 360Amigo and ToolWiz removed the most data in my tests. Glary is the best on-demand program performing the fastest one-click clean with good results.

 
Discussion

360Amigo is an impressive program for being in it's first version. When the home screen appears, simply select start scan. A nice default feature is the smart defragmenter to help keep the hard drive defragmented with each scan. The fastest way to launch a scan and repair is from the tray icon. Right click the icon then click "one click cleanup" and 360Amigo will open, scan and clean in one simple step. Since this program is a limited version of the paid version, there are features that are disabled. On the home screen these are listed as Exclusive features. I do like the System Information window though it's not really relevant to the scan. This feature does minimize as a small toolbar on the Windows Desktop by right clicking the tray icon and selecting "show toolbar in the desktop". 360Amigo does offer custom settings on the System Cleaner, System Optimizer and Tools tabs or simply selecting settings by each of the categories on the Home tab under Cleanup. For the novice user I recommend the default settings. As with all of these suites, I recommend reviewing the settings menu to turn off any undesirable features like reminders, updates, launch on startup, etc.

ToolWiz Care in appearance is somewhat similar to 360Amigo. The main tab called Checkup offers the one-click feature, system resource information, and some optional features. Since there is no paid version to upgrade too, all the features are functional, unlike 360Amigo. On the downside the program is missing any help to learn all the fancy bells and whistles. The GUI interface is clean and colorful. The program loads quickly and performs smoothly. The tray icon provides many options from a right click popup menu including the floating toolbar. Hover your mouse over the toolbar to see system resource information. The toolbar says "Time Freeze is Off". Time freeze works like a sandbox. If you're not sure what a sandbox is, read this article. On the right edge of the tool bar is an icon called screen capture. It's like the Window's 7 Snipping Tool. Screen Capture will let you capture parts of your screen to save as a picture image, or edit in the ToolWiz Picture Editor. This program has a lot of useful features, some not particularly related to system cleaning so I won't review them, but they could be worth checking out. As a one-click cleaning tool ToolWiz is very good. While I appreciate the fact ToolWiz is free and the developer doesn't solicite donations, the lack of help and support can leave the novice user floundering with all the gadgets.

Glary will launch by default upon installation. When the main screen appears it starts on the overview tab. Select the 1-Click Maintenance tab, select the Tracks Eraser then scan for issues. I feel Glary is the best on-demand cleaner. Once you've performed the 1-click scan and repair Glary will remember this setting and alway start here. For future scans open the program, click scan, click repair and its done. The fastest of the suites by far. Glary will clean as good as CCleaner with greater simplicity. Click the "Show Details" links next to the "Problems Found" to easily see what was scanned and removed. This program also adds a lot to the startup process, so I recommend adjusting the options in the settings menu. The Advanced Tools tab is for the more experienced user, offering additional features and custom settings. This can be a dangerous area for the novice, so use caution. There are also additional advanced settings by selecting the icons at the bottom of the window. Again I urge caution for the novice. Glary doesn't provide a floating status of the system resource use like the other programs in the category.

 

Please help us by rating this review

 
 
Related Products and Links
 
Quick Selection Guide

360Amigo
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Thorough scan, ease of use, doesn't install 3rd party software
disabled pro features, will likely disappear altogether as freeware since the product has now been purchased by another vendor.
http://www.360amigo.com/
1.2.1.8200
9.66 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows® XP in 32 bit, Windows® Vista, 7 and 8 in 32 bit or 64 bit Editions

On the download page, scroll down, on the left side click to download from Major Geek. The default download will take you to CNET. I didn't have any issues downloading from CNET however its good to have options.

ToolWiz Care
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Runs fast, thoroughly cleans registry, hard drive, and privacy tracking
No help leaving novice users stranded.
http://www.toolwiz.com/
3.1
7.2 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 8, 7, XP, Vista. 32/64bit version

Languages: Arabic, English, Chinese (Simplified), French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian & Vietnamese languages

Glary Utilities
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Fast and simple. Good for on-demand scanning. Clear concise options.
Doesn't provide system monitoring, ads to upgrade to pro version.
http://www.glarysoft.com/
4.7
11.8 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 7, 8, 2000, 2003, XP, NT and Vista. 32 bit and 64 bit version.

Supports 36 languages. Improved History cleaning for Firefox v23, Improved Internet Explorer 11 compatibility.

Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Ian Richards. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

 
Tags

Tune-up utilities, PC tuning tools, tune-up software, tune-up program, freeware

Back to the top of the article.

 

Share this
4.10984
Average: 4.1 (437 votes)
Your rating: None

Comments

by Stanislav (not verified) on 24. September 2011 - 17:08  (80261)

Before using the wipe free space option on CCleaner I had 79 GB of free space on my C drive. After running this (and Windows Disk Cleanup) I now have 75 GB free-less than before. Is this normal? Where did the original space go?

by George.J on 28. September 2011 - 3:55  (80474)

Good job with WinUtlities Free review and various notes under product reviews.

by TexShane (not verified) on 2. October 2011 - 18:56  (80764)

Let's get started shall we?

The only program I use out of these few is ccleaner. Glary has a terrible home page and support for its product, nags me to upgrade, and tries to install additional ad-ware. WinUtilities looks pretty much the same as glary, someone copied someone obviously. And comodo was just an utter pain to use.

Glary Utilities:

1. Nags you to upgrade
2. Ad-Ware during download
3. No info on encryption tools method
4. No info about the so-called "spyware scanner"

Comodo System Cleaner:

1. Only Automated Cleaning
2. Nags you to create a profile for cleaning

WinUtilities:

1. Program looks almost identical to glary utilities
2. Your link to the home page takes me to ccleaner page

by skisandiego on 4. October 2011 - 17:38  (80877)

Thanks for your comments and the catch on the URL link. Had not yet found the template for that section so had to copy/paste and well... Your comments are consistent with my conclusions. I will keep looking for the best and updating the rest.

by skisandiego on 4. October 2011 - 18:03  (80879)

Its difficult to isolate an answer for you when one tool is run on top of another (and we definitely don't want to run them concurrently). My preference would be to stick with one for consistent results. With CC, wiping/secure deletion are options that occur at the end of a "run cleaner" op. Some folks hit "analyze" and call it a day, nothing has changed, run cleaner must be selected. If I were to make an educated guess, one of the two has made a backup of changes, an app has made a restore point or trash was not emptied. Could be the file pointers/chains may have been corrupted suggesting you run one of the disk utilities like chkdsk or another tool referenced on this site, it could clean up any errors and report a different amount of free space. Lastly, different tool views can show you capacities in different formats, raw, formatted, hidden partitions, K=1024 vs K=1000 etc., so if an app reported based on the true K=1024, you would see more bytes; conversely, if reporting the common K=1000, less.

by skisandiego on 4. October 2011 - 18:36  (80881)

Why a registry has to be defragmented and why an optimizer does this? Regardless of Win OS X/V/7, the Registry is sacred and protected space, it operates best when small and of contiguous space. When a reg cleaner, user deletes things, or OS makes changes in the registry, it essentially leaves "blanks" and fragments where those bytes of data were/are. Registry is best when clean, error free and compact. Cleaners take care of junk, registry defrag shrinks it to a more compact, contiguous and therefore more effective size. Since the registry is used for everything, a 10% reduction in size can be very noticeable. With windows disk utilities, the concept is exactly the same, except disk defrag utilities don't defrag the protected registry and visa versa. Hence, two tools. Note, reg cleaners usually keep the cleaner and defrag as separate options, so you shouldn't assume your defrag is being done without your intervention.

The value of windows utilities in Vista and W7 is subjective, IMHO. Usable, probably. Effective, possibly. Unobtrusive? XP is a stable workhorse on old boxes.

by skisandiego on 4. October 2011 - 19:03  (80882)

Thanks, I appreciate your support.

by meletitis (not verified) on 4. October 2011 - 20:04  (80885)

I didn’t see a comment on Advanced System Care, what do you think about it? I used it and it seems ok but I would like your opinions because I’m almost a computer illiterate :-)

p.s. This article and forum is the best I find so far. So continue the good work and many thanks from Italy.

by TexShane (not verified) on 4. October 2011 - 22:01  (80891)

The makers of ASC (Iobit) have a yellow rated Web of Trust security rating, and thus will not be allowed on this site.

by rikishi19 on 4. November 2011 - 4:01  (82687)

I have noticed that Iolo System Mechanic have fairly recently released a free version. This tool seems to regularly come top of many site reviews for paid for software. Free version is obviously a slimmed down version. May be worth a look at here.

by Anupam on 4. November 2011 - 7:03  (82694)

I looked at the site, but could not find a free version. If there is one, please provide a link so we can verify. Otherwise the comment will be deleted.

by mr6n8 on 4. November 2011 - 10:38  (82705)

I could not find a link at the site, but a Google search found it
http://www.iolo.com/promo/cmount/index.htm

It is a CNET download, so probably has their wrapper.

Differences from paid listed here-looks pretty watered down:
http://www.iolo.com/getkey/?p=55FD1D5A-7AEF-4DA3-8FAF-A71B2A52FFC7&b=2F4...

by Anupam on 4. November 2011 - 10:43  (82706)

Thanks for looking it up Steve :). This seems to be some kind of promotion, and not a free version which will be available forever. Not sure though. Also, the download is from CNET, and we won't be recommending it. Don't know if the download is available from anywhere else.

The features are less than the commercial version, but for normal use, maybe sufficient.

Thing to look for is, whether its a one time offer, or there really is a free version. If there is a free version, should be more prominent on their website.

by MidnightCowboy on 4. November 2011 - 11:32  (82709)

Looks to me to be the same scamware as this:

http://www.iolo.com/promo/welcome/scu/

Does the scan, finds oh-so many problems and then redirects you to a registration page where you can pay "x" amount for a one time fix or even more to have a "faster computer" for 12 months :D In all my years I've never seen any such program fix anything, but what do I know :)

by Anupam on 4. November 2011 - 11:43  (82710)

True. That's why I have never been a user of such programs. Never have used one, and never will... which claim to fix all things on the system.

by rikishi19 on 4. November 2011 - 18:38  (82723)

This is where I came across the discovery http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/25191-iolo_system_mechanic_free I do not know if it is definately true freeware. I also do not use these utilities, however I was aware from reading various reviews of this program in the past that it always fares very well for this category of program. Thought it may be useful to point out to the editor there may be a free version available now and let them choose whether to include it. The download on SoftwareCrew (DownloadCrew) site is very small compared to the Cnet download. Not sure why its so small. I cannot find another source myself.

by Anupam on 4. November 2011 - 18:51  (82724)

My opinion is that if a true free version exists, then it should be prominently featured on their site, which is not the case. From the link that mr6n8 posted, it looks like the free version is available just as an offer, which might be for limited time. Its not clear.

Availability of a free version on download sites, but not on the main site, is not good enough for me. Its just dubious.

Lets see what the editor has to say for this. If he does not respond within a few days, then, by looking at the nature of this "free" version, it would be best to remove it from the comments.

by Anupam on 4. November 2011 - 20:19  (82729)

OK, someone posted the link for the free version in the other article. Its here :

http://www.iolo.com/system-mechanic/standard/download.aspx

The download is from CNET, which we do not recommend.

There is also a comparison chart on the page, looking at which I think there are better free programs mentioned on this page. Anyways, I think its better left for the editor to decide what he wants to do with the product.

by MidnightCowboy on 5. November 2011 - 4:29  (82742)

What I see with this type of software is that the vendors state their program is designed to fix issues A,B & C. So, some magazine reviewer initiates problems A,B & C in a test computer and sure enough, WonderWizzo Pro fixes them. In real life though most users do not reach for this type of program until they already have a noticeable problem. These are usually malware related or the result of a system corruption, mostly self inflicted. Now the chances of WonderWizzo Pro fixing case 1 are nil, and the likely hood that case 2 is included in their code is remote at best because there are simply too many variables. All of these program contain a registry function, so called a "cleaner" for whatever reason escapes me because all they do is delete a bunch of keys from your computers brain which according to their algorithms shouldn't be there. Herein lies the case whereby many of these issues can be made worse by using a program such as this. On a clean and stable system they are fine when used by knowledgeable folks as part of their normal maintenance routine. For curing problems though they can be worse than useless and those so affected would be better advised to post their circumstances in a support forum first.

by rikishi19 on 6. November 2011 - 3:42  (82797)

I fully agree with everything you have mentioned. I do not use these type of programs myself, apart from Ccleaner and that I use to get rid of junk files. Not the registry part of the program, apart from looking for stuff that may have been missed by an uninstall.

But seeing as there is a category for this type of program I was merely pointing out this in case it warrents being included here.

by MidnightCowboy on 6. November 2011 - 5:28  (82798)

No, fair point and we do appreciate the input. I know I have a habit of repeating my opinion but the belief is it might prevent one less bout of frustration and heartache somewhere in the world :)

by ektorbarajas on 9. November 2011 - 16:04  (82994)

There is a new kid on the block:
Tweaking.com simple performance boost, It's from the same author of CleanMem (Shane):

http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/simple_performance_boost.html

I've being testing this tiny app and works wonderful !! indeed you can see a diference in performance before and after.

Also the program has very clear explanation of EVERY single tune!

skisandiego, perhaps you should check it.

IMHO utilities like Glary, CCleaner and Comodo System cleaner are just cleaners, Glary Utilities indeed has a bit of tweaking, but the rest are mere temp files & registry cleaners, not really tweaking tools.

Hope you check and give a chance to Tweaking.com simple performance boost

Regards

by mrinmoyjk on 1. December 2011 - 17:01  (84240)

Please check W7, can be downloaded from http://www.majorgeeks.com/D7_d6954.html

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on 5. December 2011 - 7:44  (84403)

Not to be a smart aleck but after reading your post I hope you see why people were complaining about a program with a similar feature which is no longer list in the disk defrag section, although you defended it to the end. That being said, there is a trimmed down version of Macecraft JV16 Powertools that is freeware and may merit looking into for possible listing in this section-
http://www.macecraft.com/powertoolslite2011/

by Carlton Fischt (not verified) on 17. December 2011 - 22:31  (85206)

I loaded Glary Utilities. I did not see how to it without installing the Ask toolbar, so I just let it load since I could just turn it off or uninstall it. Unfortunately, Ask hijacked my internet home page. I reset my home page numerous times, but each time I restarted the internet, Ask would be my home page. I finally uninstalled Glary and recovered my system to a restore point before I loaded this software. Don't load this unless you are a fan of Ask.

by Daddy (not verified) on 21. December 2011 - 22:37  (85654)

You failed to un-check the buttons tthat said install ASK $ change homepage...common misstake...B-well...

by Jaikrishna on 25. December 2011 - 14:37  (85948)

Why not advise the readers to directly download from hxxp://download.glarysoft.com/gusetup_slim.exe [Replace hxxp with http]
or go to http://www.glarysoft.com/products/utilities/glary-utilities/builds/ and Download the 'Slim' Version without the toolbar?
* Saves a few megabytes
* No Problem for novices :)

by Thirteenth on 25. December 2011 - 14:47  (85950)

Hey nice suggestion I shall update the link
thanks :D

by farsa on 25. December 2011 - 19:57  (85961)

Toolwiz Care is a new free PC System Utility that seems to be a good software. Especially their continuous updates and improvements shows that they are working very hard. Moreover, is has got a lot of positive ratings from users in Cnet. I have been using it for some weeks and I can say it rocks! test it yourself and give your ideas about it. Here is the author's website :
http://www.toolwiz.com/

by Thirteenth on 25. December 2011 - 20:58  (85967)

I'll give it a thorough testing an post a review of it :)

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.