Best Free Tune-up Program For Computer

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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.

 

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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

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Comments

by Anonymous on 11. December 2008 - 9:06  (11751)

I really like your new layout and ratings of the freeware. Great addition in my opinion.

Duskao

by JonathanT on 11. December 2008 - 10:48  (11756)

Thanks, credits go to George and his team for the new layout.

by Anonymous on 9. December 2008 - 23:00  (11700)

Hello Jonathan T.

I just found a new beta "Tune Up" type utility that I have not yet tried out because I do not have a test system other then my every day computer I use at home. As I mentioned it is still in beta and I'm sure still have a lot of kinks to work out, but it is by a good company in my opinion and I figure it might be worth keeping an eye on like many of it's other products. It's Comodo System Cleaner. Here is a download for those of whome would like to try it out, I'm going to wait till I hear something back from you guys with test systems. In case you missed it the first two times I said it, it's in BETA, so BEWARE! :P

http://forums.comodo.com/diskregistryprivacy_cleaner_and_total_system_ut...

The download links are found on the forum page I referred to.

by JonathanT on 10. December 2008 - 9:53  (11716)

Thanks for the information.

by Anonymous on 18. December 2008 - 3:50  (12045)

So, have you tried it yet? Any word on it?

by JonathanT on 18. December 2008 - 6:39  (12052)

Well, there's no one-click cleaning, but you can schedule it to run some of the tasks automatically. There's a tweaking utility and a few file tools. The registry cleaner and disk cleaning seem to be very powerful, but maybe too aggressive. But it doesn't have disk defrag or registry defrag.
Overall it seems like a nice option, especially since it's only Release Candidate, but I personally prefer ASC. It seems to be on par with GU and AWO. I'll include it in the review once it is released as a stable product (ie not Release Candidate).

by Anonymous on 22. December 2008 - 8:02  (12261)

understandibly. Thanks for the info!

by JonathanT on 22. December 2008 - 12:52  (12271)

Glad to be of help.

by korbenPL on 28. November 2008 - 11:05  (11143)

Glary Utilities - been testing thoroughly for 20 days now and hasn't failed me. Highly recommended by korbenPL

by Anonymous on 22. November 2008 - 10:16  (10839)

I have test them all,and now can i say that the System Optimizer
of Glarysoft Free the BEST choise are.
Save and Top whit many options.

by Anonymous on 11. October 2008 - 2:30  (9027)

The System Mechanic is only offering a 30 day trial and not 6 months. I went to the link given. Did I make a mistake?

by JonathanT on 11. October 2008 - 3:44  (9033)

Did you go here? www.iolo.com/casm8
It's still working for me.

by JonathanT on 20. September 2008 - 5:04  (8044)

Hi

I've moved most of the comments to the Debating Chamber here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/forums/debating-chamber/pc-tune-utilities

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