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 WizWaz on 22. November 2010 - 23:10  (61525)

Its a scaled down version of the original.That's why its free.

by grimbles on 23. November 2010 - 0:26  (61528)

Appreciate your introductory comments, especially the comparison you make between the all-in-one suites and individual applications. I believe it is important for users to recognise that, generally speaking, separate dedicated apps will be more efficient than the suites.

That said, I'm surprised to see no mention of TweakNow PowerPack 2010. It is genuine freeware, comes with all desirable tools/utilities (including some nice little extras). Also includes the all important backup function, which saves changes automatically, to a built-in restore center.

Respectfully suggest you take a look.

Cheers....Jimbo

by The Cutter (not verified) on 24. November 2010 - 2:26  (61593)

What do you think of Advanced SystemCare and how would it rate up against Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2010, Glary Utilities, Comodo System Cleaner, and CCleaner?

by Anupam on 24. November 2010 - 5:29  (61599)

Sorry, but we do not consider IObit products to be included in reviews on our site, or even for discussion.

by Blackbird (not verified) on 27. November 2010 - 21:48  (61709)

WHY?

by garth on 28. November 2010 - 2:16  (61712)

Because of their unethical business practices.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10389650-245.html

by MidnightCowboy on 28. November 2010 - 6:49  (61719)

No products are featured here unless their WOT (Web Of Trust) rating is green.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/iobit.com

As these things can change either way over time we rely on feedback from visitors should they see other links on the site needing our attention.

MC
Site Manager

by Jens (not verified) on 9. December 2010 - 7:38  (62238)

I registered Ashampoo and yet get spammed from their "newsletter" like hell

by MidnightCowboy on 9. December 2010 - 8:43  (62239)

Many vendors use this tactic to market their other products. It's always a good idea to do some research about the software you are interested in to see if this is likely to happen to you before you download it. Some offer a facility to choose not to receive further emails via the settings in your account, but maybe the best way to approach this is to use a disposable email address to register.

by Jens (not verified) on 9. December 2010 - 8:49  (62240)

Yes, right you are. But nevertheless, recommending such Marketing-Ware on this site is suboptimal as long as you don't warn your readers about what will happen after registration - and any "Click Out" - publisher - like Asampoo - instead of a "Click In" habitude is missusing trust and not respecting people. This in fact will swapp back to this site as the recommender. At least for me Gizmo is no longer a producer of trust anymore

by MidnightCowboy on 9. December 2010 - 10:57  (62242)

To make such an analysis is typical of those who expect every last detail to be handed to them on a plate instead of taking some responsibility for what they install themselves. The volunteers who contribute to this site make every effort to advise details which are likely to give real issues such as Ask Toolbar bundles but to suggest that this should include a separate run down of a vendors likely marketing tactics is laughable.

Try the last post in this thread:

http://www.sevenforums.com/software/38686-ashampoo-ver-2010-a.html

by Jens (not verified) on 10. December 2010 - 8:44  (62260)

Sorry to say that, but your answer ist typical for somebody not ready to accept critics and handle them. The post you are linking is even supporting, what I have said.

by MidnightCowboy on 10. December 2010 - 9:57  (62266)

No, this was the point from your original post.

"But nevertheless, recommending such Marketing-Ware on this site is suboptimal as long as you don't warn your readers about what will happen after registration".

As you can clearly see, assuming a basic ability to use Google, the marketing tactics employed by Ashampoo (and others like them) are variable. Some people report receiving several emails a day and others say they do not. Trying to define such practises for every product on the site would probably take up a full extra page per review, hence it's laughable.

The fact remains that if people employ common sense and use a disposable email address to register then the whole things becomes irrelevant anyway.

Having now discovered this like the person in the thread to which I linked, instead of being like them...

"And I wasn't smart enough to use the disposable address, so yeah, my fault".

... you are now trying to shift the emphasis of responsibility on to us.

So as not to close this possibility out altogether though, maybe you can give us some guidance as to the period over which this marketing tactics research should be spread over? A week, a month, 6 months, which do you think would be best? Then, all we need to know is how our volunteers can find the time to amass all this information, publish it on site and keep it updated? :)

by Shane0500 (not verified) on 11. December 2010 - 23:14  (62315)

Glary Utilities and Comodo System Cleaner pictures need to be changed.

Glary Utilities latest version: 2.30.0.1066
Comodo System Cleaner latest version: 3.0.172695.53
CCleaner Latest Version: 3.01.1327

CCleaner Revisions

Con: No disk defrag
This program has a sister program "DEFRAGGLER" for disk defrag

CCleaner runs on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

CCleaner is 2,894 kb (2.8MB)

(MB needs to be capitalized anyway)

by tja23 (not verified) on 21. December 2010 - 8:12  (63026)

Comodo System Cleaner 3.x appears to be quite different than its older 2.x version. It seems to have been pared down to essentials (I did not try the 2.x version). When using it I found it to be VERY powerful in disk cleaning if you opt into some of the default-unselected issues. Beware, partition image recommended. That said, I did not have any problems after some aggressive cleaning of my old Vista system. It definitely goes beyond ccleaner in system areas. It now offers one-click cleaning with adjustable profiles.

However, I removed this program because I did not like the background process it uses which intermittently, i.e. every few seconds, takes up 40-50% of my cpu cycles, averaging about 20% of total cpu, it autostarts and runs all the time. 1) I think Comodo should tell you about it, and 2) I don't think it's necessary, I would prefer it to scan on-demand. Other than this resource-hogging, I liked the program.

by Jens (not verified) on 21. December 2010 - 8:45  (63029)

Laughable indeed. A simple line per product like "We have reports, that registering may generate some newsletter trafic" would suffice" - so what are you romancing about "one additional page per product?" Nobody asks for a scientific analysis of marketing practices. And yes, this is my last post to the theme. It is obvious, that you did not understand, what I mean.

by tja23 (not verified) on 21. December 2010 - 9:08  (63030)

Note: The Comodo service process name is: Cleaner_Validator.exe
You can check it in Windows Task Manager.

by ektorbarajas on 21. December 2010 - 21:27  (63056)

For many years I used Auto MZ Ultimate tweaker, now this program has being re-designed from scratch and it's called MZ Ultimate Booster, it's 100% freeware and works like a charm !

I've exhaustively tested it on one Windows 7 Virtual Machine and on my mother's laptop (Win 7 also) and you can tell the difference before running MZ Ultimate Booster and after.

I've also tested all the programs posted in this section and suggested by other users and I noticed that almost all the programs focus on cleaning files, temp files, optimizing registry but very few of them really focus on what this section really is: "PC Tune up".

It's a fact that by cleaning junk & registry, and that by defragmenting your HDD you obtain a bit of extra performance.

But a real PC Tune up utility must go beyond that, and that's what MZ Ultimate Booster does, in this new version, when you start the optimization process you can see what is optimized.

garrettnorris, I really recommend you to try this great app and consider including it on the list.

it's far beyond the original Auto MZ ultimate tweaker.

Btw. This tool also offer a backup tool, so in case you notice your computer is not working fine after being optimized you can roll it back. (So far I’ve not experienced any issues, so I’ve not restored any backup)

Kind regards

by keithof4 on 22. December 2010 - 20:18  (63067)

Just a note, I noticed Iobit is out of the red with WOT But not quite green.

by MidnightCowboy on 22. December 2010 - 6:59  (63072)

The author is trying to sell the source code for all the MZ tools which doesn't exactly inspire confidence :)

by MidnightCowboy on 23. December 2010 - 5:58  (63113)

Thank you, we monitor these ourselves too.
Iobit will not be featured here again unless the whole rating is green.

by tech steve (not verified) on 28. December 2010 - 10:02  (63392)

i was wondering after reading your review why you left advance system care out of the party?

[Moderator's Note : Link and other part of comment edited out. See reason in reply.]

by Anupam on 28. December 2010 - 11:07  (63395)

Time and again, we have been asked this, and our reply remains the same. IObit had been involved in an unpleasant incident with MBAM, as a result of which they have lost their credibility... and also their website is now rated Orange on WOT. Because of these reasons, we won't include their products on the site.

by keithof4 on 17. January 2011 - 18:43  (64639)

I agree, iobit should not be featured.

by Anonymous123 (not verified) on 16. January 2011 - 6:22  (64640)

"It's always a good idea to do some research about the software you are interested in to see if this is likely to happen to you before you download it."

I never download from download.com or brothersoft without checking on the product first. Didn't know I needed to do the same with products recommended from this site though. Actually coming here was my research before. Not anymore, but thanks for the heads up.

by MidnightCowboy on 18. January 2011 - 6:31  (64761)

I think the main issue here is actually a bit broader.

The market IoBit are in is highly competitive and highly lucrative so it naturally attracts a lot of wannabes. Without a facility for significant investment, it's unlikely that a new product will be able to compete with established solutions. That said, anything promising will be picked up first by Wilders and then by others and develop from there.

Any vendor can create a flashy website and employ an army of spammers to post anonymous comments about how their product "saved my computer" on Cnet and other forums, and I'm sure a lot do :) TuneUp360 is the latest, we delete umpteen comments a day from here alone and the program is complete garbage. Anything vendors feel is necessary beyond this is not just greed or malpractice but demonstrates that their product simply isn't good enough, end of story.

Ultimately such actions get reflected by the site rating agencies of which WOT is one. WOT does have it's limitations, as do the others, but overall we've found it to be the most reliable and we have to set a benchmark somewhere. IoBit only have themselves to blame for the results and no matter what the status of their other software, they will not be featured here until their WOT rating is fully "green". IMO if a few other sites adopted a similar policy then vendors would be more responsible. The fact that other sites rely on advertising revenue from these people though is maybe why it doesn't happen :)

by TRex (not verified) on 18. January 2011 - 17:26  (64792)

MC, are you referring to 360 Amigo System Speedup or is this a program with a similar name?

by MidnightCowboy on 18. January 2011 - 17:38  (64793)

No, this is a program exactly as written. Now has a red rated WOT site for good reason.

by Winston Payne (not verified) on 2. February 2011 - 8:29  (65683)

Ummm... if Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2010 Advanced is only free from V3.co.uk, then you might want to update the links above to point to V3.co.uk instead of the usual cnet location. It is a bit frustrating to install from cnet and wonder why free isn't free, and then go back and RTFM and realize that I needed to figure out what "V3 Software Store" ment. The link is in other spots on the site, like the best of list.

by Av_Crazy on 24. February 2011 - 13:37  (67011)

Just tried the new version of glary utilities 2.32 and it works great

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