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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. 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

 

ToolWiz Care  is an excellent freeware solution. 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 to, all the features are functional. 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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Related Products and Links
 
Quick Selection Guide

ToolWiz Care
4
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

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/
5.9
13.8 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 category is maintained by volunteer editor acitodg. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

 
Tags

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

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Comments

by TairikuOkami on 5. August 2014 - 11:53  (117773)

Wise Care 365 Free still not included? I have been using it for years and it works flawlessly on Windows 8.1 x64. I have had only one problem and when I reported it, they fixed it and released the new version the next day. Version 3.0 has nice Windows 8 looking GUI, but I do not like, that they included a pointless tray icon with it. I regularly test the best soft in this category and so far I keep Wise + CCleaner. SlimCleaner suite should also be mentioned. Privazer seems nice too, but it does not really clean that much more, but its scan takes hours stressing HDD too much. Glary Utilities could use better GUI. IOBit with its 300% speed improvement's joke is obviously out of question. :/

by TonyH on 14. August 2014 - 15:29  (117949)

Hi Re GLARY, your comment says "This program also adds a lot to the startup process, so I recommend adjusting the options in the settings menu". Sorry, what do you mean?

Is that adds time, complexity, needless options, or handy resources? And what options?

by Naveen D on 21. August 2014 - 17:32  (118136)

Cannot download "ToolWiz Care" from the developer website given above.It doesn't seem to have it on their website.It is available on softpedia.

by MidnightCowboy on 21. August 2014 - 17:59  (118137)

Thanks for pointing this out. There is still a vendor page for ToolWiz Care but unfortunately it is no longer in English. I've substituted the Softpedia link instead. MC - Site Manager.

by joeguru on 24. August 2014 - 4:36  (118174)

Glary will add a lot of monitoring features to the Windows start up that aren't really needed.

by joeguru on 24. August 2014 - 4:40  (118175)

That's a disappointment. I really like 360 Amigo.

by spaarks on 15. September 2014 - 19:23  (118596)

Toolwiz Care. This procuct is dangerous. After using the default cleanup I got "Resource file C_PsdRsDll" error appears when I start the computer.

by MidnightCowboy on 16. September 2014 - 5:31  (118602)

This applies to any program of this type and also to registry cleaners which is why we include a warning advisory in the introduction. MC - Site Manager.

by spaarks on 19. September 2014 - 19:17  (118686)

Yes indeed, I should have heeded the warning - and will probably do so in future!
Even so I have used the CCleaner registry cleaner for years and never had a single problem.

by BobC on 17. January 2015 - 2:15  (120604)

I also had problems with Toolwiz - deleted it a couple of years ago.

Last fall, I ran the latest version of Glary and it ran amok. It deleted stuff it should not have deleted - using its standard default options. I had used it prior for a few years without problems.

I just deleted Advanced System Care (IOBIT) a couple of months ago after updating the latest release. It ended up installing crapola that I did not want and created some minor problems. I still use its Smart Defrag, but nothing else.

I also stopped CNET a few years back as soon as they started installing crapware and hi-jacking my browser, etc. As I recall, when they initially switched to their new "ad mode"/hi-jack business model, I dropped it. I also used to like Softpedia, but then they started the same thing as CNET and I no longer use them. I should note that it depends on what you are downloading - some of the truly free S/W still comes without the crapware/hi-jackers. Yes, I know, in many cases you might get an "option box" during install to "not accept", but a lot of times you have to select the "Customize" option at the start of the install (if the option is made available).

I have found Majorgeeks to be a reliable site and have yet to get any crapware/hi-jackware from their site. SourceForge has also been a good site (although I have heard some rumblings they will be changing their "business model" too).

As far as tools, I use CCleaner, Wise Care 365 and Puran (the Puran Disk Defrag seems to work quite well).

by acitodg on 18. February 2015 - 16:59  (121162)

Thanks for the comment Bob! I just became editor of this category and I plan to take your suggestion and add CCleaner. I will also take a look at your other 2 suggestions as well. Thanks again for the input.

by jadequest99 on 25. February 2015 - 2:50  (121223)

I've used PrivaZer Donor version and immediately had missing files and made my Laptop unresponsive, thank goodness did a registry backup and saved my files before attempting to
use it. I uninstalled PrivaZer and regained my laptop back to operating good again, never again will use that program. But that's my opinion hope that helped.

by George.J on 4. April 2015 - 8:58  (121717)

"I also used to like Softpedia, but then they started the same thing as CNET and I no longer use them."

Are you sure you talking about Softpedia, because it has never went with bundling adware with it's products.

by MidnightCowboy on 4. April 2015 - 9:34  (121718)

Agreed. Sounds more like Softonic to me. MC - Site Manager.

by BobC on 4. April 2015 - 9:58  (121719)

Yes, it was Softpedia. Not every S/W they make available contains crapware. Also, I did not mean to imply that Softpedia actually inserts the crapware in those offerings that contain it. However, you know a piece of S/W is xxMB and when you get a yyKB download "installer", you can bet it will typically load crapware, hi-jack your browser's home page, etc. Most will give you an option to skip it (too many only give you that option via the "Customize" route).

So when you down some S/W from Softpedia and its yyKB in size and then download the same S/W from a site like Majorgeeks or Filehippo, and its xxMB in size, yu know the smaller one is an installer for crapware.

Along this lines, I also have a beef with Flash Player. I use Firefox and whenever I get a Flash Player alert to download the newest update, you get a checkbox - already checked - to also install McAfee A/V. I do not care for it and do not find it as reliable as other A/V S/W. If you happen to install it, you need a special S/W package (MCPR - McAfee ESD) to uninstall it. BTW, they are not the only A/V S/W hat requires a special package to uninstall. Avast is another (see avastclear).

I understand that some outfits have a business model that depends on ads, installing other S/W (ala FP), etc. I have no problem with it as long as they are up front and open about it and not burying it to catch some unaware user - considering most home users are not that savvy - to them a PC is another home appliance - turn it on like a TV and go!

by MidnightCowboy on 4. April 2015 - 11:02  (121720)

This comment from the interesting article linked below sums up Softpedia's approach to what they host and may help to overcome the confusion.

"@geek — Download portals like Softpedia & MajorGeeks do not bundle 3rd-party installers with their own in-house wrappers or offers.

You have overlooked the sad reality that some freeware installers are bundled with crapware by their own developers. Or are you expecting Softpedia & MajorGeeks to unbundle such installers as an extra service ? sunglasses

Using the article's example of the Unlocker 1.9.2 installer downloaded from Softpedia, the reason why this installer offered Delta Toolbar is because Unlocker's developer himself had bundled the installer with Delta Toolbar.

You get the same Delta Toolbar offer alongside Unlocker 1.9.2 even when you download the installer from the official Unlocker site (ie. the developer's Empty Loop website). The only way to avoid this is to choose the portable version which is v 1.9.0. (Accordingly, Unlocker 1.9.0 Portable is also available at Softpedia, w/o any extra wrapper of course.)

Unfortunately, not all freeware developers offer crapware-free portable/ non-installer versions, even if users are willing to settle for older versions that might be more buggy & more insecure.

Note: A recent UI change saw Softpedia downplaying its advisory about crapware-bundled 3rd-party installers. The advisory is now relegated to a brief mention at the sidebar, eg. "What's new in Unlocker 1.9.2 [...] Promotional feature: Fully optional Delta toolbar".

Personally, I prefer Softpedia's previously detailed & explicit advisory about "ad-supported installation", even if it comes at the end of the software's article".

https://discuss.howtogeek.com/t/yes-every-freeware-download-site-is-serv...

MC - Site Manager.

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