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 davcock on 27. June 2012 - 20:02  (95444)

I have used them both for about a year. Registry cleaner is good. Disk cleaner is thorough but does delete a few settings, such as Chrome extensions get re-set to default values every time. Apart from that, I like it.

by Douglas (not verified) on 25. May 2012 - 9:54  (93936)

In your review you mentioned that comodo is too aggressive. Could you please explain what you mean with aggressive?

by Polly (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 11:30  (92520)

Very informative, I look forward reading the new reviews and readers comments, a quality site for information.

by Bri (not verified) on 8. May 2012 - 16:20  (93229)

The Winutilities "free" is not free for the most part. I ran the registry scanner and after finding errors I get a button for "Upgrade Now", in other words it wants you to pay for the PRO version. Bit of a scam for a "free" product

by Bumpyroad (not verified) on 20. April 2012 - 22:58  (92342)

Why isn't Advanced System Care on your list. I have been using it for some time; its easy and does a good job. Also gets good reviews from several sources.

by MidnightCowboy on 21. April 2012 - 4:05  (92347)

Gizmo's Freeware only recommends software with a clean (green) WOT (Web Of Trust) rating.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/iobit.com?src=addon-rw-viewsc

by Eugen (not verified) on 2. April 2012 - 8:14  (91563)

Something news system mechanic free?

by kukuhang on 22. March 2012 - 16:47  (90979)

Only glary utilities is a decent pc tune-up utilities. Seriously other cleaners or whatever craps are gonna ruin your pc. But recently i heard about toolwiz too im gonna go try it:D Its founded in singapore and i trust sg products to be reliable. I will give it a go and give u guys a update on it

by paul57 (not verified) on 24. May 2012 - 14:04  (93910)

Hi I tried 'toolwiz' seemed okay until i found I had lost internet access.As soon as I uninstalled 'toolwiz' and restarted pc internet came back.More than likely due to my excessive cleaning 'skills' using said software.BUT BE AWARE.

by Thirteenth on 22. March 2012 - 17:22  (90983)

glary utilities is nice :)but the rest dont "ruin" your PC! why would you say that?
and go for it, toolwiz is pretty nice but i reccomend you disable the "eye rest" feature, its a full screen pop up designed to help you rest your eyes every so often, it gets quite annoying hehe

by Kzo (not verified) on 18. March 2012 - 2:08  (90775)

Postscript: contrary to the Editor's review, this download did NOT try to install any ads or toolbars during setup.

Thanks, Kyuzo.

by Kzo (not verified) on 17. March 2012 - 20:31  (90763)

I must ask: You say Ashampoo is not recommended. May I ask why?

Regards.

by Sikagso (not verified) on 28. May 2012 - 22:52  (94117)

I wouldnt recommend Ashampoo either. It has a habit of breaking PCs even with the safest most basic of features.

Many users, including myself, have had boot up issues immediately following the required restart after installing it... and that's before even having used it yet.

by Thirteenth on 22. March 2012 - 5:46  (90964)

Hi Kzo im afraid it was the previous editor who put that note in there and he seemed to know his stuff so i thought it best to leave it there :)

i have had a go at looking for it to test it but all the sites ive come across look too dogy for me to download maybe thats why? if you have a safe download link send me an email and i shall check it out :)

by Kzo (not verified) on 22. March 2012 - 18:18  (90988)

No real deal, actually. It was once recommended on this site and I wondered if something had changed to warrant a warning about it. I tried it and thought that it tended to do too much without asking. Thought maybe that might be the reason.

Thanks.

by DAVID HOBBS (not verified) on 14. March 2012 - 22:56  (90625)

THANKS

by antonedp on 14. March 2012 - 15:05  (90592)

Never heard anyone mention [commercial software edited]. Does anyone have any experience or info on this software. Would like to see this reviewed and tested. Thanks

by Anupam on 14. March 2012 - 15:11  (90593)

Sorry, we do not review commercial software here. This is a freeware-only site.

by Kzo (not verified) on 12. March 2012 - 22:08  (90301)

May I respectfully suggest a reevaluation of WinUtilities after its recent update to v 10.44. Apparently YL Software has neutered the program of most of its useful features by hiding a deactivation inside the most recent update. Since they failed to mention the deactivation in their update information I feel they might have acted in a more above-board manner (to be polite). Fortunately, Glary and CC are still excellent choices as companions or alternatives.

May I also add, well done reviews.

by Kzo (not verified) on 9. March 2012 - 17:24  (90144)

Upon the most recent update,apparently without noticeable warning WinUtilities appears to have disabled some of the features of the WU free program. Persons who use the history and registry cleaner may want to turn updating off as the new version disables those, among others. They are now apparently only offered in the pro version.

by rhl7943 on 3. March 2012 - 17:53  (89865)

I recently installed Toolwiz care and it seems to be a great freeware program.
If you could check it out and post your thoughts, I'd appreciate it.
This site is terrific.
Thanks for your efforts.

by billsview (not verified) on 13. January 2012 - 8:37  (87114)

very helpful and very much appreciated. THANKS.

by Brolly (not verified) on 31. December 2011 - 3:36  (86257)

Hi I've just stumbled upon SlimWare Utilities SlimCleaner and it seems to be getting pretty good reviews elsewhere. I'm wondering if it's ever been reviewed and considered here? And if it's not on the list why?

Thanks

by MidnightCowboy on 31. December 2011 - 3:45  (86260)

This is an ad-supported program for which I have only ever seen bad reviews. Please link to the good ones you are referring to.

by swim (not verified) on 29. January 2012 - 12:56  (87983)

Not sure what you mean by "ad-supported" because I didn't detect any such thing. It has worked quite well for me, as it did for cNet which gave it a "spectacular" rating.

[edit] Link removed. cnet is not recommended.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/cnet-downloadcom-wrapped-installer.htm

Their own forum highlights some of these issues. There are many more if you search.

http://www.slimwareutilities.com/forum/showthread.php?910-Problem-with-Browsers-after-SlimCleaner

by Brolly (not verified) on 31. December 2011 - 10:35  (86273)

PC Mag seems to love it that's where I first saw it.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388692,00.asp

Cnet editors gave it a perfect score and users there seem to agree.

http://download.cnet.com/SlimCleaner/3000-2086_4-75279939.html

I just installed it haven't had a real chance to check it out yet.

by MidnightCowboy on 31. December 2011 - 11:20  (86275)

Thanks for the links :) I'm afraid I take little notice of anything other than the date that appears on cnet, but the PCMag article is fair enough. Any decision about whether to include it here though will be up to the category editor. Hopefully the system issues caused by this program in the past have now been resolved with the latest release.

by Brolly (not verified) on 3. January 2012 - 3:56  (86449)

Your welcome. I've just played around with it and am not very impressed. Offered no suggestions for me but I run a pretty lean system.

by Stasou on 29. December 2011 - 21:45  (86189)

Glary Utilities v 2.41 is out.

by George.J on 26. December 2011 - 17:09  (86019)

I'm surprised to see CCleaner at the top of the pack. Personally I'm a fan of CCleaner and biased towards to it, but in this category of PC Tune Up suite, in my opinion doesn't deserve the top spot. It's not a suite actually but is extremely useful for file, disk and regsitry cleaning. IMO Glary Utilties that includes 20 separate tools(or some other like Win Utilities) deserves the top spot for the best 'suite'.

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.