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
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 category is maintained by volunteer editor joeguru. 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 Anonymous on 27. May 2010 - 22:11  (50475)

While I prefer WinUtilities to WinOptimizer 2010 in general, I will say that WinOp's internet booster actually increased my download speeds by at least 10%. That's a larger increase than any of the stand-alone internet optimizers I've used. I decided to keep both. Thank you for the suggestion!

Kyuzo.

by binumathew on 1. May 2010 - 11:46  (48890)

I installed Glary utilities; Later I uninstalled the software. Then i found out that my internet is not working. I can get into the net. But when I go to browser, it just stop there without displaying any page. I found out that the system was running low on resources because the process svchost.exe takes more than 90% of the CPU. I stopped the process; but it comes back and blocks the net as before. Disconnecting from the internet also doesn't work.

I had to repair Windows and now it works fine.

I don't exactly know what the reason was. As warned here, I had to be cautious on optimizing the registry.

But after repairing XP, everything was back (Avast, PC Tools, Panda USB, GesWall, Sandboxie). System works perfectly fine.

by db_da_kbl on 17. May 2010 - 4:39  (49824)

I have just installed Ashampoo Winoptimizer 2010 (free). I need to know more about the defrag feature of the software. The software talks about "pro-active defrag"; is this feature available in the free version and I also like to know whether this application monitors my hard drive in the background and automatically attempts to defragment it. I also noticed that after I analyze the level of fragmentation, the software always shows some level of fragmentation in the system drive; this is due to the fact that it includes the fragmentation in the pagefile.sys as well, which generally cannot be defragmented. So what is the point in displaying fragmentation in C: drive, I wonder.

by Anonymous on 21. March 2010 - 2:27  (45919)

The new Comodo System Cleaner now has one-click cleaning. You can even schedule Cleaning. Cnet download.com was so impressed that they say in their review, that they kept it on their computers. I think it is the best on the market now! And it is free!

by Anonymous on 24. April 2010 - 19:41  (48364)

Be very careful. I'm not a novice but I'm no expert. I used this cleaner and it trashed my XP OS. After installing and running this program,and after a reboot my NTLDR file was missing. I presumed that a cleaner program would not delete any system required files and I did not backup before running it.
OH how we learn from experience. I now have to rebuild.
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards"

by Anonymous on 24. May 2010 - 1:51  (50171)

I had a similar experience with CRC (registry cleaner) which I understand is a component of CSC. Very aggressive software - parts of my system were slowed to a crawl & others left non-functional by the deletions. (running XP- SP3) Fortunately the program provided a restore point.
I use and respect the Commodo firewall, but am wary of their disk utilities. Auslogics has very good freeware for defrag-optimization.
Canuck

by Anonymous on 25. April 2010 - 3:34  (48382)

I have used this cleaner for two months now. I have not had a single problem. I don't know why your NTLDR file came up missing. So I am confussed !! Is it the cleaners fault? Is it the systems fault? Or is it the users fault? I am not blaming anything or anyone. I don't know! I say that, to say this: Why do I use a cleaner and never have a problem, and another person comes along and has all kinds of problems! Whats up with that?

by QualityMike (not verified) on 11. October 2010 - 12:19  (59382)

I have used Glary Utilities for the past few years on a machine with XP Pro. I never had a problem. I recently got a new HP computer with Windows 7 and installed Glary Utilities. I ran a complete scan and after the clean up, including a Registry scan, I rebooted. I got a 'NTLDR is missing press ctl-alt-del' and the computer froze. I was never able to fix the problem. I tried system restore and the HP Boot utilities to repair the problem. Nothing worked. I ended up spending all weekend completely restoring the OS on C: and installing all of my programs. What a pain.

by MidnightCowboy on 11. October 2010 - 12:57  (59384)

This is a timely reminder which often needs repeating about the damage these programs can do. No two systems will react the same as the hardware and software component mixes will always be different. Also, as highlighted by the other poster it's virtually impossible to pin point the cause and often you will be left with no option other than to reinstall.

When I was servicing living customers more had problems caused by these things than from viral infections. The one's I managed to convince not to use them never complained that their computers were slow. Each to their own of course but have an image handy just in case :)

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 2:20  (44504)

Been using WinUtilities 9.41 Free for a week.

No problems. Thought you should know.

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 17:47  (44560)

I too have had good luck with WinUtilities. The only hiccup I've had is that, once the defrag program is running, the "stop" feature does not stop the defrag process. I don't usually stop the process, but this is the only oddity I've noticed. Otherwise, it's been an excellent program.

by Anonymous on 18. February 2010 - 6:06  (43870)

TweakNow PowerPack 2009 would be my choice.

http://www.tweaknow.com/powerPack.php

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 22:14  (44573)

I just don't feel right giving my credit card info out to countries other than my own. There is a lot of fraud out there, and it looks like you have to donate to download. It's only 2 bucks, but my credit card info will be out there. Scares the heck out of me.

Looks like a good program though. Maybe it will be a hot find someday.

Maybe for now I will try Win Utilities free version.

by Anupam on 27. February 2010 - 3:35  (44598)

It is a freeware and does not make it necessary for you to give donation. A download link is provided, and you can download from there, without donating.

by Anonymous on 27. February 2010 - 4:01  (44601)

Okay thanks. I will go back and read more carefully.

by Anonymous on 19. February 2010 - 13:29  (43955)

Yes, not bad at all :) What about recommending it together with the other three software featured in this section?

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 18:29  (42992)

Any thoughts on RegSeeker v1.55?

http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm

I've had no problem using this tool.

by Anonymous on 13. February 2010 - 18:39  (43531)

Ages...History...Outdated...

by MidnightCowboy on 13. February 2010 - 21:37  (43551)

How has the Windows registry changed recently to prevent RegSeeker from working?

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 18:44  (42995)

I like it and have been using it for quite a while now, but it can cause problems. It caused a number of problems on some PC's I installed it to, and on some friend's PC's ( Of course, I don't know exactly what they did with it!. It often caused problems with programs installed via MSI installer), so I wouldn't recommend it for most users. One major advantage is its really good registry search component, but this is also only of use if you use a good registry editor as well and actually do a lot with the registry. It is unlikely that this is of any use to most users.

I recently tried the Auslogics registry cleaner, ( part of the free auslogics package reviewed/mentioned here recently), and it is even more aggresive than RegSeeker. No problems as yet but I have only used it a few times so it's early days.

Some problems with these things only arise under certain circumstances/conditions, and some only arise after a while. Hard to say how good/bad something like this is, not least because there is still considerable controversy about whether there is any, or much, point in "cleaning" the registry at all.

by Anonymous on 29. January 2010 - 17:18  (42359)

The review above mentions Uniblue speedupmypc. Is it any good?

by moserw on 29. January 2010 - 17:51  (42364)

Hi,

Uniblue is ok, I was not very much impressed with it and other freeware like Glary Utilities performed much better. But I did not have any issues with Uniblue either to be honest. Give it a spin and see if you like it more.

by Anonymous on 9. January 2010 - 21:04  (40725)

Just a point which is often ignored. There are some good on-board tools in various windows versions, and it is a good idea to try these before installing lots of third party stuff. One of the most important in terms of cleaning disks, expecially before defragmenting is Disk Cleanup (Open Via RUN > cleanmgr.exe)

You can also run it form the disc contect menu.

Windows Clean Manager is a free utility used for Disk Space Cleanup. It is a System tool for Windows XP(Vista). You can use this tool to cleanup all the temporary files generated by the OS and other Softwares. You can also use this tool for Automating Disk Cleanup.

Available Options to cleanup (as of XP Pro SP2):

Temporary Setup Files
Downloaded Program Files
Temporary Internet Files
Debug Dump Files
Office Setup Files
old chkdsk files
Recycle Bin
Temp Remote Desktop Files
Setup Log Files
Temp Files
WebClient Temp files
Compressed Old Files
Catalog files for the content Indexer

If you have never un this program before, you may well be amazed at what it cleans up and SAFELY!

It may take a LONG!! time to complete if you have never run it before.

by rick_mo37 on 9. January 2010 - 23:02  (40739)

This is a good point. Thanks for the reminder.

by Anonymous on 29. January 2009 - 4:59  (14889)

Hello JonathanT and folks. I believe Comodo System Cleaner is out of Beta now and has been fully released to the public. Were you going to re-evaluate this and perhaps add it to your list if it meets the standards?

Duskao

by JonathanT on 30. January 2009 - 2:44  (14935)

Thanks for the info. I will add it to the list soon.

by Anonymous on 12. January 2009 - 22:36  (13771)

Tune Up Utilities is the best!

From freewares CCleaner is the king.

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.

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