Best Free Windows Desktop Software

The Editors' Choice List - Page Index
   3. Best Free Cleanup, Tune and System Utilities for Windows

 

Best Free File Cleaner for Windows

Product ScreenshotCCleaner -- Download | Review

"Quickly and effectively remove unused or temporary files, unwanted cookies, and other unneeded files from applications." Chosen for Gizmo's 9 great freeware.

Additionally, it can scan the registry for issues, erase, manage the startup, uninstall, and clean system restore points.

Related: Also runs automatically at startup or as a task.

What's it for? - Over time unnecessary files accumulate, which can be removed with a disk cleaner to maintain system performance.

 

Best Free PC Tune-up Utility for Windows

Product Screenshot360Amigo -- Download| Review

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.

What's it for? - Intended as an all-in-one PC performance optimizer and tweaker to simplify system tasks that typically require many separate specialty programs.

 

Best Free Registry Cleaner for Windows

Product ScreenshotWise Registry Cleaner -- Download | Review

"To decrease the likelihood of causing problems, it allows you to backup the registry before you start and (by default) ignores areas where most registry tricks are played. I caution against changing the default settings unless you have a good understanding of the registry and how applications use it."

Related: If you use registry cleaners such as Wise, CCleaner, Glary, or Revo, be sure to backup and image first.

What's it for? - The effectiveness of registry cleaning is controversial and can lead to the need to completely re-install windows, but for computer savvy users it may help reduce potential conflicts from the leftovers of a few kinds of uninstalled software.

 

Best Free Disk De-fragmenter for Windows

Product ScreenshotUltraDefrag -- Download | Review

"It is simple yet has a lot of customizable options through text files and scripts via two mouse-clicks. Not only is the defragmentation super fast, but also you are not going to notice it's working!

You can keep doing your things while UltraDefrag does what was born to do… defrag. It performs so well you gonna want to carry it in your wallet. A lot of varied boot defrag commands. If your goal is to optimize your system startup at maximum, this is what you need."

What's it for? - Defragmenting your hard drive on a regular basis is a sound housekeeping habit. It can greatly increase system performance and relieve stress on your hard drive.

 

Best Free Secure Erase Utility for Windows

Product ScreenshotEraser -- Download | Review

"Highly effective at wiping the free space, leaving behind only unrecoverable nonsense file names on modern size hard drives. It erases the unused disk space (or "free space"), cluster tips (or "slack space"), individual files or folders, and data in the recycling bin."

What's it for? - Normal file deletion doesn't prevent a common file recovery program from recovering your files, so eraser utilities are helpful to permanently delete any personally identifiable or unwanted files to protect your privacy.

 

Best Free Startup Manager for Windows

Product ScreenshotAutoruns -- Download | Review

"This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations amongst all the startup managers, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.

You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more."

What's it for? - If you have a system full of programs running in the background or a start menu full of near useless tray icons, then startup managers are especially helpful for increasing system performance. Run programs when you want, not when they decide.

 

Related Cleanup, Tune, and System Top Picks and Hot Items

  • Best Free Duplicate File Detector for Windows -- SearchMyFiles -- Download | Review. Detect duplicate files.

  • Best Free Disk Space Analyzer for Windows -- SpaceSniffer -- Download | Review. Analyze disk space; find space hogs.

  • Best Free Program Uninstaller for Windows -- Revo Uninstaller -- Download | Review. The Windows control panel has limited uninstalling capabilities, but freeware programs like Revo and ZSoft allow for better deletion of programs by removing many files and registry entries that are usually left behind.

  • Best Free System Information Utility for Windows -- HWiNFO -- Download | Review. "an excellent system profiler that provides in-depth hardware information for Windows."

  • Best Free Process Viewer for Windows -- SystemExplorer -- Download | Review. Investigate your system: view active processes, end processes, view resource use of processes, and much more.

 

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Comments

by Babelbest on 7. April 2014 - 5:40  (115543)

Great, wonderful feedback

by nicholasbbyrd on 26. November 2013 - 18:17  (112554)

I was wondering if anyone has used any of the recent versions of Puran Utilities, especially Puran Defrag since they all became free for personal and non-commercial use? Now,it does bundle with an opt-out version of the Babylon Toolbar but then so do many free utilities these days, or at least some toolbar such as Bing or Google. The free version does include boot-time defragmentation of the MFT, Pagefile, and systems files. I'm testing it today, it seems like the site has a lot of useful utilities and I watched it carefully with a file monitoring program during install, didn't seem to bring anything unwanted in.

Edit: I also wanted to thank you and your team for this very useful website, it's allowed me to feel comfortable directing some of my less tech-savy, but curious to learn, friends and clients to a site that I know will give a thorough peer review before giving any piece of software the okay. I've found quite a few here myself, including ones I now own a small business license for, Teamviewer alone allowed me to expand my still small but growing tech service company.

by ejmfoley on 21. October 2013 - 6:34  (111630)

S.I.W. isn't free any longer.

by joeguru on 28. October 2013 - 3:47  (111820)

The portable version our link provides is free.

by RandyDoqa on 12. September 2013 - 1:14  (110660)

Can you please update this page and the pages "2 - 8" in a dynamic way, because i find differences in the best choices between those pages and the original page which have the review of the software, and in some reviews as "Best Free Antivirus for Windows" and "Best Free Firewall for Windows" i found that the best choices doesn't have the highest rate by the person who updated the reviews, so please i need a clear view to know what is the best choice in every category.

I rely on your website to get the best freewares for my PCs, and i am completely sure that other millions of users did too, so please keep all the reviews up to date and clear in the best choices.

By the way if you need a help in updating those pages i can do it for you, i noticed that the last update was in 8 of July and we are in 12 of September, it is a long distance, so if i can help i am ready for that.

And thank you so much for your reviews.

by joeguru on 15. September 2013 - 14:39  (110728)

Thank you again for pointing out the issues. As the new editor for this category I reviewed all the pages and Best Of entries finding a total of 6 issues. These will be resolved asap. Also thank you for offering to help. If you would like to be an editor, please see the link titled Become a Reviewer in the left hand sidebar menu.

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:34  (105920)

No review on AOMEI Backupper? I found it has very extensive feature for disk imaging software, plus it's free for personal and commercial use.

The product you posted has an overall poor WOT rating (Web Of Trust) and has been spammed here on numerous occasions therefore it will not be featured. MC - Site Manager.

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:40  (105956)

My WOT icon still green when I visit the website. That's very unfortunate.. looks like a good program but I can't find any review of AOMEI Backupper from reputable website yet.

by MidnightCowboy on 5. March 2013 - 9:49  (105959)

Two of the ratings are already at orange and the others are marginal. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/aomeitech.com?utm_source=addon&utm_con...

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:56  (105961)

Oh I see.. I only see the WOT icon at the end of the link (I'm using WOT extension in Chrome), never actually roll over on it to see the details :)

by MidnightCowboy on 5. March 2013 - 10:03  (105962)

Sometimes the WOT ratings can be manipulated maliciously by say rival vendors or fanboys of other products but this practice is not as widespread as the "knockers" of WOT would have you believe, and anyone so affected can have it rectified via dialogue with Web Of Trust. That said, we were inundated with Aomei spam here at one point which is no doubt where many of the adverse ratings stem from. MC - Site Manager.

by tberi on 27. January 2013 - 20:21  (104868)

I am unable to access my registry server license key # to complete/activate the initial scan/repair process for [name removed].

by MidnightCowboy on 27. January 2013 - 23:37  (104872)

Please contact the support service from where you obtained the product. MC - Site Manager.

by dbrew4 on 3. January 2013 - 13:36  (104197)

I think MalwareBytes Anti-Malware is great. Thanks for the review. I have been using Spybot and Avast for years and after a scan, MalwareBytes picked up several threats that Spybot and Avast missed. I know that MalwareBytes has a paid full time product but is using Avast and MalwareBytes (as on-demand) sufficient?
Tks
Dennis

by MidnightCowboy on 3. January 2013 - 13:43  (104198)

No one or even two things are "sufficient" on their own or together. Rather, a layered strategy covering the whole Windows system and how it is operated is necessary in order to reduce your risk to the minimum possible. There is more here. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/safe-computing-under-hour.htm

by GeorgeH on 2. January 2013 - 16:46  (104168)

UltraDefrag doesn't say it will work on Windows 8 but I tried the portable version and it works quite well on Win8. The help says the optimizer part of the program put the most used files at the beginning of the disc and it seems to make my computer run faster. It did take a couple of hours to run although the disc had never been defragged before and was severely fragmented.

Thanks for the review,

George

by dlwatib (not verified) on 25. November 2012 - 10:03  (102875)

What I look for in a PDF reader is a lightweight program that will load quickly, yet support any PDF I throw at it, and let me edit any form in it. I would also like it to let me copy text and images to the clipboard and print or export portions of it. Foxit Reader performs admirably for me. The only time it doesn't do what I want it to is when the document author denied permission for certain functions. IMHO it should merit at least a mention on your list.

by MidnightCowboy on 25. November 2012 - 10:07  (102876)
by Brolly (not verified) on 21. November 2012 - 8:47  (102663)

I was coming here hoping to find apps for windows 8. Hopefully you will have a new section soon dedicated to start screen apps.

by GeorgeH on 2. January 2013 - 16:47  (104169)

See my comment on 1/2/2013.

George

by MidnightCowboy on 21. November 2012 - 8:58  (102664)

We are working on this at the moment. Progress will depend ultimately on how much time our existing team can devote to this project and/or if new volunteers come forward to help. MC - Site Manager.

by Brolly (not verified) on 21. November 2012 - 9:20  (102665)

I'll check back later then. It shouldn't be too difficult as the app store is pretty lacking at the moment, but of course they are adding new ones every day. Anyhow best of luck and thanks for all the hard work.

by Truhiphopdoll (not verified) on 19. October 2012 - 18:07  (101071)

Long time user, first time commentor.

This is going to get kick back from fan boys I imagine, but the squeaky wheel always gets oil right?

Please consider Wp7 and WP8 user in app recommendations. Though our community is small, we are growing. =)

by macsband on 7. October 2012 - 3:12  (100404)

Thank you for leading me to Macrium Reflect Drive Imaging Program!!

by theJman on 13. September 2012 - 7:53  (99195)

That's a good list! Cheers guys

by mouser (not verified) on 10. September 2012 - 3:34  (99028)

It's a real honor to have one of my program's on the list. Gizmo's site has become *THE* website I send people to when they ask me "what's the best free program to xyz". There are some great freeware blogs out there and some great software sites, but right now there simply is no one else that is coming close to providing the kind of serious recommendations that you guys are doing. It's been a real joy to watch the site evolve and grow.

-mouser from donationcoder.com

by MidnightCowboy on 10. September 2012 - 3:58  (99029)

Thank you for the kind words. It seems to us that you guys over at Donation Coder are also doing a great job for the same cause. :)

http://www.donationcoder.com/

by David Morgan (not verified) on 8. September 2012 - 0:49  (98939)

The best free site on the net; no need to search others! Great site. Thank you everyone. I also enjoy reading the Comments from others.

by Brooklynne (not verified) on 3. November 2012 - 13:12  (101792)

This website has all I need and I can find it easily. When I found this website I wouldn't go to another. I didn't go to another because well all I needed was right here. I was glad I found it and I want everybody to at least try it. It is an amazing experience and I hope this stays the way it is forever. I like everybody's post it shows how good this website is. I hope that everybody can find this website.

by Monamie12 on 4. November 2012 - 5:52  (101840)

Awesome feedback! Yes keep on checking and don't hesitate to throw questions anytime

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