If you're a Windows PC owner, you probably know all too well that your machine can get cluttered up over time with software "junk." System utility suites are designed to keep your PC humming and speed up processing by giving you tools to assist with cleanup. No two suites are exactly alike, however. In this article, we'll help you to choose the best product for you by highlighting the top five, based on rankings by our expert review team.
The products vary in terms of the approaches taken to system cleanup, as well as price, ease of use, effectiveness, and the types of utilities included. Moreover, some suites offer extras such as anti-malware tools, driver update capabilities, or disk scrubbers.
Here is our list, in order of the ratings the products received for criteria such as usability, design, performance, features, and price vs. value. To learn more about specific product capabilities -- and the pros and cons of each suite -- click on the links below to read the full reviews.
#1: WinZip Systems Utilities Suite (SUS)
SUS contains more than 20 system utilities, grouped into categories such as Smart PC Care, Registry Optimizers, Disk Cleaners & Optimizers, Windows Optimizers, Security & Privacy, Backup & Recovery, Common Problem Fixers, and Regular Maintenance.
Common concerns that WinZip SUS addresses include memory optimization; automatic updates to new drivers; removal of unwanted cookies; password protection of files; recovery, or undeletion, of inadvertently deleted files; and "secure deletion," to wipe disk space so that deleted files can't be retrieved. That's just for starters.
For example, SUS also comes with a Game Optimizer, a "private virtual desktop" designed to let users play games with maximum processing power, without interruption from other applications.
#2: Advanced System Optimizer (ASO)
ASO is easy to use, and it presents a number of optimization tools, giving the user options within the tools to exclude certain choices for whatever reasons the user might have.
Tools include Cleaner, Optimizer, Smart PC Care, and System Protector, for instance.
The registry scans for ASO's Cleaner and Optimizer tools are fast and thorough.
The best drawing card for ASO is that it makes the user aware of what tweaks can be made and gives the user a safe platform to try those tweaks, see if they work, and undo them if they don't.
#3: TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities is touted as your "ultimate PC cleaner, optimizer and troubleshooter."
Features include a disk cleaner, a browser cleaner, "Live Optimization 2.0," for stopping performance-sapping programs, and "1-Click Maintenance," a tool which can be configured to run automatically at startup or whenever the PC is booted.
This suite gives you a tabbed screen which allows you to select areas to analyze.
Choices here consist of "Status & recommendations," "Optimize computer," "Clean up computer," "Fix problems," and "Customize Windows."
#4: Magix PC Check & Tuning
Magix PC Check & Tuning provides capabilities that include one-click check and optimization; driver and software update; live system monitoring; a high-speed mode; a performance check; a hard disk and Internet "traces" cleaner; and file/drive "scrub."
The suite contains tools such as PC Check, Increase Performance, Free Up Memory, Performance Check, Configure Windows, and Info - My PC, which gives you information such as the temperature of the hard drive and its age, in terms of how long the hard drive has been operating since it was installed.
A key strength is that Magix PC is very good at asking for permission before performing potentially system-impairing acts.
#5: System Mechanic Pro
System Mechanic Pro is comprised of three categories of tools. One of these is an antivius/antimalware tool called System Shield.
A second category is made up of a series of optimizers that shuffle the contents of fragmented objects in memory, as well as on hard drives and solid state drives, in efforts to speed up your system and make it operate more smoothly.
The third category consists of an emergency toolkit containing capabilties such as the file un-deletion package Search and Recover and the secure deletion tool known as DriveScrubber. There are also tools that clean up Web browser caches and remove redundant programs.
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