If you’re a Windows PC owner, you know all about how easy it is for your machine to get cluttered up with junk software over time. System utility suites are made for the express purpose of keeping your PC humming along at rapid speeds. They do this by giving you the tools necessary to help you sift through the junk and cut the fat.
As you might expect, no two system utilities are alike – and in this article, we’ll help you find the one that’s right for you. The products below vary in terms of the approaches taken to facilitate system cleanup, in addition to price, ease of use, effectiveness, and operating system compatibility. Most come bundled with anti-malware tools, drive update capabilities and disk scrubbers.
Here’s our list of the top 5 best system utilities suites for your Windows PC, based on criteria like usability, design, performance, bonus features, and price vs. value.
Please note that most of these utilities still don’t officially support Windows 10 just yet. We’ll update this list once more are updated.
WinZip Systems Utilities Suite (SUS)
WinZip SUS comes with over 20 system utilities grouped into categories with names like Smart PC Care, Registry Optimizer, Driver Updater, Disk Cleaner & Optimizer, Backup & Recovery, Privacy Protector, and Regular Maintenance.
Some of the more common and critical tasks that WinZip SUS performs include things like memory optimization, auto updates for new drivers, secure password encryption, dup file removal, file undelete, secure file deletion to ensure files can’t be retrieved, and of course junk software cleanup. It even comes with a game optimizer that gives you a “private virtual desktop” which essentially frees up as much processing power as possible for gaming.
You can buy a single WinZip SUS license for $39.95 per year. It’s compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 7 and 8.
Advanced System Optimizer (ASO)
ASO is made by Systweak and is an easy to use program that offers single-click PC tune up, full diagnosis and scan of your registry, disk defrag for optimal disk performance, driver updater, undelete of accidentally removed files, and a game optimizer for boosted processor speed.
Additional security and privacy tools are also included with ASO that shields your computer against malware like trojans and spyware. A privacy protector wipes your internet browsing history, which can keep you safe from ID theft. A secure file encryptor enables password protection on files of your choosing, and backup and recovery tools can get you back up and running after a crash.
You can buy a year-long subscription to Advanced System Optimizer for $39.95. It’s compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8, and 10.
AVG PC TuneUp
The program formerly known as TuneUp Utilities claims to reduce your PC startup time by 75 percent and extend battery life of laptops and iOS mobile devices by 90 percent. Maybe more importantly, in-house lab tests claim an average reduction of 14GB of disk space simply by cleaning up all of that aforementioned junk software that’s bogging your system down.
It comes with 39 features that include things like Turbo Mode, Performance Optimizer, Disk Cleaner, Duplicate Finder, Disk Doctor, Undelete, Economy and Flight mode for boosted battery length, and Automatic 1-Click Maintenance. It even includes something called Styler that you can use to spruce up your system aesthetics if you’re bored of what Windows gives you.
AVG PC TuneUp is available for a $39.99 per year subscription and is compatible with all Windows operating systems from XP to Windows 10.
Magix PC Check & Tuning 2015
Magix PC Check & Tuning 2015 understands it’s a rarity for people to have only one computer in their home, and boosts the likability of their product by allowing you to install the utility on as many as six computers.
It cleans, speeds up and secures your PC through a number of methods. PC Temperature keeps you appraised of how hot you’re running so that you can shut down running programs and prevent overheat. High-speed mode deactivates unnecessary programs for gaming and other CPU-intensive applications. It performs disk defrag, deletes temporary and unnecessary files (with your approval). Power saver mode also saves up to 15 percent of your battery power when fully engaged.
New updates to this utility software include an uninstall wizard that recommends programs to uninstall that you rarely use, a multimedia data manager that gives you an at-a-glance view of the files and types of files that are taking up all of your hard drive space, and an updated UI that’s far easier on the eyes than previous versions.
You can land a one-year license of Magix PC Check & Tuning 2015 for $49.99. It is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
System Mechanic Pro
The souped-up version of the standard System Mechanic utility software, System Mechanic Pro optimizes your PC, fixes recurring problems and errors, cleans up junk software, and applies fixes to your security settings to protection your PC from malware attacks.
It includes a series of optimizers that shuffle around the contents of fragmented objects to facilitate smoother and quicker computer operation. Junk files are taken care of through a utility called PC Cleanup, and unused programs are wiped out with the aptly-named CRUDD Remover. Memory Mechanic uses up all wasted RAM space in real-time, speeding up system performance.
System Shield brings a combination of antivirus and antispyware protection. Search and Recover can scour through your drives or any attached media device to recover and restore files you’ve accidentally deleted. Drive Scrubber performs the opposite function, permanently erasing data that you don’t want anyone recovering at any point in the future. It also syncs everything up with your online storage drives so that you can access files and folders from other devices without having to log in to your home computer.
System Mechanic Pro is regularly listed for $69.95 but frequent discounts from the designer can save you around $30. It runs on Windows Vista, XP (SP3), 7 and 8.
This article was originally published in June 2013, and has been updated by Vince Font.