Updated July 20,1: Windows includes built-in PC cleaning tools that can do almost all of what the average The best pc performance software cleaning app will do for you. MyCleanPC is one of the most prominent PC cleaning apps — it even advertises itself with television commercials. It found issues on our computer. Every browser cookie and history entry counts as a single issue.
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In more modern times, I build all of my desktop computers myself from individual components, and I apply that same meticulous care to making sure they operate at peak performance on the software side of things as well.
All the opinions and experiences are my own. The test computer used is relatively new, but has been in heavy usage and has not been cleaned recently. The Truth About PC Cleaning Apps There is a fairly large industry built around programs that claim to speed up your PC by cleaning out old files, registry entries, and other miscellaneous junk that supposedly builds up over time from normal daily computer use.
It makes a certain amount of logical sense on the surface, but do the claims really hold up under investigation? Registry cleaning is one of the major features of many PC cleaners, but it has never really been proven to do anything to speed up your PC.
Microsoft used to make one, discontinued it, and eventually issued a statement about them: We strongly recommend that you only change values in the registry that you understand or have been instructed to change by a source you trust, and that you back up the registry before making any changes.
Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved. Issues caused by these utilities may not be repairable and lost data may not be recoverable. Microsoft Support Despite that warning, all of the major PC cleaners include some type of registry cleaning feature, but we also recommend that you do not use these tools no matter who developed them. An Important Note About Security Most software developers are interested in creating the best possible program, but not everyone is so admirable.
Some developers are merely interested in making money, and a few try so hard to make sales that their tactics wind up uncomfortably close to the tactics used by scammers. It just goes to show you the importance of having good security practices!
Some people are comfortable using system tools, command lines, and editing registry entries, while others are content to check their email and watch cat videos without knowing or caring what a command line is. That being said, it can be much easier to have a single program that handles all the little maintenance tasks easily for you.
Almost all of these PC cleaning app functions can be handled using other aspects of Windows, but it is still helpful to have them all in one place. They need comprehensive options. Many PC cleaning apps claim they can speed up your PC dramatically, but the reality is that there are usually several small issues that can be fixed and monitored. That makes it essential for a PC cleaning app to cover a wide range of options, from managing your startup programs to helping maximize your available storage space.
Having a few extra functions like duplicate file checking and full uninstallation management can be very useful too! They should be easy to use. Windows already lets you manage most if not all of the functions offered by PC cleaning apps, but it can be finicky and time-consuming to handle things that way. A good cleaning app will bring all those functions together in a single place, and make the whole process easy to manage.
They should get updated regularly. They must not try to scare you into buying them. Some shady software developers try to take advantage of that fact by scaring users into thinking something is going desperately wrong unless you buy their software this very second.
No good mechanic would do that, and no good software developer would either. They must be affordable if you decide to purchase.
That means that affordability is key and that any developer trying to offer users a yearly subscription to their program might not be offering the best value for money. They must be compatible with all recent Windows versions. Windows has gone through a number of different versions lately, and many people are still running Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.
Since upgrading can be expensive, the same household will often have multiple computers running different versions. It offers a decent set of cleaning features such as free space, startup program and uninstall management wrapped up in an easy-to-use interface. It also throws in browser extension management and privacy cleaning, as well as a secure delete feature. In addition to offering on-demand cleaning, CleanMyPC also has some excellent background monitoring options.
It keeps track of space being used by your Recycle Bin and whether or not a new program adds itself to your Windows startup sequence. Instead, they simply limit the amount of free space you can clear to MB while letting you test out the other features. Best for Enthusiast Users: TuneUp offers an impressive set of features in a simple, well-designed interface centered around the various tasks that you might want to perform: AVG has also packed in secure delete features, browser cleanup options and a set of live optimization modes.
This is a great feature that is primarily intended for laptops, allowing you to manage your background applications and connected devices on the fly with a single click. Unfortunately, the slick grey interface disappears once you get down into the detail views of each of the tools, but they still provide an excellent level of control, as you would expect from an enthusiast-level app. One of the best features of AVG TuneUp is that you can install it on as many devices as you like, including all versions of Windows from XP onwards, macOS and even Android smartphones and tablets — all using the same subscription!
The Awkward Runner-Up: Avast CCleaner formerly owned and developed by Piriform, free. The CCleaner team had a major security and PR disaster in September , when it was discovered that the version of the program available on the official download server had been infected with Floxif trojan malware. In addition to some of the more standard cleaning tools like startup program management, registry cleaning and complete management for uninstalling programs, there are a huge number of other tools packed in here.
The one thing that I find most deeply frustrating about this program is the interface. If the interface was updated to something more rational and user-friendly, it would be a much stronger contender. I did notice that after running the 1-Click Optimization all caching on my browser had been temporarily disabled, and all of my cached CSS files had been removed. This had the side effect of breaking every website I visited until I did a hard refresh to fix them, but the broken web pages might have confused an inexperienced user.
Norton no longer offers a free trial on their website, but you can still find a copy of the free trial here. If you want to go ahead and buy right away, you can do so directly from Norton below. Even more amusingly, the two security scanner results were both from entries in the registry, despite the fact that the registry scanner said everything was fine.
I almost removed it from the review entirely, but so many people recommend it that I thought it was worth sharing my experience. These issues are overshadowed by a much larger problem, however, as before I could even finish testing I ran into some trouble. Regular updating is one of the criteria we used to assess the available PC cleaners, and System Mechanic actually received an update while I was in the process of testing it.
I thought it was a perfect change to test how well it handled updates, so I let it go ahead. It automatically uninstalled the old version, restarted my computer and installed the new version, but I ran into a problem immediately: I thought I could solve the problem by uninstalling and reinstalling, but when I tried to use the trial activation key that iolo emailed me, it told me that it was not valid for that program and was intended for another — even though I was just following its own update process!
Let this be a cautionary tale about the importance of choosing a quality software developer, even among those that have been recommended by others!
You can download System Mechanic from iolo here. Glary Utilities Free This is one of the exceptions to the rule, of course. Keen-eyed readers will note that my boot time has improved by 17 seconds since I reviewed the Pro version! Many users who are considering the Pro version will probably be satisfied with the Free version, and they both share the same regular updates and extensive Windows compatibility.
You can download the free version of Glary Utilities here , and also see a comparison between the free and pro versions. Duplicate Cleaner This program is firmly at the very basic end of the PC cleaning spectrum, as it really only does what the name suggests: There is also a Pro version of Duplicate Cleaner available.
You can download the free version of Duplicate Cleaner here. BleachBit The open source PC cleaner BleachBit is sort of a balance between the two previous free options, offering a range of disk space cleaning tools and secure delete options. It also is the only program we looked at that has a Linux version, as well as a few additional tools that are only available in the Linux environment. BleachBit is available for download here.
Do you have a favorite PC cleaning app that I left out of this review?
The Truth About PC Cleaning Apps
The right app can make a lethargic PC feel new again. These are the best tune- up utilities we’ve tested for breathing new life into your older Windows pc. performance-improving feature set that can get your PC running like new again. sort of productivity software you use to get the most out of your time if. Best PC System Utilities and Repair Software of test computer’s bootup process and improved all-around performance, word and data.
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