A critical review of PC optimization software

Computers, especially those running on Windows, can easily become corrupt and slow over time. Resulting in unpredictable behavior, sluggishness, incorrect files and software, etc., it gets simply annoying at some point. PC optimization software is there to help carry out usual tasks again and to clean up.

Although Windows 10 brought more advanced system maintenance tools, it is still uninsured against clutter, and may users are still enjoying Windows 7 and other older versions. Optimization tools and repair software typically detect and delete old junk files, boost RAM and boot up time, check registry issues. We took top ten tune-up utilities as suggested by Google search and put them to test.  

Software Official website Version Size, Mb License
1 iolo System Mechanic website 18.0.2.486 27 $50
2 IObit Advanced SystemCare website 11.5.0 123 $20
3 Ashampoo WinOptimizer website 16.0 66 $20
4 Wise Care 365 website 5.1.9 40 $30
5 Glary Utilities website 5.107.0 50 $40
6 Advanced System Optimizer website 3.9.3645 78 $40
7 WinUtilities website 15.4 28 $30
8 WinZip System Utilities website 2.7.1100 70 $40
9 AVG TuneUp website 16.79.3 295 $50
10 Razer Cortex: Game Booster website 9.1.7.901 191 Free

Top PC optimization software 2018

First, let’s summarize main findings about each utility, with pros and cons, and then you will find performance tests table at the end. 9 out of 10 PC optimization apps have a free version or a trial period along with paid annual license to use, while one app is totally free. Whichever way, they’ll help you optimize your slow PCs for faster response, quick task handling and better overall performance.

PC optimization utilities perform deep scans, find and fix problematic areas. Repair functions may include hard drive defragmentation, registry repairs, RAM and disk space freeing, junk file removal, etc. Some are basic, others are more advanced, while all of them have ‘repair all/fix all’ option. We tested every utility in the same repetitive manner on a 8GB RAM PC on Windows 7 Professional.

1/10: System Mechanic

OS: Windows | Installer: 572 KB | License: Freeware |  Developer: iolo technologies, LLC.

To condense features into one sentence would be naming cleanup (remove junk files), booster for Internet settings, disk defragmenter, memory mechanic (to free RAM from idle apps), Windows startup optimizer, system troubleshooter. There’s more to try to impress customers, though a free version will be of better value, and there’s a discount for 1-year license right now.   

  • Pros:
  • Wide array of PC optimization tools
  • Unlimited installs, one-click cleanup
  • Various scanning options
  • Cons:
  • Uninformative reports
  • Many features only available in Pro
  • Customer support lacks contact options

Download System Mechanic FREE / $50 at iolo

PC optimization apps

2/10: Advanced SystemCare

OS: Windows Vista, XP | Installer: 42.4 MB | License: Freeware, Shareware | Developer: IObit

A tune-up tool from IObit with features like security diagnosing, protection against browser malware, disk cleaner, CPU and RAM performance monitoring. In terms of speeding up a PC, there are options to switch off unnecessary services, accelerate hard drives, perform basic optimization, as well as manage files and processes, recover files, etc.

  • Pros:
  • Installation process is easy and quick
  • Lots of PC system optimization capabilities
  • Bitdefender antivirus engine inside
  • Cons:
  • Upsell offers and ads in the app
  • Not so strong in blocking malware
  • Average in anti-phishing tests

Download Advanced Systemcare FREE / $20 Pro at IObit

pc optimization programs

3/10: Ashampoo WinOptimizer

OS: Windows | Installer: 25.5 MB | License: Freeware, Shareware | Developer: Ashampoo

WinOptimizer will provide system maintenance through a cleaner tool, erasing internet trails, repairing registry, conducting pro-active defragmentation, etc. Users have possibilities in file management, system diagnosis, shutdown of system services, and even customizing Windows OS.

  • Pros:
  • Powerful system scan and 1-click fix
  • Automatic repair of invalid entries on start up
  • Accelerate system boot with boot sector optimizer
  • Cons:
  • No custom install
  • Can erase system restore points
  • Adds store link to desktop

Download WinOptimizer FREE$20 at Ashampoo

4/10: Wise Care 365

OS: Windows | Installer: 9.4 MB | License: Freeware | Developer: WiseCleaner.com

Wise Care 365 is a PC speed up utility that goes beyond a typical disk cleaner. Along with hardware overview, it will show you its temperature, as well as even local temperature in a room/office. It also hides tools such as disk eraser, password generator, data recovery, backups. Its both free and paid, supports English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish languages, and provides 24/7 technical support for paid customers.

  • Pros:
  • Lots of extra handy tools
  • User control over areas to clean or boost
  • Adds tools of choice to right-click context menu
  • Has a portable app version
  • Cons:
  • Free version very limited
  • No help in processes heavy on RAM
  • No antivirus included
  • Focus on older versions of Windows

Download Wise Care 365 FREE / $30 at WiseCleaner

pc optimization utilities

5/10: Glary Utilities

OS: Windows | Installer: 16.4 MB | License: Shareware | Developer: Glaryutilities.com

A simple and straightforward PC optimization tool with all the basic functions. It consists of modules that are responsible for different areas: Cleanup & Repair module, Optimize & Improve module, Privacy module, Files & Folders module, System Tools module. The latter one could be of great benefit, for example, when monitoring app on PC to prevent spyware, managing browser add-ons, etc.

  • Pros:
  • Effective in optimization and cleanup
  • Nice interface, easy to use
  • Speeding and tuning up every area
  • Cons:
  • Some tools are a bit slow
  • Not the easiest or fastest to install
  • Freeing only little disk space

Download Glary Utilities FREE / $27.96 at Glarysoft

pc optimization tools

6/10: Advanced System Optimizer

OS: Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista and XP | License: Trial version 15 days | Money back guarantee: 60 days | Developer: Systwak 

We’ve seen A.S.O. in every possible list of PC optimization software, so, of course, we tested it too. What we liked was the fact that this tool can do it s job quietly in the background and not eat much resources. But the first thing that catches the eye is the interface – resembling a disk defragmentation tool on Windows XP years back. No wonder, it includes this feature too. In addition to the basics, ASO offers gaming no-interference optimization via a virtual private desktop, driver updater, encryptor, and other extra niceties.

  • Pros:
  • Deep and comprehensive cleanup
  • Additional tools in the package
  • System backup, tools for privacy
  • Cons:
  • Backup functionality quite stiff
  • Only one backup per day allowed
  • It flags some settings and cookies as threats

Download Advanced System Optimizer FREE / $40 at Systweak

7/10: WinUtilities

OS: Windows 10/8.1/2003/7/Vista and XP | License: Free, $39.95 Onetime | Developer: Xp-tools

Here’s a shortlist of WinUtilities functions: disk backup, file recovery for Windows, document protection, registry backups and restoring, disk analysis and defrag, duplicate file removal. For those willing to purchase Pro there are 2 fine options: $29.95 one-year license or $39.95 lifetime. Both have an additional feature for encrypting important files. On the other hand, the program isn’t much sophisticated.

  • Pros:
  • Works fast and smooth
  • Multiple languages, help documentation
  • HTML reports for different modules
  • Cons:
  • Not too different from Windows utilities
  • Very little effect on RAM boost
  • No disk cleanup or anti-malware

Download WinUtilities FREE / $30 Pro at YL Computing

best pc optimization software

8/10: WinZip System Utilities

OS: Windows 8/10 | Installer: 2.77 MB | License: Trial version 15 days, annual subscription $7.99 | Developer: WinZip Computing

At this point, we can clearly confirm that there are plenty of actually free PC optimization software. WinZip is another example, as free version has all you need: PC diagnosis and a single click fix, registry cleaner, recovery, protection against privacy-exposing traces. Purchase full-feature product and you also get driver updater, Windows updater and hard disk explorer (to manage and improve).    

  • Pros:
  • Free scan, clean UI
  • More than 20 tools in the package
  • Game optimizer
  • Cons:
  • No Windows 8 support
  • Duplicates Windows functionality
  • Treats minor and major issues similarly

Download WinZip System Utilities FREE / $40 Suite at WinZip

PC repair software 2018

9/10: AVG TuneUp

OS: Windows 7/8/Vista and XP | Installer: 3.0 MB | License: Free to try | Developer: TuneUp Software GmbH

Big guns showing up at the party, pardon the saying. The most expensive PC repair tool ($49.99 year subscription) out of all ten apps, surely enough offers a free version, which is a 15-day trial. So, what’s in store? One-click fix for separate modules, i.e. Maintenance, Performance Optimizer, Live Optimization. Troubleshooting, disk cleanup, duplicate finder, disabling automatic program execution – for sure. Plus possibilities like customizing Windows, ‘turbo’ and ‘economy’ modes, etc. 

  • Pros:
  • Familiar and easy to use
  • It can automate basic maintenance tasks
  • Unlimited installs, support for Mac & Android
  • Cons:
  • Installs additional unwanted apps
  • Non-stop running, false alarms occasionally
  • Results don’t correspond with promotion

Download AVG TuneUp FREE / $50 at AVG

pc tuneup utilities

10/10: Razer Cortex: Game Booster

OS: Windows 7/8/Vista and XP| Installer: 40.0 MB | License: Freeware | Developer: Razer

And one final and very specific utility: Game Booster by Razer Cortex. As title suggests, this PC tune-up tool is designed for gamers and comfortable gaming experience. That is hit #1. Hit #2 is a freeware model – totally free to download and use whenever and wherever. Now, how it eventually works? Game Booster launches momentarily as you start any game on your PC and shuts down program, and this frees up resources and RAM. When you finish the game, all goes back as it was before. Simple.

  • Pros:
  • PC optimization for good gaming performance
  • Able to cast gaming sessions on the web
  • Free to use, user-friendly interface
  • Cons:
  • Suspicious in terms of malware
  • Repeated sign-ins and only online use
  • Requires .NET framework

Download Razer Cortex FREE

pc optimizer software

Performance tests

We ran each utility on the same PC, in the same environment, repetitively. We didn’t count performance boost in percentage, because it would be inaccurate due to testing 10 apps in a row. In terms of performance, 2 utilities – Advanced SystemCare and Wise Care 365 – found the biggest number of issues, though its relative in a way too. Razer Cortex gave the most considerable RAM boost. But judge for yourself.

Software Issues found Junk files Privacy issues Registry issues Disk optimization RAM boost Services stopped
1 System Mechanic 271 n/a n/a 6 n/a n/a n/a
2 Advanced SystemCare 5253 551 mb 6 0 1826 458 mb 9
3 WinOptimizer 157 509 mb 2 124 n/a n/a n/a
4 Wise Care 365 4758 1.2 Gb 86 418 n/a n/a n/a
5 Glary Utilities 139 147 mb 0 43 1 388 mb n/a
6 Advanced System Optimizer 289 n/a 1036 86 n/a n/a n/a
7 WinUtilities n/a 2 n/a 1114 n/a 500 mb n/a
8 WinZip System Utilities 95 n/a 886 64 n/a n/a n/a
9 AVG TuneUp 53 413 mb n/a 208 n/a n/a 9
10 Razer Cortex 42 1.9 Gb n/a n/a n/a 885 mb 14

2 sharings