5 PC clean-up utilities and tools:
In this article you will get information about “5 PC clean-up utilities and tools”. If you’re a level 20 PC nerd. You’ll go to extreme lengths to improve system performance. And if you have budget to spare, you’ll apparently first turn to hardware upgrades and wants some tools & utilities. An almost surefire way to get an old PC purring like a hot rod.
Sadly, though, throwing money down the hardware hole isn’t always an option during our uncertain economic times. So free software tools that commitment performance dividends become an enticing option. 5 PC clean-up utilities and tools. These utilities purport to cure a multitude of PC ills. These utilities make huge claims of improved performance, faster boot times, and enhanced privacy. Some claim to help even with relatively new PCs running Windows 8.
Plenty of these utilities look like scams—search for “improve system performance,” and you’ll notice what I mean. So, to save you the trouble of finding the best clean-up utility yourself. We rounded up five free PC cleanup utilities for the purposes of this article. SlimWare Utilities’ SlimCleaner, Piriform’s CCleaner, COMODO System Utilities, Ashampoo WinOptimizer & PC Booster Energizertech’s PC Booster. 5 PC clean-up utilities and tools.
All of these utilities claim to be able to purge junk data from a system and improve performance. But they’re not all created equal—especially running on Windows 8. Not all of them officially backing Windows 8. But even stated Win8 support doesn’t mean a program will make a big difference on PCs running that OS.
Free for personal use:
5 PC clean-up utilities and tools. SlimCleaner and CCleaner are the no-nonsense members of the group. Both are completely free for personal use, don’t add any useless or bloated software, sport simple interfaces. And weigh in at only 718K (SlimCleaner) and 4MB (CCleaner). Ashampoo WinOptimizer was the largest of the bunch at 16.9MB and had the most complicated interface. COMODO System Utilities wasn’t so far after at 13.2MB. The free edition of PC Booster came in at a paltry 2.7MB.
But it turned out to be severely limited in its usefulness. See, the free edition of PC Booster gives users the ability to fix only 15 problems. That’s just not enough to be useful in the real world. For reference, 2830 issues were found on our test machine. It would cost $35 for the full version that would supposedly fix them all. All of the utilities featured here work in roughly the similar fashion.
They scan your system for junk or useless data that’s just wasting space and mark it for deletion. They also scan the registry to find any unnecessary keys that can be cut. 5 PC clean-up utilities and tools. One of them—namely Ashampoo WinOptimizer—will also automatically check for superfluous startup items. Or services & disable them to free up memory and boost boot times. The other tools can be used to manually tweak startup items as well. Which might be other palatable to experienced PC users who want to get their hands dirty.
How we test to find the best:
To replicate real-world conditions I stuck to a straightforward test routine. While evaluating the effects of each of the cleanup utilities displayed here. The test machine is an off-the-shelf Sony VAIO Tap 20 Windows 8 system. 5 PC clean-up utilities and tools. That hasn’t been maintained at all for the last some months. Save for automatically installing Windows Updates when necessary.
The system is powered by an Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz processor (2.6GHz with boost). With integrated Intel HD 4000 series graphics and 4GB of RAM. Storage duties are managed by a Hitachi 750GB, 5400 RPM hard drive. And the system is outfitted with a 20-inch touchscreen that packs a native resolution of 1600-by-900.
A trial version of Kaspersky Antivirus:
The Sony VAIO Tap 20 is designed to be an all-in-one. Shared family PC/oversized tablet, and that is exactly how it was used. None of the formal bloatware was removed, with the sole exception being a trial version of Kaspersky Antivirus. That regularly threw up so many nag screens that they just became too annoying to ignore. The machine has been regularly used to browse the web. Visit social networking sites, watch videos, play casual games, and do a bit of writing.
Also, a couple of toddlers had a field day installing numerous apps from the Windows Store. Before testing began I installed all of the clean-up utilities in this roundup onto the PC, but didn’t run them. Then I created a picture of the entire OS installation. “5 PC clean-up utilities and tools”. That could be used to easily restore the PC back to pre-test conditions.
Re-test the system’s performance:
Next, I ran some benchmarks on the PC and recorded some pertinent information, like used disk space and boot time. Certainly, I ran one of the clean-up utilities, let it do its thing. Then re-tested the system’s performance and recorded free disk space. The OS image was restored, and the action was repeated over for each utility.
To get a general measurement of system performance, I used the PCMark 7 Productivity benchmark. Which tests things like web browsing performance, starting applications, and data decryption. Boot times were recorded by using the free BootRacer utility. To take any guesswork & probable human error out of the equation. Disk space was assessed by simply recording the amount of free disk space being reported by Windows 8’s File Explorer.
The results don’t match the ads:
Our benchmark tests were conclusive, but ultimately uneventful. COMODO System Utilities wouldn’t run properly on the Windows 8 test machine. So I do not have any before & after numbers for that tool. (To be fair, Comodo does not list Windows 8 as a supported OS.) The utility would release properly, but never fully initialize or scan the system properties. So no cleanup options became available in its interface.
Your mileage may vary, but it made for a poor first impression on WIndows 8. All of the other utilities worked well enough, but they didn’t have a important impact on performance. In fact, according to PCMark 7 system performance went down ever so slightly after running SlimCleaner, CCleaner, and PC Booster. Though boot time was improved somewhat with Ashampoo WinOptimizer.
The differences between the apps:
Presumably, that’s because in addition to cleaning up junk files it shut down a few services running in the background. In conditions of recovered disk space, CCleaner was able to purge slightly more junk data from the system. But the changes between the apps were negligible. I compiled the results below so you can see for yourself.
Two of the tools, namely PC Booster and Ashampoo WinOptimizer, had a couple of unwanted importance as well. Ashampoo WinOptimizer disabled the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service. (5 PC clean-up utilities and tools). Which really should have remained enabled on a multitouch-capable test system. And PC Booster makes a scheduled task that caused the application to pop-up onscreen. Asking users to register and buy the full version. That’s aloof gross, and unforgivable in my book.
You get what you pay for:
PC cleaning utilities have their uses, but the promise of quick fixes and enhanced performance are mostly rubbish. With that said, in the hands of an experienced user some of these utilities can be quite useful. And make easy work of junk data and unwanted startup items. If that’s all you want, CCleaner and SlimCleaner were clearly the most useful cleanup utilities. Due to their streamlined interfaces and ease of use (the fact that they’re free for personal use also helps).
PC Booster should be avoided though. The free edition is severely hampered and not even worth the download in light of some of the other offerings. Especially since it’s going to annoy you with annoying pop-ups. Our tests suggest none of these utilities deliver the system supercharge their ads agitate. But if you need a hand tidying up a cluttered hard drive. You should at least stick with a utility that lets you work in peace.