In the article immediately before this article “Spring Clean Your Computer – Step by Step Guide”, I posed the question as to how many of us are concerned with keeping our computers physically clean.
As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it is always good practice to keep your computer’s operating and subsystems clean so that you can get maximum performance from your machine.
With that in mind, I retested some of the free system tools I’ve rated and recommended over the last year or so that will do a great job of revitalizing your system. These free applications are “the best of breed”, in my view.
If you have favorites that you’d like to see added to this list, then let me know with your comments.
Click each pic for a larger view.
CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.
Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.
According to the developers, with one click, Evonsoft Computer Repair will scan your computer and provide a list of the errors found by the application. You will then have the choice of cleaning each item individually, or allow the application to repair the errors automatically.
In my own testing, I found that the application was extremely fast and that it worked as advertised. I did find however, that the lack of a clear explanation left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. I suspect that more advanced users might also feel the same way.
On the other hand, this lack of explanation might be the very feature that the new user will find most appealing about this application. Most new computer users, in my experience, don’t want to know the details; they just want the job done.
Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.
Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.
This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.
The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.
Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”. To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is “safe to fix”.
One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.
This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.
The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.