Over the last few years, I’ve tried quite a few applications that promise to clean up and optimize your computer. The thing is, there are a lot of different degrees of “clean” if you really think about it. You’ve got junk in the registry, junk in the hard drive like log files, old install files and Internet history, or even just poorly considered settings for Windows utilities.
There are different programs out there that will supposedly clean up your PC, like BleachBit or CCleaner. I’ve even used automated scripts to run those programs on a regular schedule, because I’m so likely to forget to run them on my crazy schedule. If none of those programs work, you could always take Matt’s approach and just restore your PC back to its original state, but what if I told you that there’s one more very powerful PC optimizing app that can help your computer perform better, called Ashampoo WinOptimizer? And what if I told you we’re offering it for free through MakeUseOf Rewards?
WinOptimizer is a lot like the other apps like CCleaner or BleachBit, but in many ways it’s a bit more focused on the “optimizing” aspect of cleaning. The point of running WinOptimizer is to make sure those things that accumulate and bog down your PC get checked and cleaned on a regular basis. The point of running a program like WinOptimizer is that when you install it, to set it up to run on a regular schedule. This is actually embedded right into the setup process – the software will ask you when you want to run it, so pick a time and day that works best, and let it keep your PC optimized and running fast.
What Ashampoo WinOptimizer Can Do
WinOptimizer is highly customizable, and that starts right during the setup process, when you’re asked whether or not you want to tweak any of the optimization settings. I suggest leaving all settings as-is and focusing on customizing them later, once the software is set up.
I do suggest checking the box to auto-search for optimizations when you launch the program – this saves a few clicks when you open WinOptimizer to perform windows optimizing tasks.
In order to gauge whether the software really has any impact on system performance, I ran a quick benchmark test using NovaBench. The software tests RAM, CPU, Graphics and Hardware and applies a summary total of all 4 tests. The summary score of this preliminary test was 336.Once the software launches, it’ll scan your system across three focus areas – what waste you have on your system that can be cleaned up, what areas of the system and drive are available to be optimized, and what settings you may have configured that post any security concerns.
The scan takes a few minutes, so just be patient.
Now, I regularly scan my computer using Kaspersky Antivirus, so I really didn’t expect that the software would find many issues under “Protect“, but to my surprise, it did. Not only a few issues, but thousands to be exact.
WinOptimizer lets you click on each area and step through each of the issues – in most cases they are multiple objects from a single issue that are causing the problem. So, there may actually only be two or three programs or areas causing an issue, but individual files or “objects” are flagged, making the problem look much worse than it really is from the main page.
If you find any issues that really don’t concern you, or areas that you really don’t want the software to clean up, you can permanently hide those issues and prevent them from showing up in your future scans. In this way you can really fine-tune the scan to your liking and for the software that you know are installed on your system and perfect safe – or log files that you just don’t ever want to clean up.
Beyond what the scans find, you can also use one of the many individual modules that you’ll find on the “Modules” tab in WinOptimizer. Modules are individual utilities you can use to target specific areas of your computer. You can use just the Internet Cleaner to clean up your history and cache, the disk doctor to analyze hard drive issues, or File Wiper to thoroughly delete files without a trace.
Once you click on “Fix Issues”, WinOptimizer will go through and clean things up – you’ll see the progress on the main page, and when it’s finished with on area, the status display will turn green and show “No issues“.
There may be some cases where the software can’t repair or clean up all issues, so you may see this notification.
It only means that you need to go back into those areas where the status is still red and take care of them manually.
Most of the time you can just click “Optimize again“, and the issues we get resolved the second time around. Or you can click on “Other Functions” and use the additional modules and tools that WinOptimizer offers to go in and clean up the things that the automatic Optimizing couldn’t finish.
As you can see, WinOptimizer is extremely thorough software, and beyond the cleaning and optimizing tools, you have the additional modules available to help you keep your PC is its best shape possible. I did notice once I ran a second benchmark that my NovaBench score was virtually unchanged. However, like I mentioned, I run other scans regularly on this PC, so there wasn’t really much room for optimizing – but I did notice from the sheer number of issues discovered and cleaned up that I had a lot of wasted space on my system – so WinOptimizer certainly performed as advertised in that respect.
Why not give WinOptimizer a try? I’d like to know if anyone else sees a performance or memory increase thanks to this software. Download the trial or grab the full version for free from MakeUseOf Rewards, then share your experiences and feedback in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Gears via Shutterstock
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