I must admit I’m skeptical when I hear about any application that will solve all my Windows problems – especially if it mentions “optimizing the registry” – since most of those that you see online are actually just scams designed to infect your computer with malware.
Having given ioBit Advanced System Care a test run, I can confidently say it’s a great free solution for – indeed – many of your Windows problems. The app makes a thorough effort at both cleaning and optimization, though it did seem a little alarmist during the scan, insisting there were thousands of things that needed fixing with my perfectly operational gaming PC. Despite its tendencies to overreact, it’s more than capable and certainly worthy of the MakeUseOf seal of approval. Read on to find exactly what Advanced System Care (free version) can do for you.
Don’t forget, we have a Best of Windows software page with tons of other great system utilities and apps, and Tina’s fantastic Windows on Speed Guide that you can download for free if you’re looking to optimise your system. Before you do all of this, you might want to run some benchmarking apps too so you can see what a difference it makes.
The app promises to speed up, clean your registry, fix your Windows problems, perform a full privacy sweep and paint your nails. Okay, not that last one – but it does promise a lot. Thankfully, the interface is very tidy and unintimidating:
- Malware scan
- Registry fix
- Shortcut fix
- Privacy Sweep
- Clean junk files
The Quick Care check-up ran through in about 5 minutes and immediately showed me a huge list of possible problems. I’ll be honest and say that the majority of “problems” it reports are akin to saying there’s a pencil on your desk when it should be in the pencil holder, and aren’t likely to cause you any problems really. However, it did unearth a number of old registry entries for programs I could’ve sworn I uninstalled. If you’ve been using the same Windows installation for a while now, constantly installing and uninstalling apps – then I suspect it really could have a benefit to your system to cut down on all the unwanted bits left lying around. The shortcut fix just removes broken shortcuts for old apps, and the cleanup of junk files for me consisted of 500mb of internet explorer caches, which is quite surprising because I rarely use the internet on that PC at all. Just goes to show, I guess.
On top of the quick care functions, Deep Care adds a selection of optimizations, vulnerability fixes and a disk defragment. Optimization basically means disabling services that the majority of users won’t need to be running, so I was pleasantly surprised by that option.
The “passive defenses” option sounded a little suspect to me, but it does secure your system from a variety of known malware and viruses – so if you’re type of computer user who insists on running an anti-virus, you should really appreciate this section. It certainly offers peace of mind for those of us with family who aren’t quite as selective in their choice of internet destinations.
Just so you know, each time you run the quick or Deep Care routine, the program creates a rollback in case some of the changes had a less than desirable effect. Given how the app actually does slash and burn through your registry and list of running services, this is a welcome feature.
Finally is the Turbo Boost mode, a quick set of optimizations that disables a whole load more core Windows services. I do suggest you run through the wizard and read each item carefully though, as it does disable quite a lot. For giving your system a quick boost for the latest game though, it performs well. In fact, to test it I ran 3DMark Vantage before and after – though bear in mind I had already ran a complete deep care of the system prior to testing speed boost mode, so it was already already performing fairly optimally. I’m pleased say that my 3DMark score jumped from 5654 to 5710 – definitely some gains in there, and I suspect even more so on aging systems.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the free ioBit Advanced System Care actually performed, and it’s going straight on my list of “here, install that” app for relatives with computer pains. While some of the optimizations and fixes are somewhat suspect artificial solutions, the majority are based on logical techniques of disabling bits of Windows that most people never need. The software also recommends switching your Windows theme to the “basic”, as all those pretty colors and backgrounds really does eat a significant portion of memory – which impressed me as it’s the first thing I ever do with a sluggish PC.
If you get a chance, why not download the 3DMark Vantage benchmarking tool before and after running a deep care / speed boost and post your results in the comments – we’d love to hear how it works out for you.