The Best Tune-Up Utilities of 2017

The Best Tune-Up Utilities

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OB Roundup

There are many joys associated with buying a new PC, but the most obvious one is the assurance that your new computer, be it a budget business laptop or a tricked-out gaming desktop, will run at peak capacity. You boot it up, and sit back as windows and programs open and close and operate at a brisk pace. It’s wonderful. But it doesn’t last. Eventually, PCs slow down. That’s when tune-up utilities prove their worth.

All computers eventually lose that day-one luster, becoming lethargic, unresponsive, and even unreliable. The operating system gets gunked up as apps are added and incompletely deleted, leaving behind drivers and all sorts of other system detritus. Our hard drives fill up with forgotten files we’ve abandoned in folders whose existence we’ve forgotten. Programs build up enormous caches behind the scenes that we don’t even know about. Eventually our full hard drives choke the OS as it tries to run. Outdated drivers cease to work correctly. Toolbars and other nasty plug-ins drag our browsers to a crawl.

When our machines become so impaired through use and neglect that we can no longer use Microsoft Word or Steam games with the same speed and efficiency to which we have become accustomed, we often ponder buying new PCs. But that’s a drastic solution, and one that’s frequently unnecessary. Instead, you can get often that fresh-out-the-box performance for tens of dollars—instead hundreds or even thousands—thanks to a relatively inexpensive tool: the PC tune-up utility.

What’s a Tune-Up Utility?

A PC tune-up utility is an application that digs deep into your computer and fixes trouble areas. It performs several functions, including defragmenting your PC’s hard drive, repairing the incredibly problematic Windows Registry, and freeing up disk space by deleting useless and duplicate files. Some tune-up utilities perform just those basic functions, while more elaborate ones add numerous features that improve your computer in interesting ways. For example, Iolo System Mechanic—our Editors’ Choice for paid tune-up suites—cleaned our gunked-up test bed with its real-time system monitoring and Commonly Redundant or Unnecessary Decelerators and Destabilizers (CRUDD) Remover. SlimWare Utilities SlimCleaner Plus troubleshoots your computer’s start up process, helping you to remove apps that don’t really need to be there that are slowing down your boot time.

Starting prices for tune-up utilities typically grant one license per purchase, which means you’re allowed to install the software on one PC. That’s fine if you own a single computer, but in the age of multi-computer households, the license costs can put a dent in your wallet. To be fair, many companies offer multi-license packages, but they can prove pricey, too. That’s why you should look for a paid tune-up utility with no installation limitations, such as Comodo PC Tuneup or Iolo System Mechanic. Both let you clean as many computers as you’d like. AVG PC TuneUp, on the other hand, does an excellent job of degunking PCs, but you only get a single license for each purchase.

Our Recommendations

This tune-up utility collection includes not only the utilities mentioned above, but several other programs, too. It doesn’t highlight every single system-enhancing tool on the market—these are the best tune-up utilities, after all. Some of the highlighted applications are free, others will cost you, but they all have one thing in common: They’ll put some pep back in your PC’s step.

Click the links below to read full reviews of these PC tune-up tools. If you an experience you’d like to share with one of the tune-up utilities we’ve reviewed or if you have one you like better than the ones we’ve reviewed here, let us know in the comments.


Iolo System Mechanic

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Our top-pick tune-up utility, Iolo System Mechanic 15.5, has all the tools you need to get your PC performing like new again. Read the full review ››

SlimWare Utilities SlimCleaner Plus

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Now boasting the incredibly helpful Instant Alerts feature, SlimCleaner Plus continues to be one of the best PC tune-up utilities on the market. That said, license limitations keep it from becoming our top pick. Read the full review ››


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If you’re looking to turn back the clock on a worn Windows PC, AVG PC TuneUp 2015 offers respectable system-cleaning performance, but license limitations keep it from being a must-have tune-up utility. Read the full review ››

Anvisoft Cloud System Booster

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Cloud System Booster is an effective and inexpensive tuneup utility, but license limitations may keep it from being a favorite in multi-PC homes. Read the full review ››

Ashampoo WinOptimizer

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Ashampoo WinOptimizer boasts a potent performance-improving tool set, though its license limitations may prove problematic for multi-PC homes. Read the full review ››

Comodo PC Tuneup

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Comodo PC Tuneup is an effective system-enhancing utility. It may not offer as many enhancements as the best in the space, but its lack of installation restrictions is a big point in its favor. Read the full review ››

Kromtech PCKeeper Live

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Kromtech PCKeeper Live’s human specialists and unique price plans make this tune-up utility worthy of consideration, but rival applications offer better PC improvement. Read the full review ››

Symantec Norton Utilities

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Norton Utilities can speed up a PC that’s slowed by stray files, system clutter, and a Registry in disarray, but it isn’t as complete a tool as some competing products. Read the full review ››


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