Back in August I wrote a hands-on review for System Mechanic 9, now I have been sent TuneUp Utilities 2011 to review, this is a similar product to SM9, however boasts some pretty groundbreaking features.
TuneUp Utilities 2011 is said to help keep your PC in top shape: and will care of complete maintenance of your PC and provides peak performance thanks to more than 30 clever tools, let’s see if it is up to scratch.
The download is just 20MB in size, once downloaded installation was a very quick procedure and there were no options which you had to configure, all in all it took me roughly 5 minutes to download and install the programs.
Upon installation you are greeted with two new desktop shortcuts (see above), these are for TuneUp Utilities 2011 and TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance, also there is a new icon in the Windows notification area, this allows for quick access to some of the most useful tools.
Firstly I opened TuneUp Utilities 2011 and had a quick look at the user interface (screen below), unlike some similar programs the design is very user friendly and well laid out, there are tabs across the top where tools have been categorized, also there is a tuning status bar showing you how you are doing in your personal optimizations progress.
The first thing I did was carry out 1-Click maintenance, once clicked the program starts testing your computer for problems which may need to be resolved, the scan took roughly 90 seconds and once complete reported that my relatively well-kept computer had over 400 faults, this mainly consisted of registry faults, broken shortcuts and system startup options, rather than carrying out the maintenance you can see details regarding the problems found.
The image above shows a feature which shows you what programs TuneUp recommends disabling from startup, some similar programs automatically disable things without explaining anything, however here you can see a description of what is being disabled, which allows you to pick and choose exactly which programs are enabled.
Once you have reviewed everything you can enable the maintenance to go ahead, it took me just 20 seconds to complete all of the fixes.
You can configure 1-click maintenance just how you want it, so if you just want 1-click to clean the registry and delete temporary fixes you can easily set this up, also you can set up automatic maintenance to run after a certain amount of days of usage, this is set to 3 days as standard, however you can change this to one of five options if you please.
When u load up the main program you can also click on the optimize system tab, here you can manually run individual maintenance tasks, disable startup programs, uninstall unneeded programs, disable programs running in background and configure Turbo Mode.
If you want to disable startup programs you must open up TuneUp Program Deactivator, this has a social side where users can rate how useful programs are, therefore if they have a 1 star rating you can disable it knowing that it shouldn’t have an adverse affect on your PC’s performance, the list of your startup items is sorted by the amount of load these processes put on your computer.
Another tab allows you to gain disk space and securely wipe data, here you can scan your hard disk to see which folders on your computer contain large amounts of data, it also lists the largest files on your computer, which is obviously useful if you want to delete some large files that you do not want anymore.
As for the secure wipe function this is pretty self explanatory, it allows you to delete files and folders, you either overwrite the file with zero characters, securely delete to Department of Defense regulations or securely delete data using the Gutmann method, for individual files I found all methods to be quick and easy to use, this will be great for anyone who has classified files to remove.
There are also a few utilities under the “Fix Problems” and “Customize Windows” tabs, these allow you to fix a wide-range of common problems and aso configure Windows just how you want it, my favorite out of all of them was TuneUp Undelete, this allows you to scan your hard drives for files which have been emptied from the recycle bin, you can then restore them, I found a large video and restored it, it played back perfectly.
Finally I will talk about Turbo Mode, this is a great way of improving start-up time and general performance, when you configure Turbo Mode there are 19 options to choose from, it basically disables sevices and features to allow all of your processing power etc to be at your disposal, rather than being eaten up by unnecessary applications, you can easily you can turn Turbo Mode on or off, if you have it on and notice some functionality is not working you can turn Turbo Mode off.
To be honest I could go on and talk about TuneUp Utilities 2011 all day, however I recommend trying out the 15 day free trial for yourself here, in my opinion TuneUp Utilities 2011 is the best PC tuning software I have ever used, it combines a great front-end with some great tools, not only is it wonderful at keeping your PC well serviced but it also full of great tools for a wide-range of tasks, which will undoubtedly be a great help for some less experienced users.
My favorite feature is Turbo Mode, if your PC is acting sluggish and you want a quick boost in performance it is a great solution, on the whole the TuneUp Utilities 2011 is well designed, full of features and extremely stable, you can buy it for $49.95 here, it can be installed on up to three computers.
If you would like to see how this compares to similar applications check out this comparison.