TuneUp Utilities 2011 review

By Jack Ratcliffe,

TuneUp

Like people, computers seem to slow down as they get old. With human ageing, it’s usually losing information that slows things down. With a PC, however, it’s the opposite – too much data. Accumulate enough old and redundant files and even the fastest system will struggle. Over 20 million people have turned to TuneUp to solve these issues. We got hold of the 2011 edition to find out why.

After a painless install, TuneUp automatically boots and asks if you want to scan your system. Its part of the 1-Click Maintenance service, which cleans and defragments the registry, removes broken shortcuts, deletes temporary files and optimises system start-up.

When ran on my six-month old computer, it found 582 registry issues, 96 broken shortcuts, 484.16MB of pointless temporary files and 11 potential system start-up optimisation. Suddenly, I felt like an abusive parent.

A quick browse of the “show details” option showed that I’d been fairly caught, too – most of the errors in the registry were from installed software referencing to absent files. Not exactly my fault, but it was clear that TuneUp wasn’t making the number up.

While most users will have to take TuneUp’s recommendations as gospel, even less advanced users might be able to understand the start-up optimisation options. Clicking “show details” launches a panel that reveals superfluous boot-up software – the stuff that slows down your computer’s loading time.

Not only can it tell you to remove some of them, but it also recommends moving some of the programme updates to weekly schedules rather than to run on boot. This is perfect for updating software – you’ll keep up with the latest releases but prevent a mammoth boot time.

There is plenty of functionality other than 1-Click Maintenance to dig through, although the most memorable is Turbo Mode. At the click of a button, TuneUp will change some preset (by you) system settings, such as graphic options and unused system processes, and free up computer power for whatever important task you’re doing. This is a godsend for older computers tugging along, although it won’t make too much difference to your top-end system.

After ten minutes of following wizards, I’d finished.  Rebooting my computer, start-up had definitely improved. Of course, ten minutes of Googlin’ can tell you how to increase your boot-up times using the Windows built-in MSCONFIG.

As for the rest of the optimisations – I couldn’t tell. I’ve got a lightning fast system, so the difference is hard to notice, and realistically, probably minimal. Having looked at what the programme does, however, I can say for a fact that older systems will love this programme.

If you aren’t an advanced computer user, I almost guarantee that this programme will prevent your computer from unbearably slowness. There’s a 15-day free trial, so it can’t hurt to give it a try – especially on a system over a year old. I think I’ll get it for my Dad.