Most people at one point or another have probably crossed paths with a PC optimizer advertisement, or have gone out of their way to look for one. These applications claim to speed up your computer, fix common Windows errors, and create more disk space. There is certainly no shortage of PC optimizers on the market these days, many making claims that seem too good to be true. Make my PC run like it did fresh out of the box? I think for $30 – $50 dollars a license most people with an older computer would jump at the opportunity. We at Essential Tech Tips though, have always been skeptical. We set out to test some of the most prominent applications in the market today and try to uncover if they are actually valuable and to what extent.
It’s important to know first of all, that all PC optimizers aren’t created equal. They range dramatically in the functionalities they include and the extent in which they optimize your system. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular features found in today’s PC optimizers:
Clean junk files: As we use our computers, certain types of files naturally build up on our hard drives that are only needed temporarily by the applications we use. For example, web browsers often store information that is used to enhance your browsing experience, such as temporary files, cookies, and Autocomplete form history. From most browsers you can remove these manually, however a PC optimizer can be convenient as it will automatically run on a scheduled basis. Furthermore, PC optimizers often remove junk files left by other applications on your PC that store temporary files which are not as easy to remove manually. By cleaning up these files on a regular basis you will have extra room on your hard drive to store media and install applications.
Registry cleaner: Both the software and hardware on your system rely on registry entries and keys in order to function properly and store user information. As you install, uninstall and update programs, old keys get left behind and slow your PC’s performance. Furthermore, registry keys have been known to become corrupt, ceasing your applications from working properly and becoming the source of error messages. While cleaning junk files can safely be done manually, removing the wrong registry keys can render you applications, and your entire PC, inactive. Most PC optimizers on the market today come with a registry cleaner that runs automatically and will clean your Windows registry safely.
Driver updater: All of the hardware and peripherals on your computer count on drivers to keep them operating smoothly. You may have experienced moments where a peripheral stopped working and you needed to hunt down their latest drivers to get them functioning again. Many PC optimizers have automated this process as well, ensuring your PC always has the latest drivers.
While those are the three most prevalent features in today’s top PC optimizers, other useful ones that can be found in these applications include spyware protection, game optimization, undeleters, and uninstall managers. The truth is, most of the functions found in the PC optimizers we tested can be done manually without the need for an application. Most PC owners that are moderately tech-savvy could figure out how to run the same processes with a little Google searching. Apart from cleaning the registry, most can be done safely. PC optimizers bring the convenience factor. If you want all aspects of your PC to be automatically optimized on a regular basis and don’t want to bother with the grunt work then a PC optimizer is a good way to go.