PC tune-up

Optimize Windows XP or Vista in one click--or manually configure a host of settings--with this robust, easy-to-use application.

Keeping your PC running like a champ requires a bit of maintenance now and again. For your money, you could do much worse than Ashampoo WinOptimizer, a clean, fast, and professional-looking application with a robust tool set.

The fastest route to optimization is from the One-Click Optimization feature, accessible from your desktop or from a tab on the program interface. The second fastest lets you run a quick or a full scan from the Overview tab. Either option starts diagnosing your system using common, customizable settings. For spot-checking or to oversee your own changes, you can click the Modules tab within the application and hand pick among the 21 included tools grouped smartly into six categories.

In addition to a laundry list of system tweaks you can manually or automatically configure, WinOptimizer backs up your registry so you can undo critical mistakes. New to version 6, it also stores a list of most-often used tools alongside some decent stats on your use of each module. Best of all, each tool in our tests ran quickly, smoothly and effectively without disrupting overall performance. Novices will appreciate the ease of use while pro users will find plenty of ways to get their hands dirty.

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