Tune up IE with PC Brother IE Care Free

Keep your copy of IE and your PC running safe and smooth with this free utility.

PC Brother IE Care Free is a free cleaning and security app for Internet Explorer and your whole system. It cleans your browsing traces, checks your security settings, and fixes errors. It also checks your plug-ins and other associated software, letting you remove obsolete or unneeded files and programs.

IE Care's tabbed interface offers a nice balance between stylish and basic, and it's a bit more efficient than many similar free tools that, let's be frank, are designed to encourage you to upgrade to a paid version, typically one that offers more features. IE Care keeps the sales pitch down, and its basic layout is commendably clean: tabs for Repair, Cleaning, Plug-Ins, and Security. We clicked Scan, which identified various issues with IE and our system, each with a check box, though none was selected. This is significant since it forces users to review each item instead of just going with the program's choices. Of course, we could Select All or None via controls, but we recommend doing it the hard way, aka the smart way, even if it takes longer. Clicking Repair fixed the selected issues. The Cleaning tool purged IE's temporary files, as expected. The Plug-In manager was more interesting, offering an expandable tree view that extracted a lot of information about each browser plug-in, plus the ability to remove selected items. The IE security shield protects your system from malicious sites when it's enabled, but it takes control of your system's host files, so users will want to review it carefully before enabling it. Since IE isn't our default browser, we left this feature disabled.

While PC Brother IE Care Free proved easy to use, the lack of a Help file strikes us as a significant omission that the program's Web site did little to rectify, seeming more focused on getting us to download or purchase more software than in explaining what the program does to your system. But we didn't see any unpleasant effects or compromised functionality with IE or our system in general. This free tool seems to be a good way to keep IE running clean and tight. If you don't use IE, you have better choices for general system tune-ups.

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