ARO 2012 is the latest version of a longstanding Registry cleaner and optimizer. The look is familiar, but ARO 2012 offers several upgrades over previous versions, such as improved browser cleaning and user-friendlier settings as well as new tweaks that can yield better NTFS performance, faster startups, and improved CPU utilization. ARO 2012 also backs up and optimizes the Registry. You can schedule automatic cleanings, too.
ARO 2012's installer informed us that it would scan our PC as soon as it closed. The first scan is always important with software like ARO since it establishes a baseline, and ours took a while, though subsequent scans took less time. You can customize what ARO targets in the Settings tab, which also includes a Schedule tool and an Exclusion List. ARO scanned our Registry for invalid or unnecessary entries and our PC for temporary files and other junk files, finishing by making sure our system was adequately protected by antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software. Clicking the Fix button took out the trash. We ran the Registry Backup tool before we tried the Registry Optimizer, but ARO automatically creates a system restore point, too. The Registry Optimizer also takes a while on the first run, and it's not uncommon for PCs to become unresponsive. Be patient: ARO 2012 reboots your PC when it's done; a critical step to optimizing your Registry. ARO 2012 scanned more deeply and thoroughly than some popular free tools, too (which don't reboot and so miss errors that ARO fixes). Subsequent runs were much quicker. We tried both the full (paid) version and the free trial of ARO 2012, which removes the trial version's reminders to buy the full version and cleans all errors. The free trial gave us a good look at ARO 2012, and the upgrade went smoothly. Both versions have the same exemplary Help file, but support is only provided with the full version.
ARO 2012's One-Click Optimization is the way to go for regular cleaning and optimizing. Once your PC is cleaned and optimized, running ARO 2012 regularly keeps it that way.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of ARO 2012 126.96.36.199. The trial version fixes only the first 100 detected errors.