In the sea of PC optimization software, it can be hard to find the right set of tools to keep your computer in tip-top shape. Luckily, TuneUp Utilities is here. A 16-year veteran in the field of Computer Cleanup, TuneUp offers the latest revision of their famous TuneUp Utilities 2013, with some new tools and major fixes that promise to improve the performance of any PC. The best part is that TU gives you full functionality with the 15-day trial.
TuneUp Utilities installation is relatively painless while taking up no more than 80MB of disk space. The program does require you to consent to sharing information about your machine in order to install. This is so TU can send system information to their server and check if there are any recent updates to the software or OS of your computer. Upon installation, 1-Click Maintenance will ask to run. This is the core of the utility. 1-Click will check everything including the registry, registry fragmentation, application shortcuts, Windows and program files, and hard disk fragmentation to find things that could use tidying up. These are some pretty standard protocols. Regular users will be satisfied with the 1-Click Maintenance tool as it is the main tool of TuneUp. After a successful scan, 1-Click will list all of the issues and subsequently list solutions. For my main machine, it was mostly registry errors and shortcuts from software testing. Clicking on the issue count will bring up a report of what TU found. From there you'll have an option to choose what to ignore or fix. Looking at 500 registry errors and 345 browser items, I got the feeling that TuneUp is not very discriminating about what it labels as a problem. "Anything that can be removed in exchange for performance must go" is the philosophy here. With a click of a button TuneUp will solve all of your problems. Additionally, the utility makes backups just in case something goes horribly wrong -- good practice for whenever you stick your hands in the registry jar.
Aside from 1-Click Maintenance, TuneUp Utilities 2013 also boasts a variety of tools to speed up overall performance. TU can help with optimizing your display/animation settings, removing software, and disabling startup programs. TU also includes a new tool called "Live Optimization." Live Optimization claims to prioritize programs that run in the background and will only dedicate processing power to those applications when they are being used. I saw it running on Adobe Acrobat and IrfanView when those programs were minimized. However, the differences may not be noticeable at first. The majority of the optimizing tools require some effort on your part to customize the settings to your personal usage. Luckily, TuneUp gives you 2 extra modes: "Economy" and "Turbo" to set your optimization to your specific need. "Economy" is nice for laptop users looking to maximize their battery life with options similar to the power-saving mode built into Windows. "Turbo" allows you to schedule optimization and cleanup frequency as to not interrupt important moments when you need to squeeze the most power out of your machine. These modes can be switched on the fly. Uninstallation was simple and tidy. TU left few traces on both my Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines after removal, although it did require me to go through Windows' Control Panel to uninstall.
Overall, I felt that the utility did what it claims to do and did it well. The test PCs booted up faster with the recommended optimization, which also improved overall responsiveness when launching applications and running programs. It might not make your computer feel brand new but it should improve performance enough to hold the format monster at bay. There are some powerful optimizing tools in TuneUp Utilities that I barely scratched in this review. Intermediate users will enjoy its full functionality but novice users should still be able to get most benefits that TU offers. Take advantage of the 15-day trial and discover how TuneUp Utilities 2013 is a serious contender in the optimizing market.