Review: Keep your PC running like new with help from Puran Utilities

Clean, maintain, and tweak your PC with this freeware system utilities bundle.

Like similar freeware bundles, Puran Utilities can help you keep your PC safe, secure, and running smoothly, when used with care. Puran Utilities bundles more than 20 system maintenance, performance, and file tools in one convenient app, including Disk Check, Uninstaller, Startup and Service Managers, Registry Cleaner and Defrag, Permanent Delete, and much more. It has a one-click maintenance option, but we prefer its all-in-one access to those tools we need regularly as well as those we only run now and again. The latest version, Puran Utilities 2.0, is ready for Windows 8 and adds Puran File Recovery, a file undelete tool with a Deep Scan option. We tried Puran Utilities in Windows 7.

Puran Utilities opens with its Help file displayed as well as a pop-up offering a few tips: Create a Restore Point, Run Maintenance Wizard, and Run Puran Defrag in boot mode. Creating a System Restore point is wise before running any powerful system utility, and the Maintenance Wizard can help you keep your PC running smoothly. But we boot from an SSD and only use HDDs for media, so we opted against the disk defrag tool, which isn't needed with SSDs and can shorten their lives. The program's main window is nothing more than a plain field of icons accessing a variety of tools; an easy, efficient, and intuitive layout, and the 24 icons are both distinct and clearly labeled. Buttons on a toolbar access primary features such as Batch Fix, Maintenance Wizard, Restore Point, and Minimal PC, which helps you reduce boot times by disabling unneeded Services (be careful!).

Some of Puran Utilities' tools build on existing Windows utilities, like the Startup and Services managers. Others range from easy but useful options, such as a Shortcuts Fixer, to more powerful tools like Puran's Disk Cleaner, which queues persistent files for removal on reboot, and the Registry Defrag, which also requires a reboot. Puran's disk, registry, and system tools should be used with care, but anyone looking for a comprehensive system maintenance suite (especially a free one) should try this out.

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