For PC users, "new computer speed" is like "that new car smell," but how would you feel if your car got slower and slower every time you drove it? Savvy gamers, road warriors, and tech types know the trick of shutting down unneeded stuff to reclaim some of your system's performance, but it's cumbersome at best and too intimidating for most casual users, who are, ironically, the ones who need it the most. Enter AppBooster from Mobile Concepts. It shuts down unneeded applications, processes, services, and Windows Features running on your PC and returns your machine to normal operation when you exit the program.
When we opened AppBooster's colorful interface, a wizard prompted us to create a new profile; you can also edit and delete profiles and create shortcuts to specific programs from this intro page. AppBooster's targeted categories, Device Support, Windows Features, and Applications, each feature five check boxes for deselecting items from the program's shutdown list, as well as good enough explanations and labeling to keep most inexperienced users from going wrong. For instance, we opted not to terminate Office and Browser support under Applications by simply unchecking the appropriate boxes. We like the ability to easily add specific applications to the list, too, as well as the option to test your settings before you save the profile. Clicking Activate initiated AppBooster's system scan, returning graphs and percentages of RAM and CPU power regained. We clicked the system tray icon to deactivate the software, which took about a minute and seemed to restore our machine completely to its previous state.
AppBooster is free, though there's a paid upgrade that adds some features. Activating and deactivating the program takes a while, which makes toggling between modes cumbersome, but AppBooster is all about boosting PC power for a specific use, so it's not such an issue. Though the gains it produced on our fairly new, well-maintained testbed machine weren't huge, they could be significant to mobile users or on an older PC with a lot of software installed.