Advanced WindowsCare: Even Free Version Has Legs
Once you perform a scan of your entire system, you can have Advanced WindowsCare address all the problems it has found with a single click of the Repair button. My personal preference, though, is to check the details for each problem area. Not being a trusting sort when it comes to this sort of thing, I like to see what the program is prepared to kill before sanctioning the rub-out.
Five million is a lot of anything.
That's why the folks at Boston-based software maker IObit caught my eye recently when they announced they had just cracked the cinco millones mark in downloads for their free Windows maintenance program Advanced WindowsCare Personal.
The application, its most recent version released in June, lets you perform an array of operations on your system to make it more secure and to improve its performance.
It's an array that would be impressive for software you'd have to open your wallet for, let alone a program that won't cost you a cent.
Restore Before You Leap
When you launch the software for the first time, it suggests you use Windows Restore to set a restore point for your system before you modify it with the program. Do it. You can never be too careful when running applications like Advanced WindowsCare.
If you agree to create a restore point, the program will do it for you. You don't have to go hunting for Windows Restore and do it manually.
It also has some useful tools for fine-tuning your system.
There's a startup manager, always useful for ditching programs that load automatically when you boot up your computer but that you may not want or need.
There's a memory cleaner for recovering memory lost when programs are opened and closed and for freeing up memory to improve system performance.
There's also an add-ons manager. It contains tools for managing system processes and services, viewing the status of your network connections, uninstalling software and managing cookies on your system.
If you need quick information about your system, there's a box listing your operating system, processor, video card and physical memory. More info on your system can be seen by clicking a "details" button.
When you run a scan of your system with Advanced WindowsCare, it will identify problems in several areas.
It will look for spyware. On my system, it found half a dozen low-risk-level tracking cookies.
It will perform a spyware defense analysis. That will do a number of things:
- Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers and other potentially unwanted pests.
- Block spyware and tracking cookies in Internet browsers.
- Restrict the actions of potentially dangerous sites in Internet Explorer.
The program will also fix invalid or incorrect Registry entries and values. The Registry is a database used by Windows to manage the operation of the system.
It will perform a system optimization. That attempts to eliminate bottlenecks in your system's configuration, network connections, Windows interface and Windows services.
It will do a privacy sweep of your computer, eliminating history files, cookie files and other traces of Internet activity.
Also, it will do a junk file scan to clean out temporary files, Internet Explorer cache files and files in your recycle bin. You'd be surprised how much space those files can take up over time. On my system, they occupied 240 MB of hard disk space.
Once you perform a scan, you can have Advanced WindowsCare address all the problems it has found with your system with a single click of the Repair button.
My personal preference, though, is to check the details for each problem area. Not being a trusting sort when it comes to this sort of thing, I like to see what the program is prepared to kill before sanctioning the rub-out.
IObit also makes a commercial version of the program (US$29.95) that includes an exclusive system tune-up feature, some convenient auto functions for keeping your system in tiptop shape and your copy of the software up-to-date, as well as 24/7 support.
While the additional features in the pay-for-it version are nice, IObit doesn't cripple the free edition of the program to get you to upgrade. Advanced WindowsCare Personal is a solid tool for keeping your system running smoothly.
John Mello is a freelance business and technology writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.