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Comparison of some cleaners and optimizers

by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 28, 2011 8:18 PM PDT

We often get (spam-like) posts here about registry cleaners and optimization Tools. Practically none are free. They claim a lot, but are they worth the money?
The Dutch PCM (Personal Computer Magazine) did a test in their April 2011 issue. They took an image of one of their editorial PC's, which was one and a half years old and never optimized. They compared a manual cleaning, using only standard Windows tools, with the results of a set of 9 tools by measuring startup time, shutdown time and speed according during the PCMark Vantage test. The results summarized below are interesting. They showed that some products actually slowed the system or increased the startup time. One program (see table below) even manages to increase both the startup and the shutdown time and slowing the system at the same time. On the positive site: they reported no problems with the system after running these tools.

This is the only quantitative comparison of these tools I know. It would be interesting to see other tests. For the moment it seems that not all claims made by the makers of these programs are warranted by real-life results.

Manual cleaning (disable unnecessary services and start up programs, Disc Cleanupwizard, defrag)
Start time:- 12 sec
Shutdown time: - 2.2 sec
Speed: + 1.6%

AdvanceSystemcare Pro 3 ($20/year)
Start time:+ 7.6 sec
Shutdown time: + 0.2 sec
Speed: + 1.6%

AshampooWinOptimizer 7 ($70)
Start time:- 43.7 sec (best)
Shutdown time: - 1.8 sec
Speed: - 3.0%

Ccleaner (free)
Start time:- 4.1 sec
Shutdowntime: + 0.3 sec
Speed: - 2.9%

Iolo System Mechanics 10 ($40/year)

Start time: - 8.2 sec
Shutdowntime: + 5.7 sec
Speed: + 3.6%(best)

Jv16 Powertools 2011 ($30)

Start time: + 9.8 sec
Shutdown time: + 0.9 sec
Speed: + 1.8%

PC Tools Performance Toolkit ($40)
Start time: + 31.8 sec
Shutdown time: + 7.0 sec
Speed: - 3.1% (worst)

Slow-PCFighter ($25/year)
Start time: + 12.1 sec
Shutdown time: + 1.5 sec
Speed: - 3.1 % (worst)

Uniblue SpeedUPMyPC 2011
Start time: + 22.8 sec
Shutdown time: + 0.9 sec
Speed: + 0.1 %

Winzip System Utilities Suite ($50)
Start time: -2.2 sec
Shutdown time: + 2.2 sec
Speed: +0.9 %

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by Rayq1951 / August 5, 2011 3:18 PM PDT

I appreciate you taking the time to post the information it certaintly opened my eyes. However (aka "BUT", not being savy and having failed math especially statistics, could you explain the + and -. Is -4.1 better or worse than +7.6 secs and I assume it applies across the board with all three categories. Thanks. Ray

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It works like this
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 5, 2011 10:52 PM PDT
In reply to: COMPARISON

Take your computer system and see how it works, what it's performance is like on Startup, Shutdown, opening applications, and so on. That is your benchmark.

Now, taking one of the examples above, (the first one);

Start time:- 12 sec
This means that using the utility decreased Startup time on the test computer by 12 seconds. It booted up from a cold start 12 seconds faster than the benchmark test on the same computer before using the utility.

Shutdown time: - 2.2 sec
This means that this utility decreased Shutdown time on the test computer by 2.2 seconds. It shutdown the computer 2.2 seconds faster than the benchmark test on the same computer before using the utility.

Speed: + 1.6%
Overall performance of the test computer slowed down by 1.6%. That is, general usage of the system, opening applications, housekeeping, and so on, became slower by 1.6% of what it was before using the utility.

Knowing what your benchmark tests are on your computer, and "all other things being equal", (but they never are), those results show what you 'may' expect if you used that utility on your computer.

Hope that helps.


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Comparison of some cleaners and optimizers
by jonnermw / August 6, 2011 4:32 AM PDT
In reply to: It works like this

I think you may be wrong with regard to the Speed test +1.6% surely means that it is quicker, otherwise System Mechanic would not have been given a best rating for +3.6% and PC Tools worst for -3.1%.


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Not our test
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 6, 2011 4:42 AM PDT

The tests were carried out by the Dutch PCM, Personal Computer Magazine.

You may be right. We will have to wait for Kees to confirm or otherwise. Unless you can read Dutch, then here's their web site;



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Re: Plus and minus
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 2, 2011 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: COMPARISON

For speed: plus is better (higher speed, faster system), minus is worse (less speed, slower system)
For startup and shutdown times: minus is better (shorter time, faster startup/shutdown), plus is worse (longer time, slower).


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To Tristram
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 5, 2011 10:55 PM PDT

I got your email.

Kees' post was not intended to provide links to such utilities. There are no links to click, just underlined headers.

The post is simply a comparison of how such utilities performed on a benchmarked computer.

I hope that explains it.


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508 Compliance
by taggerdev / August 11, 2011 10:19 PM PDT

I love CCleaner. I recommend it to all of my friends/family (and by recommend I mean I install it on their machines and clean up without telling them). However, a friend of mine is blind and it appears that JAWS (508 Compliance screen reader) does not see all the objects in CCLeaner. Can anyone recommend a FREE cleanup utility that JAWS will work with?

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Tune up missing
by Pradosh11 / September 4, 2011 3:21 AM PDT

Tune Up is one of the best optimizing utility but its missing in your list

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by oceanguy2821 / September 19, 2011 10:33 AM PDT

Very interesting results! Happy

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You must be kidding
by William Grimsley / October 3, 2011 10:36 PM PDT

So Ashampoo cuts 43.7 seconds of startup time. My computer running Windows 7 has a start up time of 35 seconds.
Do this mean that if I use Ashampoo my computer would start about 9 seconds before I even turned it on.
Is this magazine pushing this product? Did no one think to check this out in the real world?

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Well of course, all systems are different.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 4, 2011 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: You must be kidding

For example if I used a bare bones setup with no startup files, minimal services, no scanners or firewall, then I could shave significant time off bootup. I can get even quicker with SSD boot disks. I've heard one colleague here say their SSD laptop boots up in 3 seconds.

But for that test they likely used a standard off-the-shelf system, no extras but with all normal startup files and services that are generally used, and for the test itself they measured time saving on the system as it performed before using any utilities. That was the benchmark.

So I would assume that they would have found differing results with different systems, but the test is valid as a comparison between utilities.


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It still seems unreal
by William Grimsley / October 4, 2011 5:39 AM PDT

This is my computer specifications. It is a fully functioning computer, with internet service. I assembled it in April 2010. Intel i5-750 cpu, ASUS P7H55D-M-EVO Motherboard, ASUS EN9500GT(1GB) Graphics Card, 4GB Memory(That is all it can use), 60GB OCZ SSD as my C drive and a 750GB Western Digital Black Caviar as my D drive, and a Samsung CD/DVD drive all crammed into an In Win BK623 MicroATX Mini Tower case. The 300w power supply is more than adequate for my setup. My normal configuration is Windows 7 (32-bit). Normal start up time for Windows 7 is about 35 seconds.I am currently using BitDefender Total Internet Security for virus protection. I also use Ccleaner. For several years I have used Acronis True Image for backup.I can make an image of my C drive in 3 minutes and restore the image in 5 minutes. Currently I have 10 different Images including Windows XP, Windows 7 (32-bit) and (64-bit) and Windows 8 Developer Preview stored on my D drive. I have tried most of the "Optimizing Software" that offer a free trial and I can't really determine if any of them do much to "SPEED UP MY PC." They all seem to find a lot of empty registry key, thereby claiming to find a lot of stuff. What does an empty key do to slow down a computer? I don't know, but I suspect "NOTHING." Yes, I know how to edit the registry. I am also leery of any websites that report on the top ten of any on these type programs. Is the review influenced by money. There is no way to know. So here is what I do.After I download and give these programs a try I do not try to uninstall them. I just restore the Image and that keeps my computer running smoothly.

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I noticed that the OS is on the SSD
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 4, 2011 5:46 AM PDT
In reply to: It still seems unreal

It's fast isn't it. Of course since an SSD is nothing like a spinning drive but is more akin to memory, we expect access times to be so much better, and that improves everything.

But you're right about optimizers and we (Mods) agree. The purpose of the top post was not so much to praise them, but instead to show that there were vastly varying results compared to the claims made by their developers.


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compatison of system optimizers
by MikeAlimov / January 13, 2012 8:52 PM PST

Frankly speaking I don't like system optimizers as they may harm pc and decrease performance instead of increasing. I use them when I have no choice - reinstall whole operational system which may take whole day or try to bring back to live my system.

Here are my benchmarks on almost dead opertional system

Windows 7 Pro, 8GB RAM, pavilion dv7

Start time: - ~2 sec
Shutdowntime: seems didn't change
Speed: didn't notice changes

Digeus System Optimizer:
Start time: - ~3 sec
Shutdowntime: - ~10
Overal system speed: increased - as I switched almost all not needed services, autodetection, themes, and so on

Windsty Tune Up Suite (I ran it after Digeus SO)
Start time: - ~3 sec

Shutdowntime: left the same
Overal system speed: seems didn't change

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by Ron Geiken / March 23, 2012 10:45 AM PDT

Normally when you launch CCleaner, it comes up to allow you to get rid of unnecessary files. You can also do a registry clean up and do some other functions when you select them. I use CCleaner every evening when I shut my computer down. It will usually clean up 100 meg or more of files. It only takes about 30 seconds with my i 7 Lenovo. If you computer crashes due to a BSOD, then it will usually remove up to 1 gig of unneeded files. The cleaning function seems to be more about cleaning out unnecessary files that accumulate. I never considered whether it changed the turn on or turn off times. I believe that cleaning out unnecessary files is a profitable task. I put it on some computers and it removed 5 or 6 gig of files. Another nice program to have if you don't have a SSD is Smart Defrag that keeps you files organized and not sprinkled all over the drive. I have seen some people use that for the first time, and it will defragment 10s of thousands of files. Just like you house, things pile up when you don't clean them out in a timely manner.

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by littlep24 / June 26, 2012 11:01 PM PDT

I used speedPC Pro Utility Cleaner and it says I have 4570 problems on my computer that are critical

my computer seems to run fine is this possible that there are that ma ny problems. I used CCleaner.

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I would not trust it.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 27, 2012 5:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Cleaner

The clue is in your own comment that your computer is running fine. How can that be if this software has found over 4500 critical problems?

This is a common ploy by such registry cleaning software developers. Tell the victim, err... customer, that there are thousands of critical errors and the computer is likely to blow up, then when the customer attempts to fix the problems, demand money to purchase the full program to clear the errors.

I will be honest, there may well be that many unused entries in the registry. But the registry holds hundreds of thousands of entries and is, after all that, just a simple database. In databases, if an entry is unused it just sits there doing nothing. It doesn't affect how the registry runs and it doesn't affect the performance of the system.

If there were any bad errors in your systems registry then at the very least some affected programs would fail or the whole system would fail completely.

So, I would suggest you stay away from any "fixes".


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by littlep24 / June 27, 2012 8:37 AM PDT
In reply to: I would not trust it.

Mark thanks for the great insight it makes me feel a whole lot better hearing it from you since I thouight the same thing and wasn't sure

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If your PC/Windows had 4570 problems
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2012 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Cleaner

I doubt it would boot. It's a shame they try so hard to sell you their stuff.

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Re :-
by dylanrodriguez2012 / July 5, 2012 8:45 PM PDT

Hello Guys.

Computer users all over the world are aware of the fact that computer maintenance is the key for having a properly function computer. Frequent usage of the computer in the form of installing and removing programs, changing system settings alters the registry values.


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by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 5, 2012 8:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Re :-

It would clearly be wrong if the registry values weren't changed. But cleaning programs might change them the wrong way! Why take that risk?


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Kees, you're absolutely right - avoid registry cleaners!
by wpgwpg / November 30, 2012 10:41 AM PST
In reply to: Yep.

Kees, you're absolutely right. I've seen too many posts in other forums from people who've run registry cleaners and then ran into problems later after installing Windows updates. These so-called cleaners delete entries from the registry which are there for FUTURE use by MS because they don't appear to be used. Then when the updates come along expecting these entries to be there, wham-o you run into problems. If you want to see a lot of opinions such as yours and mine, check out this link

Good luck.

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Comparsion of some registry cleaners and optimizers
by Jacob344 / November 25, 2012 3:31 PM PST

I am using registry cleaner tools for years and my experience is that they speed up your computer to a certain extend.But be aware as there are a lot of scam registry cleaner software.Always use a safe registry cleaner software.

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Tune Up and Raxco
by tomygreen1 / February 26, 2013 6:10 PM PST

I am using tune up utilities 2013 and it works for me. System is in goo condition.
For defragmentation I recommend another tool - Raxco Perfect Disk.

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nice to know
by satv285 / February 26, 2013 7:13 PM PST

nice post and nice to know info

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" Practically none are free"
by allenwaker / May 1, 2013 10:15 PM PDT

I once downloaded a software name Registry Recycler, using it for about a month, but they never asked me for money. Its completely free and quite effective (At Least for my PC) so i do not agree with your argument " Practically none are free".. There exist cleaners that are free and effective for Pc cleanup.
Would like you to add a comparison of this software too...

its here: http://download.cnet.com/Registry-Recycler/3000-18512_4-12923082.html

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The list is an overall?
by AlohaMonday / May 14, 2013 7:11 PM PDT

I wonder Why Wise Care 365 is not added to this list for the professionals to test since the software ranks 2nd among this kind of programs.

On this website, it says :
Product ranking: #2 in Maintenance & Optimization


What's the possible reason? Any special points I have missed?

Kees, it seems that you have been discussed with me in another post regarding Wise Care 365. Right? Then?

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Re: list
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 15, 2013 3:38 AM PDT

No, this isn't an exhaustive list. It contains just 5 products I selected from commonly used ones to see what they did.

But feel free to do a comparable test on another one and report your findings here. All you need: a spare PC (or a PC that's big enough to accomodate a virtual machine) and a Windows install disk.


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re: freeware
by AlohaMonday / May 22, 2013 6:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: list
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Re: registry cleaners
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 22, 2013 6:46 PM PDT
In reply to: re: freeware

The only sensible thing to do: don't use it.


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