The Top 4 Free PC Maintenance Software Utilities – Clean, Optimize and Protect Your Computer

Most PC users install and uninstall numerous software applications over the life time of their computer. This introduces faults to the registry keys, fills up the hard drives with legacy/junk files and generally slows down Windows.

Some users resort to adding extra hardware (faster memory, larger hard drives) but this does not resolve the underlying cause of the problem. The wiser approach is to use software solutions to maintain and repair the registry, operating system and file system.

The following free tools have matured over the past years to even challenge commercial tools and their widespread use is testament to how effectively they work. Each tool comprises a suite of utilities or functionality relating to fixing registry/file system/configuration changes. Each tool is available via any of the legitimate numerous online download sites.

Glary Utilities

Millions of users of this tool cannot be wrong. This application has a great list of utilities that cover all the essential PC maintenance requirements. It has tools to backup and repair the registry, clean hard disks of unused/orphaned/junk files and is even able to tweak memory usage and internet connection settings to speed up download & upload speeds.

The additional security features provide the ability to shred files and web histories to within a government standard level.

CCleaner

CCleaner was one of the early leaders in maintenance software and they have resisted the lure of adding dozens of tools to focus on some key functionality.

The ease to use tabbed GUI has a step-by-step approach to CCleaner’s key focus of cleaning hard drives of junk, repairing and cleaning registry keys and cleaning private data from general applications (for example, personal data cached in web browsers).

Ashampoo WinOptimizer

This free to try application provides enough variation in its user interface to make it suitable for non-techies and IT pros alike. Non-techies can use the One-Click Optimization tool that takes care of running a battery of features to speed up and clean up Windows.

Tech-savvy users can delve deeper running one of the 21 tools for themselves from the tabbed interface. As with a lot of these applications there is a registry back up facility which should be run prior to making changes.

Auslogic’s Disk Defrag

After cleaning out hard drives of junk files and unused applications the file system will be a patchwork of fragmented files which slows down file access considerably for most applications. Microsoft’s own disk de-fragmentation tool is a good solid application but the Auslogic tool is noticeably faster due to the algorithms Auslogic use during their scan. For those with large hard drive then speed to complete is the over-riding factor for such a utility. It also helps that the tool has an excellent reporting and graph generating interface to inform you of progress.