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TuneUp Utilities 2011 review

Seth Barton
24 Nov 2010
tuneup 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
12
inc VAT

Speed up your PC’s startup times, increase performance and clear out hard disk space with this simple to use, and inexpensive, tool.

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Most of us have PCs that are cluttered with programs we don’t use and files we don’t need. All of these can seriously slow down Windows – you probably will have noticed how long it takes your PC to startup steadily increasing over time. Radical solutions to this problem include reinstalling Windows, or even buying a new, faster PC. However, if the first option seems like a lot of the bother, and you’re not ready to upgrade your hardware quite yet, then TuneUp Utilities 2011 could be just the thing.

Traditionally, TuneUp’s software has been a series of tools which optimises Windows performance. The big change with this new edition is a focus not only on Windows (as Windows 7 is far better at managing itself), but a more holistic approach that includes your applications. To this end you know get the new Program Deactivator.

This handy tool shows you all the programs currently installed on your PC, and categorises them based on how resource hungry each is. You can deactivate the programs individually, potentially saving on both memory and processor cycles while your PC is running, and speeding up startup and shutdown. The clever part being that deactivations are only temporary and you can still launch the program from its usual shortcut if needed.

On the left of the list are three bars that depict the effect all these programs have on start-up, operation and shutdown efficiency. It’s incredibly vague on the precise benefits, however. We ran some tests on a cluttered old Windows 7 installation, and saved 41 seconds off our initial start-up time of just under two minutes, pretty impressive for a couple of minutes work.

Also improved is the Turbo Mode, which can be activated and deactivated by a single click on the notification area. It temporarily deactivates off maintenance tasks and updates; reduces visual effects like the Aero desktop theme; switches your PC to high performance mode (which will reduce battery life on mobile devices); and turns off media sharing, error reporting and search indexing. Running our benchmarks we saw a speed increase of around 10% in our memory intensive image editing test, not huge but useful. It gained a couple of points in our multi-tasking test, and made negligible gains in video encoding.

As with the previous version there’s a huge array of utilities for cleaning up your PC. It will tidy up your registry, remove broken shortcuts and get rid of unused system files. We managed to clear up around 10GB of free hard disk space with just a few clicks.

In fact, that’s the one key factor that we really like about TuneUp Utilities 2011. The interface is clean and well-designed, and all the tasks are easy to understand and use. You can drill down into the interface to work on certain aspects of your PC, but most users will be happy to set up an optimisation schedule and leave the software to it. It keeps you informed as well, with plenty of information on ways you could improve your Windows experience. The main optimisation wizard asks simple questions, such as ‘do you use Windows Search regularly’, and tailors its actions to your computing habits.

If you don’t like reinstalling Windows from time-to-time, then you’ll have to be very fastidious to keep your PC spic-and-span. For everyone else TuneUp Utilities is a handy way of cutting down on clutter and keeping your PC running smoothly. We found it for sale on Amazon for only £12 inc VAT (for use on up to three PCs), for as little as £4 a PC it’s a great tool and well worth the price.

Details

Price£12
Detailswww.tuneup-software.co.uk
Rating*****

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