We all know that we should take better care of our computers but we like installing new programs and generally downloading to our heart's content and only deal with clearing out various caches and uninstalling when we start to see the system slow down. On the other hand, do you really know enough about computers to keep on top of maintenance? Regardless of which group you fall into, TuneUp Utilities can help tidy things up quickly.

There are essentially two strands at work within TuneUp; you have the utilities for streamlining performance and generally helping you get the most put of your PC. On the other side, we have tools to help give the system a spring clean by clearing out the hidden trash on the hard drive and buried away in your registry.

We were surprised how quickly it installed itself, leaving two icons on the desktop, one for the main application and a second for 1-Click Maintenance. Once you fire up the main program you'll be presented with a number of distinct areas.

Customize and Analyze works in pretty much the same way as Microsoft's own PowerTools works by allowing you to streamline the appearance of Windows, by refining the way fonts work and by disabling many of the more power graphics that can slow your computer down. The one area in which it differs is the StartUp Manager, which allows you to strip applications out of Task Manager without too much effort.

A more meaty application is the CleanUp and Repair tool that allows you to quickly get rid of those temporary files that clog up a system behind the scenes.

It also allows you to get rid of any entries in the registry that are left when you uninstall a program. In many ways, this is the main theme behind TuneUp Utilities: purging the registry of the unwanted or dead links. Having a clean registry will help stop system failures and crashes but for a serious tune-up, you'll need to turn to Optimize and Improve, which will effectively defragment the registry further.

Finally a Registry Editor - but takes the idea of the one supplied with Windows itself a step further, such as allowing for searches and the ability to bookmark sections.

When it comes to editing the Registry you really need to know what you're doing and sadly this tool didn't offer to make a backup or even prompt us to do so. Considering the package is aimed at those users who wouldn't call them “tech-savvy” this tool could well be problematic and best left to those who know what they're doing.

Verdict

TuneUp Utilities is a handy set of tools to have, especially if you've never bothered to clean your system before but it amounts to little more than a number of tools for cleansing your registry and add-ons that are available in other forms for free.