If you have owned your PC for some time you’ll know how much junk is installed on it, from internet downloads to uninstalled programs, they all leave a trail of debris on your system. Getting rid of such links will often speed up your overall performance, which is where Fix-It Utilities Professional 8 comes in.

There are over 40 maintenance tools bundled with the package broken down into the most convenient folders. You’ll find anti-virus and anti-spyware tools but we’d recommend adding a firewall or full internet system suite to your system. Then there are also diagnostic, fix, optimisation, recovery and cleanup tools. Click on these section heads and you’ll find a number of tools related to the topic.

It would be very easy to be overwhelmed by the number of tools on offer but the main interface is extremely user-friendly, making it easy to use. What also makes it incredibly easy to use is the inclusion of the OneClick Solution page, which allows you to run all the programs in one particular topic.

When you first load the program you’ll be presented with a screen, known as the QuickStatus page, that highlights the current health of your system.

We ran it on an ageing Pentium M notebook that hadn’t been defragged for over a year only to be informed that performance was "Poor". Running the suite for the first time it pays to opt for the comprehensive routine, which can take a long time depending on the size of your hard drive and the state your system is in. Our 80GB system took 2 hours to cleanse. The program cleans out dead links from the Registry, runs deep defragmentation tools and looks for files that can be safely deleted.

Once optimised you can set a scheduler to run the separate tools are intervals that suite you. This should reflect the way you use your PC, with more internet and virus scans and less optimisation tools for the average user, for instance.

Naturally, after running the diagnostic and fix tools this was improved to "Medium" on the first run through. Running updates on software helps to improve the situation further.

However, being told your PC is now faster isn’t necessary true, so the proof is in how it handles in daily use. We found that boot-up and shutdown times were quicker, which seemed the most logical outcome of using the software and we also noticed that files saved to disk and loaded faster than previously.

There are a number of new tools in this latest version, with most of the emphasis being on recovery of data as well as erasing it once you’ve finished with it. New anti-virus tools worked exceedingly well, recognising we already had McAfee anti-virus software installed and working in unison with it to offer the best possible protection.

This latest version can be installed on three machines in the main house, making it better value than previous versions.

Price when reviewed:

Fix-It Utilities Professional 8 isn’t an essential tool as many of its features can already be found in Windows in one form or another.

However, the easy-to-use interface and greater depth of tools does make it far easier to get to grips with giving your PC or notebook a regular cleaning.

The new tools add to the usability and make this a great all-round package.