TuneUp Utilities has been farming out optimisation software for the best part of a decade, expanding and improving on the tools available within Windows into what is now a pretty comprehensive suite.

The latest version has tweaked the interface and refined the behaviour of a couple of the tools. On the start page you’ll see a brief summary of the current state of your system and if there’s something wrong (there usually is) you can find out where by glancing at the “System Maintenance”, “Speed” and “System Status” boxes.
Problems range from recommended solutions that typically involve a bit of spring-cleaning to “critical” errors that may involve holes in your system security or weak passwords. Not all of these may be relevant so you can choose to hide some of the highlighted problems from future scans so you’re not continually bugged about them.

In most cases you can fix collections of minor problems with a one-click “Optimise All”. This is a nice approach and while you may decide you don’t want to resolve all of the identified issues, are offered enough control to decide exactly what areas of your machine are monitored and changed. Tools are also available individually from categories on the main interface, covering areas such as performance, cleanup, problem-solving and customising Windows. You’ll find everything you’d expect in there somewhere, including drive and registry defragmenters, cleaners, a startup manager, system information and a performance optimiser. The latter can identify all manner of problems that might affect the speed of your machine, right down to tweaking display settings to turn off graphically intensive effects and it’s usually wise to peruse the suggestions that are made before you “fix all” to make sure nothing is being changed inadvertently. If you do find that the software has an undesirable effect you can use the recovery centre or tuneup repair tools to fix a specific issue or revert back to a state before changes were made.

The biggest issue we have with the software is that the majority of tools are present somewhere within Windows, albeit in a far more watered-down and less usable form. Savvy users will already know how to use these and in many cases there are free alternatives online that can help monitor and tweak various areas of the OS. Those with modern machines will also find that optimising performance doesn’t have a particularly dramatic effect so these factors certainly narrow the target market somewhat.

What TuneUp Utilities does provide is a well-integrated collection of tools that saves time and hassle over alternative methods and would be great for users who don’t feel comfortable getting their hands dirty with some the less accessible areas of Windows. In this case it’s a great solution and will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the smooth running of a typical PC.

Price when reviewed:

TuneUp Utilities is a comprehensive collection of useful tools that can be invaluable in terms of cleaning and optimising a PC and minor tweaks to the new version do improve usability, even though there aren’t any dramatic changes. If you know Windows like the back of your hand you’ll likely turn your nose up at the software but as a complete optimisation suite it’s still one of the best around.