Iolo System Mechanic Pro
Promises a faster, more secure Windows PC. $49.95 | WWW.IOLO.COM
Iolo System Mechanic Pro (SMP) claims to be one-stop tool for PC optimisation, packed with all the tools you could possibly want for keeping Windows running smoothly. And unlike many system optimisation tools, nothing about SMP is opaque or confusing. All your options are clearly labelled, with full descriptions of their purpose and details about what the effect of deleting or optimising the item in question will be. Alongside those performance tune-up features, SMP also includes impressive protection from malware, with behavioural analysis to pick up threats even if they haven’t yet been catalogued in Iolo’s extensive database.
If you just want to give your PC a quick tuneup, the Dashboard might be all you need. The software scans for junk files, broken or missing registry entries and unnecessary browser cookies. The scanning process is fast, and once it’s complete, you can fix all identified problems with just one click. After the initial scan, you can generally rely on the app’s ActiveCare tool to carry out this regular maintenance for you whenever your PC is idle.
Things get more interesting when you begin exploring SMP’s Toolbox. This includes a combination of tools unique to System Mechanic, plus a few convenient links to the best of Windows’ own utilities, saving you the need to trawl through the Control Panel.
The excellent Startup Manager is a huge cut above the one included with most other Windows tuneup applications. Each program listed includes a rating from Iolo’s community to help you decide whether to prevent it running at startup for faster boot times.
However, the standout feature has to be its superb malware scanner. This lets you check your entire system, a specific folder (particularly handy for scanning your Downloads folder) or just an individual file. The malware definitions are updated regularly, and there’s sophisticated behavioural analysis to pick up newly emerging threats, as we mentioned above. SMP doesn’t just block malware either — it can also remove it thoroughly if your PC is already infected.
In short, System Mechanic Pro makes for a great toolkit for fixing many PC ails.