TuneUp Utilities 2011 Features
I’ve used TuneUp Utilities on and off for about 7 or 8 years and have always been happy with the performance gains I get by using it on my PC. In this review, we take a look at what’s new and some of the features that make TuneUp Utilities stand out against other programs.
When you first start using TuneUp, you are guided through the 1-Click Maintenance wizard:
TuneUp scans your PC and identifies:
- Registry problems
- Registry fragmentation
- Broken shortcuts
- Temporary files
- Startup optimizations
- Shutdown optimizations
Clicking Run maintenance will fix the errors and problems and get you on your way to a cleaner PC:
After running the automatic maintenance for the first time, you can “set it and forget it” and TuneUp will tweak your PC in the background:
You can manage TuneUp right from the system tray and get a quick overview of any potential problems that exist. You can also enable Turbo Mode.
A new feature to TuneUp 2011 is the TuneUp status bar. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is expected of you when using a program like this. TuneUp Utilities 2011 points you to areas where there is potential to improve the performance of your PC. You can see your progress on the Tuning Status bar, which is on the main menu of TuneUp 2011:
By telling TuneUp your computing preferences (e.g. what level of visual effects you like) and information it may not be able to determine alone (e.g. Internet connection type and speeds), it can customize your computer for best performance according to your needs:
TuneUp will, at first, offer you many performance-enhancing changes and tools. Don’t worry, it wont take you long to get through all the suggestions, and you’ll be glad you did afterward. Here’s an example of TuneUp offering to scan your drive with the TuneUp Disk Doctor to check your hard drives for errors:
I decided to scan all hard drives:
Here’s another example where TuneUp identifies programs you haven’t used in a long time and asks you if you recognize them or not. If you don’t recognize the program, TuneUp will help you determine its purpose and help you disable it (more about that later) or uninstall it:
As with all good optimization programs, you can back out your changes at any time (does the screen below remind you of Windows XP? I wonder if this one could do with an update?) The TuneUp Rescue Center can help you fix and problems that may be caused by over-zealous clean up (although I’ve not needed to use it yet.)
I did find a couple of quirky things. Here’s one: First I’m told there’s a problem affecting system health:
I ran a scan and No problems were found. I closed and reopened the program and the notification went away.
Disable Programs; Verify their Usefulness by Rating
Another new feature of TuneUp 2011 is the Program Decactivator. This tool deactivates programs that you currently don’t use. By deactiviating a program, you stop the services and supporting programs that are run by it. At first I was a little skeptical of this feature and how it works but soon saw the potential it had to really speed up your PC.
To help us understand the performance gains, TuneUp did a test where they installed 200 popular programs, uninstalled them and compared the PCs performance after uninstalling them. Not surprisingly, so much junk was left behind that the computer was much slower (see the results.) TuneUp got the PC working almost exactly as it did before the installation of the 200 programs.
If you need some of these programs occasionally, it could be tedious to uninstall and reinstall these programs again and again. The Program Deactivator is designed to “pause” a program until you need it again. I deactivated iTunes (which tends to slow down my PC), plugged in my iPhone, and TuneUp popped up to let me know iTunes had, in an instant, been reactivated for use again — easy!
Not sure which programs to deactivate? TuneUp comes with a user-driven rating system that lets you rate the programs you use and view the ratings left by others:
Aware of privacy concerns, I checked out What data will be transferred? and saw the following:
I also spoke to one of the founders of the company, Tibor Schiemann, and he verified that no personal or identifiable information is sent in this process and that your anonymity is high priority.
Disabling a program is as simple as clicking a button and re-enabling the program is just as simple. You can also re-enable a program by opening a file that would need that program (like my example with the iPhone and iTunes above.)
Overall, I like TuneUp Utilities 2011. I have it running on my laptop and my laptop is running very well. I was getting to the point where I wanted to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch and installed this hoping it would help a little. Well it helped a lot and I’m very satisfied with the effects of this great software.
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