Finding the Best PC Optimization Software for Windows 11

Utilities   •  Oct.26, 2021

windows tuneup

Microsoft has always updated its desktop operating system. Windows 11 is going strong, but there have been reports of users struggling with responsiveness and performance issues. At the same time, users with powerful PCs are experiencing the OS with zero lag. So, now what?

Are you going to be the person who bears the trouble, or are you going to do something about it? Well, if you’re someone who lets their actions speak, then we have the perfect companion to help you out. A PC optimizer helps you maintain your device’s performance and ensures that your PC is ready to upgrade to the new Windows 11 OS.

Windows 11: do I still need PC tune up?

Tune-up programs enjoyed some success in the boom years from Windows 95 to XP, when hardware was slower and optimization might make a difference. Today, Windows 11 looks after itself pretty well and takes care of your computer all on its own. Even if you don’t want to perform a manual defragmentation, your computer will continue to perform well while active so long as you don’t miss a scheduled maintenance.

However, Windows 11 lacks a singular tune-up tool; they’re scattered across the operating system, lacking a centralized location. If you find things are beginning to slow down or, consider yourself a power user and prefer having more control over what goes on with the inner workings of your computer, tune-up and optimisation programs could still be useful, because they provide a lot of tools in one handy package — often with just a single mouse-click.

Something is always better than nothing.

System optimization tools have received something of a bad rap over the years, but this is largely thanks to a handful of unscrupulous tools that serve little purchase. The same accusations simply do not apply to the latest curated tools below. These tools perform various tasks such as clearing junk files, fixing invalid registry entries, limiting processes from using memory in the background, and much more:

  • Improved performance and responsiveness
  • Improved UI and gaming experience
  • Better RAM management
  • Extra storage space

So, what’s the best PC optimization software?

Not sure where to start your search? We’ve tested and rounded up the top PC tuning utilities on the market today, taking into consideration key factors such as price, performance, and special features. If you’re looking for a specific type of optimization, we’ve picked out the tools from tune-up to all-around solution in category below to help further streamline your search.

For all-around PC enhancement:

For tune-up utility:

For free or cheap PC optimization:

Best options for all-around PC enhancement

IObit Advanced SystemCare Pro

IObit Advanced SystemCare Pro is a known name for many as it is arguably one of the best PC optimization software developed, and the best part is it is loaded with several tools that aid device optimization efficiently.

iobit

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: The free version offers basic features, and at $16.77, you get the Pro version with 1 PC support. Whereas the $19.99 plan gives you more perks and additional device support [3 PC].

Pros

  • Comprehensive PC optimization tools
  • Straightforward and intuitive interface
  • Enhanced Deep PC Cleaning and Protect features.
  • Improved performance stats for better surfing and junk file cleaning
  • Optimizes both Windows 10 and 11

Cons

  • Most tools are restricted to the Pro version
  • Limited features in the free version, and it has ads

Our take

The interface of Advanced SystemCare Pro is mostly the straightforward and intuitive one that we have seen with its past versions. However, the current version has a more refined feel to it; navigating and accessing its tools is now made easier.

While there were no major additional tools added, the existing ones have been significantly improved and upscaled, which I have noticed while comparing with one of the older versions of Advanced SystemCare Pro.

Getting into details, Advanced SystemCare Pro’s one-click AI-powered scanning detects and resolves PC slowdown while offering a comprehensive health check.

The Deep PC Cleaning and Protect are now more capable, resulting in a lighter, cleaner, and privacy breach-free PC. Also, the performance stats have been significantly improved, offering better surfing, resource management, and junk file cleaning.

While its tools do the job as advertised, we’re unhappy to see most of them are restricted to the Pro version; hence, if you’re looking to use its free version, you might be disappointed.

Ashampoo® WinOptimizer

Like most software, there is no significant difference in the interface on Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26, except for the addition of a few categories and enhanced navigation.

ashampoo 1

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: While Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26 doesn’t have restrictions with the trial, you have to purchase the Pro version at $12 with 3 PC support after 30 days. I felt it would have been better if there was a free version with basic features alongside a trial version, as most users wouldn’t make use of all the tools offered in the Pro variant.

Pros

  • Offers detailed system status overview and reliable Tuning Assist
  • Effective one-click optimization for Windows 10/11
  • Features Advanced deep cleaning tool and Comprehensive four-way cleaning ability
  • SSD wizard enhances SSD lifespan and performance
  • Affordable with a plethora of valuable tools

Cons

  • No free version alongside the trial
  • The pro version might offer more tools than an average user needs

Our take

The one-click optimization is great and rejuvenates the Windows 10/11 system that has been slowed down due to cluttering while offering valuable updates and notifications about the optimization process.

Also, the Four-way cleaning ability is worth mentioning, as it cleans junk files, web browsing traces, invalid Registry items, and privacy-sensitive data. You can pair it with an advanced deep cleaning tool as it frees up hard disk space and improves system performance.

The Privacy Traces feature eliminates traces left behind by various applications, ensuring user privacy and security. Out of all the tools, the SSD wizard stood up to the top for me, as it provides information and tools to prolong the lifespan of SSDs and enhance their performance.

The Tuning Assistant and a few other unique tools add value, and the best part about the software is it is affordable.

iolo System Mechanic®

iolo System Mechanic isn’t just a regular PC optimization software but a complete package that is developed for all-around optimization and also an antivirus, data recovery tool, and password manager.

iolo 1

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: System Mechanic offers performance perks at $39.95, and System Mechanic Pro offers performance and antivirus perks at $55.94. However, if you want all of its tools, you can opt for System Mechanic Ultimate Defense at $63.94.

Pros

  • All-in-one package: optimization, antivirus, data recovery, and password manager
  • Features Real-Time Protection, System Shield, and Malware Killer
  • Offers Custom Protection Tiers and Digital Fingerprint Protection
  • Efficient data recovery for various file types
  • Secure password management in a browser extension

Cons

  • Priced higher than some alternatives
  • It might not be suitable for everyone, as only a few look for all-in-one packages

Our take

Starting with the interface, while it is simple and intuitive, we believe it needs refinement. The Windows 10/11 PC optimization is done like every other software with one click through the ActiveCare tool. Also, you can tag DeepClean for better results, as it cleans junk files, invalid Registry items, etc.

Next comes the antivirus, which offers Real-Time Protection, System Shield, and Malware Killer, which clears the PC of threats without sacrificing performance. Also, the ability to control which companies can collect personal data with the help of Custom Protection Tiers and Digital Fingerprint Protection is an added benefit.

Regarding its data recovery tool, it efficiently retrieves deleted documents, music, photos, emails, videos, system files, and even entire folders. The password manager is an added advantage, considering you can securely store all their passwords in one easy-to-manage browser extension, ensuring peace of mind while browsing.

Read iolo System Mechanic detailed review.

Best options for tune-up

AVG TuneUp for PC

AVG TuneUp deserves a place on our list as it is a complete toolbox that provides a lot of functionality. It helps clean and optimize tools and features to update drivers, delete files, and much more.

avg

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: AVG TuneUp is available for Windows and macOS devices and has a free version that runs for 7-days. The premium version is expensive and would cost you $29.99 for a single device and $34.99 for 10 devices.

Pros

  • Supports defragmenting hard drives
  • Can help remove duplicate files
  • Has great features and impressive results

Cons

  • Has a bad trial version limited to only 7 days
  • The pro version is very expensive

Our take

AVG TuneUp has an automatic scanning process used for routine maintenance, and it works amazingly well and ensures your PC work in an optimal state, without any lags. It works by identifying apps with startup processes running in the background and then by putting them to sleep until you next need them.

We ran some tests and saw decent improvements after running AVG TuneUp. Our PC boot time dropped 14 seconds, then our average booting speed and the CPU and RAM utilization decreased by about 20-30% from our standard usage.

This is a great improvement, but you won’t be able to get it until you get the expensive premium version. It does have a free app, but it is only limited to 7 days of use which is a big bummer for all the budget users.

defencebyte Computer Optimizer

Defencebyte Computer Optimizer is a program that helps speed up your PC by cleaning registries. It, too, has the same features and can help remove unnecessary log files and junk files that hamper your desktop’s performance.

defencebyte 1

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: You can download the tool for free or buy the premium version for $38.95 for a single license. It also comes in three different packages, which can cost a maximum of $181.95 for a total of 10 licenses.

Pros

  • Easy to use with a responsive UI
  • Can display all major information on a single screen
  • Has a great free trial app

Cons

  • The premium version is a bit expensive

Our take

It installs quickly and scans hard drives to find and delete removing faulty or old registry files, this includes uninstalled entries, invalid paths and programs, non-existent shared DLLs, and useless file extensions.

All PCs tend to slow down, and with a new update such as Windows 11, you can expect to see some performance loss. No desktop PC is ever exempted from this, and thus, defencebyte Computer Optimizer helps users with powerful registry cleaner and optimizer capabilities.

It also has various features, such as a browser cleaner, a broken/outdated driver care and an overview panel that shows all the essential information such as CPU and RAM utilization on a single screen.

So, given that all PCs, especially after updates like Windows 11, are prone to slowing down, this software offers a robust solution with its registry cleaning and optimizing features. We appreciate the additional functionalities it provides, such as the browser cleaner, care for broken/outdated drivers, and a consolidated overview panel displaying vital system statistics.

Norton Utilities Ultimate

Norton is very well known for its antivirus, and Norton Utilities Ultimate compliments it perfectly. This all-in-one tool states that it makes your old computer run like new again.

norton

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: Norton Utilities is a one-time service that you can purchase for $50 and is available to work on your Windows.

Pros

  • Personalized help and support
  • 24×7 ready support team
  • Works for Windows and Macs

Cons

  • Expensive pricing

Our take

Norton Utilities Ultimate is a revitalization tool designed to make older computers operate like new ones. Starting with its disk cleaner, it is extremely efficient at clearing unnecessary files and enhances the performance of the PC greatly.

It isn’t restricted to PC cleaning but is also capable of clearing the browser cookies regularly, enhancing privacy, and creating space for you to stream and browse better.

Like every other PC optimizer, you get to clean broken registry keys, and it is quite efficient at doing so. Apart from these, you also get to analyze the issues on the PC and make decisions accordingly, or leave it to Norton Utilities Ultimate as it takes care of everything.

The tool focuses on comprehensive performance enhancements, optimizing settings for faster startup and application run times and improving hard drive performance.

Overall, we believe Norton Utilities Ultimate is a holistic solution for those seeking to optimize their computer’s performance, ensuring a smoother and faster user experience. However, the pricing can be steep for individuals.

Best options for free or cheap PC optimization

CCleaner

CCleaner has been around for a long time and was first popularized in the glory days of the old Android phones. This made it a popular tool for Windows users as well, and a reason for its popularity is that it cleans your PC without taking up much time.

ccleanfree

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: It can be downloaded for free. The premium version would cost you $29 for the pro and $49.95 for the pro plus variants.

Pros

  • It has a powerful deep scanning tool
  • It also has a game optimizer
  • Instantly frees up disk space

Cons

  • The pro version doesn’t have much value

Our take

If you feel that your PC is starting to feel sluggish, then CCleaner is a great tool to fix it with. CCleaner has a simple and easy-to-use UI with an optimization toolkit that adds protection modules and a cleanup scheduler that keeps your PC in pristine condition.

We tried using the one-click scan tool, and it was able to scan through most of the duplicate files that I have made (as a backup) and recommended I delete those.

Its Driver Updater consistently keeps track of hardware components and updates drivers to prevent glitches and crashes. The PC Health Check feature is worth mentioning, as it evaluates the state of your system and provides suggestions for improving its speed and effectiveness.

CCleaner ensures user privacy and anonymity by deleting cookies and search history, promoting online safety. Furthermore, to provide a more stable PC experience, its Registry Cleaner locates and eliminates mistakes and broken settings in the registry.

However, the free version of the CCleaner app has basic features such as removing temporary files, erasing browser caches, and removing unwanted cookies. And, the best feature is improving boot times and minimizing RAM consumption for a more responsive experience.

Razer Cortex

If you are a gamer, you should definitely check out Razer Cortex. And that’s especially true for those of us who have a budget setup. While it won’t be making your games immensely fast, you can still expect a 5-10 FPS jump in most games.

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: Free

Pros

  1. By far the easiest to use
  2. Explicitly optimized for games and gamers

Cons

  1. It doesn’t come with any additional tools
  2. It supports only a few games

Our Take

I recently tried out Cortex and was impressed. Why? When I use it to play games, it clears out other tasks and allocates all available resources to my game, resulting in smoother gameplay.

The Game Booster is one of the main features of Razer Cortex, and it’s pretty efficient in improving your PC’s gaming performance. It manages and detects all the resource-draining background processes and services and stops them while gaming, hence freeing up valuable RAM space.

Razer Cortex’s Booster Prime feature runs a machine-learning algorithm to predict the FPS (Frames per second) count accurately and maps it on a chart. We can refer to it to gain valuable insights and adjust them to boost our system’s performance.

The best part? It’s free. It works like other PC cleaners but has a special boost for games. While it doesn’t have advanced features like some of the other apps on this list, it’s a free and convenient option for game users who need basic PC cleaning functionality.

Glary Utilities

Glary Utilities is a decent alternative to the PC Cleaners above on the list. Along with the free and paid versions, it works well to speed up your computer & enhance the overall performance of your PC.

glary 1

Available on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

Pricing: The Pro version is priced at $39.95 and Technician plan for $169. It also has a free as well with a trial version.

Pros

  • The File Splitter tool helps divide larger chunks of files into small sections
  • It also keeps a complete track of your PC’s performance
  • Has a great scheduler to help automate scans

Cons

  • Doesn’t have specific tools to protect and improve the browsing experience

Our take

The app prompts you to remove unused software and junk files, but it doesn’t provide detailed descriptions. This isn’t good because some users can delete useful files. However, it also has a backup and restores tool that can help you overcome the issue.

It has a well-organized and clean UI that sits well with both beginners and pros alike. You can also schedule tune-up times and clean or repair your PC. It is similar to the apps above, and we like that it is also present with Glary. This makes it easy to use, and hence you can access most of the features without much trouble.

However, the lack of detailed descriptions is a concern, as there’s a risk of accidentally deleting essential files. Thankfully, the inclusion of a backup and restore tool acts as a safety net, reducing potential mishaps. The ability to schedule tune-ups and conduct PC maintenance is an added advantage.

FAQs

What to look for a good PC optimizer app?

Most of the PC Optimization apps have a lot of features. This can get confusing quickly, especially if you don’t know how the app works. So, here are a few things that you should look for:

  • One-Click Fix – Helps you clean and fix errors with a single click
  • System Cleaner – Scan and clean the storage space
  • Memory Optimizer – Manage background processes that use a lot of RAM
  • App Uninstaller – Helps clean large, unwanted apps
  • Registry Cleaner – Repair invalid registry entries

These are the core features you should expect to see in a decent PC Optimizer for Windows 11. However, if you get some extra functionality, then it’s all the better.

What is the best system optimizer?

The best system optimizer is IObit Advanced SystemCare Pro. It increased the performance of my Windows 11 laptop by a lot and made it super responsive. So, if you too have the same problem, go ahead and install the app and optimize your PC.

What is the best game Optimizer for PC?

While there are many system optimization software programs on the list, the best game optimizer was Razer Cortex. The app worked as expected, and I noticed an improvement of 4-8 FPS on all the games I tried running. All you need to do is run the app and clean some background processes to improve the overall performance.

How do I clean my PC for free?

You can clean your PC from junk files and other unrequired data for free by using a free PC optimizer app. CCleaner is one such free app that can search all the junk on your PC and remove it within minutes.

Get your PC running smoothly

Fixing annoying bugs and errors can be stressful, and dealing with it on time with a busy schedule drives anyone mad. However, there’s a quick fix, and now that you know the best PC optimizer apps and services, you can quickly get to the root of the problem and fix the errors once and for all.

So, we hope that you will have a wonderful time using your optimized Windows 11 PC, and with this, we have reached the end of our guide and expect to see you run your PC with great responsiveness and ideal performance.

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