TuneUp Utilities 2011 Review

by Rafael Hernandez on December 20, 2010 · 2 comments

Staying on top of PC maintenance is right up there with watching paint dry and other boring necessities in life. It may take forever and a half to accomplish, and require constant monitoring, but if you want to make sure your system is running in top form it’s a necessary evil.

TuneUp Utilities 2011 is one of many system optimization applications on the market that promise to get your PC cleaned up and ready for the rigors of your usage. We’ll be taking a look at what it offers and how it’ll help you stave off the tedious computer tasks you’d rather not have to deal with.

There’s no doubt that it’s difficult to smooth over all of the little inconsistencies that pop up over time while using a PC. Things that, if left unchecked, can turn into real performance killers or, in those rare circumstances, even stability problems.

TuneUp Utilities 2011 is the latest version in a long line of TuneUp system optimization programs that they’ve refined and perfected over the years, so you can be sure they know the safe way to tweak things without risking system stability and data integrity.

Before we delve into what the software can do I’d like to talk a little bit about something that doesn’t often concern me: User Interfaces. TuneUp Utilities 2011’s interface is a marked improvement over the 2010 version. All of the program’s windows, sub panels, and information displays let you know what you’re doing and gives you plenty of details to base your decisions on. In short, everything looks uniform and doesn’t have you hunting for settings 20 pages down a panel. Kudos to the TuneUp crew.

An interface to be proud of

Of course you’re probably wondering what you’ll find in this software suite that makes it worthy of your funds. We feel it lies in four, out of its many, features. Automatic Maintenance, Turbo Mode, Program Deactivator, and the Dashboard itself.

Automatic Maintenance lets you pick and choose from TuneUp’s various cleanup tasks that reverse OS and software foibles that can otherwise impact system performance severely… if you leave your system to its own devices. Registry cleaning, hard drive defragmenting, and cleaning out temporary files, among others, are a part of the Automatic Maintenance mode which will run while the system is idle or according to a schedule.

I don’t have to tell you what that would be useful for but I will anyway. It’s an extremely handy feature for those PCs we’re not around to care for but have a duty to manage anyway. Yes your friends’ and family’s computers undoubtedly take more time to clean up and maintain than your own, so this feature comes in useful and should cut down on the tech support requests you receive.

Turbo Mode could be considered the application’s “Go Fast” button, in which case it should have been bigger and red but I digress. Once clicked the program automatically disables operating system features and tasks that can come up at inopportune times like when you’re blasting away aliens in your favorite game only to have your OS decide it’s a fine time to start indexing your hard drive, which will kill your system’s performance. Everything that TuneUp has set up to be shut off with Turbo Mode is safe to switch off, so it can be considered a free performance boost. And if you decide you actually need certain functionality while gaming you can choose to have Turbo Mode skip it. When you’re done gaming — or another other system intensive task — turning off Turbo Mode re-enables the services and features it shut off so you can enjoy your fancy Aero bordered windows and whatnot.

I no longer fear Indexing Services kicking in

The TuneUp Program Deactivator is a major new feature that allows you to make programs appear invisible to the operating system. For example: turn off services or background programs related to an application, without actually uninstalling them, which is handy for freeing up that precious memory and CPU cycles. Program Deactivator also features a Usefulness Rating system that works off user contributed ratings. Yes, you can even send in your own rating so that you know if an application is essential or if you can do without that silly program you installed years ago.

Yes I have a Zune…what of it?

The suite’s Dashboard is one of TuneUp Utilities’ biggest selling points. It does a fantastic job of highlighting problems without confusing you with a myriad of options. This all leads back to the whole user interface aspect that I mentioned earlier. In short, TuneUp has struck an impressive balace for software that’s crammed full of features yet keeps things concise, yet informative, for the user. There are a ton of system performance modules in TuneUp Utilities… I mean, just look at them all:

A potent collection of Utilities

TuneUp Utilities 2010 covers just about every aspect of system cleanup and performance improvement without risking system stability or data integrity. It’s easy to use, and once it’s set up, it can do all of the messy behind-the-scenes optimizing without any user input. Heck, the software can even be installed on up to 3 PCs, so you can cover family and/or friends, which will save you a lot of grief in the long run.

With all of the features, usability improvements, automated optimizations, and user friendliness packed into this suite of utilities, the only reasonable conclusion is that this is a must-have and we bestow upon it — for the second year in a row — our Editor’s Choice Award.

Software provided by TuneUp Corporation.

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