We bought our first family computer in 1996 and I got my first laptop in 1999. During that time, I found my love for tinkering. I would dig into the computer and see what it could really do. Sometimes I broke things, sometimes I made things better, but it was always fun. I’ve downloaded a lot of system utilities since I started tinkering, but one of the best is System Mechanic. I’ve literally been able to walk into a client’s office with a PC that is absolutely non-functional (blank desktop, no Start Menu or Taskbar, no way to really do anything), install System Mechanic, run the analysis, apply the fixes and have them back up and running. I’ve run System Mechanic on all the PCs I’ve ever owned and probably 8 out of 10 times have been truly impressed with the results (the other 2 times there just wasn’t a noticeable improvement).
Getting Rid of the Junk
The optimization tools in System Mechanic are really excellent. There are two kinds of analyses you can do with one click: Regular and Deep. The regular scan is usually pretty quick (5 minutes or less, usually), but the deep scan goes a lot further and can take 20 minutes or more. Areas of optimization include:
- System clutter – files that are eating up hard drive space and should be deleted.
- Registry errors – orphaned or corrupted areas of the Windows Registry that need to be deleted or repaired.
- Security vulnerabilities – these are typically settings within Windows or your programs that are “weak areas” exposing your PC to potential hackers or malware.
- Unwanted startup programs – applications that being when Windows boots up and then run in the background can seriously slow down your PC.
- Disk fragmentation – this happens over time, regardless of how careful you are and System Mechanic is one of the quickest and most thorough defragmenters I’ve used.
Regular or Pro
System Mechanic comes in two flavors, Regular and Pro. The Pro version includes three utilities in addition to the core System Mechanic suite: System Shield, Drive Scrubber plus Search & Recover. I’m going to be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with System Shield (iolo’s anti-virus/anti-spyware suite), but when I have used it, I’ve felt there are better options out there. Drive Scrubber does a complete wipe on a hard drive and is great for completely wiping a drive if you are selling or giving away your PC. It does a military-grade wipe, meaning it not only wipes the drive, but then writes random data over the drive and wipes again. There are lots of tools out there that will do this, but Drive Scrubber is one of the quickest, being 50-100% faster than some of the other tools out there. Search & Recover is also a good tool – it finds and recovers files you’ve accidentally deleted. The list of media it can recover from is extensive, including CDs, DVDs, flash drives, media cards and even hard drives that have been damaged (obviously with file recovery, especially on a damaged drive, your mileage may vary). In my experience I’ve been able to recover files from media cards, hard drives (even after a quick format) and flash drives. While it didn’t recover all the files, it recovered enough for me to feel like it was a worthwhile tool.
If you’re looking for one of the very best system optimization tools out there, you can’t go wrong with System Mechanic. It’s scanning is robust, the tools comprehensive and it’s easy to use. The license is annual, but with all the improvements they make to the scanning and repair engines, it’s well worth it. As Windows has undergone a lot of changes from 7 to 8 to 8.1 and now 10, System Mechanic has impressively kept up with all the changes and equipped their products to support all the latest OS versions and service packs. If you can find a good discount (see below for one!), I’d say you should spring for System Mechanic Pro – the extra bundled tools give you a good comprehensive suite for your PC. If you already have great anti-virus software and don’t foresee ever needing to wipe your hard drive or recover deleted files, the regular System Mechanic will serve you extremely well.
Iolo also offers a free System Checkup tool that’s lightweight and gives you a pretty comprehensive scan to detect registry errors and file bloat. It doesn’t give you any ability to fix them (that’s what System Mechanic is for), but having a free tool that you can use to do a quick check is really handy.
Since you made it to the bottom of this Spotlight, I have a special offer for you! For a limited time only (how often do you hear that?), you can get either System Mechanic or System Mechanic Pro for 50% off the retail price! Most of the links here include some kind of a a discount, but this is the best deal!
This recommendation is based on my own personal and professional experience. The links and ads are affiliate links; if you click on them and purchase, you get a great product and I get a little revenue, so it’s a win-win, but I want to be upfront about what you’re clicking.