I like to run TuneUp first, then CCleaner to see if TuneUp missed anything.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


Two effective Windows fixer-uppers -- TuneUp and CCleaner

May 8, 2011

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2011, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2011, The Post-Standard

Last week I kicked System Mechanic off my recommended list of Windows utilities. The problem, as I detailed in that column (at www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec050111.html), is the spate of fake (and therefore deceptive) reviews of System Mechanic planted on various websites.

The way I see things, such tactics call everything into question. I couldn't possibly endorse a product marketed that way.

Fortunately for Windows users, there are many other fixup programs, including the two I'm reviewing this week -- TuneUp Utilities, from TuneUp Corp. of Miami, and CCleaner, from Piriform, a British company. Both are excellent, and one -- CCleaner -- is free.

TuneUp, a veteran fix-up program now in its 2011 version, is available from www.tune-up.com. It costs $49.95. A trial version with all features enabled runs for 15 days and can be downloaded for free.

CCleaner, which you can download from www.piriform.com, costs nothing, but Piriform provides PayPal links if you'd like to donate any amount.

(Please note that rogue sites NOT run by Piriform try to charge for CCleaner or for extra services associated with CCleaner. Do not pay these crooks anything. Each time I write about CCleaner I hear from readers who have been victimized. Don't let it happen to you.)

Both programs are ideal for Windows veterans and newbies alike, and they're easy enough to use if you're the kind of non-geek who worries about pressing the wrong key. Explanations abound in both programs.

Essentially, Windows fix-up utilities check for (and correct) the most common mistakes Windows makes in everyday use. I sometimes say Windows can't walk and chew gum at the same time -- a slight exaggeration, maybe, but accurate in its premise.

Junk files, registry bloat and untended file caches get the heave-ho in both programns. TuneUp does more and is probably the best choice for most users; CCleaner is more attuned to those who like to get their hands (or keyboard) into the inner workings of the monster.

I use both. I like to run TuneUp first, then CCleaner to see if TuneUp missed anything. That way I get a "second opinion," as valuable in taming Windows as in medical diagnosis.