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Iolo System Mechanic 9 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £35
inc VAT

A useful, if slightly expensive, all-round tool for keeping your system in check.

Computers can quickly become clogged with a bewildering mix of old documents, cached data and installation files, turning a once-speedy PC into a disk-grinding mess.

The drastic solution is a complete Windows reinstall, but this takes time, effort and know-how. System Mechanic 9’s tools provide a simpler alternative.

After an initial system analysis, you are presented with a problem report. Our test PC apparently had 563 Registry problems, 25 memory problems and 398MB of unnecessary files. These can be fixed with one click, or investigated further using a raft of repair wizards. The wizards are an improvement on earlier versions of System Mechanic, which tended to hide information from the user.

They still tend to generalise, though, which left us concerned about what they were doing. Clearing out our Firefox installation, it offered to delete the unnecessary files, but it wasn’t clear if browsing history and downloads would be left untouched, although they were. Still, the test PC did feel more responsive after a fully automated makeover, though there was no appreciable improvement in startup times.

Delving into the System Mechanic reveals a wealth of Windows customisation and configuration tools, including a comprehensive startup tool and a Registry defragmenter. There are 40 tools in all, which can be deployed individually or as grouped routines designed to accelerate, repair and clean up your system. If you have privacy concerns, System Mechanic can also turn your Recycle Bin into a US-military approved ‘data incinerator’.

There are regular updates to its tune-up routines, so new software can be dealt with in the best way. A one-year subscription to these Tune-up Definitions is included in the price, after which they cost an optional $20 (£12) a year. We can’t see that clearing a few extra Registry entries is as essential as the latest virus definitions. Still, these utilities should help PC novices keep computers from grinding to a halt.


Price £35
Rating ****

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