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Cleanup and Optimization

Free and Open Source Software Alternatives

There are a host of software titles out there you can purchase that claim they can speed up your computer. Most of these programs perform basic cleanup and optimization tasks that you can also do with free utilities, such as deleting temporary files, fixing registry errors, and disabling startup items. Periodically cleansing your computer can help increase speed, performance, and stability...but it isn't the best solution in every case. Sometimes you simply need to bite the bullet and reformat your hard drive

If you want to go the optimization-without-reformatting route, Glary Utilities is one free program that helps you cleanup and optimize your machine. It performs the common tasks mentioned above and more. Once downloaded, you can open it and perform the 1-Click Maintenance, which scans for issues and can automatically repair errors in many cases.

Then you can use the Modules to access other utilities, such as the Uninstall Manager to remove unused programs.

After you’re done cleaning you should run Check Disk, which scans for and automatically fixes disk errors on the hard drive. You should also run Disk Defragmenter, which automatically reorganizes your data on the hard drive for faster operation. Both of these utilities come with Windows and are on the Start Menu: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools.

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  • 3 Hide
    army_ant7 , May 12, 2011 9:00 AM
    You forgot to mention Microsoft Security Essentials. It's worth mentioning because it's actually supported by Microsoft and it's free (as long as you have a genuine OS). :-D
  • 2 Hide
    army_ant7 , May 12, 2011 9:05 AM
    LibreOffice would've probably been more welcome here than OpenOffice (because it's actually open source). :-)
  • 0 Hide
    army_ant7 , May 12, 2011 9:17 AM
    I was wondering that to, but I'm really not familiar with Glary. It didn't even show up when I Googled for a free optimization utility before. I use CCleaner now though.

    Also, in the backup section, the Windows bacup tools aren't mentioned.
  • 0 Hide
    army_ant7 , May 12, 2011 9:24 AM
    I'm glad to see that last line of this article. It's very refreshing to read it and know that there are actually people out there who care. :-)
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2011 12:36 PM
    The author of this articles confuses open source and free software.
    try wikipedia for the definitions
    True most open source is free (not all opens source is free). In this article I see mostly closed source free software.
    Change the article title cause it is misleading (or change job)
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2011 12:52 PM
    Three tools missing,

    Libre Office.
    Microsoft Security essentials.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , May 12, 2011 2:29 PM
    Avast is a great product.
  • 1 Hide
    egeier , May 12, 2011 2:39 PM
    Yes Ccleaner, Libre Office, and Microsoft Security essentials are good options too. Just didn’t want this to be a laundry list of software. I wanted to give some details about each and couldn’t do multiple alternatives for each category.

    Only gripes I have about Microsoft Security Essentials is that it lacks sandboxing and password protection. But I do like they offer it to small businesses for free as well, on up to 10 PCs.

    Does CCleaner support batch uninstall? I love that in Glary Utilities. Also Glary offers the simple 1-Click Maintenance and seems to include a bit more additional tools than CCleaner: file shredder, undelete file recovery, file encryption, disk analysis, duplicate file finder, and file splitter and joiner.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , May 12, 2011 4:28 PM
    nobody123456The author of this articles confuses open source and free software.try wikipedia for the definitionsTrue most open source is free (not all opens source is free). In this article I see mostly closed source free software. Change the article title cause it is misleading (or change job)

    Thanks for your comment. Your point is a good one and we are looking in to a more appropriate descriptor for the applications discussed in this article. Some of these apps do not meet the criteria for the literal definition of "open source" which we would do well to adhere to. Keep an eye out for the headline change and our editor's update/correction.

    Luckily, we're glad to take your advice about the definition of open source, but not insecure enough to change careers on your suggestion that we do so.

    Thanks for reading.

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Managing Editor, Tom's Guide
  • 1 Hide
    phate , May 12, 2011 8:04 PM
    LibreOffice >>> OpenOffice

    Open Office is dead.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2011 8:46 PM
    No mention what so ever of Paint.NET for a free image editing alternative ?! As already mentioned CCleaner or DriveImage XML, Freebyte Backup and I agree Open Source and Free are not the one and the same. Also have to admit I too had not heard of Glary Utilities much before.. and Libre > OO any day/time.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2011 9:03 PM
    Apart from the packages already mentioned, Blender and Paint.NET would also be good suggestions.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 13, 2011 8:44 AM
    I stopped reading your article when I saw no mention of Ccleaner, which is only the most reliable, straightforward no bulldang, easy, coherent, usable and free software out there. Get real.
  • 1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , May 13, 2011 5:23 PM
    libre office is better than OOO
  • -2 Hide
    ohseus , May 14, 2011 3:52 AM
    Are people really this stupid on Tom's? Free and open source confuses you in the title so you'd prefer it said free soft ware and open source software so as not confuse your tiny brain? Do you get upset if you go to a bed and breakfast only to find out the bed is not made from a large stack of pancakes? Try one iota of critical thinking.

    Laughably no one has bothered to point out that software that requires one to purchase Windows is not actually free.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , May 14, 2011 4:31 PM
    I'm a longtime Photoshop user. After reading this article, I downloaded GIMP. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with this product. For most applications, I can do in GIMP what I can do in Photoshop.

    GIMP provides 100% of the functionality 99% of the people out there require for image editing and composition. I'm pretty impressed with it so far.
  • 0 Hide
    verrul , May 15, 2011 10:41 PM
    spybot search and destroy cant beat it for preventitive measuere
  • 0 Hide
    verrul , May 15, 2011 10:59 PM
    i use ccleaner, spybot, and malware lite
  • 0 Hide
    verrul , May 15, 2011 11:31 PM
    gimp is awesome, blender rules for open sourced 3d program
  • 0 Hide
    verrul , May 15, 2011 11:32 PM
    panda 3d for game designing
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