Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10 review

Pros

  • Improves system performance
  • Many useful tools on board
  • Clean interface

Cons

  • Free rival products give similar results
  • Only licensed for one PC

A brand spanking new PC runs like a champ when you first boot it up, but performance issues inevitably set in eventually. If your desktop or laptop isn't opening windows, launching applications, or booting up as quickly as it once did, it may be time to check out a tune-up program like Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10.

This utility suite lets users fix common PC problems, remove redundant files to free hard drive space, repair the registry, and more. Although WinOptimizer 10's system improvements didn't match Iolo System Mechanic 11's, it is still an app with merit.

Interface

Like other tune-up utilities, WinOptimizer 10 has meagre system requirements. It demands just 90MB of hard drive space, and is compatible with the Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP operating systems. Ashampoo's site doesn't list RAM requirements, but your system shouldn't suffer any problems if it can run Windows properly.

After downloading, installing, and launching WinOptimizer 10, you're presented with a clean and streamlined grey-and-white interface that's divided into five areas: Overview (the main screen), Modules (which houses the different tune-up tools), Favourites (your most frequently used modules), Backups, and Statistics. The program has a sensible layout and is extremely easy to navigate.

Performance

Ashampoo wisely includes a one-click clean-up button for those who don't want to cycle between the different utilities. However, WinOptimizer10 users have the option to use any individual tools – from the Registry Optimiser to the File Wiper – as they see fit. WinOptimizer 10, like other tune-up utilities, includes a backup manager so that you can restore your PC to an earlier state should something go wrong in the clean-up process, and a task scheduler to set the app to automatically run at specific times.

I evaluated WinOptimizer 10's ability to clean up a PC by performing two tests – running the Geekbench system performance tool, and measuring boot times – before and after running Ashampoo's app. Each test was run three times and the results averaged.

Before WinOptimizer 10 scrubbed the system, the 2GHz Intel Core i7 X990 test notebook with 4GB of RAM, and an 80GB Intel SSD, achieved a 5,914 Geekbench score, and booted in 50.2 seconds. After using Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10, the GeekBench score improved to 6,233. That performance increase trails Iolo System Mechanic 11's 6,452. The notebook boot time decreased to a relatively speedy 31.6 seconds.

In addition to running formal tests, I also spent some time using the tidied up system to see what the experience felt like. The overall post-WinOptimizer 10 system performance felt snappier when opening iTunes and Steam in the cleaned up environment.

Despite WinOptimizer's benefits it does have a glaring flaw: The £29.99 price grants users just one license, which is a severe limitation in the age of the multi-PC home. WinOptimizer has a handful of competitors – such as Iolo System Mechanic 11 and Comodo System Utilities – that let you install the software on any number of personal computers. Outfitting just two PCs with WinOptimizer will set you back £60.

Attractive features

WinOptimizer's other features may prove enticing – I found them quite useful during the review period. The Icon Save creates save points which contain the positions of all desktop icons so that they can be recovered should your PC flake out. Link Checker scans you PC and makes certain that icon shortcuts point at a valid target.

File Wiper shreds files so that they cannot be recovered. Undeleter scans the PC for deleted files and highlights which ones are recoverable. This could prove extremely useful to those who accidentally trash an important file.

Verdict

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10 rejuvenates sluggish PCs, but with less vigour than the Best Buy award winning Iolo System Mechanic 11. Still, it packs numerous useful features and helped our junked-up test PC post some very respectable performance numbers. WinOptimizer 10 is an application worth checking out if the license limitations aren't a huge negative for you.