By: Ashampoo GmbH
From time to time, we face many issues with our computer systems. Our work, no matter how small, gets affected. If these issues are a regular norm, we need to do something to improve the system performance.
Most computer devices face such performance issues due to lower hardware specifications, overloaded storage space, many applications crowding the system memory, and even a malicious program running in it.
For system infections, we can aptly use an anti-virus program and clean it. However, for junk in memory and storage, we need a unique set of tools. These tools are specifically aimed to improve a device’s performance by doing the cleanup of junk, registry, memory, etc.
Such tools that aid in improving system performance are known as System Optimizers. They are used to accelerate a computer device’s performance by removing junk, resetting default settings, clearing useless processes from memory, or any such operation.
We will review one such tool and monitor if it is capable of doing its job or not.
Among many system optimizers in the market, we have taken Ashampoo WinOptimizer on our hands. As the most popular company giving tools for optical drives, they have now expanded to include many programs to enhance the system.
It is a German company formed in the year 1999. The first of its products included a tool to convert audio CDs into mp3 files. After that, they have released many programs related to optical drives, anti-malware, system optimizer, multimedia tools, security applications, office suite, and even CAD tools.
Out of these many tools, we are constrained to review their system optimizer, Ashampoo WinOptimizer. Using this tool, we can delete trash files from the system, clean the memory, and other such optimization actions.
Coming to the utilization of software, it has many useful tools. We will review and test them one by one. This review will give you a broad idea of the potential of this software and even let you know if the inbuilt features work aptly or not.
So, let’s eat the pie.
The most noteworthy part here is that Ashampoo has given a 10-day free trial version. This trial can be extended to 30-days after registration via an email.
The company gives newsletters and offers on registered E-mails. However, in an incident in 2011, all these registered info was robbed by a hacker. Such an incident may discourage some users from giving their personal info.
Nevertheless, after the installation and registration, we are free to use the tool without any restrictions, which is perfect.
The interface of Ashampoo WinOptimizer is pretty straightforward. Most of the things given are one-click type. The main dashboard displays the most commonly used items for system optimization.
It has a CPU meter that demonstrates CPU usage and other system specs. There is an Analyze Button at the bottom. Beside it, we have a Settings Button to configure general configurations.
Overall, its UI won’t be troublesome as in other system optimizer tools. There are a few useful options in this section. One of them is Password Protect.
To prevent the use of the program by any third party, we can create a master password to access Ashampoo WinOptimizer. Another useful one was backup scheduling to create a backup of the program.
Apart from these, you will see standard settings for individual tools in it. You can tweak them without fear except the password one. You lose access to the program altogether in case you forget it.
Now, let us begin the final assessment with the Analyze feature in the main dashboard. Eight main areas are under the radar while doing initial analysis. This includes checking internet traces, registry issues, junk issues, unnecessary services, etc.
As seen from these terms, they are everyday items to be checked for in most system optimizer tools. Compared to IObit Advanced SystemCare, System Mechanic, etc., these areas for initial or quick scans are frequent.
It took about 10 minutes to complete this initial scan, which is pretty much ok. Once the scan finishes, hit the optimize button. This will initiate the cleaning sequence.
There was only one con in the cleaning process, which may go unnoticed by many users. The web browser traces aren’t removed as long as the web-browsers are running.
Unlike here, tools like Advanced SystemCare and CCleaner generate warning pop-up asking to close all the browsers and even Windows explorer during optimization.
Ashampoo must fix it, but users need to take care that they close the browsers before cleaning history or best use ctrl+shift+delete combo in browsers.
Moving on, how does this affect the system? Well, as far as we monitored, it did remove most of the junk from the system. We even scanned using other tools for comparison.
We used CCleaner, Advanced SystemCare, and iolo System Mechanic. All of these are popular tools.
We know that every tool has different accessibility and scans various places accordingly. The more they scan, the more junk data they find.
In comparison, Ashampoo WinOptimizer showed a decent number of items to be cleaned. Many times, these tools give false positives, or the junk pointed by them might not be that relevant.
This showed that WinOptimizer is an excellent product to cleanup junk and improve performance via basic cleanup. Onto the next part, we can now explore other tools given by Ashampoo in this software.
System optimizers aren’t limited to basic junk cleanup. They are meant to optimize a device in several steps, from simple junk cleanup to complicated things like memory cleanup, startup program manager, privacy enhancer, and even facilitating anti-malware tools.
To evaluate them thoroughly, we need to try each of these setups and judge their worth. Most of these tools are given as discrete tabs.
One of the shared items in most optimizers is Automatic/Scheduled Optimization. Automatic here implies that WinOptimizer conducts a regular check of the system and does a programmed cleanup operation.
The Automatic Tab consists of three main options viz., auto-clean, live-tuner, and game-booster. There is a log section too. The first button, auto-clean, is mostly used to monitor related apps which accumulate junk in the system.
Once you close them, it removes all the junk automatically. After this, we have a live-tuner, that is used to monitor current apps in the system memory. Based on their status and type, we will close them or lower their priority.
The last one is the game-booster. The primary aim of this tool is to close all the unwanted apps, and programs expect the normal system process, and the ones needed to run the games.
This can significantly improve the performance of a game. Below these, it shows simple figures like total items deleted, current process adjusted, and cleaning progress.
All three tools somehow contribute to improving performance. In comparison, other top products also have such tools. The most notable is the game-booster, which performs almost the same across the board.
The auto-clean and live-tuner are real-time monitoring features, which is very rare in the optimization program unless it is used in anti-malwares. Another such program known to have an auto-cleanup feature is CCleaner.
However, WinOptimizer’s automation is much more sophisticated than others. This put an extra star on their shoulder. All in all, it is definitely worth a try for real-time monitoring.
As we pointed out before, there are many types of dusting operations that a system optimizer will do to get rid of junk. If you are not using the quick scan from the main panel, you can visit the Maintain System tab in the left menu bar.
From here, they have given many individual items to monitor and clean. The major ones that are typical in most cleaners are drive cleaner, registry optimizer, internet cleaner, and defrag drives/registry.
Out of these, the one-click optimizer is the one we all must utilize first. It will directly include all the cleaning operations as above. Let us see what individual scans will unravel.
The first one, Drive Cleaner, is used to clean the junk. Just click on it, and it cleans junk from temp files, history, logs, error reports, and other locations.
We can even select individual drives to scan the above things. Overall, it has to embed smart code to scan for standard leftover files, removing which will free space as well as improve the performance.
Then comes the Registry Optimizer. The system registry is also a vital area if you do not want unknown programs to manipulate it and cause issues. Many times, leftover registry files can cause issues.
This feature scans for unwanted or leftover registry entries. You won’t see much details here but only registry entries based on software installations and their history. After cleaning the registry junk, we move to the Internet Cleaner tab.
Most of us know about clearing browser history. The only difference is that it detects all the browsers and clean their junk in a single click.
The next one is Drive Defrag. By constant overuse of hard drives, the data clusters in it get misplaced or scattered, making it difficult for the system to process them. You may notice a lengthy response from such hard drives, like a slow file-preview, files opening late, or any such issues.
All we need to do is to defrag such drives and adjust the data clusters. The three types of defrag features are quick, normal, and intelligent defragment. Based on your requirements, you can pick one of them to defrag a drive.
Based on the size of the drive, the time taken might differ. Heavily fragmented drives will also take time to defrag. Now, as the drive gets fragmented, the registry is also affected by that.
To recover that, we have to use the Registry Defrag. There is some caution to be taken with this tool. Since it will scan all the registry files in the system, it can profoundly interfere with the currently running apps. As a caution, it is advised to close all apps and then undergo this scan.
Overall, these are handy tools. If you compare with other similar category products, you will uncover all of the above tools in them too. There isn’t much difference in the functions of these tools, plus they’re user-friendly too.
Apart from routine junk cleanup, we also need to change some settings and even optimize many of them. This includes overseeing Win services, startup items, internet tune-up, manage running processes, maintain installed apps, and SSDs.
If you are familiar with the Task Manager in Windows OS, you can recall tweaking with the service section. These services are needed to run specific hardware as well as software utilities.
To monitor the current running services, go to the Service Manager section here. From here, you can see an entire list of services. If you want, you can monitor them all and even close the redundant ones.
They have given even a search button to find these services. The best part done by WinOptimizer here is that they have assigned ratings to these services. The system services are marked as critical. The rest of them have ratings that define their priority.
Based on that, we can judge them easily. The only con here is that the ratings can only be assigned on their site. They could have included the rating feedback in this setup itself.
The next section is the Internet Tune-up. There can be many hindrances while using the internet like slow speed, corrupted ports, free data allocation, etc. All these situations can be managed here.
This may seem to be somewhat more complex than any other tool above. It is therefore suggested for new users to read the instruction from the help section on their website. It has options to optimize complex network settings like MTU, RWIN, TTL, QoS, and Nagle settings.
Moving to the Process Manager, we encounter another feature already given in the Windows taskbar. Like the process list in it, WinOptimizer too has embedded that into its performance enhancer.
The process log can be accessed and modified as per need. We can terminate, change priority, and get more details about a process. There is a small window on the bottom that shows the live status of CPU and RAM usage.
The uninstall manager also has a standard setup. It reveals all the installed programs, which you can uninstall from here. It won’t clean any leftover cache from here directly. Contrarily, IObit Uninstaller cleans the app cache left behind and even cleans it from the registry.
Lastly, if your system has SSD, you can tweak its settings from here. Individual settings can reduce the lifespan of your SSDs, and so, users must steer carefully with some of these optimizations for SSDs.
Honestly, these features offer average optimization compared to Advanced SystemCare and System Mechanic. Some tools are great, but they still require better sophistication.
There are many ways to change the OS settings, and many of them need unique accessibility. To make such changes, use this section in WinOptimizer. It has options to tweak settings, anti-spy tool, privacy control, file associator, context menu adjuster, and browser extension too.
The tweaking setup has choices to adjust standard Window’s settings like logon, power, boot, system, and even browsers like Chrome and Firefox. It isn’t much exhausting. The anti-spy feature allows a user to modify the settings that may leak personal user info.
This can be either from browsers or from any other program, broadcasting data out of the device. Even Windows error reporting service is under its radar. Similar to this, they’ve added Windows 10 Privacy Controller.
Windows 10 is known to have lots of privacy issues. To deal with those, WinOptimizer has specifically given this tool. You can adjust the privacy settings of telemetry, apps, updates, Cortana, location & network, and even cameras, pass hints, etc.
Overall, this is a standalone setup seen so far, among many other similar tools. Alongside this, we can manage items in the context menu and browser extensions. The File Associator assigns programs to particular file extensions.
Associate it with other tools and see for yourself if it is unique or not. In our view, some parts were unique, and some were common across the board.
Another cool setup for us to try! Judging from their names, most of you might have guessed what is to come. The system analyzer tool is equipped with services viz., disk explorer, benchmark tool, HDD benchmark, and health inspector, and font manager.
All of them are pretty sleek, and we believe even novices can deal with it. The only con we saw was the file explorer. This tool can be made much more intricate with pie charts and bar graphs.
In the file optimization section, we have some more exciting tools. It has a file wiper, manipulator, disk doctor, undelete, link check, duplicate file finder, and ADS scanner.
The file wiper can permanently erase the data from a disk, which won’t be even recoverable later. The file manipulator can split or join files and even encrypt or decrypt them.
The disk doctor is similar to the disk health checker tool. Keep in mind that it may take huge memory off the system in a deep scan. The better option here is to do a disk drive scan from the boot menu.
Other tools like undelete recovery, link checker, and duplicate file finder are also worth a shot. There is also a stream monitoring tool called ADS scanner, which can warn against malicious online streaming.
The last two tools left for testing are administrative tools and backup sections. The former one is mostly used to do stuff like system restore, icon saver, user-right manager, and task-scheduler.
Sadly, apart from their fancy names, they do not offer anything feasible. The task-scheduler is limited to managing the scan schedule of optimizer and system maintenance.
The last part, i.e., Backup Manager, only supports the backup made during system tweaking and registry modifications. It won’t support backup of other things like files, folders, etc.
The backups can be removed if they carry too much space. Nonetheless, we expected this section to be a bit more advanced.
Overall, it was great to use all these features in Ashampoo WinOptimizer. Apart from scanning of drive and heavy memory consumption, the program worked smoothly.
Users who frequently rely on such an optimization program can definitely try Ashampoo WinOptimizer. There are too many useful tools to ignore.
Compared to popular tools like IObit Advanced SystemCare, iolo System Mechanic, and even cleaning tools like CCleaner, WinOptimizer has worked itself to be among these big leagues.
We were a tad disappointed in the later sections. Nevertheless, they still introduced every critical feature in it. For most users, one-click optimization is enough. The privacy protection feature needs a little more upgrade.
The pricing is also competitive, with about 50% discount to new users. This gives more than the required reasons to get going with Ashampoo WinOptimizer.