By: iolo technologies, LLC.
A regular day in the office, you stare at your computer screen and suddenly notice that the system is a lot more sluggish than it used too. Looks like it isn’t the low budget devices problem!
Well, what can be the issue then? Maybe a virus or similar malware has infected the system. I just checked and didn’t found any infections. Now what?
You can attempt to clean the junks from the device. This junk contains temp files, bloatware, registry errors, and old application files that are slowing the system. To clean them, we need multiple tools. Where are we going to find such tools?
Worry not! We have software, popularly known as System Optimizer, which is the bane of such trash in devices. So, how exactly are these tools going to make my system faster?
It scans the entire system, and detects every redundant file, processes, registry entries, and then cleans them all.
In the current review, we will be marching to view one such tool for PC optimization, known as System Mechanic. It’s a product by iolo Technologies and headquartered in California, USA.
The earliest edition was in 1988. That’s so back in time for a cleanup utility. It was introduced in the era where the need for such cleanup utility wasn’t high. In fact, only in modern times, we seem to have more instances of storage and system issues, thanks to massive device consumption.
Nonetheless, we came here to explore this tool, and we will rightfully do so. In October 2013, iolo was parented by Phoenix Technologies Limited. Since 1988, it has got the right name and reputation via its system utility product System Mechanic.
It incorporates a rich set of features and utilities which aid in improving system performance. Not only does it possess system optimization technologies, but it also has extra services like anti-malware, disk optimizer, privacy manager, and so on.
There is so much to see in this tool, adding excitement in reviewing it. So, let us move up and assess it.
Before barging in with forks, it is necessary to learn its setup process and then configure the scan. This might seem silly, but it’s an integral part of the learning experience.
Just download the trial version and install it. The trial lasts for full one month, and so you can thoroughly explore it and form an opinion. Activate it via email ID and voila! You are now ready to optimize your system.
The entire UI of System Mechanic looks like a sci-fi computer. In the first run, it will scan the whole system for issues. However, it will not modify anything in this first run.
Now comes the part of managing the configuration of the setup. In this part, they have divided all settings into their respective zones. It comprises of arrangements for general items, ongoing care, pc clean up, malware killer, and privacy guardian.
A similar setup was present in another top product named IObit Advanced SystemCare. We forgot to mention before, but we will be reviewing the product comparatively.
In the first use, the UI seemed a bit cluttered. System Mechanic could have given an underlying theme too. Currently, you can switch to dark or light modes only. Adding a simplified UI can ease things for everyone.
Nevertheless, it helps to modify typical performance-related stuff like notifications, task schedules, safety features, tips, and connection settings. Each of these can be configured effortlessly.
As for other settings, we will review them in their respective sections. This will make it much easier for you to understand their importance and as well as evaluate them at the same time if they are worth it or not.
Now, finishing through this initial setup, we can move on to finally explore the structure. As said before, our goal is to assess the current features as well as compare them and learn what its unique strengths are and what else can be added in it.
As examined before, we have seen many times that such tools like to deliver the most basic stuff on the main panel itself. This avoids newbies getting confused about the software. Also, it makes sure they at least work through the primary job they are installed the software for.
The central panel, as usual, consists of a big Scan Button. There are main two scan types to choose from viz., quick scan and deep scan. Besides, we can also view a list of scanned issues, history of previous scans, and even current PC status.
The exciting part here is the PC status. It reveals info about current PC stats like drive info, system memory info, startup programs, and even currently running applications. This is a read-only interface.
Quick Scan evaluates the memory, internet junk, OS junk files, connection issues, and general security stuff. The result tab suggests standard deleting the junk files, resetting the network settings, reviewing security and privacy settings, and so on.
This scan fits the demand for a quick workover of the system and reduces the time-consuming engagements. A detailed report review can be done here. It’s mainly for the skeptics who want all the details of the cleaning process. For the next testing, let us inspect what deep scan has to offer.
Without a second thought, hit the button Deep Scan, and just relax. This time, the scan is going to take some time. But it will still be finished in under 5 minutes, especially if you haven’t made a total ruckus in the device.
Once finished, it suggests additional changes. These were hard drive defragmentation, startup delays, and some more security checks.
Once it is finished, you can clean the junk and review the suggested security/network settings. This is a very nominal task, and won't need any kind of specialization.
They have indeed done a great job by accumulating these things in a single scan. Unlike IObit Advanced SystemCare and many such tools, they have kept the UI quite slim. It’s like a single-click and all-around optimization — no need to download separate packages for each affected area.
In the same panel, we can also view the scan history and current pc status. Both of these are super easy to figure out. The PC stats shown in the deep scan are the same as mentioned in the quick scan.
Overall, this is a modest method to optimize the system. Most of the tools of system optimization follow the same pattern throughout.
In this testing, System Mechanic did its job as expected. We did not experience any mishaps, nor were there any super confusing stuff in it. There was a slight improvement in system performance. And honestly, we clean our system regularly, and so there wasn’t much to improve here.
Moving on, System Mechanic has various other tools too, which we’ll review and decide their value.
This tool comes with the pro-plan of System Mechanic. Now, what does this Privacy Guardian do? Well, protect your privacy. Duh! But how?
Privacy of a device is hindered when any application or software programs knowingly or unknowingly sends user data to some remote servers. This data can be anything, like crash reports, system info, storage info, etc. It even contains call logs, message logs, private texts, photos, and so.
Some applications do it for product improvement, while some do it for malicious use, that needs to be halted. Our data is our property, ain’t nobody has right over it.
You may be thinking, from where does this data gets leaked to these services? How do they collect it, and how can we stop it?
The primary source of that is your browser history. In the modern world, a person’s internet history can entirely reveal their identity, along with doxing, which is usually done for personal vendetta.
Browser cookies are frequently used for this. That is why most privacy gurus will tell normal users to delete their internet history frequently, which includes removing cookies.
System Mechanic’s Privacy Guardian uses identical procedures. It helps in removing such internet fingerprints and tracking apps from the system, and enhance the privacy settings.
They have a basic setup having tracker detection, cookies removal, and whitelisting features. Tracking detection will allow this tool to monitor if any website or URL is trying to follow you. The cookie manager will help in the manual as well as the scheduled removal of browser/system cookies and protect your privacy.
It is a nice feature to monitor your devices’ privacy settings. But, we expected it to be much complex than this. All the steps mentioned here can be manually configured without the use of a separate tool.
There was no mention of configuring privacy settings of OS. No suggestions to check for microphones, connected cameras, or any device with the spying potential. All these are must include improving privacy.
We hope in future updates, System Mechanic works on making Privacy Guardian more sophisticated for pro-users. The functions currently given are decent but only work as elementary privacy protection.
Another common threat on the Internet is stolen passwords. Everyday millions of passwords are generated, and many of them get hacked too. The methods used by attackers can be varied, which includes hacking the main servers also.
Due to this, it is difficult to safeguard them 100%. But that doesn’t mean we will give up! We can always try to preserve them from the client-side, i.e., from our end.
The best way to do this is to use an excellent privacy-enhanced password manager. Such password managers can automatically capture the user ID and passwords, encrypt them and save them.
Such a tool is offered by System Mechanic too. This tool is called ByePass. As its name infers, it helps us in forgetting all the hassle of storing or remembering tons of complex passwords by saving them automatically.
This tool is simply a browser extension. You will have to install it in the desired browser. Sign up in the iolo account, create a master password for encryption, and just start using the web browser regularly.
Whenever it detects a login script, it will prompt to save the password and user ID. It can even save credit card info. There is no provision to save user identities at the moment, which we hope will be added in the future.
It has an inbuilt report manager to scan for weak passwords or vulnerabilities. We can even create secure notes and also generate secure passwords.
All these are necessary security steps for secure password management. You can get better function in a dedicated password manager like LastPass, 1Pass, Sticky Password, etc.
iolo System Mechanic Ultimate has done great work here. The password manager is totally workable for both experts as well as novice users. The interface is without any nuisance and can be operated merrily.
However, it is restricted in the trial version, which seems legit. If you really want to try it, you can begin by checking the free password saving tool in the System Mechanic trial itself. There are other smart features like TFA, remote browser control, unlimited account storage, etc. in it.
Another critical part of system optimization is getting rid of infections. If the system is infected by a decent malware or virus, no matter what you do, it will recreate the problem, and you’ll have to suffer again.
Some of you might have encountered viruses that spoof the storage space, making them a nightmare. You may think it is due to many junk files, but when you delete them, storage space seems full again.
To counter them, we can use an anti-malware tool. Buying dedicated packages for every device won’t guarantee that it’ll work. It may even not allow installing another program, which creates a whole new ruckus. The files of anti-malware can become corrupted too.
For that reason, System Mechanic has come up with a cloud-based anti-malware. The package that scans the device for malware is not installed locally, but rather on a cloud server. This makes sure the files to scan and repair the system are intact.
The anti-malware can be accessed from one of the top tabs. System Mechanic calls it a visit from the exterminator. It has all core scan types like quick scan, full system scan, and even custom scan for specific storage devices.
The procedure is rather elementary. You select the scan location, the tool connects to the cloud server, compares the files to the latest malware definitions, and then notify if there are any infections present. If there are any infections present, it will use the cleaning tool from the cloud server and remove the virus.
The other advantage is that you won’t even feel the lag in the system when a scan or removal procedure is carried out. It did aid in cleaning some of the malwares from our registry. Since the definitions are on the cloud server, they are updated more frequently and won’t be corrupted.
Instead of the features above, there are more things to play along in this package. There is a menu on the side of the main dashboard. It gives info on these extra tools.
As we said, there are options in this left side navigation bar called Toolbox. This toolbox contains items like PC cleaner, Browser cleaner, Windows cleanup, Uninstaller, & Registry cleaner.
All of these do not seem like side tools of a system optimizer and look very useful.
Just like a PC cleaner, this tool is used to remove garbage files from the system. It eliminates junk files from registry, cookies, browser history, temp files, system cache, and so on.
When you select it, it will prompt you to pick the places you desire to scan. After you tick them, hit the analyze button and watch all junk go down the drain.
The results of the scan are shown below, and you can even pick the ones to eliminate. Hit the clean button. All the junk files are far removed from the system.
Want to get rid of that spooky browser history? All you need to do is run this browser cleaner tool. It can clear all the options we see while cleaning browser history.
Just run the tool, and it will scan the browsers’ history for all these records. Once found, you are free to pick any of them and then remove them.
There isn’t something extra here than it is provided in the default history cleanup in all these browsers. They could have come with something much complex to deal with, like checking extensions, vulnerable plugins, etc.
To our surprise, there were still entire history and download data showing even after running the cleaner, which may be due to some bug. We hope they fix it as early as possible.
Like standard junk cleaner programs as in CCleaner, Advanced SystemCare, etc., this tool gets rid of junk files from the system.
It mainly helps in analyzing temp files, broken shortcuts, dump files, error reporting files, and so. As usual, scan and remove these files with this tool.
The process is way too essential for everyone.
Once again, many of you might be familiar with these two setups. Uninstaller here is a bit more advanced and allows users to remove not only the program, but also the data left behind in its folders, and from other locations.
Same is the case with the registry cleanup tool. It also aids in cleaning the dead registry files, invalid or leftover program registries, and other such registry errors.
It is best to uninstall using the Uninstaller, and then use registry cleanup and AIO PC cleanup for complete elimination. It is usually a good practice to help remove all traces of the program from a system.
These are the last nails of the coffins or say the ultimate tools in System Mechanic. Like the above elements, it owns some of the crucial tools. Let us begin with these ActiveCare tools.
Some may have guessed it by now that ActiveCare is the scheduler tool. Like a scheduled scan in the anti-virus programs, this one allows us to set the procedure and time of the scan.
A 3’O clock icon is used to access it. From there, it is equipped with various parameters and timings for the scan. These options for scheduling include junk cleaning, registry repairs, defragment, internet junk removal, and so.
Select all for scheduling total system optimization. To set its timings, click the Settings button on the top. We can set the calendars on this automatic optimization as we like. We can even input the schedules to avoid the scan.
The next item is LiveBoost. Memory booster is a collective term heard by everyone, which is used to clean unwanted processes from memory space.
This real-time boost mode is fundamental. It manages the performance of processors, RAM, disk drives, and power modes. Enabling them will automatically optimize the mentioned items.
To do things manually, use the On-Demand boost. Using that, we can manually remove the current processes.
It is most preferable for gaming modes. It can also be configured in the ActiveCare settings.
The last one is an anti-virus tool. It is nothing but the real-time monitoring feature of System Mechanic’s antivirus. It also has its own security firewall to protect against unsecured items in the connection.
With this, we conclude System Mechanic’s features and every tool present in it. As far as we have tested them, we believe all of them are very much worth it. They do their job of optimizing system.
Although not having as much as tools like in IObit Advanced SystemCare, iolo’s System Mechanic has still done a commendable job of including all the main features in its setup.
The best part is that you must not download every tool separately in it. All of them are included in the main setup itself. The noteworthy part is that iolo gives a full-fledged 30-day free trial copy of the software. Many large system optimizers like above do not provide this.
This is on the top of a low price of about $40, for System Mechanic Ultimate. The features in it are totally worth the current pricings. Some items were missing, like other top tools, but the ones given here are the essential ones.