Ever since my license for a shareware Windows Cleaner & Optimizer stopped working on my Windows 8 Pro x64 RTM, I started was looking out for a good freeware - especially when my emails to their support did not elicit any response. I decided I wanted a safe and good freeware that would offer me good clean-up options, including a 1-click clean up button. I checked around several good free Windows optimization software, and I finally settled down with Glary Utilities Free.
UPDATE: 10.10.2013. Glary Utilities Free gets a new UI and few new features. but otherwise, the basic modules remain the same.
Glary Utilities Free Review
The first thing you notice about Glary Utilities Free is it compact yet user-friendly interface. The interface is intuitive and very easy to use. It offers various modules that promise to keep your Windows PC running in top condition.
The Clean up and Repair module offers the following tools:
Disk Cleaner to removes junk data and files from your disks and thus help you recover disk space. I ran I and it worked quite well on my machine.
It also identifies zero byte empty files. Should you delete such empty zero length 0 bytes files in Windows? Zero length files may be used by some MS installation – un-installation processes, Mail programs, etc. Deleting all blindly, may cause your Windows or your installed programs to function incorrectly. So unless you know which zero length file to delete, best NOT to delete them; as it is they don’t occupy any disk space as such!
Registry Cleaner will scan and clean up your registry.
Are registry cleaners safe? Well this a topic for a never-ending debate. I do use it once a month, and among freeware I have found CCleaner and now Glary Utilities to be quite safe. I am sure that there are many other good freeware and shareware registry cleaners that are safe, but these are two freeware that I have used on my computer, without any issues.
Shortcuts Fixer will identify and delete the broken shortcuts in your start menu & desktop.
Uninstall Manager will help you completely uninstall programs you no longer need.
The Optimize & Improve module includes the following tools:
Startup Manager to help you manage start-up programs which run automatically on startup.
You can also chose to delay some startups and even decide upon and set the Delay Time. Not many freeware offer this option.
Memory Optimizer offers to monitor and optimize free memory in the background. You may disable the auto-memory management feature, as since Windows Vista memory management by the OS itself is now pretty good.
Context Menu Manager is another useful tool that allows you to manage the context-menu entries for files and folders. It also lets you edit the entries in the create New and Sent To menus.
Good to keep your context menu clean!
Registry Defrag lets you defrag the Windows registry. I personally prefer to use any Registry defragmentation tool rarely; maybe once in 3 months or so.
The Privacy & Improve module includes the following tools:
Tracks Eraser to erase all the Traces, tracks and evidences in Windows, Internet Explorer, Plug-ins, other alternate browsers and more. It auto-detects the installed applications and offers you erasing options for those applications only.
If you a privacy conscious, you will fall in love with this tool!
File Shredder let you erase files permanently so that no one can recover them.
File Undelete lets you recover accidentally deleted files.
File Encrypter and Decrypter, will help you protect your files from unauthorized access, by encrypting them.
The Files and Folders module contains some rather useful advanced tools:
Disk Analysis Tool will analyze how your disk space has been utilized.
It shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders, so that you can find out which programs are eating up your disk space.
Duplicate Files Finder will search for space-wasting and error producing duplicate files.
Empty Folders Finder will help you find and remove empty folders in your windows. Should you delete empty folders? Well, generally speaking, it is safe to delete empty folders, although you would make no real space savings as they occupy 0 bytes. Nevertheless if it is just good house-keeping you are looking, you may go ahead.
File Splitter and Joiner helps you split large files into smaller manageable files, and then rejoin them.
And finally the System Tools module for system jobs:
Process Manager monitors programs that run on your PC and stop spyware and Trojans.
Internet Explorer Assistant manages Internet Explorer Add-ons and restores hijacked settings.
Edit: Thanks to a comment by Paul Deveau below, I have to add that after installing it, you might want to go to open the Internet Explorer Assistant and click on the Hijack Restore tab, and change the ‘Restore setting to’ URLs, by clicking on the ‘Change restore settings to a new URL’ to a URL of your choice or Microsoft defaults.
System Information, collects information about your computer and presents it to you in a neat form.
It also allows to you create a report and export the data.
Windows Standard Tools provides direct access to the useful windows default functions, somewhat similar to our Windows Access Panel.
The best part of this freeware that I like is that it allows you to set all these options and then use the 1-click maintenance to clean up your PC.
After you have downloaded and installed it, go through the entire UI and set the settings as per you requirements. Once you have finalized your settings, all you need to do on subsequent runs, is to run the 1-click maintenance tool, and let it do the job for you. You will find that the job gets executed quite fast.
While the program offers back up options before cleaning operations, and restore options and any point of time, we would have love to see a button to create a system restore point in a click on the main interface. As we have always said, it is always a good idea to create a system restore point first, before making any changes to your system; so make sure you create one before trying this free software too.
Glary Utilities Free Download
As a home user, you may find that the Glary Utilities Free meets your requirements completely, and you really do not need its Pro version. The Pro version offers automatic care in the background and free support and is shareware. No longer do you need to download and install separate tools for cleaning junk files, finding empty folders, recovering deleted files and so on. Glary Utilities Free has them all! We recommend that you download the no-toolbar Slim version of Glary Utilities Free HERE. It is probably the best and the most feature-rich freeware optimizer for Windows, in my opinion.
If you have had any experiences while using this program – good or bad – do share them below in the comments.