The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (2023)

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The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (1)

The way Windows handles software is far from perfect. Every time you install a program, pieces of it are scattered throughout your system, and the end result is a slower PC.

You've probably come across this before; After a year, PCs seem congested and slow. The internals haven't necessarily deteriorated, they're still as powerful as the day you bought the PC, your software is to blame. This applies even to programs that have already been uninstalled, leaving their traces behind as trash after a particularly good picnic.

So it's no surprise that the number one way to speed up a system is to perform a deep clean. Remove artifacts from older programs, and you'll eliminate Windows looking for things it'll never find.

But there's more to a fast system than a clean hard drive. There are many subtle changes that can be made to Windows itself that result in a smoother experience.

We pick the five best tools to speed up a cluttered PC, clean up clutter, and adjust settings with minimal effort. All of these programs are available in free and premium versions. The free editions tend to be lightweight things that focus on cleaning up temporary files and cookies, while their paid counterparts offer powerful extras like malware protection and scheduled cleaning. It's your decision.

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (3)

1.IObit Advanced System Care(opens in a new tab)

Increase the speed and security of your PC with just a few clicks

reasons to buy


Extensive tool kit


Scan results clearly marked


security toolkit


affordable premium edition

IObit Advanced System Care(opens in a new tab)it takes a two-pronged approach, targeting both general PC clutter and security threats.

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (4)

(opens in a new tab)

The free version of the software covers the basics, with a quick system scan, one-click protection against hackers, performance monitoring, and the ability to automatically use FaceID to capture the faces of potential attackers.

These are all great tools, well designed and easy to use, but to get all the benefits, you need to invest in the premium edition of the software.IObit Advanced SystemCare Pro(opens in a new tab)It is one of the cheapest cleaning tools out there. A one-year license costs $23.99 / AU$17.71 / $30.64 and comes with a variety of additional features, including boot optimization, automatic updates, and performance monitoring.

for a little moreAdvanced SystemCare latest(opens in a new tab)offers a complete security package to protect your PC from malware and viruses. Includes ransomware protection that detects and blocks unauthorized file modifications in real time before your data can be encrypted, even if it's a new type of threat that hasn't appeared before.

Some of IObit Advanced SystemCare's tools have a negligible impact on system performance unless you really beat them, but their deep scans will lead to many potential tweaks that can greatly improve system performance. We especially appreciate the clear labeling of scan results so that users can make an informed decision about what to keep and what to throw away.

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (5)

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (6)

(Video) 🔧 How to CLEAR All Cache in Windows 10 to Improve Performance & Speed Up ANY PC!

2.Ashampoo WinOptimizer(opens in a new tab)

Walks you through the process of speeding up your PC

reasons to buy


Quick system scans


Detailed scan results


affordable premium edition

reasons to avoid


No anti-malware tools

Ashampoo WinOptimizer(opens in a new tab)(so called because it cleans your PC "like shampoo") is one of the most affordable tools for speeding up your PC, and is a great option if you've never used a system optimization tool before.

Click "Start Scan" and it will scan your drives for potential problems and divide the results into three categories: Clean (junk files), Optimize (Internet settings), and Protect (history and logs). You can fix them all with one click or click the Details button for more information.

This is where Ashampoo WinOptimizer really shines. Instead of simply presenting you with an impenetrable list of file names, it walks you through each issue one by one, providing a brief description, an explanation of how it might be affecting your PC's performance, and a recommended course of action. It's refreshing to see a user interface so carefully designed for accessibility.

There's also the usual suite of startup, defrag, and uninstall management tools (included in the Modules tab), but the main scanner is where this software really shines.

At the time of writing the awardAshampoo WinOptimizer 15(opens in a new tab)is discounted to $9.99 / £8.74 / AU$17.49 for a one-year license for PC. These include an additional Game Booster, faster scans, Windows 10 privacy controls, and an SSD optimization wizard.

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (7)

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (8)

3.iolo system mechanic(opens in a new tab)

The free edition is solid, but the premium version really shines.

reasons to buy


Fast and deep scans


Detailed scan results


Pro version protects against malware

reasons to avoid


expensive premium edition

(Video) How to Clean C Drive In Windows 10 (Make Your PC Faster)

Whether you choose the free or premium edition,iolo system mechanic(opens in a new tab)is one of the best tools to speed up your PC and remove junk files.

System Mechanic offers two types of scans: quick and deep. The first option identifies the most common problems (including temporary files, browsing history, and registry entries). Deep Scan goes further and has the potential to give you more results, but it will take a few minutes. Your results may differ, but in our experience, both revealed a similar number of issues.

If you click on the "Details" link, you will get a lot of information about the identified problems and why you want to eliminate them, although it is not as easy as with Ashampoo Winoptimizer.

Iolo professional mechanical system(opens in a new tab)it's the most expensive of the PC speedup tools here, at $69.95 / £69.95 / AU$89.32 for a one-year license, though that covers all the PCs in your house, not just one. It's also much more than just a system optimizer; It includes dual-engine malware protection, data recovery, secure file deletion, and many more features.

If you are considering purchasing an anti-malware tool to complement yourvirus protection, Iolo System Mechanic is worth adding to your list.

Please note that during registration you will be asked to provide an email address, but Iolo will not share it with third parties.

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (9)

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (10)

4.Piriform Cleaner(opens in a new tab)

Deep scans, but some knowledge is assumed to interpret the results

reasons to buy


full scans


The results are well organized.

reasons to avoid


File descriptions could be clearer

Piriform Cleaner(opens in a new tab)it's incredibly thorough, going through every piece of junk on your hard drive or SSD for any unnecessary files that might be slowing you down. However, unlike some system speedup tools, it's never overwhelming. The search results are divided into meaningful categories (for example, temporary files attached to web browsers and Windows-related) and the files you want to keep are disabled by default.

CCleaner doesn't offer a description of each file type before offering to remove them, but if you select one of the files under the "Advanced" heading, it will tell you why you should think twice about removing them. It would be nice if all notes were in plain English, but we appreciate the effort.

CCleaner's registry scanner is excellent; Most system speedup tools only offer a one-click option, but CCleaner allows you to choose what types of entries to search for. This is ideal if you're having trouble with something specific (for example, you can't reinstall a program because an entry was left behind after uninstalling it).

You also get the usual defragmentation, disk wipe, and system restore tools, though they're easily accessible from the Windows 10 Control Panel.

When you install CCleaner Free, you will also receive a download of Avast Free Antivirus. It's one of the best free antivirus apps out there and is worth checking out if you're looking for a new security suite on the market, but if not, make sure you uncheck the box before proceeding.

ACCleaner Pro(opens in a new tab)The license costs $24.95 / £19.95 / AU$29.95 and offers convenient real-time monitoring, scheduled cleanup, automatic updates and premium support. The free cleaner is great, but the Pro version saves you time and hassle in the long run.

  • Piriform CCleaner Review
  • Buy Piriform CCleaner download(opens in a new tab)

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (11)

The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (12)

5.glary utilities(opens in a new tab)

Quick scans, but we prefer more detail in the results

reasons to buy


quick checks


Automatic Updates

reasons to avoid


some strange terminology


Scan results have no descriptions

(Video) Speed up Windows 10 PC for MAXIMUM performance (Hidden secrets) - 2021

The free and premium versions ofglary utilities(opens in a new tab)promises to make your PC up to eight times faster. Its main draw is one-click cleanup, but there's a bevy of extras too, including a disk space analyzer, process manager, and context menu manager (an unusual but welcome addition).

glary utilities(opens in a new tab)it also gives you a handy estimate of your PC's startup time, and the free edition includes automatic updates, a time-saving feature you usually have to pay for.

The one-click maintenance option scans for all common system clutter, including corrupt and missing registry entries and temporary files. Some of his descriptions are a bit strange. For example, its history cleaning tool is listed as Tracks Eraser, a strange term you won't find anywhere else. If Glary Utilities finds any problems related to this, you can click View details to find out what they are; otherwise they will remain a mystery.

In the scan results, we'd like to see more information about what each identified issue actually is, rather than just a list of file names and locations, so users can make an informed decision about what to keep.

One yearGlary Utilities Pro(opens in a new tab)The license normally costs $39.95 / £38.84 / AU$67.13, but keep an eye out for special offers, especially around the holiday season.

A word of warning: when you install the free version of Glary Utilities, you have the option to add a desktop icon for Maiagames, a developer of free puzzle and adventure games. The box is unchecked by default, but it's worth checking if you want to avoid extras.

  • Download or buy Glary Utilities(opens in a new tab)
(Video) Remove Junk Files to Clean Up Computer/speed up windows 10/boost speed up pc / daily dose


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The best programs to speed up your PC: remove junk files and optimize Windows (13)

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(Video) Delete these garbage Windows files!

Cat is the editor of Adventure, TechRadar's sister site. A Qualified Track Leader for UK Athletics, he loves nothing more in his spare time than lacing up his shoes and running through the streets and trails (the muddy the better).


What is the best program to speed up PC? ›

Here's our list of the best PC tune-up programs:
  • IOLO System Mechanic. Iolo System Mechanic is a veteran tune-up software that is known for its excellent performance and ease of use. ...
  • iObit SystemCare. iObit System Care offers both a free and premium version. ...
  • AVG TuneUp. ...
  • Slimware SLIMCLEANER. ...
  • Ashampoo WinOptimizer.
Sep 21, 2022

What is the best free software for cleaning up my computer? ›

CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your PC. It protects your privacy and makes your computer faster and more secure! Download Free Version Get CCleaner Pro!

What is the best free program to speed up my computer? ›


If your PC just feels sluggish then this is the free PC optimizer to try first. It doesn't have all the advanced features of apps like System Mechanic, but the stuff it does clear is famous for slowing down PCs. Read our full Piriform CCleaner review.

How do you clean your PC and make it faster? ›

10 Tips to Make Your Computer Run Faster
  1. Prevent programs from automatically running when you start up your computer. ...
  2. Delete/uninstall programs you don't use. ...
  3. Clean up hard disk space. ...
  4. Save old pictures or videos to the cloud or external drive. ...
  5. Run a disk cleanup or repair.

What do I add to my PC to make it faster? ›

Here are seven ways you can improve computer speed and its overall performance.
  1. Uninstall unnecessary software. ...
  2. Limit the programs at startup. ...
  3. Add more RAM to your PC. ...
  4. Check for spyware and viruses. ...
  5. Use Disk Cleanup and defragmentation. ...
  6. Consider a startup SSD. ...
  7. Take a look at your web browser.
Dec 26, 2018

Does CCleaner make your computer faster? ›

CCleaner speeds up computers by updating your software, cleaning up your machine, and helping you disable programs that can slow down your computer's startup procedure.


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