7/ Tune-Up Utilities 2013
Price: £29.99 (up to 3 PCs)
Tune-Up Utilities targets a number of areas of the system including reducing clutter, analysing problems and securely wiping your PC. It can help you fine tune the system start up and defrag the disk.
There's a clever Program Deactivator feature that works out which background tasks you're no longer using and prevents them from slowing down your machine. If you'd rather retain control it gives a star rating to all the programs on your machine, based on the experience of other users so that you can see which are the most important.
Additionally if you have a laptop it can help you prolong the system's battery life by reducing CPU use and switching off unused processes.
As well as performance tools the program also lets you customise the appearance and behaviour of Windows. You can display system information and produce an optimisation report to show what Tune-Up has done.
Volume licensing is available for business users with multiple PCs.
8/ Condusiv Diskeeper 12 Professional
Price: £40.85 (1 PC)
Web: Condusiv Diskeeper 12 Professional
Diskeeper is among the best known names when it comes to maintaining the health of your hard drive. A properly organised disk leads to faster application launches and quicker file access. By reducing the amount of I/O activity taking place it can also help to extend the life of your hard drive.
The program runs in the background to defragment the drive and help to prevent further fragmentation occurring. This is especially useful, particularly with today's disks of a terabyte or more in size, where defragging can take a long time, so doing the job whilst you get on with other things makes sense.
Because it runs in the background Diskeeper ensures that your hard drive is constantly being kept at its peak performance and you don't have to worry about schedulers or remembering to do the job yourself.
If you install it on a laptop it's clever enough to deactivate itself when running on the battery so as not to shorten the machine's run time.
9/ PC Tools Performance Toolkit
Price: £39.99 (3 PCs, 1 year)
Like some of the other tools here Performance Toolkit has a simple dashboard-style interface that gives you an overview of the system state. If you're in a hurry there's a one-click optimisation mode that will run a full clean-up for you. With more time, or just a warier attitude, you can choose to run the various tasks individually via the tabs along the top of the screen. There are also a number of built-in performance presets to help you tune Windows to meet your needs.
The program lets you remove temporary files, clear your browser history, defragment the hard disk, clean the registry and more.
Additionally you can protect your privacy by deleting stored passwords and form data as well as permanently shredding selected files and folders. The program also has a duplicate file finder to help you save disk space.
10/ iolo System Mechanic 11 Business
Price: £37.1 (5 PCs, 1 year)
System Mechanic has an easy-to-use dashboard view that lets you see your PC's status at a glance. On Vista and later systems you can install a desktop gadget to provide a constant reminder of when tuning is required.
You have the option to perform a quick or deep analysis of the system and there's a clear explanation of each problem System Mechanic finds so that you can decide how best to tackle it. When dealing with system clutter for example you have the option to let the program clean up automatically or you can run a wizard allowing you to take decisions yourself.
The scan looks at various areas of the system including registry errors, unnecessary startup programs, system clutter, broken shortcuts and disk fragmentation. It can spot security vulnerabilities caused by missing updates and patches too.
If you have multiple systems you'll also appreciate the Active Care option which automatically scans the PC and fixes problems when the system is idle.