IObit Advanced SystemCare Free review

Uncluttered and effective

IObit Advanced SystemCare Free

Our Verdict

A feature-packed PC optimization suite that's free to download and use, but offers more comprehensive cleaning tools than some premium programs. Just make sure you read each step of the installer carefully if you're not interested in trying the bundled extra software.

For

  • Quick, customizable scans
  • Clear interface
  • No unnecessary extras

Against

  • Some tools must be downloaded separately

IObit Advanced SystemCare Free is a pared-back version of the premium IObit SystemCare Pro, but it's still a powerful system optimization tool in its own right. With one-click scans, automatic cleanup and a raft of other tools for improving your PC's performance and security, it's an impressive offering that's well worth your consideration if you're starting to experience some system slowdown.

User experience

When installing IObit Advnaced SystemCare Free, you'll be asked if you want to install Opera. It’s an excellent web browser, but if you’re not in the market for trying something new, you can easily decline it. You’ll also be prompted to sign up for IObit’s newsletter, which will give you access to regular giveaways (optimization software developers are often generous with discounts), plus a free ebook, but again, you can opt out if you prefer.

Advanced SystemCare will place a small widget at the top right of your screen showing current RAM and CPU usage. This info is interesting, and checking it before and after a cleanup can show you the impact the software has had on your PC, but it can be distracting. If you find it annoying, you can easily dismiss it by right-clicking and selecting ‘Exit’.

IOBit Advanced SystemCare Free doesn't have too many bells and whistles, but when it comes to cleanup tools, that’s often an advantage; paid-for software is often bulked out with tools like partition managers that most users won't need and don't serve to improve PC performance.

IObit Advanced SystemCare Free

(Image credit: IObit)

A standard scan with IObit Advanced SystemCare will check for unnecessary startup processes, temporary files, broken shortcuts, broken registry entries and browser tracking cookies. Technically these are all things you could manage yourself using the tools built into Windows and your web browser, but IObit Advanced SystemCare makes the process much faster and more convenient, avoiding the need to trawl through different menus and settings.

Various other options are available, including registry defrag (not recommended if you have an SSD), security reinforce (which tweaks Windows’ own security settings) and system optimization (which optimizes your PC’s settings for speed, battery life and other performance metrics).

Unlike some free PC optimization software, which almost tricks you into upgrading to the premium product, IObit Advanced SystemCare clearly marks any options that are only available to paying users. It’s a relatively small interface feature, but one that we appreciate.

IObit Advanced SystemCare Free

(Image credit: IObit)

The Speed Up tab reveals other optimization options, including a toolbar cleaner and driver updater. Each of these is an additional program, and clicking its link will open a new installer, but again, they are free to download and use. It just takes a little extra time to add them.

The Protect tab provides options including Privacy Shield, which prevents untrusted programs changing your computer’s settings, and FaceID, which uses facial recognition to protect your PC from would-be thieves.  Perhaps the most useful of these is the universal ad-blocker, which works for all the major browsers and can be activated by clicking a simple toggle.

Toolbox provides one-click access to every tool and option in a simple list. If you know exactly which tool you want, this is the quickest way to find it.

Overall, IObit Advanced SystemCare Free is a very impressive free PC optimization tool. It's less comprehensive than some paid-for alternatives, but that's not necessarily a bad thing; it doesn't nag you to perform scans when you're working on something else, and isn't padded out with tools you're unlikely to use. The options it does offer are well thought out, and an effective way to give your system a cleanup without trawling through options in Windows and your web browser.

The competition

  • Check out our full guide to the best PC optimization software