It’s quite common that the more experienced you become in Windows, the more control you want to have over it, and the less interference you want from anything that wants to “help” you. The opposite is true at the other end of the scale and computer users with very little experience or know-how prefer to have everything done for them so they don’t have to take the time to learn new things that don’t really interest them.
This is an area where software developers have realized that not everyone wants to know how to defrag their hard drives, empty the temp files, clean the web browser cache and cookies, and generally keep their computer running in tip-top condition. If you look around the internet there is a wealth of software the claims to automatically clean and optimize Windows for you, so you don’t have to bother with the boring stuff. iolo System Mechanic is one of those all-in-one applications that says it can clean out all the useless junk and help protect your privacy, repair problems, optimize your computer so it runs smoothly, and even boost the performance of Windows by tweaking a number of settings. If you wanted to do all this manually, you would require knowledge and several third party tools, System Mechanic aims to do all this from the one application.
System Mechanic Free Edition
System Mechanic does have a free version available which is obviously a cut down from its full versions, the top end Pro version costing $69.95 and the standard version at $49.95, although you can get it for 50% off quite often through an advertisement in the free version UI. Sadly for users that wish to do as little work as possible, the free version omits a number of the set and forget features.
Simply download and install System Mechanic, selecting the free version when given the choice. An email address is required to activate although it doesn’t have to be a real email. On launch the program will ask to run a system analysis, you can click the drop down arrow to the right of the “Analyze now” button and select a more thorough scan which takes over 5 minutes to complete.
After the scan has finished you will get a rating of your overall system status, obviously the worse your system is rated and the more problems it is perceived to have, the more towards the red the health meter will go.
Novice or inexperienced users can click the “Repair all” button to begin the repair, clean and optimize process, experienced users can view what problems have been identified and choose what should be touched and what shouldn’t. After the process is complete, the health status should be good and you can be safe in the knowledge the system is hopefully running as fast and as smooth as possible.
Something we really don’t like about System Mechanic Free is the huge nag window that pops up if you inadvertently click on a premium feature because it’s not always clear what is a paid feature and what isn’t. Just about all the features in “Automated tasks” and the Live Boost “Real-time Optimization” are premium, while a mixture of features in the Toolbox section are both free and paid.
System Mechanic Standard Edition
If you are a set and forget kind of person, the paid version of System Mechanic is what you want, if you can afford it of course. All the automated tasks become available and will clean, maintain, and optimize your computer when it’s idle so you won’t be interrupted if you are working. The Live Boost feature will also become available which helps prevent background tasks hogging CPU time, optimize RAM and help streamline data being written to your drives.
Do note that while they are in the background monitoring or processing your system, the System Mechanic processes are quite heavy on system memory. On our test Windows 7 system the Liveboost.exe process was using 70MB and the ioloservicemanager.exe was consuming 35MB. With the third iolo process included, that’s well over 100MB of system memory used while System Mechanic sits in the background, not ideal if you don’t have much memory on your system to begin with.
How to Get a System Mechanic Standard License for Free
If you would like to try the full version of System Mechanic but can’t or don’t fancy paying a sizeable sum of money to get it, we have found an active giveaway where you can get a full license for free!
Note: You need a Facebook account to get the license.
2. Enter a name and email into the boxes and click Submit, these don’t need to be real but will need to look like a name and email. If you haven’t already signed into Facebook you will be asked to do so now.
3. After a few seconds the license key and instructions to download System Mechanic will show, click on the orange badge to download the program if you haven’t already.
As noted in the image above, the license was for 1 year but that 1 year began in January 2014 and runs until January 2015, so it depends when you activate the program as to how much you will get of the year license.
If you have the Free version currently installed, bring up the upgrade window and click “Enter key” at the bottom left.