What’s up folks! Coming up below, I share my geek experience with System Mechanic and I tell you all about how to keep your PC running smoothly, keep reading – helpful info up ahead!
I’m guessing you’ve been searching the web for an easy fix for your slow computer.
Are you trying to fix annoying errors that keep presenting themselves? Maybe you’re like me, and feel like prevention is better than cure.
When doing a quick search on Google, a person comes across all sorts of interesting programs that claim to solve your maintenance, fix & tweak needs.
With all the articles available out there plenty of them list the top 10 or top 15 “tuneup/maintenance” programs.
Things can get confusing fast with varying opinions and scary stories in the comment sections. System Mechanic is a popular option among the top lists but does System Mechanic work? Is it even safe? Here is all the info you need to know to help your make an informed decision.
Is System Mechanic Any Good?
The short answer is yes, iolo’s System Mechanic is good at what it does, but it is not a fix-all.
By work, I mean it does help to keep your computer somewhat optimized.
- It defragments the hard drive regularly (putting all the bits of data saved all over your drive neatly together so that the computer can access the data faster)
- It checks the registry for errors and fixes anything it thinks needs fixing (not always a good outcome)
- It removes internet junk files as well as Windows junk files
- It can even help eliminate dangerous or cumbersome startup programs (or PUPs as they are called – Potentially Unwanted Programs)
System Mechanic also has a few interesting power and resource management features that optimizes the way in which your computer uses the hardware resources available to it.(Resources refers to the internal components, brain power, memory, storage etc). All these things definitely contribute to speeding up a PC.
This is why I know:
I’ve been using System Mechanic for many years on my own computer. I haven’t experienced any issues with the program. It has been running in the background clearing out junk and fixing registry issues while I go about my daily tasks. Everything is still running smoothly which is excellent.
But the thing is (and yes – there is a but)
The reason why my computer runs smoothly is not entirely thanks to System Mechanic. A small percentage of that is thanks to System Mechanic and the rest is all thanks to how I use my computer. You know, the things I do and don’t do with it…
Here’s my do’s and don’t’s list – it might help you save a couple of dollars:
- Make sure Windows and other software is updated
- Check for driver updates every now and again – especially video and audio drivers
- Restart every so often (shutting down and turning it on again doesn’t count anymore with Windows 8 and 10)
- When I feel startup is slower than usual, I check all the startup programs and disable most, if not all – depending on what is absolutely necessary
- I regularly go through my installed programs list and remove any programs I don’t use – less is more.
- If the computer feels sluggish for any reason – I check which processes are using disk and CPU resources with Task Manager. I investigate anything that looks odd or too resource hungry. I Google for a fix and if there is one that seems safe and reasonable, I go through the steps to resolve them
- Regular malware scans using different anti-malware/anti-virus tools – malware can really do a number on system performance! Definitely try Malwarebytes AdwCleaner and even Malwarebytes itself. Download here.
- If everything else looks normal, I check the hard disk for impending failure with chkdisk and software such a SeaTools (dying drives are often the cause of slow computers)
- Dive even further into background services with the msconfig tool (proceed with caution – usually for geeks or the brave and backed-up only)
- Use a hardware monitoring tool to check the temperature of the components. Take off the side panel if it’s a desktop /check air vents if it’s a laptop – sometimes things get dusty, thermal paste dries out etc. Overheating causes bottlenecks aka slowdowns.
- MOST importantly, I do regular backups! (Do them!)
- I make sure that I do not save large files directly on the desktop (only shortcuts)
- Install software from unknown/unverified sources
- Use the internet to visit shady sites such as shady movie/video “streaming” sites that bombard your browser with pop-ups and ads (YouTube/ Netflix etc is safe – if you’re guilty of this one you will know which sites aren’t safe 😛 )
- Don’t allow browser ‘toolbars’ or other extensions to be installed
- Don’t allow a program to change my default search provider or home page settings (often happens to folks!)
As you can see, System Mechanic (and 99% of other tuneup programs) do not do the things on this list. And these things are what makes the real difference when it comes to system performance. To clarify – the difference between pulling hair out and retaining you mane.
I have to mention that just this week I saw the advantages again of following these guidelines. I was called to rescue a client’s slow laptop. Going through my checklist I managed to get her laptop start time down from 2 minutes and 23 seconds to 17 seconds without tweaking software! It also now responds instantly to clicks, opening of docs etc and shuts down as soon as you hit the shut down button.
For more a more detailed tweak guide have a look at this post of mine.
What Does System Mechanic Do?
While System Mechanic offers great tools to help optimize certain things it is important to take away from this article that it is not a magic cure-all for every computer related gremlin. I find it a pleasant addition to my geeky tool set, not an essential tool.
Some tools included with System Mechanic are:
- Optimizes system resources and settings to boost speed
- Checks and cleans registry errors which may help fix problems
- Cleans out junk / temporary files
- Let’s you know about some security issues that you can choose to address or not
- Internet speed booster (may boost speeds a bit but don’t expect miracles)
- Provides “Active Care” which runs in the background and automatically does the things listed above
Some tools included in the System Mechanic Professional
- System Shield – an anti-virus program
- Search and Recover – a tool that helps you to recover accidentally deleted files
- Drive Scrubber – a tool that helps to delete data in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to recover
Some tools included in System Mechanic Ultimate Defense
- Privacy Guardian – a tool that helps protect your online privacy
- ByePass – a tool that helps to store, protect and retrieve all the passwords you use online
- Malware Killer – a tool that helps find and remove malware that may be lurking on your computer
It may or may not resolve whichever error is plaguing your PC, therefore I do not recommend buying it simply to fix errors.
If you have a specific problem with your computer it is better to either:
a) get an IT professional to fix it or b) try to fix it yourself using the vast number of online resources available (only ever attempt this if you have backups).
Doing backups seem difficult? Have a look at my post about how to easily do backups.
Is System Mechanic an Antivirus?
System Mechanic on it’s own is not an antivirus program, it is collection of some of iolo’s handy tools bundled together – there are 3 variations to choose from. The Pro and Ultimate Defense variations include an anti-virus called iolo System Shield.
System Shield can be bought separately – for those who don’t want all the tools included with System Mechanic.
Note! If you decide to use System Shield, make sure any previous anti-virus program you were using before is removed first! Having more than one anti-virus active on your computer will slow it down badly.
Does System Mechanic Update Drivers?
Nope, it does not have a driver update tool – you will have to manage those yourself. If you have Windows 10 updates turned on it takes care of some driver updates already, but not all. You could use a third party driver update program like Driver Booster. Download it here. However, proceed with caution!
Do not let it install other programs during the installation program (read carefully) and always have backups ready in case something goes wrong.
Is System Mechanic Safe To Use On My Computer?
As with any program that tweaks and optimizes system files and settings – there is a risk that it can cause problems.
Please proceed with caution when using any programs like these! Some users have reported system failure or wiped data (Windows doing a refresh where it wipes everything). They can also interfere with the operation of other programs.
I keep harping on about this – but so long as you do regular backups it is usually pretty easy to start over in case something goes wrong.
Just because I didn’t have issues with it, doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same experience.
Because I have many years of experience with repairing computers, I’m confident I can fix any stuff up that may arise while trying and testing different programs. The question is – can you help yourself if the wheels fall off?
On older machines, adding another program that does things in the background actually can cause them to slow down more.
Does System Mechanic Work On Mac?
No, unfortunately it does not work on Mac. It is not available at this stage for Linux either. System Mechanic is designed to clean and optimize Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
A popular Mac optimizing program is CleanMyMacX for Mac users | Check it out here.
And Stacer is a good one for Linux users | Check it out here.
Should I Use System Mechanic?
- You have no backups
- You have any doubts about using the tool properly
- You don’t want to risk having to take your PC to tech support specialists
- You understand the risks
- You do your backups regularly
- You like to tinker and tweak
- Having junk files and registry issues sorted out automatically sounds good to you
- You want to squeeze out a bit of extra performance with the push of a button
Is System Mechanic Free?
There is a very basic free version but it is missing a lot of the tools included in the Full, Professional and Ultimate versions:
My Two Cents
To conclude, here’s a summary of the above:
- System Mechanic is a great tool for helping to keep certain things automatically optimized on your Windows PC.
- It is good at what it does but you must always proceed with caution and have made backups before installing and messing with settings.
- There are lots of things a person should and shouldn’t do to keep your computer running nice and fast – these things are not covered by System Mechanic’s tools.
This is my opinion:
It is a better investment of money and time to familiarize yourself with doing manual basic maintenance – which isn’t so difficult, I promise! You can look for a basic course on Udemy, or just look for a free resource like computerhope. YouTube is a great place to get started as well.
Once you have a basic understanding of how to look after your computer, then I fully encourage you to explore further with programs such as these.
Where Can You Download System Mechanic?
For those who would like to give it a go, here are direct links to iolo’s website where you can find out more, purchase and download iolo’s System Mechanic directly.
Note that I may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Affiliate Disclosure.