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:

Do’s

  • 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!)

Don’ts

  • 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.

You can download System Shield here.

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?

NO if:

  • 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

YES if:

  • 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:

Download the FREE version here.

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.

System Mechanic | FREE basic version

System Mechanic | Buy & Download

System Mechanic Pro | Buy & Download

System Mechanic Ultimate Defense | Buy & Download

Note that I may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Affiliate Disclosure. 

14 Comments

  1. Russ Green

    Reply

    This maybe just what I need, my laptop runs very slow, strangely enough it seems to be worse at certain times of the day, I have no idea why that is, however, even on its good days, it is still slow, and occasionally crashes altogether, I have been thinking that it may be the drivers need updating, I have tried  but it appears that it needs to be done manually, which I just can’t do, I’m far from being a computer expert, however, this system mechanic looks perfect, it does everything for me, so I’m going to give it a go, thank you.    

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Russ! Oh dear, it sounds like you’re really having a hard time with your laptop! System Mechanic may be able to help somewhat but I would definitely try some manual checks & TLC first. Driver Booster can help with updating drivers for you, and it’s free! You can find it here

      After updating drivers I would uninstall it again and only re-install when needed. 

      A quick tip to get max performance out of your laptop at all times is to change the power plan to “High Performance” on both battery and plugged in schemes.

      Disable some startup programs, do a quick scan with Adwcleaner and a nice restart after all the TLC has been done. 

      You can also  try removing all anti-virus software, download and install the latest version of your favorite one (I recommend Avast Free Antivirus) & restart.

      If after that it still has issues, it could be overheating – Hardware Monitor can give you temp readings. 

      Or it could be that your actual hard drive is failing – Do a scan with SeaTools

      All the suggested software is free and relatively easy to use. I hope this has been helpful 😉

      • Tariq

        Reply

        Ty Nadia. Ima look at the links you provided, and see if those will be sufficient for me. I am semi-knowledge with computers, but nowhere near the OP, or yourself. Your input is greatly appreciated.

      • Tariq

        Reply

        Hello again Nadia. I installed a 480 Gigabyte SSD and put the 2 terabyte HDD in an external case. I have 12 gb of DDR3 ram, and I believe the 4 gb is separate from the 8 gb. I do have a dedicated graphics card, a GE FORCE 940m, in addition to the integrated card on the motherboard. Do you have any recommendation in regards to the ram, or will the difference be minimal? I am running an ASUS Q553UB and use it for graphic/web/photo, etc. design. I have a graphic display that I use, and have a 3d printer and etching/engraving machine otw. I just wanted to give an idea of how I use my laptop. If you happen to see this, I thank you in advance for any suggestions you can provide. I have not had any issues running programs in Adobe CC or other software I have. With that being said, I would still like to add/upgrade anything that I can. I apologize for the TL;DR message. Again, thank you for any feedback you can provide if you happen to see this.

        • Reply

          Hello there Tariq

          A bit of late response, my apologies. It sounds like your lappy is pretty much rigged out as much as it can be. I see it can take up to 16gb of RAM, however you would have to remove the 4gb module and purchase & replace it with an 8gb module to carry out this upgrade. Extra RAM is great for having a whole bunch of programs and windows open at the same time. The extra RAM is also handy if you’re using programs that have a large memory footprint (games, video editing software etc). Since 12gb is usually sufficient for the kinds of tasks you mention, you probably won’t notice that much of a difference with the extra 4GB – unless you throw some serious multitasking at it. However, a geek remains a geek and my soul wouldn’t rest knowing there’s a 4gb where an 8gb can be 😛

          Thank you for taking the time to reach out, I appreciate every message and opportunity to assist!

  2. Donny

    Reply

    Thank you Nadia for this review and it is actually good and more trustworthy to hear about System Mechanic from someone that has actually used the program themselves. I would like to have this program clean the junk on my PC for me without me having to instruct it to. I hate to having to do it manually because I always seem to forget and get annoyed. I may need to learn more about your do’s and dont’s – I’m not much of a computer guy I just switch it on and switch it off and know how to open my browser and how to open movies and play music that’s all. I’ll try to learn how you do it when I get some time.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hello there Donny! Thank you sharing your thoughts. It’s such a pleasure to be able to share my experience. I hope that folks find it helpful. 🙂 Yes indeed I feel the same about having to do routine maintenance manually such as cleaning our junk files etc. If you decide to give it a go I would love to hear how it goes!

  3. jessetoikkanen

    Reply

    Good and comprehensive review of Iolo´s system mechanic! I have been using system mechanic since it had only registry error fixing and duplicate check and decided to do those manually but after years it had more and more tools and nowadays its simply the best pack of tools to optimize the computer. There are some tools of Norton and other big antivirus companies but those tools make computer super slow and high-end PC’s barely fast. However, thanks for sharing this.

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hey there Jesse, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience! I agree it is handy to have a whole bundle of tools all in one 🙂

  4. Twack Romero

    Reply

    I am always on the lookout for anything that will help me keep the speed of my computer at an optimum. Like you say, not all prgrams do everything and quite often it is what we do that can make all the difference.

    I am a desktop hoarder and I need to get on top of it. I must have well over one hundred items on my desktop, yes there are plenty of short-cuts but there are also loads of images and links to websites, it could do with a tidy up.

    I used to use the free version of System Mechanic and did so for quite a few years, then just forgot about it until I saw your article. I’ve swapped hard drives a few times, so it’s probably on one of those older ones now. I never had an issue with it and it did what I needed. Currently I use Ccleaner for junk and registry issues, which seems to work alright. I have a older computer, so it’s never going to set the world alight. I do still use AdwCleaner when I have some real problematic issues

    I will, however, be using your checklist to try and at least stop my computer from slowing down any more. 

    • Nadia

      Reply

      Hello there Twack, it’s great to hear from a fellow System Mechanic user! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience on the topic 😉 I too am a desktop hoarder and so lately I’ve become extra strict as it gets out of hand very quickly lol!

      Ccleaner is an excellent tool for clearing junk and register errors. I do err on the side of caution with suggesting it to total beginners though as it has quite a few very advanced options that could cause issues if meddled with. 

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything could just be sorted out for us instead of having to look for outside solutions to the problem. It keeps my life interesting, but a lot of folks don’t feel quite as entertained by the extra work required 😉

  5. Ben Thomas

    Reply

    Nadia, i am new to your commends and professional guidance to what is best for cleaning and protecting my laptop, i have a Dell Inspirion i7 16gb, is restoro a good program and is it really safe, or is system mechanic better, or is Norton better than all

    • Reply

      Hello there Ben

      Regards to Tune-up programs, I would strongly advise against installing any third-party applications as they are truly not necessary.

      Installing extra applications that run in the background (as these types of tuning programs often do) can actually make things slower and/or complicate existing gremlins.

      Windows 10 in particular does an excellent job of keeping the system protected from threats and providing the tools to keep things running smoothly.

      If a laptop is presenting some performance issues (being slow), or even if it’s just general maintenance – going through the following list usually makes a huge difference. This is my process I use for my own PC as well as on client PCs. Only needs to be done every couple of months or when it feels a bit sluggish:

      – Always Back up any important data before making any system changes, I recommend Macrium Reflect’s free version (You will need an external drive to back up onto)

      – Go through the list of installed apps & programs, uninstall all the apps you do not use. Pay close attention to anti-virus programs on the list, having multiple ones installed can really slow things down. I would also remove any driver updaters and system tune-up apps.

      – Go through startup items and disable everything that doesn’t need to load every single time Windows starts. (I leave things related to printers alone and disable everything else usually)

      – Make sure your current power profile is set to high performance (can make a huge difference). Click on the battery icon in the bottom right hand corner and the drag the setting all the way to the right.

      – Go to Windows “background apps” settings under system settings and disable all the entries that you don’t use

      – Restart Windows and then continue
      – Make sure Windows is fully updated, if not, click on “Check for Updates” and install any missing updates
      – Update any programs you often use, like Google Chrome etc
      – Update drivers
      – Restart again after installing updates

      With your laptop specs your system should run beautifully. The only thing not mentioned is whether you have an SSD or a mechanical drive?
      If you have mechanical hard drive, I strongly advise considering an SSD upgrade – this can boost speeds upto 7x, sometimes even more.

      For security, Windows 10 has a built in anti-virus called Windows Defender and also a built in firewall which works very well. Just double check if these are enabled and updated by going to system settings under “Windows Security Settings”.

      If you’re looking for an alternative free anti-virus, Avast free antivirus is the only one I would recommend.

      Running a scan with the free version of Malwarebytes and Adwcleaner from time to time will help with keeping browsers clean. Uninstall them when finished with using them.

      To really get the best experience from any Tune-up programs – as in, to use them safely & responsibly – one first has to get hands-on. Having done the maintenance yourself, you will better understand the various options available within these Tune-up programs and know which to avoid.

      I have yet to find a single one that takes a person through the full list mentioned here.

      Apologies for the essay, I just like giving as much info as possible to help folks make informed decisions.
      I hope this has been helpful.

      Thank you for reaching out! 🙂

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