System Mechanic Review by iolo Technologies

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Overview

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the System Mechanic software by iolo Technologies. The fully licensed version of this software was provided at no charge to me by GeekBrainDump.com, in exchange for a review and opinion by myself. I have no affiliation to iolo Technologies and have not been paid any compensation by iolo Technologies for this review.

System Mechanic is essentially a tool that you can install and use to “fix” issues with your computer. This includes things like overall health as well as security.

Installation & Operation

The installation on my laptop went without issue.

Once the program was installed, I opened it. The main window stated that a System Analysis was required (I’m assuming since there wasn’t a previous one, since I just installed the software). It told me to click “Analyse now”, so I did. I got 2 options, a quick scan (1 to 2 minutes) and a deep scan (5 to 7 minutes). I chose the quick scan option, which returned 8 “problems”. These were:

– core data conflicts
– system clutter (measured in gigabyte size)
– registry problems
– unnecessary startup items
– security vulnerability
– internet not optimized for speed
– broken shortcuts
– registry never backed up

The details this software gives on each problem is quite extensive, and I can’t possibly include them all in this review. That said, the software certainly found some legitimate issues. Some things like the system clutter, security vulnerabilities, internet not optimized for speed and registry never backed up weren’t real “problems”, at least not for me as a technologist. I knew my trash can was full, my Windows Update was not set to automatic, and my registry was never backed up (I don’t even know anyone that actually does this). None the less, for a person who is not that familiar with the inner workings of a computer, these things that might be more obvious to us technologists can be quite helpful.

I didn’t end up “fixing” any of the “problems”, instead I went back and ran the deep scan. After about 8 minutes, I got the report, 9 “problems”. The only addition to the previous 8 was a report of misaligned files on the C drive. I ran a few of the “fixes”, and the software did what it said it was going to (clean out my temp folder and recycling bin, remove erroneous registry entries, etc.). I essentially ran “fixes” for things I could actually track and watch, to make sure the software did what it said it was going to do.

Another feature of System Mechanic is called ActiveCare. This section allows you to set automation for certain tasks, like startup configuration, optimize system drive, recover unused memory, etc. There are actually 14 settings here. They all look like they’d be OK to have enabled and running, and they are all running and active by default. I won’t know how this works until I’ve been using the software for some time, but from what it seems, these automated tasks are actually a really nice feature. The problem with most of the “maintenance” software out there is that it is dependent on the user manually running it. Let’s be honest, most users forget about these types of utility programs after they’ve run them the first time. And if they wind up in a situation where they actually think they need to open them again, it could be an all-day ‘scan-n-fix’. With ActiveCare, you can set it and forget it, which is actually a good thing for most users.

Another feature is LiveBoost. This has 3 settings in it that optimize CPU, RAM and file organization. Again, these settings were enabled by default. In the time spent writing this much text so far, the automatic file organization says it has prevented 89 file fragments.

The Internet Security feature I really liked. Usually these maintenance-type programs like to “alert” you that you don’t have sufficient anti-virus or anti-malware and then “recommend” a certain brand. System Mechanic doesn’t do that, which I really respect. My anti-malware is Windows Defender, which works just fine for my home laptop (I’ve never had an issue). System Mechanic recognized that and gave it the green checkmark. It also checks on Windows Firewall and sees if that’s enabled or not.

The Toolbox feature has a bunch of individual utilities in it, from speeding up your PC to repairing mystery errors. These are the utilities that get run when you “fix” the “problems” identified in the analysis scan.

Finally there is a Reports feature, which gives you some stats on your computer and its performance.

Thoughts

To be quite honest, I don’t like most of the “system maintenance” software out there. I find that many of them report “problems” that don’t really exist, I’m assuming because the more problems the software finds, the better chance of users purchasing and licensing it.

I was pleasantly surprised with iolo’s System Mechanic. I drilled down to all the “problems” it said it found, and most were fairly legitimate. Again, I don’t consider a full recycling bin a “problem”, but none the less, the program was correct when it identified it as taking up unnecessary hard drive space. At no point did I believe that the software was making things up or trying to invent “problems” that didn’t exist.

The interface is good and easy to use, and the program installed without issue. I liked that there were no ads, no annoying pop-ups, and no subversive marketing (like pushing one brand of anti-malware vs another). I also liked the clean interface of the analysis tool, and the ease of running it. Finally, I also believe the automatic ActiveCare tasks to a good feature for the average user. I personally, as a technologist, wouldn’t use it, but I can see this being very useful for the average user.

Conclusion

In conclusion, from my brief experience with it, I would recommend iolo System Mechanic as a good system maintenance utility. I personally don’t like system maintenance software in general, but System Mechanic seems to be legit and does what it says it does.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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