IObit Advanced SystemCare4 is your one-stop shop for all your computer management needs and is, quite honestly, the most full featured and complete PC cleaner application I have ever seen.
Along with the standard suite of malware, registry and disk drive cleaners SystemCare4 also includes privacy protection, several speed boosting modes, closing of application vulnerabilities (which in my case recommended a couple of Microsoft updates that were not dished out by Windows Update) and several other useful features. It even has disk defragmentation which moves into disk optimization in the “Pro” version.
It has the same basic rules. Like Gravity.
At it’s core SystemCare 4 is a PC Cleaner, pure and simple. Quick Care has all the standard features such as clearing out adware and spyware, cleaning your registry of cruft and deleting all the other bits of useless fluff that litter your filesystem. It’ll even create a backup of all the changes so that if something broke unexpectedly you should be able return everything to the way it was, not that you should need to. It’s quick too, a minute or two and that’s it done for another week.
The Deep Care takes everything much further and even recommends system services that can be disabled, in my case it recommended removing pointless-for-home-user services such as iSCSI and something to do with a Domain Controller which, to my knowledge, is something that only Big Companies need to use. The PC cleaner scans work much deeper, clearing out tracking cookies, more thorough registry cleaning, fixing program vulnerabilities, malware prevention in the style of Spybot S&D, and other system enhancements in the form of a disk error checker and defragmenter.
In short if you only have a few minutes to spare then Quick Clean is fine and will do the job but the Deep Clean will catch more at the cost of potentially taking a few hours, especially if the disk defragmenter is set to work on a large drive.
As a side note SystemCare4 is SSD aware and in the majority of cases will, by default, refuse to defragment an SSD disk as there is absolutely no point and all it will actually achieve is to wear out the SSD faster. There appears to be a slight quirk with Kingston SSDs and SystemCare allowing defragmentation but this will hopefully be fixed in the very near future.
I always say “Press the turbo,” right?
SystemCare 4 also features a “Turbo Boost” feature , if you need every last bit of performance from your computer for some time but don’t mind some programs not working or it looking like something out of the dark ages of computing then “Turbo Boost” will do the job.
Aside from the useless services that get disabled as part of the Deep Clean, Turbo Boost can disable services that most people will use on an occasional basis such as printer & scanner support, Windows Update and the Windows Application Compatibility service. It can close background applications that may be wasting resources such as your virus scanner or the Windows Gadgets programs.
As I mentioned you can even disable the resource hungry (but visually appealing) Windows Aero theme to grab back a bit more performance on systems that may not have the benefit of a high-end graphics card. You’ll end up with a machine that looks like you are running Windows 2000, but it’ll be fast.
A word of caution is needed with Turbo-Boost, it will mess with your system and can break certain programs. If you have problems with a particular program not working then the first step is to disable Turbo and see if it then starts working again.
Like the Protector II in Galaxy Quest “You don’t hold the turbo down, it’s for quick boosts!”
So, what exactly does the “Pro” version of Advance SystemCare 4 get you?
More system speed boosts & improvements, better & deeper cleaning, more performance related disk defragmentation and active monitoring to keep your system at it’s best.
Rather oddly, you also get themes. I’m a bit ambivalent about skins and themes in applications, I’d much rather the application just did it’s job and got on with it, rather than wasting my time making it look different for every day of the week.
But, in their defence, you can’t honestly accuse IObit of making an ugly application, each one of their skins is well crafted and looks good. There even appears to be a forum dedicated to custom “home-brew” skins.
Last, but by no means least is the toolbox, the home of over 20 little tools that can help you make your computer just that bit faster and more efficient. Each tool is effectively a standalone application that works outside of SystemCare but some appear to duplicate features within SystemCare, such as the Registry Cleaner, Privacy Sweeper and Disk Cleaner.
A few of the more useful tools in the toolbox are
- IObit Uninstaller, which can allow you to uninstall a group of programs in “batch” mode
- File Shredder, to completely destroy confidential data
- Registry Defragmenter, which can help keep your computer in tip-top performance as the registry is one file that is difficult to defragment while it is in use
- Driver Manager to update all your system drivers for you, saving you time and trouble
- Cloned Files Scanner… guess what it does, go on, I dare you!
And my personal favourite:
- Win Fix, which can automatically repair common Windows errors and even re-register IE or Media Player to fix any problems they may have. Win Fix looks to be a good tool for restoring settings after your system has been hijacked by malware or other weird programs have changed settings that are best left alone. A must have for the toolbox of anyone trying to fix a friends computer.
One tool that I expected to see was IObit Game Booster but, while there is a link out to it from the toolbox, it is not initially installed within SystemCare. I strongly suspect that the “Turbo Boost” mode achieves the same (or at least can be configured to) as Game Booster so it’s no big loss. At the very least the Game Booster is available so you can use it alongside SystemCare without worries.
And In Conclusion?
The key thing in SystemCare4 is that it is an everyman product, for your Grandparents you can set it to “Stun” – automatic scans keeping the system clear of rubbish and fully optimised. Or for computer literate family members you have “Maim” – letting them control how and what gets cleaned with that little hint of danger. That leaves you with with the “Kill” button – full control of all your PC cleaning and repair needs; what you want to do, when you want it.
In truth: we like it, we like it lots. From the Deep Clean through to all those quirky little tools that you didn’t realise you’d ever need. Everything you need is right there in front of you and in the end what more could you ask for?