Advanced System Care

The free version of this program offers some functionality similar to what a number of competing products only offer in their paid versions. The more advanced version of this program offers additional functionality but not enough to make it worth paying for and in the situation where it would be useful to have the Pro version the licence cancells itself.

My Rating - Free Version: yesyesnonono

My Rating (Pro Version): halfnononono

Pros

Cons

This program contains a combination of a few useful system maintenance utilities along with ones that would be useful if they worked. The biggest porblem that the program has is that it requires administrator access to run and therefore will not run directly from your regular user login. That means that the main feature that the Pro version promotes - that of running silently in the background to keep your system clean - doesn't work since the only way to get the program to run at all while you are using the computer is to manually start it using the 'run as' option so as to give it administrator access. The problem that then has is that it only sees what your administrator account can see and so all of the files and configuration etx for your regular user account that you are using remains untouched. Since you only really need to run it when you have made major changes means that it not running automatically isn't a major problem but that the program disables itself advising you that you have an invalid licence in that situation negates any reasonable use.

The most noticeable area in which the program claims to function but doesn't is that of privacy. The program will very nicely delete all the files that the administrator account has that are considered to be a privacy issue (usually only the windows update cookie which tracks what windows updates have been installed - and which you probably want to keep) while not touching any of the cookies and other files that your regular user account has saved that might be considered privacy issues. The only option of any significance that the Pro version offers that isn't in the free version is the opportunity to do deeper scans of the registry and hence to detect and fix more errors (with a corresponding increased chance of it deleting something it shouldn't). I have run the deep scan on my own computers several times without any problems at all so the added risk involved in running such a scan is probably relatively low. This additional scan capability isn't enough though to justify paying for the Pro version and none of the other extra features that the Pro version claims to offer actually worked at all on my computers.

There are more effective dedicated spyware removal programs around but spyware removal is one area where having an extra program doesn't hurt since one program may find spyware that the other misses.The registry cleaner option is what you'd get this program for and it appears to do a quite reasonable job in that area. The privacysweep is useless and so may as well not be there. The junk file removal option is useful. The Pro version also offers system optimization (which you might find useful if you are using your computer in a different way from normal) security defense which is supposed to prevent sypware from being able to be installed (which I couldn't test because I have the free Spybot Search and Destroy program running to prevent spyware being installed), disk defragment (which may or may not be more effective than the defrag option in Windows itself but is certainly less convenient to access) and security analyser that is supposed to detec t if any of your registry settings have been hijacked (but which only detects the locks that you ought to have in place to prevent such hijacking in the first place). The Pro version also adds the option of doing a deep scan of the registry which will find and clean up further entries that you don't need in the registry. Both versions take backups of the registry before cleaning up so as long as the system will still boot it is possible to undo any changes if they didn't work. The Pro version of the program claims to be able to run automatically in the background so as to keep your computer running at its best. If this were to actually be the case then the Pro version would be well worth the money but since it only runs if you manually start it and even then doesn't touch anything relating to your regular user account makes the program one that you might run a couple of times a year when your system becomes noticeably slower. As such the free version provides everything that you are likely to find useful in that situation.

Get a copy of Advanced System Care and try it out for yourself.

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