It’s called “TuneUp Utilities 2013,” and it’s $50 for Windows from tune-up.com. And here’s the really good news: there’s a 15-day free trial. This isn’t one of those free trials where the program identifies all the problems on your computer and then says: “And now if you’ll just give us fifty bucks, we’ll fix them.” No, it fixes them right away.
This 13 year-old Toshiba laptop had so many problems it wouldn’t even start cleanly; we would have to reboot three times to get past the first screen. After the TuneUp treatment, it boots the first time, every time. This is the first time it has booted cleanly in a decade. (No, we weren’t using it all that time; it sat doing penance on a shelf.) Oh, and by the way, it also now runs several times faster.
Now this is not the end of the tale, it’s just the remarkable part. (Like, that old Toshiba was dead, dead, dead.) We also ran the TuneUp program on our other computers, one of them purchased just a few weeks ago; they all started running faster.
TuneUp speeds the system in several ways, but the most important is it stops standby programs from running in the background. For example, when you’re working on a video editing program, which takes a lot of processing power and memory, Windows should put other stuff, like Skype or iTunes, on low priority. (It should tell them: “I’m working on something; go way kid, ya bother me.”) TuneUp quiets them down without shutting them off. It’s a silent guard; on our new laptop, the music service “Spotify” was pushed back 35 times in two weeks.
TuneUp has economy, standard and turbo modes. “Turbo” makes your computer run at maximum speed and is a good choice when you’re working with HD video or large games, (or if your computer is old). “Standard” is for ordinary use. “Economy” mode will increase a laptop’s battery life by around 30 percent. There will be times when that matters.
TuneUp comes with so many extras we don’t have the space and there’s also the danger of boring you right out of your socks. But okay, a few: It speeds your boot time by disabling unnecessary start-up programs. It adds a “shredder” and an “undelete” button to your recycle bin. It defragments your drive. It gets rid of traces left when you surf the web. To sum it all up, we have tried many fix-it utility programs over the years and while most worked to a certain extent, they left us dissatisfied; but this one covers all the bases.