System Mechanic is one those all-in-one utility programs that cleans your computer and irons your shirts. We’ve been leery of such programs over the years because they have often messed up our computer to the point of no return. This one, however, has been around for more than 20 years and is pretty reliable by now.

The new “System Mechanic 8” did a great job cleaning up our very buggy Windows PC test computer. It cleaned out 1.6 gigabytes of extraneous files, fixed six security flaws and repaired two broken shortcuts onthe desktop screen. It also cleaned out spyware and  boosted our Internet performance. Each of its actions, by the way, comes with its own “undo” button, in case you aren’t happy with the results.

One of the best things about the new version of System Mechanic is that it has a light footprint, as they say, using little memory and processing power. This means it doesn’t slow down your computer while protecting it. Many other utility packages we’ve run have slowed our computer to a crawl. If wasn’t that they didn’t work, it was that you turned to stone waiting for them to do it.

Mechanic 8 provided a good snapshot of what was going on inside our computer. We clicked on “reports” and found out how much memory was being used and what we could do to improve the situation. The computer had 50 startup programs running, for example.

These are programs that have installed small executable triggers when they were loaded and these trigger the computer to bring those programs up immediately ready to run. After all, say many programmers, why would you not want my wonderful program running all the time? For each of these, System Mechanic had a description of what it did and an option to disable it. Getting rid of these startup programs is a major way to speed up your computer.

By the way, if you make a wrong decision, either with this program or any other, you can nearly always cancel the mistake by using the “System Restore” function in Windows XP or Vista. You can find this function by going to “Programs” from the desktop menu, then “Accessories,” then “System Tools” and then click on “System Restore.” A box will pop up showing a calendar and asking you to select a date you would like to go back to. This little digital time machine will then restore your system to when you last liked the way things worked. Don’t worry about losing any files you saved since that date, the restore process will not change those.

System Mechanic costs $35 a year from Iolo ( (That’s everybody’s new business model. They used to just sell you the program, and that was the end of it. The new business model is to charge a monthly or annual fee, and that way you can pay forever instead of just one time.)


  1. System Mechanic is a really best software for fix several time spending errors quickly.