Norton Utilities 15 provides a suite of tools to help clean up, repair and optimise your PC.

Click the Optimise button and you'll find modules to clean your hard drive, optimise your Windows services, and clean and defragment your Registry. While Norton SpeedDisk, new to this version, proved to be a surprisingly good defrag tool. There are options to defrag your entire drive or just key system files, and you can schedule defrags to run at the time of your choice, or leave the program to defrag your system in real time, whenever the PC is idle.

Check the Maintain section instead and you'll discover options to control your Startup programs or Windows services. A "Shred your files" feature allows you to securely wipe confidential files so you can be sure they won't be recovered later. And a new entrant here is Norton Disk Doctor, which can check for and fix disk errors, as well as repairing partition structures and master boot records.

Clicking "Recover" reveals the new Norton UnErase, which can find and recover accidentally deleted files.

And the Windows Tools section provides one-click access to useful areas of Windows: Control Panel, Device Manager, Event Viewer and so on.


Norton 15 improves on its predecessor with some interesting new features, but these still aren't quite enough to make it stand out from the free competition