If you’re the kind of person who frequently has to test software, or enter dangerous parts of the internet, you’ll know that over time your computer will become bogged down or – worse still – infected, forcing drastic cleanup measures that could result in a reinstall, all because of five minutes foolhardiness.
Imagine, then, being able to press a button to put your computer in effective stasis. You can then browse the net or install applications for testing purposes with no fear of the consequences – once you’re finished, reboot and your computer returns to how it was before you pressed the magic pause button.
Toolwiz TimeFreeze is a program that does just that. Once installed, it sits unobtrusively in the Taskbar’s Notification area, waiting for you to summon it with a single click. Click the Start TimeFreeze button, confirm your choice and the program will do its magic, effectively putting your setup into stasis while TimeFreeze is running. You can then mess around to your heart’s content.
When you’re finished, stop TimeFreeze and then choose whether or not to implement the changes into your system. If you like the app you've installed, just accept it; if not, reject it, reboot when prompted and it’ll be as if you never installed the program in the first place.
TimeFreeze also includes File Protection – select certain folders and files (not system folders) and they’ll be rendered untouchable while File Protection is switched on. This feature can be used in tandem with or in isolation to TimeFreeze itself.
The only drawback you’ll find is that TimeFreeze automatically wipes its cache during a reboot, so you can’t use it to test software that requires a restart as part of the installation process. Also, the system cache cannot be larger than 4GB in size (free drive space permitting), which means if you make more than 4GB of changes you’ll come unstuck. However, as TimeFreeze is designed to be used in short bursts, we can’t see this being a problem for the vast majority of users.