PCs are complicated animals, mysterious and daunting to inexperienced users. TuneUp Utilities 2006 aims to take the hassle out of maintaining a healthy system. It does so with some panache.

TuneUp's main plus point is ease of use. Most of its functions can be achieved with a little computer know how and a handful of free, downloadable applications – there's a selection here. But getting down and dirty with your PC's Registry or changing its hard disk's boot order are not tasks that will appeal to ingénues – TuneUp Utilities 2006 makes such essential housekeeping simple.

As well as taking care of the Registry, this program can restore deleted files or ensure that binned documents are overwritten forever. It cleans up your RAM, defrags your hard disk and customises the look of your PC's operating system. All from a single interface.

The software installs smoothly. From the off you can choose to analyse and optimise your PC's performance, scan for problems then fix them – if you're able to resist turning all those nasty red crosses into lovely green ticks, you are stronger than we are. You can schedule any of TuneUp's functions to run unattended.

It's difficult to assess with any accuracy the impact of such pruning on a PC's performance but, after a heavy dose of TuneUp tune-ups, our creaking test system seemed a lot happier with life. And everything we asked Utilities to do, it did quickly.

TuneUp Utilities 2006: Specs

  • 133MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 32MB RAM
  • 15MB hard disk space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 133MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 32MB RAM
  • 15MB hard disk space
  • CD-ROM drive

OUR VERDICT

TuneUp Utilities 2006 puts into a simple a single, interface everything you need to keep your PC running smoothly. But computer-savvy readers may already take care of many of the tasks Utilities handles, and at £30, such convenience isn't cheap.

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