Utility Belt for Your Computer

very good
key review info
application features
  • Disk Cleaner
  • (11 more, see all...)

Although there are many utilities for maintaining the computer clean and at a constant high performance, users still have a tough time tracking the one solution that incorporates all the instruments needed for this kind of task. Or at least contain as many tools as possible so that a lower amount of cleaning solutions are installed on the computer. And if the software comes for free, the better the choice.

A solution incorporating registry cleaning, shortcut fixer, checking startup elements' validity, cleaning temporary files or eliminating the tracks left behind from various computer activities would pretty much sum it up; although there is more to it, these functions are quite important in maintaining the system crap free and eliminate nagging leftovers.

Glary Utilities seems to incorporate all there is for keeping your computer up and running and with as few unnecessary files as possible. The application is like an utility belt for your computer, equipped with almost all there is necessary for keeping it as clean as can be. And on top of this it is also free for private use.

The immediate moment after launching the application you are presented with Status window which briefs you in on the running version, date of the last update and allows the user to register for the paid version which can be scheduled for performing 1-Click Maintenance.

1-Click Maintenance is just a glimpse of what Glary Utilities can do for your computer and contains a selection of six of the most important cleaning tools available. As the name suggests, with a single click you can start the selective cleaning process. The instruments at hand include a registry cleaner, shortcuts fixer, startup manager, temporary files cleaner, track eraser and spyware remover.

There is no possibility for configuring the tools from this panel but before performing any change, Glary Utilities allows the user to take a look at the data to be eliminated and choose the information your computer should get rid of. For each section you can make the appropriate selection and de-select false-positive items, if any (during our testing we never got one of those).

"Modules" window is the place containing all the tools and computer maintaining instruments included in Glary Utilities. Besides the short list available in 1-Click Maintenance, the application brings a myriad of other utilities on the table, each configurable in its own way and independent from the others. The modular composition of the software permits joggling with several applications at once as if they were not part of the same suite.

Glary Utilities comes with five modules, each bringing a number of at least two handy tools. In Clean Up & Repair section users benefit from a disk cleaner that removes junk files from the system making more space available, a registry cleaner designed to improve the performance of your computer and allowing the user to select the areas that should be scanned for invalid entries, a shortcuts fixer that eliminates all broken shortcuts from your computer (you can select the drives to be scanned) and an uninstaller that carefully deletes all the entries left behind.

Optimize & Improve section features a startup manager complete with options for deleting an entry, adding a new one as well as googling an item in order to check for its legitimacy. The memory optimizer available will help you free up memory and optimize it, in the background. It is very easy to use and can even act on its own when user-defined parameters are reached. The third tool of the section is Context Menu Manager that lets you choose the options to be available in Windows Explorer shell. The effect of the change is immediate and no restart is required.

Glary Utilities tool belt includes a track eraser, file shredder, Internet Explorer assistant and a file encrypting/decrypting tool. The track eraser is also available in 1-Click Optimization, but here you can configure what it should eliminate and what not. It also features a cookie manager that allows the user to make a selection of the cookies and typed URLs to be preserved.

Track Easer covers sections of your computer like Windows (recent documents, Start Menu, Start Menu search, Clipboard, temporary files, Recycle Bin, Network Places), Internet Explorer (URL history, IE history, cookies, auto-complete passwords, temporary files), Mozilla Firefox and Plugins (depending on the software installed on your computer).

File Shredder allows secure deletion of important data without the recovery possibility as it uses the US DoD 5220.22-M standard algorithm. The procedure is as simple as adding the desired files and folders and pressing the "Erase Now" button and you can enable up to 10 repetitions of the operation. The instrument also features a tool for erasing the free space off a drive of your choice, using the same US DoD 5220.22-M standard.

The File Encrypter and Decrypter is an easy solution for making special data private and limiting the access to it. Additional options for the procedure include automatic deletion of the original file after the encryption is over, and creating auto-decrypting executables. The password protecting the information has to have at least 6 characters, but no more than 16 and depending on this the security can be extremely strong.

Moving forward in the list of modules, Glary Utilities makes available a series of instruments for finding duplicate files, empty folders, analyzing the disk space on each drive and splitting and joining a larger file.

Disk Analysis checks the amount of free and occupied space on the drives and displays the size of the files and folders located at the root of the drive. The procedure is fast and gives you a general overview on the disk space cost. More than this, the instrument will also provide information about the predominant type of files residing on the drive as well as a list with the largest files populating the location.

The duplicate finder available is not exactly a state of the art tool and an experienced user can clearly see that it is a bit rudimentary. Double entries are detected according to general criteria like file name, size, and time-stamp. Even if all of them are enabled there are great chances for duplicates to slip as the application does not make a deep scan beyond these criteria.

Empty Folders Finder on the other hand are detected with extreme accuracy and the scan is recursive, being able to show empty directories containing empty folders. During our testing this tool did not miss once. However, in the case of larger drives it will take a bit of time to complete the operation.

File Splitter & Joiner is extremely easy to use and the interface explains all the steps to be taken for a successful completion of the task. Processed file can be split by using predefined sizes (1.44MB, 100MB, 1GB, or 4.7GB) or the user can step in with a custom size. The resulting splits can be joined manually or automatically by using self-joining function included in the application.

The last module in Glary Utilities is System Tools. Inside you have a process manager capable of showing all processes currently running on your system and information on them. The utility functions just like Task Manager as it allows setting process priorities, shows CPU and RAM usage, but it also allows users to set threat levels of processes (Neutral, Trustworthy or Dangerous) and submit comments to share with other users as well.

The instruments included in System Tools are Windows Standard Tools. You all used one of these at one point or another as they come with the operating system and in some cases are really handy: Checkdisk, Disk Defragmenter, System Restore, System File Checker and Backup. I have to warn you that not all of these tools worked on Vista and only the command-line ones were successful on this operating system.

Glary Utilities comes as a good resource for maintaining your system as clean as possible although some of the utils included will not perform miracles. Running its instruments every once in a while can save disk space as well as increase the performance of the system. Also, it features a bunch of applications that have nothing to do with computer performance but apply in other situations (file shredder, encrypter and decrypter, file splitter and joiner).

The Good

Every application included in the suite is extremely easy to use and requires minimum effort from the user. 1-Click Maintenance offers fast optimization of the computer by initializing the most important tools to keep your computer clean.

It comes with additional tools that can be used in different other situations: file shredder for securely deleting important data and wiping free drive space, file encrypter and decrypter for making private sensitive information and file splitter and joiner for easier sending of data, empty folders finder, duplicate files detector, disk space analysis.

The Bad

I was hoping for a file defragmenter, other than the one included in Windows and a registry defragmenter as well as a better registry cleaner and duplicate finder. But considering this is a free for personal use software I guess the instruments included will have to do.

Also, accessing some Windows tools like Disk Defragmenter, System Restore and Backup from Glary ended with the message: "The feature was not found on your computer".

The Truth

The application combines a multitude of instruments designed to keep your system in shape and some other utilities into a single software program that comes for free. Most of the apps included do a great job with little to no effort from the user's part but there are some glitches here and there, especially on Vista.

Restore Center available in Menu keeps track of all the modifications made by the software and you can restore a certain backup with absolutely no problem. Windows System Restore accessible from Glary Utilities also makes for a good safety net in case something goes wrong.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 5
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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