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Mihai Barbulescu

Anti-Exploit Kit Benchmark – Software Testing Weekly #4

By | blog, pc optimization expert

Anti-Exploit Kit Benchmark

The current anti-exploit kit benchmark is the expression of following our customers closely and taking their recommendations seriously, no matter how out-of-the-box they might be at first sight!

Why this test now?

The idea is based on a message received from one of our existing customers:

“Because jv16PT is not a spyware/malware product it would not fare well – Indeed, it is an unfair comparison; however, I have seen dramatic performance improvements once these products have been run.”

As our customers are usually power users, this gut feeling was taken to the testing lab in an attempt to determine the effects that these software products may have on the overall system performance after used to perform their primary scope.

Anti-Exploit Kit Benchmark: Tested Products

This week, we took into consideration the suggestion of one of our customers and started on a test case journey to determine PCMark 10 benchmark scores (while ignoring GPU requirements) for a Windows 10 system, before and after using the following products:

  • SuperAntiSypware Professional Trial v.6.0.1244
  • Malwarebytes Premium Trial v.3.1.2
  • jv16 PowerTools 2017 v.4.1.0.1728

Test Cases involving PCMark 10 Benchmark

The objective of this test was set to record the PCMark 10 benchmark scores of a virtual Windows 10 computer, under the following test case scenarios:

  • Test Case #1: Before installing and using any of the third party common software (Windows 10 fresh)
  • Test Case #2: Before installing and using any of the tested PC system utilities (Windows 10 fresh + common software installed)
  • Test Case #3: With third party software installed, after installing and using SuperAntiSpyware
  • Test Case #4: With third party software installed, after installing and using MalwareBytes
  • Test Case #5: With third party software installed, after installing and using jv16 PowerTools 2017

PCMark 10 Benchmark: Test Environment

The current benchmark test was performed using an Oracle VirtualBox (version: 5.1.22 r115126) virtual environment running Windows 10 with 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM assigned. Said virtual machine was run on a host computer running Ubuntu Linux 17.04 LTS (64 bit) with an Intel-i5 processor, 20 GB of DDR3 virtual memory and a SSD system disk.

Such an ordinary test environment was created and used in order to simulate the easiest conditions that can be reproduced by any software consumer to verify the validity of these tests.

PC System Benchmarks: Verifiability

All of the past and current test results are accompanied by screenshots and/or video recordings which have been saved during various testing phases in order to address some of the most common test result credibility concerns for this type of studies.

Test Case #1: Summary

→ freshly installed Windows 10 with no third party software

In the first test case we measured the PCMark 10 score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose.

We did not yet install any of the most common software used today. The reason for this extra benchmark score (before installing any other third party software products) is to determine a baseline benchmark score for a freshly installed Windows 10, according to the PCMark 10 Benchmark software.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #1

On a freshly installed and updated Windows 10, PCMark 10 has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • PCMark 10 Essentials Benchmark score: 4020
  • PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score: 3718

Test Case #2: Summary

→ freshly installed Windows 10 with popular software installed

In the first test case we measured the PCMark 10 score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose. In the second test case of this week, we recorded the PCMark 10 score for a Windows 10 system with some of the most popular software installed.

The system in this test case was neither cleaned or optimized using any of the tested software (SuperAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes, jv16 PowerTools).

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #2

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installedPCMark 10 has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • PCMark 10 Essentials Benchmark score: 3369
  • PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score: 3674

Test Case #3: Summary

→ after using SuperAntiSpyware

The system in this test case was cleaned using SuperAntiSpyware Professional Trial v.6.0.1244.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #3

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed, after the system was cleaned using SuperAntiSpywarePCMark 10 has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • PCMark 10 Essentials Benchmark score: 2878
  • PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score: 3615

Test Case #4: Summary

→ after using Malwarebytes

The system in this test case was cleaned using Malwarebytes Premium Trial 3.1.2.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #4

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed, after the system was cleaned using MalwarebytesPCMark 10 has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • PCMark 10 Essentials Benchmark score: 3118
  • PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score: 3482

Test Case #5: Summary

→ after using jv16 PowerTools

The system in this test case was cleaned and optimized using jv16 PowerTools 2017 v.4.1.0.1728.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #5

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed, after the system was cleaned and optimized using jv16 PowerToolsPCMark 10 has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • PCMark 10 Essentials Benchmark score: 3383
  • PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score: 3858

PCMark 10 Benchmark: conclusions

After using jv16 PowerTools, Windows 10 (with popular software installed) obtains a PCMark 10 Productivity Benchmark score which is slightly higher than the score obtained on a fresh Windows 10 system (with no third party software installed).

Even if this comparison is not necessarily fair, as our customer also mentioned during the recommendation of such a test, it is still interesting to see the effects that popular software have on computing performance.

Related weekly benchmark test reports:

Other benchmark test reports:

Since February of 2009 (when the first test of this kind was done in our lab), Macecraft Software has published a total of seven registry cleaner product comparison studies:

PCMark 10 Benchmark Alternatives – Software Testing Weekly #3

By | blog, pc optimization expert

Introducing PCMark 10 Benchmark

The new PCMark 10 benchmark software was released only few days ago by Futuremark Corporation.  On this occasion, we wanted to compare scores obtained by a Windows 10 system, before and after cleaning with CCleaner and jv16 PowerTools.

Why this test now?

Last week we tested the PCMark 8 benchmark score obtained by a Windows 10 system before and after cleaning and optimizing it with CCleaner and then with jv16 PowerTools.

While PCMark 8 was never advertised by Futuremark Corporation as a fully compatible benchmarking solution for Windows 10, we wanted to take the new PCMark 10 for a spin. The results of the PCMark 10 benchmark have been compared with last week’s PCMark 8 benchmark score results for the same test case scenarios.

Tested Products

In ‘Software Testing Weekly #2‘ we looked at the top competitor (according to Google.com search results for “registry cleaner”) and decided to see the PC system benchmarks score impact (if any) before and after using the said product: CCleaner.

In last week’s tests, we used CCleaner Professional. For this week, we decided to visit the ‘Builds’ page of CCleaner and choose a different, lighter version, in order to offer CCleaner all the advantages possible in terms of fairness for these tests.

The reason for choosing a different version of CCleaner was mostly driven by the fact that there seems to be a version of the said product which does not include advertisement toolbars attached.

Since jv16 PowerTools is all about no bloatware, no adware and no spyware attached to its installer ever in its history of being a PC System Utilities suite, we decided to test a similar version of CCleaner, that is supposed to not contain ads or any toolbars attached.

For the above reasons, we choose to take a closer look at this product and included CCleaner – Slim instead of CCleaner – Professional in this weekly test report.

Test Cases involving PCMark 10 Benchmark

The objective of this test was set to record the PCMark 10 benchmark scores of a virtual Windows 10 computer with some of the most common 3rd party applications installed, under the following test case scenarios:

  • Test Case #1: Before installing an using any of the third party common software (Windows 10 fresh)
  • Test Case #2: Before installing and using any of the tested PC system utilities (Windows 10 fresh + common software installed)
  • Test Case #3: With third party software installed, after installing and using CCleaner – Slim
  • Test Case #4: With third party software installed, after installing and using jv16 PowerTools 2017
pcmark10 benchmark windows 10

PCMark 10 Benchmark: Test Environment

The current benchmark test was performed using an Oracle VirtualBox (version: 5.1.22 r115126) virtual environment running Windows 10 with 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM assigned. Said virtual machine was run on a host computer running Ubuntu Linux 17.04 LTS (64 bit) with an Intel-i5 processor, 20 GB of DDR3 virtual memory and a SSD system disk.

Such an ordinary test environment was created and used in order to simulate the easiest conditions that can be reproduced by any consumer to verify the validity of these tests.

Using high-end hardware or complex distributed system may result in more professional test methods but may also return test results that are only applicable in an uncommon environment (test lab which does not reflect a real world use case).

For the future, we will also approach this from the ISO point of view. For now, trying to keep it simple while educating consumers about their options is our primary objective.

It seems that on a freshly installed Windows 10 virtual machine, with all of the Oracle VirtualBox Guest Additions installed (for DirectX compatibility and other simulated operating system features), PCMark 10 does not have any compatible benchmark in store.

The reason for this issue is that our virtual test environment is based on hardware that does not have an OpenGL 4.3 compatible GPU.

Alternatives for PCMark 10 benchmark software

As the latest version of PCMark 10 Benchmark software has proven to be unavailable to benchmark a Windows 10 appliance that does not have an OpenGL 4.3 compatible GPU installed, we started looking for alternatives. Using a simple Google search, we stumbled upon the following PCMark 10 alternatives:

PassMark PerformanceTest benchmarks the speed of your PC computer hardware, then compares the result to other machines. Includes disk, 3D and CPU tests.

Phoronix Test Suite is a free, open-source benchmark software for Linux and other operating systems developed by Phoronix Media.

UserBenchmark is a free all-in-one benchmarking application. Benchmark your CPU, GPU, SSD, HDD and USB Drives then compare results with other users and see which parts you can upgrade together with the expected performance improvements.

Having at our disposal the above alternatives to PCMark 10, we decided to use the benchmark software that promises on their official website (at first sight) to deliver results in the fastest time possible.

For this reason, due to its slogan (“Speed test your PC in less than a minute”), we decided to use UserBenchmark as an alternative to PCMark 10’s requirement for an OpenGL 4.3 compatible GPU to be mounted on the tested system.

PC System Benchmarks: Verifiability

All of the past and current test results are accompanied by screenshots and/or video recordings which have been saved during various testing phases in order to address some of the most common test result credibility concerns for this type of studies.

Test Case #1: Summary

→ on a freshly installed Windows 10 with no third party software

In the first test case we measured the UserBenchMark score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose.

We did not yet install any of the most common software used today. The reason for this extra benchmark score (before installing any other third party software products) is to determine a baseline benchmark score for a freshly installed Windows 10, according to the UserBenchMark testing software.

As mentioned before, UserBenchMark was used as an alternative to the PCMark 10 benchmark due to lack of support on our test machine for an OpenGL 4.3 compatible GPU.

A complete PCMark 10 benchmark will be done later for the same purposes, in a similar environment, this time with an OpenGL 4.3 compatible graphics card installed (in order to obtain the best results).

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #1

On a freshly installed and updated Windows 10, UserBenchMark has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • CPU Benchmark score: 58.8
  • SSD Bechmark score: 121.1
pcmark 10 benchmark alternative

Test Case #2: Summary

→ on a freshly installed Windows 10 with common software and antivirus monitoring enabled

In the first test case we measured the UserBenchMark score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose.

In the second test case of this week, we recorded the UserBenchMark score for a Windows 10 system with some of the most common and/or popular software installed.

This week, we also included Avast Free Antivirus in the installed popular software. The purpose of this antivirus live monitor being installed and enabled is to see how much of an influence it will have on the CPU benchmark score calculated by UserBenchMark.

The system in this test case was neither cleaned or optimized using any of the tested PC System Utilities (CCleaner, jv16 PowerTools 2017).

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #2

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed and an antivirus live monitoring engine enabled, UserBenchMark has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • CPU Benchmark score: 42.5
  • SSD Bechmark score: 118

Test Case #3: Summary

→ after cleaning and optimizing using CCleaner – Slim (without browser advertisements toolbar)

In the first test and second test cases, we measured the UserBenchMark score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose, with and without third party common software installed.

In the third test case of this week, we recorded the UserBenchMark score for a Windows 10 system with some of the most common and/or popular software installed, after being cleaned with CCleaner.

The system in this test case was cleaned and optimized using CCleaner – Slim for the reason that we learned that this version may not include browser toolbars and other advertisement components that may be rather resource consuming and user annoying, as possibly do other versions of CCleaner, as advertised by its publisher.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to properly run CCleaner – Slim after it has been installed due to the fact that the application crashed. This issue seemed to go away only after the system was rebooted. Possibly, the live monitoring engine of CCleaner had some trouble starting the first time.

Once the test system was hard rebooted, CCleaner – Slim run successfully and was able to clean some temporary files off the hard-disk. The total volume of data removed equaled 329 MB. Its registry cleaner component also found 53 registry issues that needed fixing.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #3

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed and an antivirus live monitoring engine enabled, after the system was cleaned and optimized using CCleaner – Slim, UserBenchMark has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • CPU Benchmark score: 61
  • SSD Bechmark score: 34.6

Test Case #4: Summary

→ after cleaning and optimizing using jv16 PowerTools 2017 (no adware, no spyware, no toolbars)

In the first test and second test cases, we measured the UserBenchMark score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose, with and without third party common software installed.

In the fourth test case of this week, we recorded the UserBenchMark score for a Windows 10 system with some of the most common and/or popular software installed, after being cleaned with jv16 PowerTools 2017.

The system in this test case was cleaned and optimized using jv16 PowerTools 2017 version 4.1.0.1728.

Based on instructions displayed by jv16 PowerTools, the system was rebooted. This allows registry keys that could not be fixed during normal operating system operation to be addressed. Also, during the first reboot after using Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool, if you have run it using its default settings, the Registry Compactor tool will also be executed.

This should provide faster access to common registry keys after jv16 PowerTools has completed compressing all of the registry hives.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #4

On a Windows 10 operating system with most common software installed and an antivirus live monitoring engine enabled, after the system was cleaned and optimized using jv16 PowerTools 2017 v.4.1.0.1728, UserBenchMark has calculated the following PC system benchmark scores:

  • CPU Benchmark score: 62
  • SSD Bechmark score: 28.6

PCMark 10 Benchmark: conclusions

The first thing that struck us is the big difference in UserBenchMark score for the SSD disk before and after using either CCleaner or jv16 PowerTools.

According to UserBenchMark’s algorithm to calculate this type of score, the system ranked 60% poorer in terms of file system access speed after using either CCleaner or jv16 PowerTools. This could be a side effect of the live monitoring agents of both products (to be determined in later test cases).

A test will be carried out in the future to determine the benchmark score of a Windows 10 system with and without live monitoring agents enabled by the PC System Utilities tested in order to address this concern.

CPU Benchmark SSD Benchmark
Windows 10 fresh 58.8 121.1
Windows 10 fresh + common software 42.5 118
Windows 10 cleaned with Ccleaner 61 34.6
Windows 10 cleaned with jv16 PowerTools 62 28.6

For one of the next weekly testing routines, we will get an OpenGL 4.3 compatible GPU in order to be able to run the complete battery of tests included with the latest PCMark 10 benchmark.

As past results alone are not necessarily the best way to guarantee future events, we do plan to correlate results from previous weekly benchmark tests and find a reasonable way to average them for a more clear impression on the effect that popular PC system utilities have on the operating system.

Related weekly benchmark test reports:

Other historical benchmark test reports:

Since February of 2009 (when the first test of this kind was done in our lab), Macecraft Software has published a total of seven registry cleaner product comparison studies:

PC System Benchmarks – Software Testing Weekly #2

By | blog, pc optimization expert

Introducing PC System Benchmarks

PC system benchmarks are a good method to identify potential bottlenecks in your computing performance and choose effective system upgrades. As there are several types of different PC system benchmarks, our focus has always been on those that provide scripted test scenarios inspired from real world use cases.

In March of 2015 we set off to test what various software products were doing to our computers. In this study, 133 products were tested. The inclusion process was simple and straightforward: few software download sites were manually scanned for any products claiming to make your computer faster by cleaning it or by fixing system errors.

In October of 2016 we tested the top ten registry cleaners. The products tested were chosen simply with a Google search of Windows registry cleaners and the top ten results were picked.

In January of 2017 PC system benchmarks were performed to determine the best registry cleaner from a selection of the top three which previously ranked best.

This week, as we have just released jv16 PowerTools 2017 version 4.1.0.1728, our interest for PC system benchmarks was reborn.

registry cleaner

Why this test now?

Today is supposed that PCMark 10 will be released for public use.

As it has been quite a while since PCMark 8 has been the standard in PC system benchmarking, we wish to celebrate the upcoming public release of PCMark 10 this week with a Windows 10 benchmarking test report done using PCMark 8, before and after using popular PC system utilities.

Since PCMark 8 is not necessarily fully compatible with Windows 10 benchmarking methods, we expect surprising results and some enticing conclusions that may lead us to further test cases for next week’s lab report.

Once PCMark 10 will be released, the conclusions of this micro test will be used to compose the test cases for a much wider study involving more software products that promise to clean and speed-up your computer.

If at the time of reading this report PCMark 10 has been already released, then you can freely benchmark your computer using this software for free in the same way that we did in our lab with PCMark 8.

To download PCMark 10, visit: https://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/pcmark10/. We would love to know your results, so don’t hesitate to join the discussion about this topic on the forum.

Tested Products

To start, we looked at the top competitor (according to Google.com search results for “registry cleaner”) and decided to see the PC system benchmarks score impact (if any) before and after using the said product: CCleaner.

In order to learn the most from this experience, we downloaded the free, professional trial of CCleaner in order to evaluate this software from the best angle possible.

As far as we know, this version is supposed to be fully featured, including an active background system monitoring service – which may or may not have an impact on the overall PC system benchmarks score given by PCMark 8 – to be determined.

Test Cases involving PC System Benchmarks

The objective of this test was set to record the virtual PC system benchmarks score given by PCMark 8 on Windows 10 with some of the most common 3rd party applications installed:

  • Before installing and using any of the tested PC system utilities
  • After installing and using CCleaner – Professional
  • After installing and using jv16 PowerTools 2017
pcmark8 windows 10

PC System Benchmarks Test Environment

The current benchmark test was performed using an Oracle VirtualBox (version: 5.1.22 r115126) virtual environment running Windows 10 with 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM assigned.

In order to ensure that no system updates or other updates are downloaded during the testing procedure, the system was disconnected from the Internet before starting each PC system benchmarks test set.

The virtual machine was run on a host computer running Ubuntu Linux 17.04 LTS (64 bit) with an Intel-i5 processor, 20 GB of DDR3 virtual memory and a SSD system disk.

Such an ordinary test environment was created and used in order to simulate the easiest conditions that can be reproduced by any consumer to verify the validity of these tests.

Using high-end hardware or complex distributed system may result in more professional test methods but may also return test results that are only applicable in an uncommon environment (test lab which does not reflect a real world use case).

For the future, we will also approach this from the ISO point of view. For now, trying to keep it simple while educating consumers about their options is our primary objective.

PC System Benchmarks: Verifiability

All of the past and current test results are accompanied by screenshots and video recordings which have been saved during various testing phases in order to address some of the most common test result credibility concerns for this type of studies.

ninite software installer

Test Case #1: Summary

In the first test case we measured the PCMark 8 PC system benchmarks score for a virtual Windows 10 system that was freshly installed and updated for this purpose.

In this environment, we installed the most common software used today, according to ninite.com. This wonderful tool allows you to quickly install or update multiple commonly used software at the same time, either on a local end-point or even across the network.

Once all the software has been installed, the virtual machine state was saved and we used this state of the operating system as a benchmark point of comparison (without any PC system utilities installed or used on the machine before measuring its baseline PC Mark 8 score).

pcmark 8 windows 10

In order to measure baseline performance, we run the free, conventional test offered by PCMark 8. This test is advertised as being the standard for common home computing tests.

The first of a total of six tests that PCMark 8 does is a scripted scenario in which the PC system benchmark score is measured while simulated social networks are automatically browsed by the benchmarking software.

During this automated test, no user interaction is needed as it is not recommended to use the system which is being benchmarked at the same time that tests are running.

In the second test system performance is measured while browsing for items to buy from an online retailer.

The third test addresses the common use case scenario of editing content using a word processor.

In the following test PCMark 8 measures overall system performance during a simulated video conferencing session.

Finally PCMark 8 helps to determine the PC system benchmark score while the computer is being used for photo editing.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #1

On Windows 10, without cleaning or optimizing the system with any PC system utilities, PCMark 8 has calculated a PC system benchmark score of 1060.

Here are the individual score values allocated to each of the tests:

  • Writing 5.51557 s
  • Video Chat encoding v2 Conventional 237.00000 ms
  • Web Browsing – JunglePin 0.44450 s
  • Casual Gaming 0.70 fps
  • Advanced Photo Editing1 Conventional 0.98143 s
  • Web Browsing – Amazonia 0.16620 s
  • Video Chat playback 1 v2 Conventional 20.01 fps

The total PCMark 8 Home Conventional Score for this test case was 1060.

Video recording of the PC system benchmarks done on Windows 10.

Test Case #2: Summary

In the second test case, the previously saved Windows 10 snapshot (with most common 3rd party software installed) has been cleaned and optimized using this week’s tested PC system utilities.

pc system benchmarks

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #2.1 (CCleaner – Professional Edition v.5.31.6105)

After cleaning the Windows 10 test system with CCleaner – Professional Edition (Registry Cleaner) a total of 53 registry problems were fixed.

After cleaning the Windows 10 test system with CCleaner – Professional Edition (File Cleaner) a total of 400 megabytes of disk space were cleaned.

On Windows 10, after cleaning and optimizing the operating system using CCleaner – Professional EditionPCMark 8 has calculated a PC system benchmark score of 1016.

Here are the individual score values allocated to each of the tests:

  • Writing 5.72957 s
  • Video Chat encoding v2 Conventional 284.00000 ms
  • Web Browsing – JunglePin 0.45689 s
  • Casual Gaming 0.69 fps
  • Advanced Photo Editing1 Conventional 1.02341 s
  • Web Browsing – Amazonia 0.17674 s
  • Video Chat playback 1 v2 Conventional 18.03 fps

The total PCMark 8 Home Conventional Score for this test case was 1016.

Video recording saved while measuring the PCMark 8 PC system benchmark score after cleaning and optimizing Windows 10 with CCleaner – Professional Edition.

PC System Benchmark Results: Test Case #2.2 (jv16 PowerTools 2017 v.4.1.0.1728)

After cleaning the Windows 10 test system with jv16 PowerTools 2017 a total of 83 file and registry related problems were fixed. More detailed statistics are available when using the software’s dedicated tools. For the purpose of this test, we used the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool.

This tool was designed to automatically use multiple other tools packed into jv16 PowerTools (such as the Startup Optimizer and Registry Compactor) in order to both clean and optimize a system’s performance.

On Windows 10, after cleaning and optimizing the operating system using jv16 PowerToolsPCMark 8 has calculated a PC system benchmark score of 1030.

Here are the individual score values allocated to each of the tests:

  • Writing 5.57387 s
  • Video Chat encoding v2 Conventional 277.33333 ms
  • Web Browsing – JunglePin 0.46557 s
  • Casual Gaming 0.70 fps
  • Advanced Photo Editing1 Conventional 0.97845 s
  • Web Browsing – Amazonia 0.17018 s
  • Video Chat playback 1 v2 Conventional 17.01 fps

The total PCMark 8 Home Conventional Score for this test case was 1030.

Video recording saved while measuring the PCMark 8 PC system benchmark score after cleaning and optimizing Windows 10 with jv16 PowerTools 2017.

PC System Benchmarks (micro testing): conclusions lead to wider tests

After cleaning the Windows 10 operating system with either CCleaner – Professional Edition or jv16 PowerTools 2017, the PCMark 8 PC system benchmark score was lower than before using any PC system utilities to clean the operating system in the first place.

This result is not surprising for us at all, considering that both of the tested registry cleaners attach a resident process to the system in order to monitor the operating system’s health and overall performance.

How can the operating system get a lower PCMark 8 benchmark score after it has been cleaned?

Most likely, the reason for the lower score obtained by the operating system after being cleaned with each of the tested products in comparison to the baseline test score is because of an extra running background process in both cases, however, this is just an assumption at this level.

In order to clarify this assumption, more extensive tests will be carried out in the near future, with and without background monitoring services enabled for either jv16 PowerTools and any other similar interest software product that we can easily find using a simple search on Google.com

With PCMark 10 pending release later today, we wish to do a similar test case scenario next week and hopefully compare the results between PCMark 8 and PCMark 10.

Results should vary as PCMark 10 has been specifically designed to become the industry standard for benchmarking Windows 10 operating systems, as PCMark 8 has been for a long time in regards to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

What do we expect to see in the next PC system benchmarks done on Windows 10 with PCMark 10?

First of all, we expect PCMark 10 to be far more compatible and capable to measure small differences of Windows 10 performance before and after certain actions have been performed in the test environment.

As PCMark 8 was not necessarily designed to manage Windows 10 after its latest updates, we expect this to improve with the latest release of PCMark later today.

For the start of the next week, our weekly software testing report will most likely include a preview of PCMark 10 and the scores obtained by a Windows 10 virtual environment before and after cleaning it with popular pc system utilities.

Related weekly benchmark test reports:

Other historical benchmark test reports:

Since February of 2009 (when the first test of this kind was done in our lab), Macecraft Software has published a total of seven registry cleaner product comparison studies:

Few things to do immediately after upgrading to Windows 10

By | blog

Now that you have reached a point after upgrading to Windows 10, it might feel that things are far different from what they used to be. That is because they are different.

Windows 10 is the biggest change Microsoft has done to its platform ever. From integrating Cortana, the digital assistant, to being able to stream your games from the OS itself, Windows 10 packs a lot of new features.

This post gives you tips and tricks that all new users need to have in mind after upgrading to Windows 10.

After upgrading to Windows 10 it all looks fine

And at first everything is indeed fine. Only after a couple of minutes, you notice that your anti-malware application is no longer compatible.

Furthermore, several drivers are also presenting problems with your new operating system. So you uninstall your anti-malware and update your drivers, and everything is sunshine and happiness again, except, it might not be.

Windows 10 might have some security breaches because some of the built-in Windows Defender is not fully up to date. Do not worry. That is why you are checking Windows Update again.

More updates waiting for you to restart after upgrading to Windows 10

In order to check the update, simply click the search box next to the Windows 10 logo. Once you do that, omit the invitation to set up Cortana.

Remember that your top priority is to make sure your PC is secure while you download a new anti-malware. Once you have rejected the option to set up Cortana, type on the search box “Windows Update”.

Once Windows Update opens, click “Search for Updates” and wait. Windows will check if anything else needs to be downloaded and make sure that everything is up-to-date.

Windows 10 makes sure your OS is always updated without you having to check. While this sounds like a good feature, it might be cumbersome at times. That is because the computer might decide to restart at a moment when you do not need it to restart.

Luckily, there is a way to change that option before you regret upgrading to Windows 10. The first step is to access the settings panel (you can do this by pressing windows key+i). Then, choose “Update and Security.” The tab will open and you will see the option “Change Active Hours” and “Restart Options.”

Most often than not, after upgrading to Windows 10, you would want to “Update and Restart”. This feature is available in the Windows start menu and is often made available once pending updates require a system reboot for their installation to complete.

Privacy settings after upgrading to Windows 10

When it comes to your personal data’s privacy, you can never be too careful.

Otherwise, manipulative ads may further guide your online experience as a result of pattern matching with your preferences and behavior patterns. Some may call this a feature, others a privacy concern.

Regardless of your purpose of PC usage, it is always good to be aware of your operating system’s privacy settings. You have secured your computer, and decide when or if it will force restart once a new update has downloaded. Now it is time to adjust your privacy settings.

Be advised that switching some of your privacy options ON or OFF will affect how your Windows 10 behaves in terms of personalizing your experience.

Conversely, you might not want Windows 10 to limit some options that you know are completely safe for your daily computing (that you consider a “feature” and not a potential privacy concern).

There are 2 ways to access the ‘Privacy Settings’ menu:

  1. The first way is to simply click Start > Settings > Privacy.
  2. The second way is to press Win+i, which will automatically open the settings windows. Then, just click on ‘Privacy’ and check the multiple tabs that are there.

Once again, it is important to stress the necessity to read every option on every tab before you turn them off. If you feel a little intimidate on where to start but want to have some control of how much access your apps and programs have, start with the camera.

The ‘Camera’ tab will give you the necessary confidence to move on to the other tabs afterwards.

Peer to peer updates settings after upgrading to Windows 10

And since you are already reviewing your security, here is another privacy setting that you need to review after upgrading to Windows 10.

The security setting that we are talking about is peer-to-peer updates. Windows 10 has now the option to share any new download among your local network (computers that are connected to your network) or among your local network and a nearby unknown computer.

Sharing among peers is always a good thing. But on the internet, it could also be a dangerous business. And while Microsoft has said that this peer-to-peer sharing with random and unknown nearby PCs will not put your own PC at risk, it will advisable for you to turn off this option.

Turning this option OFF is quite simple. Go to settings (Win+i), and then click on the “Windows Update” tab. Once you are there, look for “Advance Options” that is below the “Update Settings”.

There you will see the option to choose how auto updates are delivered. Click there and you will see the option “PCs on my local network” and “PCs on my local network, and PCs on the internet”.

Make sure that the setting is set only for the updates to be shared with your local network, and you will be done. Now your PC is much safer than before.

jv16 PowerTools has connections to some Windows 10 privacy settings that you can tweak straight from its user interface.

In this way, in case you don’t yet know your way around the newly designed Windows 10 Settings panels, you can still access all the essential privacy settings directly from jv16 PowerTools. The tool that centralizes all these features is the Windows AntiSpy.

To conclude, these key steps should be taken after upgrading to Windows 10 in order to guarantee that your computer does not drive you mad.

It is recommended to also sign up for a Microsoft account. You do not need internet access for this to work, and you can use a pre-existent email account.

It will help you increase your security, and it will save certain security measures once you are online. To create it simply go to Settings > Accounts > Your account > Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. Follow the steps and you are ready.

Windows 10 is a remarkable tool and, hopefully, this article will help you get you ready to use the latest Microsoft OS.

Is jv16 PowerTools recommended to be used after upgrading to Windows 10?

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: We have seen excellent results delivered by jv16 PowerTools even when run on a freshly installed Windows 10, as can be seen on our blog. Also, a screenshot from Windows 10, after running jv16 PowerTools has been included below in order to show the number of system problems that may be fixed by jv16 PowerTools after upgrading to Windows 10.

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PC System Utilities Software – Software Testing Weekly #1

By | blog

Introduction

We design and test PC System Utilities for more than 18 years. However, we never showed our customers much of our thought process, except for rare occasions on our pc system utilities forum.

With a new build of jv16 PowerTools in our test lab, while getting ready to release the next product update, we decided to start sharing some of the details about “how the sausage gets made”.

By reading this post, you will learn more about how jv16 PowerTools is being tested for some specific test cases.

Simple, but sinister!

Test cases

In order to ensure compatibility of our release candidate software version with the most popular 3rd party software products, we usually conduct tests that answer questions similar to the ones described below:

Test Case #01: Do most popular software still start correctly after using jv16 PowerTools > Clean and SpeedUp My Computer?

This test case is designed to identify any false positives that may result from our recent development work on the latest version of the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool, part of jv16 PowerTools.

Test Case #02: What is the improvement in system startup time after using jv16 PowerTools > Startup Optimizer?

This test case is designed to measure the effectiveness of the Startup Optimizer tool on an operating system with  lots of bloatware installed, some of which automatically start with the operating system.

Test Environment

The current test cases were performed using an Oracle VirtualBox – Version 5.1.22 r115126 (Qt5.7.1) virtual environment running Windows 10 with 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM assigned.

The virtual machine was run on a host computer running Ubuntu Linux 17.04 LTS (64 bit) with an Intel-i5 processor, 20 GB RAM and a SSD system disk.

Verifiability

All of the past and current test results are accompanied by screenshots and/or video recordings which have been saved during various testing phases in order to address some of the most common test result credibility concerns for this type of studies.

Test Case #01: Passed!

During the first test case, the following steps were taken:

Step 1) On a freshly installed Windows 10, some of the most popular 3rd party software were installed. To ease this process, a free mass software installer automation by Ninite was used.

pc system utilities software testing

Step 2) To make sure that there is some cleaning work to do for our PC System Utilities software, we wanted each of the 3rd party installed software to get a chance at setting their own settings and initial configuration data in the system’s registry.

Also, we wanted to make sure that each of them actually starts correctly and without errors, before touching the system with jv16 PowerTools.

pc system utilities software testing

Step 3) In order to ensure that all 3rd party software have been properly installed, a system reboot was carried out. After which, crap.reg was imported into the system’s registry.

This Windows registry key samples database contains intentionally orphaned leftover traces of random 3rd party software. Meaning, registry keys that are disconnected from their local files.

This test file was obtained during previous benchmark test reports and is currently used in our software testing lab as a high quality source of unwanted registry keys.

We use such data to test the effectiveness of our registry cleaner tool as well as our competitors.

pc system utilities software testing

Step 4) After the unwanted registry key samples were imported, each software previously installed on Windows was once again run in order to ensure that it still starts correctly.

Conclusion: 100% of the installed 3rd party software still started correctly after the software leftover traces were imported.

Step 5) jv16 PowerTools 2017 version 4.1.0.1724 (release candidate) was installed and the initial setup performed (mapping and diagnosing the system’s registry and file system in order to determine initial system health scores).

pc system utilities software testing

Step 6) Before running Clean and SpeedUp My Computer using its default settings, we took note of the Registry Information tool, Home > System Startup Times and Startup Timer > Startups list.

This should help us to evaluate the effectiveness of jv16 PowerTools for this use case scenario as we will be comparing the same information after cleaning and optimizing the system.

Step 7) jv16 PowerTools 2017 > Clean and SpeedUp My Computer was used in order to identify as many system errors as possible.

Using its default scanner settings, the registry cleaner component was able to identify the following software leftovers. Some of them have been imported via the crap.reg file described earlier and some of them are the result of improper software package management by Windows.

pc system utilities software testing

Step 8) After the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool was used, the system was rebooted once in order to ensure that all settings take effect.

After the system was restarted, each software previously installed from Ninite was once again opened in order to ensure that it is still starting correctly (no false positive symptoms after using jv16 PowerTools).

Test Case #1 conclusion: Test passed! 100% of the installed 3rd party software still started correctly after the imported software leftover (for testing purposes) were cleaned by the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool.

pc system utilities software testing

Test Case #02: Passed!

During the second test case, the following steps were taken:

Step 9) After cleaning and optimizing the system using the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool, we recorded the information provided by the Registry Information tool as well as the Startup Timer which shows the effectiveness of the Startup Optimizer.

Before doing so, we rebooted the system at least five times in order to make sure that the Startup Timer tool has sufficient data to calculate the percent in startup time improvement based on data from before and after using the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool.

Step 10) Took a screenshot of the Startup Timer – Startups logging panel, a screenshot of Home > System Startup Times as well as a screenshot of the Registry Information > Details (full registry) panel. You can see all of them below.

Test Case #2 conclusion: Test passed! An average startup time improvement of more than 5% was achieved after using the Startup Optimizer tool.

Test Cases Summary:

Test Case #1 (summary) answers the following question for jv16 PowerTools – release candidate 4.1.0.1723:

Question: Are any of the most popular software affected by the normal operation of the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool?

Answer: None of the most popular software installed using Ninite’s automatic software installed seemed to manifest any false positives with jv16 PowerTools 2017 – version 4.1.0.1723.

Test Case #2 (summary) answers the following question for jv16 PowerTools – release candidate 4.1.0.1723:

Question: What is the improvement in system startup time after using jv16 PowerTools > Startup Optimizer?

Answer: On average, the test system configuration started 6.94% faster. The result was measured 5 reboots after using the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool.

pc system utilities software testing

Related weekly benchmark test reports:

Other historical benchmark test reports:

Since February of 2009 (when the first test of this kind was done in our lab), Macecraft Software has published a total of seven registry cleaner product comparison studies:

Is there such a thing as the best antivirus software or “it depends”?

By | blog

When looking to find the best antivirus software, everything certainly depends on your personal needs!

Computers are an important part of our lives nowadays. Whether it is your mobile, tablet, laptop or home PC you are using an electronic device to read this content. Most people do not think about computers as entities that require being in a healthy state in order to perform optimally.

Instead, we see them as devices that sometimes slow down, and other times speed up until something affects its system. And because we have heard of “computer viruses”, we simply click on the first antivirus software we find on the Google search page, investing very little effort in making a proper research. It is time to change that line of thinking!

Windows is a magnificent operating system that does lots of wonders for your productivity and overall experience. You have to remember that on any given day your PC is under siege by spyware, ransomware, viruses, adware, trojans and a whole plethora of other malware.

All this vicious data-stealing malware is always evolving and looking for a way to circumvent your security. You could opt to unplug your computer from the internet in order to keep it safe… however… if you download something from the internet from another computer and then install it on your internet-isolated computer, your computer is still at risk.

Moreover, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a perfect anti-virus. Also, your needs for security vary between home and business. It is up to you, dear reader, to define what your optimal budget is and then see which antivirus is the best antivirus for Windows, in your particular case (not just what advertisements tell you to think).

Be self-aware when looking to find the best antivirus for Windows

Before you go spend your day searching the internet for information about the best antivirus for Windows, you should first keep reading. Up next is a list of different antiviruses at different price points. All the information that will be displayed here was published by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives on their public websites.

The first one, AV-Test, is a German institute that has been in operation for the past 15 years, and whose goal is to provide unbiased data regarding IT security.

The later, AV-Comparatives, is an Austrian institute that performs one of the most complex and thorough tests available to resemble real-life protection capabilities of any given anti-malware. The way they conduct tests is by assigning a star rating system to each product, depending on their performance.

1 star is Good, 2 stars is Standard, and 3 stars is Advanced+. Therefore, every time you read that an antivirus brand got a ranking of Advanced+ it means that it got the highest possible ranking that it can be given.

Additionally, whatever vendors appear on this list are here because they got a vote from these institutes, and you should double check this statement, depending on the time when you read this report.

Tests are performed by independent security institutes periodically so results may vary over time. Your security is important, and articles like this one should never be used to promote a specific firm.

With all those details out of the way, here is the list in no particular order:

Avira

best antivirus software avira

Avira is the winner of 2016 product AV-Comparative product of the year.

It received Advanced+ recognition on all of the 7 test made by AV-Comparative. It also obtained a joint gold award for file detection and performance. It gained the silver award for malware removal.

The pro version (priced at $19.95 at Amazon), offers advanced antivirus technology that is not found in the free version. Furthermore, the menu panel is very user-friendly.

The downside is that it can destroy infected systems beyond any possibility of repair.

The program also has some issues with phishing attempts. All and all, the pro version and the free version are not that widely separated, so you can use either one.

Avast

best antivirus software avast

This anti-malware software obtained 3 Advanced+ recognitions.

It also obtained a joint silver award in the performance test. Digging a little deeper, the Wi-Fi inspector is quite an amazing feature. Furthermore, if you want to upgrade to the pro-version (39.99 at Avast web page), you will get several options that will make it worth your time.

The downside is that the pro version does not guarantee that all options will be opened. You will have to pay for some extra features. Nevertheless, the free and pro versions are quite handy and worth of your consideration.

Bitdefender

best antivirus software bitdefender

This product won 2016 Outstanding Product of the Year by AV-Comparatives.

It has several joint scores overall. It won the gold award for Real World Protection and a joint silver award for File Detection, False Positives, and Performance.

It also earned the bronze award for malware removal. The ransomware protection is also outstanding.

The downside is that their scanning takes far longer than any of the other programs and the price. Starting at $39.99 a year for 1 device, you have to be ready to spend a pretty penny for this anti-malware software.

Emisoft

best antivirus software emsisoft

Winner of 2016 Top Rated Product of the year, Emsisoft earned 4 Advanced+ recognitions.

It also has a joint silver award for file detection and a joint bronze award for performance. It has a very friendly and clean modern interface.

Its malware blocking and malicious URL blocking ability are remarkable. And lastly, it has a behavior-based detection system that improves over time at spotting ransomware.

Unfortunately, its anti-phishing abilities are average, and it will take a while before the behavior program understands the difference between normal programs and malware.

At $39.95 this software is useful if you have the disposable income to invest in it.

ESET NOD32

best antivirus software eset

This anti-malware company received 4 Advanced+ awards in 2016, and it still ranks as a top rated product to date.

It won a joint gold award for false positives and performance. The global safety scores and firewall capabilities rival the capabilities of more well-known companies.

Furthermore, the interface is clean and easily accessible. On the negative side, it did average on malware control, which is quite relevant to keep a PC safe. Overall, ESET NOD32 is an upgrade from its previous version, at $39.99 it makes for a high cost for a company that is still trying to find its balance.

McAfee

best antivirus software mcafee

This is one of the most well-known antivirus and anti-malware companies in the world.

It received only 2 Advanced+ awards. It also won a joint bronze award for false positives. It offers unlimited protection for all devices and platforms.

It also has a very friendly user interface and several bonus features. The downside is that the company is living more out of its name than its performance. It has superb anti-phishing scores. As a result, it has proper protection for malicious URL blocking and malware blocking. Therefore, it is not a bad antivirus.

There are higher rated companies by AV-Comparative and AV-Test. However, the option to protect a big range of devices is quite alluring and interesting.

Bullguard

best antivirus software bullguard

BullGuard performed slightly better than its better-known competitor McAfee.

It received 3 Advanced+ awards and took a joint silver award in false positives and file detection. It gave good scores on malicious URL blocking test. The malware alerts are informative and persistent, with an easy access menu.

The anti-phishing leaves a lot to be desired, and the spam filter is only for supported email clients. Bullguard malware blocking is not bad, but not great either.

At the end of the day, the price point is much lower than McAfee ($23.96 compared to almost $60 for McAfee). Therefore it might be a good choice if you are limited on your funds, but want a security software solution that still offers a good protection.

Kaspersky Lab

best antivirus software kaspersky

This company also won Outstanding Product of the Year by AV-Comparatives.

It received Advanced+ in the entire test performed. It won a joint award in file detection and malware removal. It obtained joint silver aware in real-world protection. And, lastly, a joint bronze award in false positives and performance test.

Kaspersky Lab has a great software updater, and the virtual keyboard allows for secure data entry. However, performance comes at a price! It starts at $60 per year, per device.

It also had some issues with its malicious URL blocking test. But overall, it is a secure option if your only concern is your home PC.

F-Secure

best antivirus software f-secure

This company is less known than the other companies that appear on this list.

It obtained 3 Advanced+ in the test conducted. It also gained a joint silver award for file detection.

Furthermore, it has a very quick scan and its behavior-based malware detector is quite advanced. F-Secure possesses a very clean and simple interface. Unfortunately, there is not enough anti-phishing or malicious URL blocking to aware them higher rewards in these areas of protection interest.

The rest of the tests performed by the two security institutes on this software were good, but not great. Overall, F-Secure has the potential to become a powerhouse against malware.

Is jv16 PowerTools PC System Utilities compatible with all these 9 antivirus software?

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: We have worked hard to ensure compatibility between jv16 PowerTools and these 9 anti-malware companies. All antivirus products should be considered when thinking about which firm to use to protect your computer.

They were rated the best antivirus for home-user Windows at the time of writing this research summary. Keep in mind that most of these companies offer protection for businesses as well. However, it is still important to review each company before deciding to place your money in any of them.

Your PC is one of your most valuable non-monetary assets. Therefore, always take your time to review what each company offers before buying anti-malware software.

jv16 PowerTools 2017 Update Released – Version 4.1.0.1728

By | news

An updated version of jv16 PowerTools 2017 has been released. The latest version number is 4.1.0.1728.

To update right now, you should download the latest version from our website and install it from scratch or even on top of any already installed version of jv16 PowerTools 2017.

If you are still running jv16 PowerTools X, jv16 PowerTools 2014 or any earlier version, please note that these older products are no longer maintained or updated and may not be fully compatible with most recent updates of Windows.

To get the best experience from our work please install jv16 PowerTools 2017 and make sure that you set it to a new directory (do not install in the same directory as jv16 PowerTools X, jv16 PowerTools 2014 or any earlier versions).

The latest version can be downloaded here: download jv16 PowerTools 2017.

To participate in the public discussion about the latest version of jv16 PowerTools 2017, please join our forum.

Change Log – What’s New

(compared to jv16 PowerTools 2017 build 4.1.0.1703)

Here is a complete list of bug fixes and improvements that we did since jv16 PowerTools 2017 – Version 4.1.0.1703 was released on Thursday, April 13th, 2017:

Bug Fixes

  • Fix: The software’s executables are again signed with a code signing certificate (the previous certificate expired).
  • Fix: Pictures AntiSpy can display an error message about EFOpenError (in the case it cannot access a picture file).
  • Fix: The Main Window can display an error message “Control pnlHomeHost has no parent window.”
  • Fix: The Clean and SpeedUp My Computer can dispay an EAccessViolation error message when fixing the found errors.
  • Fix: When jv16 PowerTools is installed, it’s possible the GUI mode in Quick Tutorial will have neither options selected by default.
  • Fix: Fixed a typo from the English User Interface that said “Licensesd” instead of “Licensed”.
  • Fix: The Clean And SpeedUp My Computer can display an error message relating to “edb.chk” file.
  • Fix: The Clean And SpeedUp My Computer can go back and forth between the “Performing final analysis” and the list of currently running scan modules.
  • Fix: Using the software with a translation, especially German, can make some of the tab caption texts not to be fully displayed due to lack of space on screen.
  • Fix: Find My Licenses tool can display an incorrect date of the license purchase for very old order (before 2016).
  • Fix: My Account and Find My License tools can in some rare cases display a data download error even if there is a valid internet connection.
  • Fix: Opening the Main Window can display an Access Violation error message relating to GetItemCount.

Feature Improvements

  • Improvement: The Initial Setup runs up to 30% faster.
  • Improvement: The Software Uninstaller runs up to 20% faster.
  • Improvement: The Clean and SpeedUp My Computer runs up to 5% faster.
  • Improvement: In the case user attempts to license the software with an incorrect name, such as only using their first name or a nickname, the software now displays a better error message. We require our users to use their full name when licensing the software. If you have licensed the software with a nickname or with your first name only, please contact our support to add your full name to record so you can use the software correctly.
  • Improvement: The software will automatically clean old debug data saved to its Backups folder.
  • Improvement: Improved compatibility with Roxio and Corel products.
  • Improvement: The Clean and SpeedUp My Computer will now display an additional confirmation before restarting user’s computer. Before, a tick in a checkbox was enough to confirm the computer restart which could cause an unwanted system reboot.
  • Improvement: The software now automatically scans the computer for any temporary files created and accidentally left over by jv16 PowerTools itself.

Existing customers

Existing customers who bought the jv16 PowerTools X version in August 2016 or later are entitled to a free upgrade to jv16 PowerTools 2017.

All Platinum VIP level customers are also entitled for a free upgrade to PowerTools 2017. To upgrade, simply download the trial version and enter your full name, e-mail address during product setup or in My Account, after jv16 PowerTools 2017 has been installed.

For customers who have bought jv16 PowerTools X any time before August 2016, or have bough any previous version but are not holding a lifetime license (payment option: “Pay once, use forever”), please visit the checkout page to upgrade.

In case of any problems in buying or applying your license, please contact us.

New users:

How to install jv16 PowerTools 2017

Simply download and run the software’s installation file to install jv16 PowerTools to your computer. Follow the on-screen instructions and you will be fine!

All new users of jv16 PowerTools 2017 will receive a fully functional, 60 day trial version of the product. It contains no bundled software, no adware, no nonsense!

By entering your full name and e-mail address during product setup, you will be subscribed to our periodic newsletter. That’s all we ask: to stay in touch! We honestly value your privacy and offer a trust guarantee.

Technical details

Compatible with: Any PC running any version of Windows XP or newer, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Fully supports 64 bit systems.

Ships with translations: English, 简体中文, 繁體中文, Finnish, Français, Deutsch, Dutch, Polski, Português (Brasileiro), Русский, Español, Svensk.

To use the software with any of these translations, simply download the software and when running the installer in your computer, choose to install the translations you want to use. There are no separate installation files to be downloaded for translations.

Hidden Windows 10 features that you may not know about

By | blog

Hidden Windows 10 features that you may not know about have been recently gaining popularity especially in the ranks of content writers, students and gamers. Windows 10 has proven to be leaps and bounds better than its predecessor, Windows 8.

The latest Microsoft OS has shown to have an organic and fluid dynamic to it. Being able to personalize your OS in order to make it your own has never been easier.

That said, some people are not too keen on playing with its settings; they might be afraid or unaware of the endless possibilities they have. Others cannot wait to play with the settings and learn about what the system can do.

However, chances are that the vast majority of our users are unaware of these amazing hidden Windows 10 features. To clarify, this guide will not show you the grand features that have been overly reported and easy to find. Furthermore, it will also avoid talking about the most prominent features released under the Windows 10 Creators Update, which have been already covered on our blog.

That is because all these updates are already wildly known. Game Mode is a useful feature, but it was constantly announced and promoted by Microsoft. In fact, it could be argued it was the centerpiece of the Creators Update.

This article is only for those features that were implemented without a massive fanfare, the ones that you can only know if you tinker with your PC too much. So with that in mind, up next are the hidden Windows 10 features you may not know about.

Background scrolling of inactive windows

You will think this feature was already a Windows standard. In fact, you can swear you have used it before. However, that cannot be further from the truth, and this is what makes this feature the most important hidden Windows 10 features implemented. Until Windows 10, you could only scroll in a particular window or application if it was active.

Furthermore, if your mouse was hovering on an inactive window or app and tried to scroll, the scrolling would have had occurred, unintentionally, in the windows that remained active. Thus, what you might be remembering is clicking your way around the different opened windows in order to scroll through them.

But like as said, that all changed with Microsoft’s latest OS. In Windows 10 you have the option to scroll up or down on inactive windows. All you have to do is go to Settings > Devices and then turn on the option: “Scroll inactive windows when I hover above them”.

Turning this option makes a lot of sense for plenty of people. For example, students or writers that want to check their different sources without having to flip between windows.

Moreover, it is also useful for gamers that are reviewing their stats or game plan while playing. So if you are part of one of those tribes or simply someone that tends to have many different windows open at the same time, turn this option on and you will never regret it!

hidden windows 10 features

Per-monitor display scaling

Over the past several years we have seen monitors jump at a surprisingly fast rate regarding their resolution. And while this jump in resolution comes at a hefty price, lately, those prices have been dropping considerably. A 4k monitor that used to cost just as much as high-range PC is now affordable enough for people to buy without breaking the bank. However, the affordability of 4k does not mean that your 1080p screen is any less useful.

Ergo, you may want to keep both screens and run a dual-screen rig. The problem with that is that Windows did not allow you to have both screens configured at the proper scale. So your 4k screen was scaled at 1080p, which made the icons and content look blurry and out of shape.

Microsoft realized that this scenario was going to become more common as monitor prices kept lowering. Thus, they introduced their display scaling. If you go to Settings> Display you will be faced with the monitors that you currently have connected, labeled from “1” to “n”, where n is the number of monitors.

Number “1” represents your main monitor. If you click there you will have the chance to set your preferred size for text, app and other items. You can also choose your resolution and orientation.

Numbers “2 to n” are your attached screens, and here is where this feature becomes useful: you can elect to have these screens as an extension of your desktop, while also choosing their resolution and orientation.

You can also choose to not have them as an extension of your desktop and still select different resolutions and orientations for each one. This scaling ability does not stop at monitors. If you have a high-resolution laptop but a standard resolution monitor, Windows 10 allows you to keep the same scales and resolutions between both displays.

By making use of these hidden Windows 10 features, you will never have to suffer from watching things get distorted by colliding monitor resolutions.

Hidden Windows 10 features that are automated: Storage Sense

Most Windows users are used to knowing the location of most of their files. Sadly, they do not know the size of all the files that are on their computer at any given time.

This is where Storage Sense comes in. Borrowing a page from the mobile operating software, Storage Sense lets users known how much space is occupied by different types of content. Want to know how much space are all your movies taking? Storage Sense tells you which portion of the disk is being taken by multimedia files. Furthermore, this system works with multiple HDD or SDD even if it is an external drive that is connected by USB.

To learn more about your current storage capacity on Windows 10, after installing the Creators Update, go to Settings> this PC and you will be presented with a detailed breakdown of what is currently taking space on your disk(s). This feature will even tell you how large are your hibernation files and your system restore files.

hidden windows 10 features

Native FLAC, MKV, and HEVC support

Windows Media Player may not be a new feature. From all the things we are listing today, this is the oldest feature we are showcasing. It is a staple of Windows, and if you are using Windows 10 than you should start using it more often. That is because with Windows 10 the Media Player got updated to support the latest and widely-used formats.

The most popular of the formats that Windows Media Player now supports is, of course, Matroska (MKV) native support. MKV is a widely used container for H.264 videos. That is because it can hold multiple audio, video and subtitle streams.

The second format that got native support was FLAC audio. This is good news for those audiophiles out there that are that enjoy high-quality sound. Lastly, the up-and-coming HEVC/H.265 video compression standard also got native support.

Having HEVC with native support will become incredibly important in the upcoming years as 4k videos and stream become the standard resolution for users. So feel free to close VLC for a moment and give your Windows Media Player a try.

These new codecs will enable Windows 10 users to play different types of multimedia content without the need to install third party software that may or may not be legitimate. Such things are almost guaranteed to make your experience far more enjoyable than ever before.

Connect the Windows key to your Microsoft account

The last hidden Windows 10 feature that will be mentioned here is probably the one that you never thought about until just now.

Cloud technology has become a driving force and companies are paying attention to that fact. Microsoft did not shy away from this notion and introduced the option to connect your Windows key to your Microsoft account. That means that next time you buy a new computer, you do not need to worry about whether or not you need to buy a new Windows key. If your HDD crashed and you need a new disk, just get a new HDD and download Windows 10 with no worries.

Microsoft made it easy to activate this option even when they did not put much emphasis in mentioning this marvelous feature. All you have to do is go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. Once that is done, you will never have to worry about upgrading your PC again.

hidden windows 10 features

If you see the Windows 10 error code: 0x800704CF, then it means that your network location cannot be reached by the activation servers. Make sure that your computer is connected to the Internet and try again.

Can jv16 PowerTools clean software leftovers that Windows 10 Storage Sense misses?

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: First, make sure that you have enablee Storage Sense automatic cleaning (see our blog post on the topic of Windows 10 Storage Sense). When Storage Sense is enabled, Windows periodically deletes any files in your temp folders that aren’t currently being used by applications and any files in your Recycle Bin that are more than 30 days old.

After using Storage Sense, do a test scan using Clean and SpeedUp My Computer. This tool is part of the jv16 PowerTools PC System Utilities software. You can download jv16 PowerTools from our website and enjoy a free, fully functional, 60 days trial.

Windows 10 gaming optimization and GPU performance

By | blog

If you enjoy Windows 10 gaming then there is something to be said about the latest update: it was made with gamers in mind. However, just having Windows 10 Creators Update installed does not guarantee that your computer will be ready to run your favorite, GPU-intensive game with zero drops in performance. Thus, you can configure Windows 10 gaming to match your desired level of experience.

Now, for the sake of everyone some assumptions have to be made. Firstly, this article will approach this optimization with the notion that you are running a fresh, stable build of Windows 10. The reason for this is to ensure that all the changes we are suggesting have not yet been implemented.

If by any chance, you spot something here that you have already done, you can just skip it to the next step. That said the most likely outcome is that all the changes that will be suggested had not occurred.

Some of the things learned you might be already doing, and that is fantastic. However, we want everyone to get a chance to optimize their Windows 10 gaming experience. Therefore, it is beneficial for everyone to know all the tweaks and steps taken to increase performance.

Windows 10 peer-to-peer update model

Let us start with a simple task: disabling peer-to-peer updates. Go to “Settings”, and then click on the “Windows Update” tab. Once you are there, look for “Advance Options” that is below the “Update Settings”. Once you click there, you will see the option to choose how auto updates are delivered. Click there and you will see 2 options:

  • PCs on my local network
  • PCs on my local network, and PCs on the Internet

Like the old saying goes, sharing is caring as long as you are not very zealous about privacy.

If you are concerned about prying eyes from getting into your computer, then it would be wise to turn the entire auto-update off. This will give you full control of when your Windows will update. If you are less concerned about a security breach, it would still be beneficial for you to prevent your computer from interacting with another random computer on the Internet.

Ergo if you want to leave the option on, then make sure to share updates only with your home network. That way all your local computers will benefit from any update that might be available.

Configuring active hours on Windows 10 for gaming

Now your computer will no longer interact with random strangers, which could, potentially, slow your performance by engaging in resource-consuming background processes as well as precious bandwidth. But we can take this a little further. Imagine you are in the middle of a heated game.

The outcome of the game could be decided in the next following minutes, and everyone is displaying their top game. This is when Murphy’s Law kicks in and Windows 10 will begin a forced update and reboot. You might want to take an axe to your computer and later set it on fire. This unfortunate scenario can be easily prevented by changing the settings in “Active Hours.”

What this setting does is tell windows that it is not OK to automatically restart your computer whenever it feels that is time for a reset. In order to change this option, all you have to do is go to “Settings” (by pressing the Windows key + i) and then choose update and security. From there, you will see the options to “Change Active Hours” (if you want to set your computer to restart a certain time), and “Restart Options” to simply turn it off.

Online Windows 10 gaming and Nagle’s algorithm

Nagle’s algorithm is a means of improving the efficiency of TCP/IP networks by reducing the number of packets that need to be sent over the network. Everything has been pretty easy so far. But you are not reading this just to know how to simply turn off Windows 10 settings.

You are here to optimize your Windows 10 gaming experience. So let us move to more technical stuff. This next step involves disabling Nagle’s Algorithm. What Nagle’s Algorithm does is to create bundles of data packets at the cost of a more stable and smoother Internet connection.

Having this algorithm enabled on your computer could be part of the reason why you are having latency problems when playing online games.

How to disable Nagle’s algorithm when using Windows 10 for online games

To disable this algorithm you need to open your “Registry Settings” under Start> type regedit> Regedit. This will open the Registry Editor. Now, you will have to click on “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interface” that can be found by scrolling down the drop menu. Once you click there, you will be sent to the interface menu. Under that menu, you will notice that some files are comprised of letters and numbers.

For you to know which file is the correct one, you have to match your IP Address with the listed “DhcpIPAddress” that can be found in one of the files. In case you have forgotten how to find your IP address, all you have to do is press “Win+X” and do the following:

Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Connections > Details > IPv4 Address.

You have your IP and tracked down your folder with the proper IP Address of your Internet connection, you have to right-click on the folder and select “New> DWORD (32-bit) Value.” You will have to create 2 of those. One of the DWORD Values has to be named “TcpAckFrequency” and the other needs to be named “TCPNoDelay”.

After that is done, double click on each one and set their parameters to 1. If you followed every step precisely, then these new parameters will disable Nagle’s Algorithm. Bear in mind that if you run into any problems, you can always set the parameter values to 0 and they will be disabled.

Temporarily exit OneDrive for optimal online Windows 10 gaming

Since we are still on the topic of saving bandwidth, let’s talk about OneDrive. The OneDrive app for Windows 10 is more active than its previous incarnation during Windows 8.1. Therefore the consumption of bandwidth seems to be higher, at least based on preliminary benchmark tests regarding this app.

If you really need to upload all your new files to a cloud server so you can use them on your mobile or another computer at any time, as long as you have Internet connectivity, this application is useful for not good enough to motivate its resource intensive processes. And since we are here to optimize our rig for gaming, we can turn this app off. Turning the app off is quite easy.

How to disable OneDrive when using Windows 10 for online gaming

All that needs to be done is right click on the OneDrive app, which is located on your taskbar, and click “Exit”. Done! You have gained more bandwidth and further improved your latency when using Windows 10 for online gaming.

Windows 10 gaming with pre-installed software

Windows 10, just like its predecessors, comes with pre-installed apps that tend to be referred to as Bloatware. That does not mean these apps are bad, they are simply useless for our purposes. That is because they are useful when using a tablet or even a working laptop. But for a gaming PC, these apps are just taking valuable resources and bandwidth.

Furthermore, eliminating these apps will free some storage space that might give you extra room to install one more game if you do not have a dedicated SSD to run your OS.

To eliminate these apps what you need to do is run an elevated Power Shell, and enter the one of the following commands (you can eliminate them all or just the apps of your choice):

  • Remove-AppxPackage –package Microsoft.BingFinance_10004.3.193.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.BingNews_10004.3.193.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.BingSports_10004.3.193.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.BingWeather_10004.3.193.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.Getstarted_2015.622.1108.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub_2015.4218.23751.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection_3.1.6103.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.Office.OneNote_2015.4201.10091.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.People_2015.627.626.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.SkypeApp_3.2.1.0_neutral_~_kzf8qxf38zg5c
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.WindowsMaps_2015.619.213.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.WindowsPhone_2015.620.10.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder_2015.615.1606.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.XboxApp_2015.617.130.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.ZuneMusic_2019.6.10841.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.ZuneVideo_2019.6.10811.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Remove-AppxPackage -package Microsoft.3DBuilder_10.0.0.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Windows 10 gaming drivers and incompatible software

Drivers are the pieces of software we keep forgetting about until we reach a compatibility issue. However, this is not the purpose of a driver. What a driver does is allow your operating system to properly communicate with your hardware. So if you want yours to have a Windows 10 for gaming, this is an important thing to check. A majority of your drivers will hover around enabling proper motherboard functions (like USB support, audio, networking, etc.).

Moreover, drivers also help GPU functionality. Therefore, it is paramount that all your drivers are up to date. If they are not, then you will experience frame rate drops, even games not willing to open or even crashing after a short period of time.

To find out what drivers are missing from your computer, you can quickly go Control Panel> Device Manager. Any device that is missing a driver will have a yellow question mark on it.

Once you are done there, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. From there you can take a quick look for old software that may no longer compatible with Windows 10. Deleting these software may be something that you can take into consideration for optimizing Windows 10 gaming to the maximum of your computer’s available resources. That is due to the fact that they will interfere with the overall performance and stability of your machine, and that will translate into a drop of frames.

Ultimately, the best way to improve your Windows 10 gaming performance is by getting better hardware, although that can be expensive. An experienced gamer knows that the best way improve your computer is to maximize your investment. Thusly, by following these steps you can improve your Windows 10 for gaming at a, relatively, no cost.

Can jv16 PowerTools clean and speedup my computer for Windows 10 gaming?

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: we are working to ensure compatibility of our PC System Utilities software with various versions of Windows on an ongoing basis. If you notice any incompatibility issues, please open a support ticket with us and we will be glad to investigate it in the lab.

Windows 10 Storage Sense Keeps Disks Clean Automatically

By | blog

Windows 10 Storage Sense becomes useful as with the regular use of your operating system on a day to day basis, hard drives store temporary junk and unnecessary files. These files ultimately may impair the performance of your computer.

In addition to existing applications that help maintaining computers in good condition, when your disks start to run out of space, Windows usually shows a notice and offers the chance to clean. However, both options require your interaction to be carried out.

Once Windows 10 Creators Update was released, Microsoft wanted hard disks to stay clean automatically. For this reason it has included a new feature called “Storage Sense”. Thanks to this new feature, Windows will automatically delete temporary files of applications that you do not frequently use and will erase files found in the Recycle Bin that have more than 30 days since they have been deleted.

Continue reading this research summary to discover what’s new in the Windows 10 Creators Update (released: April 11, 2017) in what concerns automatic hard disk cleaning and why it is still a good idea to use specialized software such as jv16 PowerTools to deeply check for software leftovers and remove bloatware.

Windows 10 Storage Sense saves you time

By accessing the “Settings” application (PC Settings in the last versions) you can see a new section in the left side column. Storage Sense comes precisely to avoid the step of having to go to “My PC” or “Control Panel” to know exactly how our internal memory is distributed, what internal partitions data are located in, and how to change the default folders of certain type of content.

The space occupied by desktop applications, Windows Store applications, images, videos or even the system itself, will be available now all together in this simple but complete application of the system. In this way, Microsoft has integrated a good series of options and configurations to manage most aspects of your computer.

If you do not yet wish to proceed, once the Windows 10 Creators Update notice appears, you still get the chance to snooze this update and continue with it at a later time.

Storage Sense saves you worries

One of the issues that most concern users, whether at the level of home or business, is the protection of sensitive information while maintaining availability. It is known that not always everyone has the good habit of backing up data and at some point the operating system may fail.

At the hardware level, for example the hard drive disks or the memory may fail; or at the software level, for example errors in the boot or some virus, which forces to restore all the equipment and in some situations may cause the loss of very difficult to recover information.

There is no doubt another issue associated with computers having little disk space available for different reasons such as: small hard disks, excessive installation of applications or programs, little preventive maintenance or the use of backups in partitions, etc.

The problem with this is that the operating system may fail when space is limited and this will make the experience of using Windows 10 less than desired.

Many users use the default tool in the Windows operating systems called Free Space or they start using various tools that we found online and tested. In many cases, this type of PC System Utilities  have a greater leftover finding accuracy than the software included with Windows.

Setting Windows 10 Storage Sense on your computer

Windows 10 Storage Sense allows you to configure the two options to let the operating system clean temporary files that the applications no longer use, in addition to cleaning the recycle bin every 30 days.

It automatically analyzes the computer and handles the removal of temporary files, which can often weigh more than 5 GB, and the files in the trash can drastically increase its size. In this way you will be constantly cleaning the computer freeing up space on the hard drive and getting the most out of the system.

To access this function, all you have to do is open the Settings menu and go to System> Storage. Underneath the hard drives you will see the new option called “Storage Sense”. By default it is disabled, so, to activate it, you must activate the switch that appears below the description of the function. In this way, the new function will start to work automatically, although, if desired, there is the option to customize it for a cleaning much more in line with the customers’ needs.

Data protection mechanisms

There are some files that the Windows 10 Storage Sensor does not delete as they are dedicated to the system and must be manually deleted by each user. These files are:

  • Windows Update Logs
  • Windows Updates (Windows.old)
  • Installation files

These should be removed from the clean system files option with the Free Space utility.

Now the Storage Sensor in Windows 10 is enabled. Once active it is possible to make some adjustments in the configuration of the same. To do this, access the path mentioned above and there select the option “change the free space mode” and a window will be displayed with the following options:

  • Enable removal of temporary files that are not active
  • Automatically delete files in the trash that are for a period of time greater than 30 days
  • Clean the system immediately by pressing the clean now option

By clicking on the option “clean now” the sensor will immediately indicate the amount of space to be released for Windows 10. For this reason, Storage Sense may become a vital utility to preserve the optimal performance of the operating system.

Using Windows 10 Storage Sense on your computer

When you open the Windows 10 Storage Sense you will see a bar graph that shows how much space you have occupied and how much is left. It displays all the drives connected to your system and if you click on “This PC” a detailed view of each location and the space they are using will deploy.

This view contains another bar graph at the top. This one has a color code to identify the different categories and the space each one is using. These categories are:

  • System
  • Desktop apps
  • Apps & games
  • Pictures, Music & Videos
  • Mail
  • Documents
  • OneDrive offline files
  • Downloads
  • Temporary Files
  • Other

Now, by clicking each category, the complete information and controls are displayed. This allows you turn additional features on or off. Also, there is a button called Uninstall Programs that takes you to Programs and Features, the utility that lets you uninstall different programs.

If you need to see the apps installed on your computer and the amount of space each one takes, go to Apps and Games and in case you decide to uninstall one, you can do so by clicking the app button and selecting the Uninstall option.

You can also view your Pictures, Music & Videos, as well as the Documents. One of the downsides is that the Mail option is not currently working properly, but hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Particularities and possible improvements for Windows 10 Storage Sense

The OneDrive offline files button takes you to the OneDrive app and the Downloads button shows you all the files downloaded to your computer. The Temporary files button is a bit more complex, though, you can use it to manage your temporary files or to view your recycling bin and use the Disk Cleanup.

A downside that users have complained a few times about is that the “Other” button seems to show all the uncategorized content and does not offer much more information, which means that you can’t tell which files are there and if you want to delete them or not. This is where system utilities software with 18+ years of experience in cleaning the Windows operating system may still come in handy.

The main page doesn’t only display the “Storage Overview” but also the “Save Locations” tab. This option lets the user change the location where Pictures, Music, Videos, and Documents will be saved.

Using Windows 10 Storage Sense on your mobile

windows 10 storage sense mobile

As a feature for Windows Phone, Storage Sense system allows managing the place where new applications, documents, and other equipment go to. Thanks to it, users with terminals that have a more limited internal storage capacity but do have a microSD card can easily configure where each type of file goes automatically.

It will no longer be a problem or inconvenience to store a great variety of music, videos, photos and applications. To do this, all that has to be done is go to Windows 10 Storage Sensor and set a series of settings.

Storing music, videos and podcast files is the first option that it offers. There, the user can select if the storing will always be saved in the internal memory or the micro SD card. Then there is the same option but only for photographs.

Users can also determine where the default applications are installed. Here, if you are not using many apps then it is more recommended to store everything in the internal memory. And to finish, in order to configure “Downloads”, undoubtedly the micro SD card is the ideal location.

Stopping a couple of minutes and adjusting these options will get Windows Phone users to enjoy these devices more as this helps save the trouble of having to do a manual cleanup from time to time, passing the data to the micro SD card and deleting all the trash that causes the phone to slow down.

Our take on the latest Windows 10 Storage Sense

It seems like Microsoft is taking Windows 10 Storage Sense very seriously, but there are still some improvements that need to be made.

Is jv16 PowerTools conflicting with Windows 10 Storage Sense?

Short answer: no!

Long answer: we are working to ensure compatibility of our PC System Utilities software with various versions of Windows on an ongoing basis. If you notice any incompatibility issues, please open a support ticket with us and we will be glad to investigate it in the lab.