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snooze windows 10 updates

Configuration and Settings to Snooze Windows 10 Updates

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In the past, it was not possible to snooze Windows 10 updates. Windows devices used to be automatically restarted to complete the installation of some changes.

This was certainly frustrating not only for domestic consumers but also for businesses.

Starting with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has implemented a method that no longer requires forced restarts to install or upgrade certain system components. It is also currently possible to snooze Windows 10 updates.

One of Microsoft’s great promises with Windows 10 is to keep the system always up-to-date and secure. The problem is that these updates do not always emerge at the right time.

In many cases it may seem like Windows updates demand restarts exactly when you are in the middle of important work. As a result, in such cases updates end the normal operation of your computer. You could rarely do something about it.

How to snooze Windows 10 updates

Microsoft introduced a feature called ‘Snooze’ that makes it possible for users to delay a specific update. You can pause updates for a maximum of 3 days at a time. This allows you to find the most appropriate time to install the update.

If you do choose to update and restart, once you turn on the computer, the first thing you see is a message that says “Updating… this could take a few minutes.” This can be frustrating as those minutes soon become an hour.

You may lose a meeting on Skype or cause a delay in a project in which you have just the right time to finish and deliver.

Once the Windows 10 Creators Update has been installed, your computer will no longer display small, easy-to-ignore reminders about an upcoming update. Windows 10 will no longer snatch control of your machine when it’s time to install.

Instead, you will be presented with a complete screen, impossible to ignore, that will present you with three options: “Restart now“, “Select a time” or “Snooze“.

Why does Windows do this? Well, the updates are to improve security, that’s all we know.

What few people know is that there are new settings to manage the Windows update behavior, perhaps one of the most important functions of Windows 10 Creators Update.

This is the Settings menu that allows you to configure when you want the updates.

Starting with Windows 10 Creators Update, you have different options available to manage the installation times of the updates. You can decide when you want the computer to restart so that the new version is installed.

You also have the option, as before, of ‘Active Hours’. Periods of daily time during which you do not want to know anything about updates. If you have not already configured it on your computer, you should do so.

During active hours, Windows will not restart your computer to install updates without asking you first.

In the Windows Update section, click Choose Activity Hours. By factory setting, the activity hours are programmed for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can adjust them according to your most productive times. Your hours of activity can be up to 18 hours.

Another feature that has been added with Creators Update is the ability to check at a glance whether our computer has the latest updates installed.

This is really useful if you want your computer to be safe and also have all the new functions and bug fixes.

Windows 10 Update and Security  – Reset Options

Under the Choose Active Hours option, are the ‘Restart’ options. These settings allow you to override the hours of activity to install an update.

If there is an update ready to install and you will be away for several hours, you can schedule your PC to restart and install the update while you are away.

This is a function that can be scheduled to only occur once and does not alter the settings of other updates.

You can also install an update immediately available by clicking “Restart Now“.

Advanced options to snooze Windows 10 updates

If you are using Windows 10 Pro, you will find a link for Advanced Options below Restart Options in the Windows Update section. Here you will find three drop-down menus to choose when you want the updates to be installed.

The first menu gives you an option between Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) and Semi-Annual Channel (for Business).

The Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) option issues updates once Microsoft makes them available.

The Semi-Annual Channel option adds a four-month delay for large-scale installations (large companies and businesses), which ensures that the upgrade is as stable as possible.

computers run slow

Why do computers run slow?

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Here is our system administrator checklist

In today’s world, where almost everything we do is done through the Internet, having one of our computers run slow is nearly a catastrophe.

Work, payments, essays, research, gaming, and even shopping is commonly done through PCs on a regular basis. Needless to say, their slowdown can have severe real-world consequences. It will keep us from checking our bank accounts, communicating with others during a crisis and so on.

It’s easy to see the need to have our computers running as best as they can and to shut down anything that might trigger lagging or crashes.

But the best way to eliminate speed issues in a computer isn’t by treating the symptoms, but by identifying the underlying issue that’s causing these problems in performance.

To help you administrate either your computer or a series of machines (like a work network), we’ve compiled a list of the common factors that might make computers run slow. This way you can possibly identify and fix the issue without losing too much of your time. It will also help you make the most out of your day by increasing the free time you’ll have on your hands.

To help as many people as possible, we’ll evaluate what causes a computer slowdown in general. We especially look for what might be slowing your system while you browse through the Internet, play video games, or even record videos or songs.

Let’s jump in:

1. Computer Viruses

Let’s start with the obvious one and the one we’re the most accustomed to seeing.

Viruses and other malware are programs made for the sole purpose to access your computer remotely or, depending on the malware, they also perform or trigger a set of actions that usually hinder the computer’s performance or steals information.

Thus, viruses are usually among the top quoted reasons that make computers run slow. Especially those viruses that mess with your browser to open up advertisements.

How to fix it?

Run an antivirus scan and eliminate the virus.

2. Antivirus Program(s) Running in the Background

On the other end of the spectrum, we have your antivirus which may be running scans without you knowing it. Antiviruses are often programmed to scan for viruses periodically in the background. And, since the antivirus scans run in the background, without necessarily opening a new window, you might not notice. This action usually takes away a lot of processing power and performance.

How to fix it?

Open up your antivirus’ settings and program it to scan the PC whenever you’re not using the computer.

3. Too Many Open Browser Tabs

Having several tabs running in your browser, especially those that keep refreshing like live streams, are a burden to your browser and your computer in general.

Internet browsers usually take away a lot of processing power, which makes computers run slow. Each tab takes away a bit of RAM. This is worsened by the number of tabs you have open. So, your memory won’t be able to handle the resources demanded.

How to fix it?

Close some tabs. Alternatively, if some of them are too precious to close, you can bookmark them before closing them. Moreover, you can use One-Tab to compile all of them into just one tab.

4. Saturated or Obsolete DNS

If what’s slowing down is just your internet connection, then the issue might be the DNS servers that the PC uses to access the internet.

You see, DNS servers are a sort of “translators” that process the addresses in websites, so that your IP address can access them and show them on your browser. Since DNS are used by a lot of people, they can get saturated and then slow down.

How to fix it?

If you see that your computer isn’t running slow, but the internet does, it might be because of the DNS servers. Change them for better DNS providers like Google or OpenDNS.

5. Too Many Browser Add-Ons

Usually bundled with free software downloads, add-ons come in the form of extra search bars, and many new features are shown under (or around) your browsers’ address bar.

How to fix it?

Simply eliminate or disable them from your browser’s settings.

6. Too Many Programs Open

Each program you open needs some of your RAM to function. Unfortunately, your computer also needs that RAM to perform smoothly.

Very often, people forget to close programs they’re not using, and end up with a lot of RAM wasted on minimised programs.

Let’s not forget about programs that initialise along with the computer, which means they turn on along with it. These programs can go unnoticed, and make computers run slow when you add in the other programs you’ll use.

How to fix it?

Close them. That’s it. Make sure you close any programs you’re not using.

And for those programs that boot up with Windows like uTorrent and MEGA, you can close them by right-clicking them on your hidden icons menu. That is the tiny arrow that opens up a menu next to the internet connection icon. Choose “exit”, “close”, or whatever option they give you to stop running them. Or even better, open their settings menu and set them to not start along with your PC.

7. Programs Running in the Background

Like antiviruses, some programs tend to close themselves and run in the background, even if it seems like you closed their window.

To see them, open up your task manager and access the CPU or “Processes” tab in it. If you identify a program that is running and taking away a lot of RAM , but it doesn’t show on your desktop or tab at the bottom of it, then it’s running in the background.

How to fix it?

Just click it (or right-click it) and choose “end process”. If you can’t identify the process or are afraid of ending an important one, you can also restart your computer.

8. Overheating PC

If you see your PC suddenly running slower than yesterday, then it might have collected dust on its fan, and it’s overheating.

Overheating is another prevalent cause for which PCs slow down. This is particularly the case when running demanding programs such as video games.

How to fix it?

Overheating means one thing: it’s time to clean your computer. If that fails, then you might need to replace the fan or another part.

9. Obsolete Parts

This might be the issue especially if the computer slows down while playing video games or using recording programs, such as audio or video editing software. An old sound card, video card, HDD or RAM, is usually what makes computers run slow.

That is because more advanced programs require more advanced system specs, such as: more powerful RAM, sound card or video cards. It could be because they take more HDD space than what you have to spare. And so, less powerful hardware tends to overload and malfunction, causing lagging, frame drops, or distorted audio.

How to fix it?

Either look for online guides on how to use your programs with the minimal setups (in the case of video games), use lower-end programs, or save up to replace the failing part.

free software

Why Free Software Most of the Times Is Not Enough

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Free software can be dangerous, but what can you do about it? Legitimate methods to protect our computers and smartphones have changed in recent years. Malware is becoming more sophisticated. Revelations by Edward Snowden and Wikileaks show us that cyber criminals constantly invent new ways to spy on us.

We have seen banking malware that intercept SMS messages to get authentication keys for each transaction. There is also software that takes advantage of bugs and security holes to sneak even through encrypted connections.

Good maintenance of your computer can be achieved by performing various tasks. Cleaning your hard drive, cleaning the Windows registry, updating drivers. Some of these tasks are laborious and for users with less experience, they can be complicated.

For these reasons, protecting and managing the security of your computer can quickly become a nuisance.

For those who have difficulties in doing so, or do not want to waste time by complicating their life, there are programs that can do one, several or all maintenance tasks – automatically.

Relationship between malware and free software

Viruses are the most widely known threat to computers, laptops, and devices. They can cause all kinds of damages. There are different types of viruses and each has the ability to compromise your device(s) in different ways.

Usually, users get malware by downloading dubious software. Such software falsely appears to be other things. Remember that ‘YouTube downloader’ you got for free? Usually they are are nothing more than a scam. And they don’t come alone! Meaning, more potentially unwanted programs usually download in the background.

You may think that you know what you are doing and that you will not download infected files or visit misleading websites. However, it is important to remember that cyber criminals are creating new social engineering tactics every day.

Such software can drastically slow down your computer’s processing speed. It can display ads from other vendors or even send out logs of your complete computing activity, including passwords and private chat logs.

Some will even power on your camera. In some cases, they may even cause irreparable physical damage to the system.

The importance of an antivirus

Remember this: if a product is free, then in some way your personal data is the product!

Currently, it seems indispensable to have an antivirus installed. Whether as a free or paid software, having the protection of an antivirus seems the ‘de facto standard’ as the number of viruses and virtual pests grow daily.

These programs help keeping your operating system, data, and personal files secure. Some antiviruses include a firewall which helps to create a barrier between your computer and the rest of the Internet.

There are several antivirus vendors on the market, and the existing “types” of antivirus fall into three categories:

  • Paid antivirus software: you must purchase the license to use the software (considerations: cost)
  • Free antivirus software: can be installed and used without restrictions (considerations: your personal data is usually collected by the antivirus company for research purposes)
  • Online: it can be paid or free. It does not need to be installed, but you need to be connected to the Internet (considerations: inefficient at detecting evasive malware)

By comparing free and paid antivirus, they seem respond in much the same way in some virus testing. Maybe antivirus tests of today are not really unbiased or maybe they all deserve to reach the finish line first.

The online antivirus is being used more and more, but it should not be a substitute for the previous ones. Although they can be used as an extra method of verification, most web based (online) anti-malware solutions of today fail to detect evasive malware.

Problems related to free software

Free software is simply software that you install on your computer free of charge, deliberately or not. For example, it may be a game that you installed on your computer, a free program that helps you control your expenses or lose weight.

Free software can be presented in various ways, including on CD or as a download from a website. At present, in addition, some free programs adopt another name: applet or widget.

What about security? Well, some free programs are safe and some are not. Often, it depends on its origin. Free software lacks some of the standard features that we generally expect any software to include, such as technical support, bug fixes, downloadable patches and virus definitions, among others.

Perhaps tech savvy users will understand and assess the risks of using free software. Most of us, however, will not want to expose their computers, files, and personal information to potential dangers.

When it comes to free software, you better be careful. Free programs you download over the Internet may contain malicious code that can cause damage to your computers or mobile devices. It could cause incompatibilities with other programs, take control of the computer or compromise your personal data and expose you to potential identity theft.

Not everything that is free is good!

Free software, also known as “freeware“, are increasingly accepted for use on mobile devices because they are easily accessible over the Internet. But accessing zero-cost programs also has a downside. The saying “quality and price go hand in hand” could be applied to free programs.

There is free software that claims to protect your computer, files, and information against online threats. But experts advise caution.

Using free software as a security program is risky. It is recommended to investigate the company and its products before downloading. Even so, it may be safer to pay for protection and opt in for some of the most consolidated security software.

How do you protect yourself from these threats?

Many users are content to install free software and think hey are protected. There is no doubt that basic protection of this type is better than nothing, but if this was enough, why does malware still find its way?

This question leads to another more interesting inquiry. How is a free antivirus different from a paid one? First, you have to leave behind old beliefs like “paid antivirus are expensive”.

In this life, almost nothing is free, not even on the Internet. Remember the old saying: “there is no free meal”. If the product is free, then the product is you.

Free software provides a basic protection service, true, but often includes advertising that is sometimes annoying or continuous warnings for you to upgrade to the paid version. More worrying are the cases that have jumped on the news: free antivirus sold usage data to third parties. Some even specify it in the contract of use.

With paid antivirus, there is no advertising and it is not trafficked with the data of use because it is a service acquired by the client. It is important to keep this in mind if you value not being interrupted by excessive notifications, or not being tracked for advertising purposes.

Main considerations

A. Performance and resource considerations

Analytical and comparative tests show that free software products consume more CPU and memory resources when compared to paid programs, slowing down the use of the computer. This is especially important if you have an old computer, where resources are scarce. If the antivirus makes your computer take a long time to boot or slow down, then you are paying, even if it is free.

B. Technology involved in developing free software

Not all antiviruses are the same, nor do they have the same protection systems or the same attack detection techniques.

Most free antivirus protects against known attacks, but they are not as effective at detecting new types of malware or new infection systems. It is a weakness that cyber criminals know and therefore continuously develop new types of malware created to circumvent the barriers of more known anti-virus.

Anti-virus software incorporates anti-exploit software that blocks the security holes of programs that users have not patched and an anti-keylogger, which prevents cyber criminals from tracking the passwords and personal data you enter when using the keyboard.

With the anti-phishing module, malware is prevented from supplanting the identity of a bank or Internet service, to steal your data.

C. Free software usually lacks customer care

An additional question to consider is something we do not value until we suffer the invasion of a virus or data theft: where to find an expert hand to help you out of the impasse?

Free software usually does not offer customer service. And in many cases, it comes with nasty surprises attached. If you have been infected by ransomware that has encrypted your hard drive, what do you do? Are you ready for such an event?

Or perhaps your phone has started to do strange things but the antivirus does not detect anything. Who do you go to?

Only in such situations is when you start to miss the customer care of a paid antivirus. This can help you recover your hijacked computer or detect if your equipment really has a virus.

Last but not least, an option is to ask for our help. We may not know everything but we do learn on a daily basis! Our PC Optimization Expert service is available. Due to the nature of the service offered, we must ask for a premium.

D. The cost of licensing quality software should not be an excuse

All this leads us to the main issue that always carries greater weight when it comes to choosing between a free software and a paid one. We speak, of course, of the price.

It is understandable that if you pay an amount of money for a smartphone or tablet (a little more if it is a computer), then you do not want to spend money on a security solution that accounts for 30% of the total expenditure.

Nowadays, it seems that installing a cleaning tool is a must have in a Windows environment. It is something that you should not leave aside. Even more if you are working with the computer all day.

Keep the operating system updated to the latest version. This will help to protect your machine’s security and stored data. In turn, the stability of the system may be somewhat less of what you expect after the new patches. These often cause new problems to surface (hence the development life-cycle).

Create a backup of your important files and keep the backup copy updated and safe.

These are just few of the many ways in which you can remain calm in the event of an incident.

windows 10 store games

The Must Have Windows 10 Store Games Including Free to Play

By | blog

Before we start, there is something that needs to be clarified about these Windows 10 store games. This list is not a historical examination of the most groundbreaking PC games that exist.

It is well-known that Final Fantasy 7 defined an entire generation with its storytelling. Metroid is one of the best action games ever created. Forza Horizon 3 is the ultimate open-world race games.

Everyone knows these facts and agrees on them. This list is simply a collection of excellent games that are being offered by Windows 10 Store.

Creating this list was not easy. Windows 10 Store provides a lot of options, something not a lot of people know. The reason why Windows Store does not get enough attention is due to Steam. Valve’s Steam Store is still one of the biggest online game providers in the world.

Hence, what this list will do is showcase several major games that are available on the Windows 10 Store from each genre. Without any further ado, here is the list of must-have games available now in the Windows 10 Store.

If you wish to optimize your gaming experience we recommend a fully functional, 60 day trial of jv16 PowerTools – our PC system utilities software. It is designed to make your computer work fast and smoothly.

Windows 10 Store Games: Action Games

Batman: Arkham Knight

The Batman series is Rocksteady Studios’ crown jewel. The only way to describe this game is by saying: You are Batman. The controls are easy to use, the storyline is superbly written and the graphics are what you expect from a big-budget game.

Rocksteady Studios borrowed everything that worked in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City to the third instalment of the series. Packed with enough goon-busting fun to satisfy any action addict, Batman: Arkham Knight will not disappoint anyone.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider sees young Lara Croft face a group of fanatical zealots who are pursuing immortality.  The game features magnificent set pieces with jaw-dropping views. It also contains an excellent combat mechanic and challenging puzzles.

Overall, the game lives to the outstanding reputation that the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot created. Rise of the Tomb Raider provides non-stop action that will leave you exhausted.

Windows 10 Store Games: Adventure Games

Game of Thrones

Telltale’s Game of Thrones follows the exploits and adventures of the characters on the HBO show with the same name. Now, some bookworms might have wanted the game to be focused more on the book narrative instead of the TV show.

Regardless, Telltale’s Game of Thrones is a phenomenal representation of Westeros’ cruel and harsh realm. Get ready to play the Game of Thrones, but remember: ‘Valar Morghulis’!

The Walking Dead

Another amazing gem created by Telltale, The Walking Dead combines the horrors of the zombie apocalypse with a fantastic storytelling. Get ready to play as Lee, an ex-convict who finds himself in charge of Clementine, an orphaned kid.

The game is filled with memorable characters and emotional moments that will make you fear the living more than you fear the dead!

Windows 10 Store Games: Fighting Games

Mortal Kombat XL

There is a soft spot in all of us for this game. Mortal Kombat has kept generations of gamers horrified and addicted to the gore and violence it displays. Unfortunately, when Mortal Kombat X came out for PC, it did not receive the support its console version counterpart got.

In comes Mortal Kombat XL. This update offers PC gamers all the new fighters, stages, costumes, and gore that we have come to love and appreciate from the MK franchise.

Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition

From one classic franchise to another, Rare’s Killer Instinct is back for PC users after being available exclusively for consoles. The Definitive Edition includes all 26 characters and all the content featured in the Supreme Edition bundle.

Additionally, the game contains a story line and an arcade mode that allows you to learn more about the characters or simply challenge your friends and perform a ‘c-c-c-combo breaker’.

Windows 10 Store Games: Horror Games

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is the game all alien fans deserve. Creative Assembly drew inspiration from Ridley Scott’s original 1979 film instead of James Cameron’s action-filled movie. And this new take on an alien game completely works. Alien: Isolation is all about subterfuge and evasion.

The lack of weapons to defend yourself or a companion to help you, makes you feel vulnerable and isolated. You can beat the game and avoid the alien threat by using your wits, environment, and crafted tools.

Alien: Isolation is the dark, oppressive, and smart world we deserve.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It could be argued the Resident Evil series lost its ways after a while. The game became a 3rd person shooting game instead of terrifying and nightmare-inducing. All that changed with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

Capcom chose to go back to its roots by slowing down the action and changing the character’s motivation. The dread and horror this decision generates, rivals the fear gamers felt when the original Resident Evil came out in 1996.

Grab a copy of this game and get ready to explore one of the best horror games that came out in a while.

Windows 10 Store Games: Racing & Sports Games

Forza Horizon 3

The debut of Forza Horizon on PC is also the best time for Playground Games to create a racing masterpiece. Forza Horizon 3 is an incredibly addictive racing game, set in Australia. There are some frame-rate hiccups, but otherwise, fast cars and open-world exploration will make you want to drive forever.

The rugged landscape is the perfect setting to create a game that celebrates car culture as well as the festival energy that surrounds racing. Forza Horizon 3 is a game that racing enthusiast will not regret purchasing, but will regret not having played.

Rocket League

Staying with the racing genre, Rocket League is a game that is straightforward about its premise. The game blends the joy of RC racing with the confrontational nature of soccer or football, for those not living in North America.

Rocket League is a fun game regardless of how many times you play it. Every match is completely different, and that makes its simplicity so brilliant. If you ever want to play a simple game, with over-the-top spectacle, then Rocket League is the choice for you.

Windows 10 Store Games: RPG Games

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect is one of those series that changed the way players interact and react with their digital environment. Every decision you make carries over to the next instalment of the franchise, adding gravitas and consequences to your decisions.

It was BioWare’s masterpiece, and it has redefined the RPG genre. Mass Effect: Andromeda builds upon what made Mass Effect so strong.

This time you are not Commander Shepard. Instead, you are part of an initiative to colonize Andromeda. Mass Effect: Andromeda is an exciting game that will keep you immersed in the Mass Effect universe.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The good news is that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt lives up to the standard set by the previous The Witcher games. The bad news is that: this is the last game of the series. However, CD Projekt Red’s action-RPG is as fun and engaging as the previous versions.

Do not expect The Witcher 3 to be just like the other two games. CD Projekt Red changed the formula by intruding an open world filled with monsters and quests. The game also improved its alchemy and fighting system. However, it is the story that still drives the game.

Windows 10 Store Games: Shooter Games

Far Cry 4

There are very few shooters that are as fun as Far Cry. The sandbox game allows players to explore freely while finding missions and collectibles.

Far Cry 4 does not add much new to the franchise, but is still an incredibly fun, enjoyable, and beautiful game to play. You will spend dozens of hours running through the jungle and having never-ending fun.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

There is nothing to say about Halo. It is the game that brought Bungie to the forefront. Halo: The Master Chief Collection combines all the Halo games for you to play again. It also offers all the multiplayer options that made Halo so much fun.

Replay the story of John-117, as he fights the Covenant with the help of Cortana. Find the truth behind those who constructed Halo, and repel the Flood. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the ultimate Halo collection.

Windows 10 Store Games: Sim & World-Building Games

Minecraft

Microsoft’s biggest game outside of Halo, Minecraft is a blocky sandbox game that lets you explore the limits of your imagination. Minecraft revolves around exploring the world and surviving the monsters that attack you at night.

Players can enjoy creating anything they want, and push the boundaries of what can be possible. The game is also much more than that! The upcoming integration with VR will serve to increase the game’s enjoyment.

Cities: Skyline

SimCity 4 left a lot of players with a sour taste in their mouth. Luckily, Cities: Skyline come out soon after to the delight of city planners across the globe. Skyline is a stunning game with an AI that makes you feel the struggles of sustaining a metropolis as it keeps devouring resources.

With the latest expansion pack, you have now the ability to handle disasters as well as dealing with tourism, pollution, weather, crime, and traffic. It is the city simulation game to buy, and the size of the map allows you to create towns in the same play area.

Windows 10 Store Games: Stealth Games

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Law enforcer Adam Jensen returns to the stealth-based shooting game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which is the latest entry in the cyberpunk series. Square Enix’s creation tells the story of a world where augmented people are treated as second-class citizens.

The game contains several side quests, while also providing the same level of stealth, with, cunning, and hacking expected from Deus Ex.

Dishonored

Dishonored is a fantastic FPS that sets you in a universe packed with murder, stealth, and intrigues. Arkane Studio managed to create an extraordinary fantasy world filled with a rich background and supernatural happenings.

It is not quite an open-world game as Deus Ex, but it makes up for it in storytelling and drama. The stealth mechanics also make it extra challenging and adds replayability.

Windows 10 Store Games: Strategy Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

You cannot talk about strategy games without mentioning XCOM. 2K Games and Firaxis brought back the classic franchise with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The turn-based game is a reminiscent of the 1994 X-COM: UFO Defense.

Enemy Unknown feels like the successor X-COM: Enforcer should have been. XCOM: Enemy Unknown contains streamlined gameplay, challenging combat, and an original story. It is a must have.

best dns servers

Best DNS Servers to Use for Free in 2018

By | blog

Some of the best DNS servers are actually the backbones of the Internet as we know it today. They allow for the information available online to arrive at your IP address and show up in your web browser. However, some DNS servers are better than others, depending on your preferences.

There are some very fast, commercial DNS that usually come with your ISP package. Also, there are anonymous DNS, public DNS but also free DNS servers, among other. Overall, there is a broad array of options for you to choose.

Because of this, picking the best DNS servers can be hard or bothersome to do. Mostly because of the amount of searching and testing that one must do.

How to choose the best DNS servers in 2018?

Don’t worry, we are here today to lift that weight off your shoulders. The research has already been done by us in the past and was recently updated for this blog post.

At this point, you might ask yourself why should you care about DNS servers when you can get one (and usually do so) automatically from your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

There are several reasons why you should get a new DNS. For example, some DNS are more private, but others DNS are faster. That means you can choose the best option for you

Usually, though, using public (free) DNS servers allows for a more rapid internet speed. That is the main reason people change their DNS.

You see, DNS servers work by “translating” addresses on the Internet so that your web browser can access and display that content. However, many variables might affect this process. Thus, making it slower or more vulnerable to overloading.

So the best DNS server is the one that can overcome these faults and, in return, offer the fastest and most stable route for information to come through.

However, a lot of people don’t consider this and are stuck with slow and inefficient Internet speed. They blame it on their ISP or pure bad luck, not knowing that fixing it might take just a few clicks in their operating system’s settings or configuration panel.

How exactly do you change your DNS server?

  1. Open up the Settings / Control Panel
  2. Click on Network and Internet Connections
  3. Open up Network and Sharing Center
  4. Locate the network connection for which you wish to change the DNS server
  5. Right click on its named icon
  6. In the contextual menu, click on Properties
  7. Double click Internet Control Protocol Version 4 (IPv4)
  8. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses”
  9. In the blank spaces, enter the best DNS server addresses you could find
  10. Do so as well for the alternative DNS server
  11. Check “Validate settings” and then click on “OK”

Note that instructions and word usage might vary slightly between Windows Versions.

For mobile devices, there are many apps available to change your DNS servers, especially on Android.

Our list contains 8 of the best DNS servers to use this year:

1. Google’s Public DNS Server

  • Primary DNS: 8.8.8.8
  • Secondary DNS: 8.8.4.4

Often listed among the best, Google’s free DNS servers are both easy to remember and highly available to everyone. It even offers impressive speeds (even more so when you consider how much people use them).

The main advantages from Google’s DNS come from their established name as a company. Their substantial quarterly revenue allows for some of the faster, most stable, and resilient DNS servers.

The only issue with these servers is the fact that they store information about your operations, and they could be shared with third parties should the government decides it needs the information. However, for users not worrying about this topic, Google is often cited as the best DNS server.

2. Norton ConnectSafe

  • Primary DNS: 199.85.126.10
  • Secondary DNS: 199.85.127.10

Norton is well-known for their excellent antivirus, and Internet security services and products. However, people don’t know that their DNS servers don’t disappoint.

The DNS addresses listed protect against malware and scams. It’s the first of three levels of Internet protection they have available, named “Policies”, the one listed being Policy 1.

Policy 2 (199.85.126.20 and 199.85.127.20) additionally block websites with pornographic content, and Policy 3 (199.85.126.30 and 199.85.126.30) adds, even more, blocked content that Norton considers non-family friendly, If you are curious, you can find the list of non-family friendly content in the Norton ConnectSafe – DNS FAQ.

These options make Norton ConnectSafe an easy choice for parents with underage children looking to protect them from unwanted material online.

3. OpenDNS

  • Primary: 208.67.222.222
  • Secondary: 208.67.220.220

Another old competitor that still stands today, OpenDNS is another commonly seen candidate on several of the best DNS servers listings found online. Its quality is comparable in efficiency to Google’s DNS.

Again, for users concerned about their children’s Internet safety, OpenDNS offers a service called OpenDNS FamilyShield that blocks adult content (available at the servers 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123).

4. DNS Watch

  • Primary: 84.200.69.80
  • Secondary: 84.200.70.40

A DNS focused on transparency and liberty of choice, DNS Watch offers its best DNS servers free of any form of censorship. They also guarantee no information will be stored on their servers, and their resolvers aren’t set to log any of your data.

Their image is that of a selfless service and team. Their only purpose is looking to make efficient Internet available to everyone. They also claim that the fact that they aren’t a big firm helps in avoiding government regulations. So for you freedom-lovers out there, this is an excellent alternative.

Additionally, and keeping up with their transparent attitude, they even offer live statistics on their free DNS servers. That transparency makes them a good candidate for best DNS server, at least regarding trustworthiness and anonymous DNS servers.

5. Comodo Secure DNS

  • Primary: 8.26.56.26
  • Secondary: 8.20.247.20

Another easy-to-set-up server (like Google’s). There is no need for much research or choosing with Comodo. All you do is input one of their addresses, and you’re good to go.

One of the upsides of Comodo Secure DNS is the fact that it spans 15 nodes around the world. On each continent, each node containing several servers ready to serve local users. That makes Comodo Secure DNS an exceptional choice for users.

One of the many issues regarding DNS server speeds is how far away you are from its servers.

Comodo’s worldwide coverage makes it fast regardless of where you are. Comodo Secure DNS is known to be one of the top, best DNS servers as it also keeps you away from malware and scam sites. They keep their block lists updated regularly.

Global coverage at fair speed, coupled with the fact that it automatically detects “unused” or “ghost” pages, make it a compelling option for the title of best DNS server. Especially recommended for those who long for a publicly accessible, yet secure DNS server.

6. Verisign

  • Primary: 64.6.64.6
  • Secondary: 64.6.65.6

Verisign bases its services on two propositions: being an anonymous DNS server, and providing protection from malware and malicious sites.

They specifically made a point about letting its clients know that they won’t sell their information to third parties nor they will serve any ads to users.

7. OpenNIC

  • Primary: 192.95.54.3
  • Secondary: 192.95.54.1

OpenNIC is a great choice for users who don’t want to figure out where is the closest server to their location.

The DNS servers listed here are only part of a vast array of servers they have available. If you visit their website, you can, not just look up the closest DNS to your location, but also let the site automatically do it for you. That way you can save yourself the hassle of searching for the best option.

8. GreenTeamDNS

  • Primary: 81.218.119.11
  • Secondary: 209.88.198.133

Another runner-up for best DNS server regarding family-friendly Internet, it not only block websites with pornographic content, but also blocks those containing malware, bots, and websites related to violence and drugs.

This is especially useful, as said before, for parents since it offers options for blocking content other DNS listed won’t block.

Here is how we can contribute to your computing experience:

Now that you have your DNS servers in place, would you care for some extra house keeping?

Cleaning and speeding up computers around the world for more than 18 years has taught us a few things. A free, fully functional 60 day trial of the jv16 PowerTools PC system utilities is available for download on our website.

system mechanic

Should you use system mechanic software?

By | blog

If you wonder why you should use a professional system mechanic software, let me ask you this first: how many of the programs that you have installed on your computer do you really use on a daily basis?

If you look at all the programs installed on your PC, you will probably find that you have long stopped using many of them. In fact, you may find that some of them do not even function properly anymore. This software unnecessarily takes up space on your hard drive, and it does not help the performance of your PC.

Windows offers an integrated tool that can be used to uninstall software. You can access it from the control panel. However, if you have ever used it you will know that it is not always 100% effective.

In many cases, although the process of uninstalling a program is apparently done correctly, there are actually remains of unwanted software scattered throughout the system. This is where the use of a professional system mechanic software comes in handy.

On other occasions, you may find that the application you want to eliminate is not even in the list of programs installed on your PC. For a more effective removal process, there are many programs that can help you perform this task safely.

This particular program perform a global scan of your computer and erases all traces of the application that you want to eliminate.

When do I need a professional system mechanic?

One of the biggest headaches for Windows computers is the time it takes to start the operating system. This causes the start-up to slow down because of the amount of memory consumed.

One of the most common causes why you have accumulated more “useless” things in your PC, is the installation of “a thousand programs” that by forgetfulness or ignorance remain in the system.

Without the help of a professional system mechanic this gets worse; the operating system gives you the option to uninstall the desired program comfortably through the control panel, although this may not be sufficient at times as leftover traces are often left behind.

The problem can be even greater if you have bought the computer in a store, as resellers usually include bloatware  with the preinstalled OEM versions of Windows. You should uninstall bloatware using jv16 PowerTools if you do not use them.

Our PC system utilities solution jv16 PowerTools

No matter how many hours you spend at your computer every day, you definitely want its job done as fast as possible. Like a car, your equipment also requires maintenance to give optimum performance for daily activities.

There are not just a few but thousands of reasons why your software equipment might not work as it should. jv16 PowerTools is a suite of maintenance utilities that aims to solve these problems.

The latest version published allows you to clean, optimize and repair your system with relative ease.

The program offers a wide range of advanced tools that provide a friendly way to use various tools to optimize the system. It comes in several languages, allowing you to delete the ones you do not need. From the point of view of usage, it is indeed a remarkable product.

What comes with jv16 PowerTools system mechanic

This professional system mechanic offers four sets of basic tools.

The registry toolkit provides you with ways to manage, find, replace, compact and control log entries. It also presents an easy-to-understand registry information tool. You can find the size of the record structure, the number of entries it contains and their type. You get to know the amount of data that the record contains.

The program also come equipped with file tools which include the following: File Finder, File Cleaner, File Recovery, File Organizer, and a Duplicate File Finder tool.

While experiencing the system tools, you may see that there are a lot of tools in one place. They are sometimes in the form of 3rd party individual software packages online. The big difference is that jv16 PowerTools does not come preinstalled with adware or spyware.

Why should you use jv16 PowerTools instead of other software?

Our tools are designed for the professional system mechanic and include the Startup Manager. This tool works quite well, detailing the programs that run automatically on boot. Scan results also include the dynamic libraries that most other programs of this type often skip.

In addition, the automation tool allows you to run the other instruments automatically. The most outstanding feature of this set is the Clean and SpeedUp My Computer tool. This tool gives a significant boost in computer speed.

In total, jv16 PowerTools is composed of tools which will help you with the always complicated and never-friendly Windows registry. This way you can clean your registry automatically to remove obsolete data from old installations. You can also delete files and links that some applications leave unused.

Apart from the manual, the professional mechanic system jv16 PowerTools includes the online support option.

Most individual tools work by scanning relevant areas of your machine to prepare a diagnosis before allowing you to optimize. However, if at any time there is a problem, you can always restore the backup. You can also protect the software settings with a password that a professional system user always configures.

Using the jv16 PowerTools Backup Tool

  1. Run jv16 PowerTools from the Start menu or your shortcut on the desktop.
  2. On the start screen, go to Backup Tool
  3. In this screen you have all the backups of the Windows registry.
  4. Select the backup you want to restore and click Restore.
  5. To delete a specific backup, select it and click Remove.
  6. To select all backups at once, click on the select menu and click on “all”

If you have any questions about our system machanic software or wish to offer us a feature suggestion or improvement tip then please do not hesitate to reach out to our support! We love it when our users engage in a discussion as it helps us to learn and grow.

laptop slow to startup

Why is my laptop slow to start?

By | blog

Manage startup applications in Windows

It’s essential that your laptop works at its best at all times. However, as time goes by, the regular use of your computer increases unnecessary files and fragments your hard drive (especially if it is not a SSD drive). Lousy computer habits may also lead to a laptop slow to startup.

The usage of several programs at the same time doesn’t help. Other bad habits are: putting the equipment to sleep instead of regularly restarting it, browsing the Internet with several open windows of navigation, adding add-ons and services, and neglecting to perform maintenance on a regular basis.

All these can be reasons when looking to find out why is your laptop slow to startup.

We present some common causes and recommendations to improve this issue. In truth, there are a plethora of reasons as to why your laptop may be slow to startup.

What to do when your laptop is very slow to boot up

1. Control which applications start with the laptop

The programs that are configured to run when the laptop is turned on can also make the laptop slow to startup. So another step is to make sure that only the strictly necessary programs run when the laptop boots up. For that, you need to remove startup programs that you don’t need.

Windows has an integrated utility that allows you to disable the automatic execution of programs. In Windows 8 it is called Task Manager, while in Windows 7, Vista and XP are the old Msconfig.

With this procedure, it’s also possible to disable important and necessary programs for the correct operation of the PC, such as the antivirus. Therefore, it is needed to be aware of which processes are being modified. If in doubt, search the internet for the name of the program and, if you do not find what it is, better ask our PC optimization experts to take a look remotely.

There are different steps to follow in Windows 8 and 7.

Laptop slow to startup in Windows 8

If you’re using Windows 8, go to the Desktop, move the cursor to the taskbar, right-click and select Task Manager. Closing the programs in autorun is one of the most effective methods to speed up Windows startup.

If you notice that your PC is slow in the loading phase of the operating system, this may be due to the many programs that run every time you turn on the computer and start Windows.

Laptop slow to startup in Windows 7

Msconfig is the built-in Windows tool to eliminate processes running automatically. In Windows 7 it will suffice to click the start button, type the msconfig command in the search bar, and press Enter. Once inside the System Configuration, go to the Home tab, deselect the programs that you don’t want to be opened at Windows startup, and then click OK.

We also have programs that are responsible for this task, such as Advanced SystemCare. This program is responsible for managing the startup programs. The only and significant disadvantage about this program is that you must buy it to use it. However, it’s great if you do get it. It can manage all the startup programs and increase the speed of your PC. If you don’t want to buy it, don’t worry. There is no wrong answer here.

For a quick fix, you don’t have to buy a program to increase the startup speed. Try our own solution, jv16 PowerTools. You can download our flagship PC system utilities software free of charge and use it fully for 60 days. Then you can decide if you wish to support us by licensing your maintenance software.

2. Undo temporary files

Temporary files are created by Windows applications when they can’t allocate enough memory to their tasks, or the operating system itself makes backups in case it needs to be restored. They usually are removed automatically. But either by a malfunctioning program or by shutting Windows down incorrectly, this is not always the case.

Usually, these files do not cause many problems, but they can accumulate on the hard disk, and make the laptop  slow to startup. That’s why it is recommended that if you want to accelerate your laptop boot up time, you must get rid of temp files to recover some internal memory. These data can be found in the folder C: \ Windows \ Temp.

If you don’t want to go that deep because you want to avoid making a mistake, there are always applications that can help you, like jv16 PowerTools. This program is a complete PC system utilities software that will scan your computer for leftover files, including temporary ones, and propose them for you to delete them. Just make sure that you use it regularly (once per week is more than enough!).

3. Optimizing the loading process

During the Windows boot process, the operating system performs different tasks that could take more or less time depending on its configuration. To ensure maximum optimization, it’s crucial to start with having the BIOS configured to boot directly from the HDD Windows is located, instead of wasting time looking first in other drives. That causes any laptop slow to startup.

When there is some peripheral or component connected to the laptop and you don’t have the drivers configured, Windows will query its database for a solution. So, the system load will be a little slower. You should go through Device Manager occasionally to make sure there is no conflict with any component. To check if something is failing during system boot, Windows also has a native application that can be useful.

The application is called Event Viewer, and it’s executed by launching eventvwr with the Run tool. In the Application and System folders on the left menu, you can see a log of all errors that may have occurred. To ensure that the tool only logs the system starts it is necessary to empty its registers. Then you have to restart the laptop and reopen it. This way, you can be sure that only the Windows startup process problems come out.

4. Enable quick launch on your laptop

Some versions of Windows have an option to perform a fast system startup.

To locate it, open the Control Panel and access the Hardware and Sound option. In the Power Options, look for the one that changes the actions of the start/stops buttons in power off setting. It’s vital to make sure that the Activate quick start option is activated.

What this option does is to change where the necessary files are saved when the computer is turned off. If the option is not activated, they will be kept in RAM. But once enabled they will be saved in a folder on the laptop’s HDD. That means that they will open faster. It is always good to check this option if you have a laptop slow to startup.

5. The physical cleaning of the computer also matters

The dust is one of our more significant enemies. It can cause the laptop slow to startup when you least expected. Dust can also reduce airflow, which will cause overheating, slowing down any computer’s operations.

Finally, it can also affect the performance of some applications, and even generate a lot of noise pollution by making the laptop sound like an aeroplane.

Therefore, it’s advisable from time to time to open your laptop and dust it off. Of course, extra care must be manifested when performing this type of cleaning, especially if you never did this before. Laptop hardware components are very delicate and some can be damaged during the process if it’s not done correctly.

What can we do for you about a laptop that is slow to start

If you wish to have a complete set of tools that can manage your startup applications, clean and speedup your computer, then give our software a try. Being older than even Google, our company knows its way around PC optimization quite a lot.

Professional PC system utilities software designed to make your computer work fast and smoothly is not easy to find, especially if you don’t want to have additional adware or spyware installed!

computer keeps freezing

My Computer Keeps Freezing! Actionable Tips & Tricks

By | blog

Actionable tips for Windows 10

If your computer keeps freezing, or if Windows 10 has a slow startup and sometimes crashes while it starts, take it easy. There is no need to freak out just because at this time you may not know what else to do. Keep reading, and you will find the solution.

First and most important, you may have some apps that are programmed to run when Windows starts and consume resources that interfere with the proper functionality of other applications. Even if you only use that program once or twice a month, they will consume critical resources. For example, Adobe, iTunes, Nero, use these practices.

If Windows 10 keeps freezing, you can remove applications by visiting ‘System Settings’. There, you can check which applications are rarely used to uninstall them. You can also delay their commissioning for a few minutes. This way, they do not interfere with the system’s bootup, which will speed up your computer.

Note that there are multiple programs that are required to automatically start along with Windows. For example, the graphics and sound card drivers need to boot up with Windows 10 first and foremost.

Therefore, you can deactivate, uninstall or use jv16 PowerTools to delay software that you do not often use, such as iTunes, DVD recorder, PDF reader, etc.

Possible causes why your computer keeps freezing and its solutions

Delete temporary files

The easiest way is to check for leftover installation files that may still reside in your system. Check specifically in the Windows $ folders, such as the $Windows. ~ WS. This folder is created at the root of the hard disk.

However, you should know that if you delete the $Windows. ~ WS folder you will not be able to go back to the previous version. This option is available during the first month since the update.

In addition, if you have used several operating system builds through the Windows Insider program, you should also do some software cleaning. That way you will be able to delete some more trash through the Disk Cleanup tool included in the operating system.

In case you didn’t already know, there is an option called “Earlier Versions of Windows”. If ‘Enabled’ this option can occupy up to 20 GB of hard disk space. It could be the case that your operating system blocks these folders and they are impossible to eliminate through traditional methods.

The issue can be solved through an option included in the ‘Windows Explorer’. If you do not use the ‘OneDrive’ features and cloud storage, then you are most likely better off without it.

Uninstalling unnecessary ModernUI elements

If your Windows 10 keeps freezing, unification between desktop and metro applications may be the root cause of the general slowness, especially when the new operating system is running on older hardware. For example, there should no longer be two calculator apps installed at the same time for no reason.

Even so, if your computer keeps freezing, it is very likely that you will not make use of many of the utilities which were included by default, such as news blocks.

You can manage them by simply clicking the start menu button, search for the applications and double-check everything that is installed by default. To remove what you want, you just have to right-click on the item and click Uninstall.

Alternatively, you can use jv16 PowerTools to uninstall any 3rd party software that you do not wish to keep anymore on your system.

Sync your smartphone

Windows and other mobile operating systems (Android or iOS, Windows Phone) have always been considered two different things. This perceived separation between systems does not make much sense in the age of unification and integration.

Now that you have Cortana to give you a ‘helping hand’, it may be a good idea to use your Google account too. And while you are at it, synchronize your contacts book with Windows 10.

Doing these things will help you a lot with your Windows 10, especially if your computer keeps freezing, as the flawless communication between systems will contribute to keeping the PC running smoothly.

To do this, go to the Contacts tool. In there, you can hide the directory associated with your old Hotmail / Outlook account and use the default Gmail through your assistant. In this way, it will be possible to access the information about your contacts from the search bar itself, and that will speed up your computer.

The other step is to embrace some of Microsoft’s cross-platform products that have representation on Android, such as OneNote, Office, Skype, and Outlook. In fact, you can already use Cortana on Android, although the application is still in an early beta phase.

The battery life

Battery life is a relatively common problem every time an update of any caliber modifies an operating system. Often, it causes your Windows 10 to have a slow startup. Or your computer to keep freezing before it boots Windows 10.

If you have noticed that your hardware consumes battery faster than average, check out the manufacturer’s website for a driver or firmware update.

Last but not least, updates that are always downloading and installing on Windows 10 can have a detrimental effect on battery life. If the load level seems to be decreasing very fast, it may also be due to these updates. So you should manually update everything the computer has pending.

This will improve the life of your battery once you are no longer connected to a power source. If your computer keeps freezing, it will be less busy in the background and this problem may be solved.

Avoid installing a preview of Windows 10

Many users want to have on their computers the latest releases from Redmond. Therefore they subscribe to the program Microsoft Insiders. In this way, users receive those test versions of Windows 10 to help the company test them and report incidents.

Being able to check the latest updates implies counting on the computer with an unstable version of Windows 10. This version is prone to failure and can cause a blockage in your system.

If you want to avoid this risk, it’s best that you don’t install these trial versions of the operating system on your computer.

Keeping the system up to date

Since its launch last summer, Microsoft has tried to do everything possible to keep Windows 10 up to date. They do it by regularly sending updates that correct errors or security problems. These updates usually arrive automatically through the Windows Update delivery system.

In case updates do not get delivered automatically, you can try to update your operating system manually. This can be done from the configuration panel. From the ‘Start menu’, go to ‘Settings’ and then visit ‘Updates and Security’. Once there, select ‘Options’ from the Windows Update menu and click on the ‘Check for Updates’ button.

If there are updates available, you can force their download and installation  to check if they solve the problem. In most cases, this may also help if your Windows 10 to keep freezing.

If for some reason none of these actionable tips seem applicable for your particular error or PC performance problem and your computer keeps freezing, please consider our PC Optimization Expert service which may be carried out using a remote desktop connection.

Our experts will take a look remotely. However, your PC needs to at least be able to connect to the Internet.

windows 10 problem needs restart

Best Free PC Optimization Software of 2018 Previewed

By | blog

Fast start-up and speed of operation are two of the best things about a new PC. After all, you want your PC to run at full capacity. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap laptop or a powerful desktop gaming computer. But that speed usually does not last long. Every PC slows down, and it can happen suddenly. That’s where the best free PC optimization software deserve the tryout.

All computers end up losing the effectiveness of that first day. They become slow, unresponsive and unreliable. The operating system becomes saturated as programs are added and deleted incompletely. Behind are drivers and all kinds of waste in the OS. Your hard drive ends up filled with forgotten files. Programs create large blocks of cache that we don’t know of.

At a certain point, our full hard drive drowns when the operating system tries to run. The outdated drivers stop working correctly. Toolbars and other junk plug-ins can make our browsers unusable. It is then when you need the best free pc optimizer.

We often consider buying a new PC in two scenarios. When our computers become so run down that we can’t even use Microsoft Word. Also, when Steam games lose the speed and efficiency we were accustomed to. It’s a drastic decision that is usually unnecessary. Instead, you can get a “like the first day” performance for a dozen dollars.

You will no longer spend hundreds or thousands, thanks to a relatively inexpensive tool: a PC optimization utility.

What is an optimization utility?

Rememeber your computer at it’s peak performance? That’s what an optimization utily can do: analyse your system, find and solve problems. It can perform various functions including hard disk defragmentation, repairing the Windows Registry and eliminating duplicate, unusable files.

Some tune-up utilities perform only those basic functions, while more elaborate ones add numerous features that improve your computer in many other ways. Many of the utilities automatically fetch new drivers, shred, schedule and backup automatically.

Advantages of use

An optimization utility can perform a variety of tasks to keep your computer running smoothly.  Below is a list of some of the possible fixes and enhancements that can be made to your computer:

  • Optimize the computer’s registry
  • Increase Internet connectivity speed
  • Reduce Hard drive fragmentation (especially for non-SSD drives)
  • Increase overall computer operation speed
  • Reduce the overall computer boot time
  • Optimize various system settings otherwise unknown to end-users
  • Fix generic computer errors resulted from use of faulty software
  • Update system drivers and provide overall performance reports

As we use a computer, it keeps a series of temporary files and configurations. In the long run, they cause the processor to start slow, inadequately and even show us all kinds of errors. Although Windows usually has a series of individual functions to optimize its performance, in many cases, it’s necessary to resort to a PC optimizer.

How to choose a good PC optimizer?

First of all, you will need to ask yourself what do you need it for.

  • Can it optimize your Internet connection speed?
  • Does it make back-ups?
  • Can you defragment your drives with it?
  • Does it analyze your hardware?
  • Can it remove bloatware?
  • Is it user friendly?

Recommendations for the best free PC optimization software

System Mechanic

This has a freeware and Pro version and is one of the most highly rated PC optimization programs for Windows. The Pro version includes some more advanced modules with anti-virus, internet connection tweaker, Windows customization and search and recovery tools.

System Mechanic has an intuitive UI design that includes most of the software’s tools and options within a left sidebar. It gives you a system status overview that highlights things that need fixing, such as registry issues, junk files or fragmented hard drive.

With the software’s startup manager users can remove the software that starts up when your computer turns on, to speed up boot times. In addition, you can also speed up Windows with System Mechanic’s RAM optimizer that defrags RAM. It can fix invalid registry entries, and that also comes with backup and restore options. Other tools: fixes invalid shortcuts, repair internet connections and defrag hard disks.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer

This software is a stripped down version of WinOptimizer 14, which has more extensive file management and system maintenance tools.

WinOptimizer Free has Drive Cleaner, Registry Optimizer and Internet Cleaner tools for system maintenance. It also has a useful shortcut to run those tools simultaneously.  WinOptimizer’s Startup-Tuner is another system maintenance tool with which you can disable Windows services and edit startup items.

You can schedule an optimization runs and save the most frequently used modules in Favorites for quicker access. In addition, you can split up, encrypt and recover files. It also includes handy Windows customization and file management tools.

CCleaner

You can use this software to free up hundreds of megabytes of disk space, remove software, manage startup items and repair possible errors.

The freeware version of CCleaner lacks some of the file recovery,scheduling and disk defragmentation tools included in the Professional Plus package, but it still has a few useful options.

CCleaner’s primary tools are its flexible hard disk and registry cleaners, which you can configure to delete a variety of more specific file and registry items. You can also select specific folders or files to either delete or exclude from system scans and clean up third party software file items.

WinUtilities Free

It’s an all-in-one PC optimizer with a freeware and Pro edition.  The UI design of both editions is very similar, but the File Undelete, Task Scheduler and Duplicate Files Finder only work in the Pro version, which also has free technical support.

WinUtilities Free has 25 modules that consist of PC optimization, clean up and repair, files & folders, registry and other system tools. Users can select Registry Defrag, Disk Defrag, Startup Cleaner, RAM optimizer and BHO (Browser Helper Objects) Remover tools.

Also, the software includes a Disk Cleaner to remove junk data, Registry Cleaner to fix invalid registry entries, Shortcut Fixer and Uninstall Manager. In addition, registry tools can split and merge files, analyze disk space, back up the registry and remove and restore context menu options.

Most of the clean up and defrag tools are incorporated in an 1-Click Maintenance option.

What is our recommended solution?

If you want to make a comparison between the software described above and our own optimization tool, jv16 PowerTools, you can read more on the blog. There, you can find extensive benchmark reports that will shed a light on the best free PC optimization software.