SlimCleaner: Social networking meets PC optimization

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If you think there’s no relationship between social networks and computer optimization then you’re wrong. SlimCleaner is a free, versatile PC tuneup utility that combines a powerful cleaning engine with software ratings and recommendations from users all around the world. Perhaps a tech-savvy user doesn’t rely on the opinions of others when it comes to apps and computer maintenance tasks, but for a beginner this info is solid gold.

Installation & Requirements

Because SlimCleaner was developed with accessibility in mind, it has one of the easiest installations I’ve ever come across. The setup is fully automated, downloading and installing the program with no user-performed settings needed.

SlimCleaner takes up very little space on the HDD (only 32 MB) and runs on many Windows operating systems from Windows 2000 to Windows 8.

Interface

SlimCleaner’s sleek interface offers the program features in an easy to navigate, tabbed approach. Cleaner, the first tab, lets you select which types of files, applications and system areas you want to select for analysis/cleanup. After making the selections you can either choose the Analyze option and view detected items before removal or use the AutoClean function and let the program tidy up your PC automatically.

The next tab is dedicated to optimization. Here you can see two tabs listing services and startup applications. For each listed item you can rate it, see the general user rating, cloud antivirus scan results, publisher, path and then there’s also the More Info option. Clicking it will open a new window displaying the information stored in the SlimCloud about that specific application or service. This is a community-based database and you’ll be able to decide whether you want to keep it or not based on the rating, information about what it does and reasons to keep it or not (depending on the case). If a listed item hasn’t been scanned yet with an antivirus, you have the option of uploading it to the cloud yourself.

The Browsers tab automatically detects your installed browsers and lets you see related plugins, extensions, ActiveX objects (IE) and Browser Helper Objects(IE). For all of these items, user-ratings and recommendations are also offered. Just like for the apps and services listed in the Optimize tab, removing an item listed in the Browsers tab can be undone from the Restore menu.

The Disk Tools section opens up a dedicated window where you can use a number of tools related to disk cleanup, defragmentation and data shredding. Here you can view a disk summary, analyze any partition and see the largest files, wipe disk data (all of it or free space only), shred files, defragment the disk (quick and full optimization modes) and find duplicate files.

Windows Tools offers shortcuts to some of the most commonly used tools of Windows OS such as Control Panel, Device Manager, System Information, Security and others.

The last module, Hijack Log, scans your computer and lists all startup entries, services, protocols, browser helper objects and other active items. The scan results can be displayed in Novice or Expert mode. In the Novice mode, you will not see Microsoft items, which are usually safe and removing them can actually damage the system. Expert mode, like its name states is reserved for IT professionals, since removing items without knowing what they do can actually harm your system.

Pros

– Automated installation with no manual settings.
– Clean, tabbed interface offers straightforward options.
– Cleaner function lets users select Windows, Applications, Browser, Registry and other data types and areas for analysis/cleanup.
– The Optimize module lists all installed applications along with cloud-based user ratings, software information and recommendations.
– The Browser tool detects installed browsers and lets you change their homepage and view & manage installed extensions, plugins and for IE also ActiveX objects, BHOs and toolbars.
– Disk Tools includes utilities for disk analysis, defragmentation, wiping, data shredding and finding duplicate files.
– Hijack log displayed in Expert or Novice modes.
– Built-in Scheduler for cleaning and scanning tasks.

Cons

– None worth mentioning.

Conclusion

SlimCleaner packs many useful features for system optimization and cleanup, although even individuals with little technical experience will not have a hard time going through the straightforward UI. Even more, the community ratings and feedbacks on software can ease up the PC maintenance tasks a lot for a beginner and reduce the possibility of removing useful items.