PROS / This app improved boot-up speed 32.5 percent.
CONS / The support lacks adequate contact options.
VERDICT / System Mechanic 16 is the best system repair software because it performed better than all the other products we reviewed and it's loaded with features.
Developed by iolo technologies, System Mechanic 16 is a full suite of system repair software designed to optimize and maintain your PC's performance. The sleek interface facilitates this in one easy-to-use app. In our tests, System Mechanic produced the highest overall improvement, the highest boot-up speed improvement and the most consistent diagnostic scanning. For these reasons, System Mechanic 16 earns the Top Ten Review Gold Award for best system repair software.
To test system repair software, we started by deliberately setting up our test computer so that it was very slow. Then we used PCMark 8 to benchmark the performance of word and data processing, graphics processing, web browsing and video chat quality. This showed us just how slow the test computer was performing at various tasks. Then we used every available optimization tool that System Mechanic 16 offers and benchmarked the test computer again. This allowed us to gauge the improvement to performance made by the system repair software.
Throughout the process, we also measured improvements to boot-up speed and diagnostic consistency. To ensure the results weren't isolated and to account for variables, we performed multiple rounds of these tests. As such, all of these results are averages from these tests. Since every computer is unique, you could experience different results, so you should treat these results as indicative and not definitive.
After all of our tests, System Mechanic's average overall improvement to our test computer was 12.5 percent. The good news is that this was a 2.5-percent improvement over the second-best product. The bad news is the improvement is too little to notice without benchmarking software. Most facets of our test computer's performance were only improved by milliseconds. For example, web browsing and video chat improved by less than 2 percent. Graphics processing improved 3.89 percent while word and data processing improved 6 percent.
To really notice that your computer is faster, you need an overall improvement of at least 20 percent. As such, even though System Mechanic may improve your PC's performance better than other system repair software, you shouldn't expect it to boost your PC's performance dramatically. If your computer is slow, it'll likely to still be slow. Still, a 12.5-percent improvement is a good indication of PC maintenance. And that's worth your consideration.
The best feature of System Mechanic 16's system improvement was the boot-up speed. By using the startup optimizer tool, we were able to improve the startup speed by 32.5 percent, which was the best improvement in our tests. To put this into perspective, a 32.5-percent improvement on a minute startup time is almost 20 seconds. So if the startup of your PC is really slow, this can definitely improve that situation.
System Mechanic 16's diagnostic tool is exceptional. It is one of only two system repair apps that scored a perfect 100 percent diagnostic consistency rate. This rate was measured by scanning our test computer for issues, fixing the issues and scanning the computer again. If the app is truly finding and fixing the issues that it claims, then it won't recognize any issues on the second scan, as was the case with System Mechanic. We performed almost 30 rounds of this test, which makes the perfect consistency rate even more impressive. Many of the products we tested were marginally inconsistent, and some were egregiously inconsistent.
Another plus for System Mechanic is the ease of use, which received an A. The updated interface is well designed and easy to navigate, even for novice users. Each tab has collapsible descriptions for each tool and feature so you know exactly how to use it. In addition, the startup manager has priority levels given to each startup program so you whether you can safely disable an app or not.
System Mechanic features a bevy of advanced tools. While the interface allows you to scan and fix issues with a single click, the advanced tools provide you with the opportunity to dive deeper into your computer's system.
You can back up and restore your entire system. You can recover accidentally deleted files. There's a repair shortcuts tool and a registry optimizer. You can defragment and optimize hard drives. It's also one of the few PC repair apps with a solid-state drive optimizer.
The only advanced tool it lacks is a file-encryption tool, but only a few PC system utility apps feature this tool. File encryption is a handy tool for ensuring that you're the only one who can access your files, but it isn't necessary, especially if you feel like your data is secure enough.
Help & Support
The biggest disappointment with System Mechanic is iolo's support. While you can contact the company by phone for quick help, iolo lacks email support and live chat. Instead, you have to submit support claims through a ticket system, which can be confusing to fill out. We submitted two separate claim tickets and never received a response prior to this review.
On a positive note, iolo allows you to install System Mechanic as many times as you want. Instead of limiting installations to one computer, your license covers a 12-month service period. As long as the service period is active, you can install it on as many devices as you wish. In addition, the site includes a FAQs page with detailed answers to common questions and issues.
System Mechanic 16 is the best system repair software in our review because it produced the best overall improvements and boot-up speeds. After all our tests, this app outperformed every other system repair suite. It improved our computer by 12.5 percent and improved boot-up speed by an impressive 32.5 percent. In addition, the diagnostic consistency was perfect, even after nearly 30 rounds of testing. When you combine this with the exceptionally easy interface and the many advanced tools, it's clearly one of the best choices for PC repair software.