PROS / The app improved our boot-up speed by 28 percent, on average.
CONS / Of the Windows utility software we reviewed, it's the most difficult software to use for a novice.
VERDICT / Pointstone's System Cleaner provided an overall improvement of just 9 percent in our tests, but the boot-up speed improved by 28 percent, which was the best improvement in our tests.
System Cleaner 7 is developed by Pointstone Software, which has been providing other types of system utility software since 1996. System Cleaner is a suite of optimization tools designed to improve your PC's performance and maintain PC health. While our tests showed that the overall improvement to PC performance is minimal, the improvement to boot-up speed was impressive. In addition, it's the only PC cleaner app in our review with a perfect diagnostic consistency score. For these reasons, System Cleaner earns the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for the best PC system utility software.
To evaluate each PC system utility app in our review, we tested how well each product improved our test PC, which we set up to be frustratingly slow. We used PCMark 8 to benchmark the test PC's performance, both before and after optimization.
Since a PC's performance represents many different factors, the benchmarking tested word and data processing, graphics processing, web browsing and video chat quality. In each round of testing, we used every available optimization tool designed to improve performance. We also tested the boot-up speed and diagnostic consistency.
After all our tests, System Cleaner improved our test PC's performance by an average of 9 percent, which was above average but still 3.5 percent below the best-performing PC cleaner app. Regardless, even a 12.5 percent improvement is not noticeable without benchmarking software. As such, you can't expect a major boost to your PC's speed. That said, our results are indicative, and you may experience different results.
The most impressive improvement was to the boot-up speed, which increased by 28 percent. This was the best improvement in our tests. In addition, it's a significant improvement you'll notice right away. For example, if it takes your computer a minute to boot up, this app could decrease that time by almost 17 seconds. For this alone, it's worth your consideration.
On average, System Cleaner cleared out 450MB of additional storage space after utilizing the optimization tools. This wasn't impressive, but at least it was positive. Many of the utility software we tested decreased storage space after optimization.
System Cleaner is one of only two PC system utility software suites in our review with a 100 percent diagnostic consistency score. We determined this score by scanning the test PC and fixing all the issues it identified. Then we scanned it again. The PC optimization app shouldn't find additional errors immediately after fixing them. Unfortunately, many of these types of apps consistently either miss issues or exaggerate issues to make you feel like the app is working. With this app, however, it did what it was supposed to do.
Perhaps the biggest downside to System Cleaner is the ease of use, which received a D in our evaluation. Most intermediate users aren't likely to find the interface very difficult to navigate but novice users will. However, the installation received a B+ for ease of use, which means that even novice users won't find it difficult to install.
The app also lacks some of the common convenience features, such as driver statistics, process manager, and a physical memory failure monitor.
System Cleaner's list of advanced optimization tools is comprehensive, lacking only file encryption, which is a minor security feature shared by only a few PC utility apps.
With System Cleaner, you can back up and restore your entire system. You can recover accidentally deleted files. You can repair shortcuts and registry issues. It also features a security and privacy optimization tool. This product is excellent for more advanced users that like to dive deeper into workings of their computer.
Help & Support
If you're concerned about adequate help and support, you might find Pointstone disappointing. The software comes with three computer licenses, which means you can install it on three computers.
However, there is no phone and live chat support. There's not even an email address. You have to fill out a support ticket. The service provides a FAQs page, which is fairly extensive and answers most of the common concerns you are likely to encounter.
Pointstone's System Cleaner is among the best PC system utility software apps in our review. While the 9 percent overall improvement it produced in our tests wasn't significant, the app improved our test PC's boot-up speed by 28 percent, which was the highest in our tests. It was also one of the only PC cleaner apps in our review with a perfect diagnostic consistency score, which means you can trust it to diagnose and fix what it says it can.