Pros / It improved boot-up speed by 44.08 percent in our tests.
Cons / The support lacks adequate contact options.
Verdict / System Mechanic won't make your PC significantly faster, but it is the easiest app for running simple PC maintenance.
Developed by iolo technologies, System Mechanic is a full suite of PC system utility tools. Each tool is designed to optimize and maintain your computer's performance, and the interface facilitates this in one easy-to-use app. In our tests, System Mechanic was among the best-performing PC cleaners, but the design is where it stands out, which is why it's our pick for easiest PC system utility.
To find the best PC tune-up software, we wanted to see how well each product improved an old and frustratingly slow computer. We used PCMark 8 to run benchmark tests to gauge the computer’s overall performance both before and after optimization. The benchmarking tests looked at word and data processing, graphics processing, web browsing and video chat quality.
We also benchmarked the boot-up speed improvement and looked closely at the app's diagnostic consistency. We performed multiple rounds of testing on each product to account for variables.
- Overall Improvement
- Boot Up Speed Improvement
- Word & Data Processing Improvement
- Video Chat Quality Improvement
System Mechanic's overall improvement to our test computer was 8.59 percent. This wasn't the best overall improvement, which was about 12.62 percent. On a positive note, it was about 4 percent above average. However, it's worth noting that even the 12.62 percent improvement is too little in most areas for it to be noticeable. In fact, our test computer ranked in the bottom 12 percent of computers in the PCMark 8 tests both before and after optimization. In other words, even the best PC system utility software won't make your computer run like new.
Most facets of performance were only improved by milliseconds – word and data processing was improved by just 2.87 percent while graphics processing was improved by 5.79 percent. However, web browsing and video chat didn't improve at all.
Ease of Use
System Mechanic improved boot-up speed by 44.08 percent, which was significant. However, when using the computer’s own startup manager, which is found in the control panel, we were able to achieve a 42-percent improvement.
The best part of System Mechanic startup optimizer is the user feedback. Every app is rated by users on how important it is, which allows you to make an educated guess when removing apps from the startup menu. This is important because disabling some apps can have a drastic impact on overall performance, while other apps are unnecessary.
The best feature of System Mechanic is the ease of use, which received an A in our comparison. The interface is easy to navigate, the help section is easy to find, every tool has explanations, and the errors have priority levels. This all makes it easy for even novice computer uses to use the software effectively. While you can't expect this app to turn a slow computer into a fast one, it is an excellent maintenance tool for users that are unfamiliar with the Windows control panel.
System Mechanic didn't have a great diagnostic consistency. In past reviews, it was one of the few products with a perfect consistency, but in this round of testing the consistency was disappointing. We'd scan for errors, fix the errors and scan again only to find even more errors. Sometimes system repair software is designed to make you think its finding more errors than it actually finds, increasing the feeling that it’s really fixing your computer. We can't say for sure if this is the case with System Mechanic, but it's worth considering.
System Mechanic is loaded with advanced features. While you can scan and fix errors with one click, the advanced tools allow you to dive deeper into how your PC's system works so you can customize it to fit your needs.
You can back up and restore your system, recover accidentally deleted files, repair shortcuts and the registry, defragment hard drives, optimize a solid-state drive, and optimize your PC's security. The only advanced tool it lacks is file-encryption, but only a few PC system utility apps feature this tool.
Help & Support
The biggest downside to System Mechanic is iolo's support. While you can contact support by phone, the software developer lacks email support and live chat. You have to submit support claims through a ticket system.
During our testing, we submitted two claim tickets and have never received a response. On a positive note, the license comes with unlimited installations, which means you can install it on as many computers as you own. In addition, the company’s website includes a FAQs page with detailed answers to common questions and issues.
System Mechanic is the easiest PC system repair software to use, which is why we recommend it to novice users looking for basic maintenance. That said, it's not going to turn your slow computer into a fast one, as it only improved our computer by about 9 percent.