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TuneUp Utilities 2013 Review

TuneUp Utilities 2012 Review

For PC owners, wringing an extra iota of performance out of their gaming rig can be just as gratifying as surmounting a stage in a particularly strenuous game. Unfortunately, the task can often be just as challenging. From gurus who warn about tampering with Windows registry to snake oil-esque software solutions which often exhibit hundreds of false positives in an effort to exaggerate their effectiveness, PC maintenance is often beset by conflicting methodologies. Now in its eleventh iteration across a fifteen year span, the TuneUp utility suite has become one of the most reliable, effective, and innocuous tools to boost performance. While the recent release of TuneUp Utilities 2013 doesn’t match the functional leap flaunted by previous releases, those who haven’t purchased a tuning app in the past few years will likely find the program’s collection of tools to be remarkably beneficial.

Two of the most useful components of previous TuneUp iterations were the Live Optimization- which adjusted the priority of running programs, and the Program Deactivator, a tool that revealed any hidden applications stealing valuable CPU cycles. With TuneUp Utilities 2013 the two elements have been integrated into Live Optimization 2.0. Beyond giving you a visual representation of the encumbrance each installed program has on your system, Utilities allows users to instantly disable background processes without uninstalling programs. In execution, these enhancements were able to shorten the boot times on our test systems with reducing a bit of CPU load. While the Optimization component purported to monitor our system, giving precedence to the most frequently used programs, TuneUp did suggest completely disabling Firefox until we added an exception. Still, on an antiquated laptop that had difficulty displaying stutter-free 1080P video, Utilities appeared to give the aging machine a small boost.

TuneUp Utilities 2012 Review

The suite’s touted Browser Cleaner 2.0 worked as claimed removing superfluous Windows caches and components, broken shortcut links, recent document lists, as well as browser cookies stored in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. While the module is pleasingly fool-proofed- automatically preserving potential critical data such as log-in, form data, and backups of Windows update files, we found the tool only slightly more effective at removing reoccurring clutter than CCleaner. Alternatively, Disk Space Explorer did offer an illuminating graph revealing the files and folders which took up the largest space on internal and external drives and even displayed a scrolling table of each machine’s hundred most substantial space stealers.

The program’s Increase Performance element functioned as billed, identifying and hardware or software issues and optimizing internet setting and visual effects. On a machine with TuneUp Utilities 2012 installed and recently initiated, an analysis by this year’s version exposed no new optimization tips, suggesting not much has changed. Yet, for users who haven’t used TuneUp before, a bit of performance enhancement will likely be gleaned.

Naturally, TuneUp Utilities’ benefits are only effective if users commit to a regular cleaning regimen. While the toolset’s allows a group of vital tasks to be completed by running the 1-Click Maintenance component, pleasingly this can be set to automatically execute at regular intervals. Like last year’s iteration the incorporation of Turbo Mode temporarily turns off unessential programs and Windows’ visual flourishes to give machine a slight boost. In our PC Mark 7 benchmark tests, machines demonstrated a negligible, yet still palpable improvement in scores. For laptop users, Economy Mode performs a similar task, deactivating unessential applications in order to extend battery life.

Although TuneUp Utilities 13 isn’t a momentous advancement over its predecessor, there’s no denying the utilities effectiveness. On a variety of machines, the tools helped reduce boot, shutdown, and application load times, while reinvigorating Windows user interface, making habitual activities feel a bit snappier. The effect isn’t as noticeable while playing games, however TuneUp did increase the framerate a few units on a number of games, while Turbo mode gave an additional, albeit slight increase. While the utility suite is no replacement for a bleeding edge graphics card for those seeking a simple system tuning, TuneUp Utilities 2013 ranks as one of the best.

TuneUp Utilities 2012 Review

TuneUp Utilities 2013
TuneUp Software
$49.99/3 installations

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. I was just reading the new Maximum PC and they covered 6 or so optimizers (but not in as much depth). Don’t know why but they didn’t cover TuneUp. CCleaner got the nod.

  2. Just tried the 15 day demo. I don’t like that you have to sign up for the newsletter. Also, it tries to install AVG even if you already have virus protection.

  3. I’m sure this is good for older desktops and laptops. I bought an optimizer for my Intel Core i7 3960X beast and barely noticed a difference. Even with a few programs running I had to struggle (like render video) to get more than 50% processor use.

  4. Everyone should grab CCleaner. It’s free and doesn’t have ads. And then if you have the money get this or iolo System Mechanic.

    • Ive been using TuneUp Utilities for about 5 or 6 years now. It’s great, but here’s a tip: don’t buy it for $50 at launch. It always drops down in price a few months later to about $30.

  5. Does it come with any malware/virus removal? For some reason I’ve been getting crap on my PC like crazy recently by leaving it on at night.

  6. I’m trying the demo right now. Doesn’t seem radically different from 2012, at least not enough for the $30 upgrade.

  7. You should compare TuneUp to other cleaners.

  8. I need a tune up program for my laptop. The thing takes forever to boot up. Just opening Word takes a full minute.

  9. The graphics don’t look very interesting, the controls are clunky, and it ends on a cliffhanger. I give TuneUp a 2 out of 10. (In Sessler voice, of course)

  10. I ran TuneUp’s clean up after running CCleaner and it did pick up a few things.

    I do think TuneUp’s cleaner may be better, because CCleaner seems to wipe out the Steam cache. No big deal, but it does take longer for Steam to load. Of course, you can uncheck it.

  11. Thanks, good in-depth review!



    Thanks, I need something like this. Is there any discount of additional installs?

  13. Nice review. Thanks for not writing an encyclopedia. Shortish and sweet.

  14. So far I’m impressed by the trial. My computer feels faster and I timed boot time. 7 seconds saved.

  15. I’d avoid any kind of TuneUp. A fresh install every 6 months is the way to go. It’ll wipe out anything and get your PC running at top speed.

    • In theory that’s a good idea, but having to back up everything and reinstall all your app (finding serial numbers) is a headache. I’d rather just do regular maintenance.

    • If you have the extra time, it’s worth the trouble. Sadly, most people don’t.

  16. Your Mama's Armpit

    $50 is way too expensive for this.

  17. This actually helped my PC run faster. I was shocked that it worked. Boot time was improved as well.

  18. when I’m finished install Tune up and follow the instructions to get best performance on my laptop, I can’t run ‘Left 4 Dead 2’ game. Why is such things happened?