CNET Editors\' review by: Seth Rosenblatt on April 25, 2011
Advanced SystemCare Free 4 wants to be it all when it comes to keeping your system clean. It gives you a wealth of tools, rolling many of parent company IOBit\'s better-known system utilities--or at least those utilities\' engines--into one convenient package.
The program\'s Quick Care option includes the ability to clean your Registry, perform a rudimentary malware scan, fix and remove broken shortcuts, delete junk files, and erase browsing tracks. It\'s no accident that to make the process even faster, with even less of a need for user input, that you can configure it to run on system start-up.
The Deep Care option adds several features to Quick Care. These include a deeper Registry clean, disk defragmenting, a \"Windows vulnerability fix\" and a \"Passive Defense\" that don\'t readily define what they do, and a system optimization option with several optimization presets. Advanced SystemCare Free has a fantastic range of features, but its Quick Care options are most transparent with how they\'ll affect your computer. Fortunately, the program\'s log records all of its activities. We\'d just like to find out how a program like this is going to change our computer before it effects those changes.
Scan times will vary depending on which options you choose, although we found a Deep Care scan with all the options activated to be blazingly fast. It completed in less than 10 minutes, which isn\'t a long time for a system-invasive program like this. Much of the performance is owed to the new scanning engine, which can fix up to 10 problems simultaneously. The previous version could only handle eight.
There are a several new skins in version 4, along with a new performance-monitoring bar so you can more readily observe and gauge the program\'s progress. The Utilities section has been replaced with IOBit Toolbox integration, which is sort of confusing. Some of the options take you to IOBit\'s program download page, such as the Disk Defragmenter options. Other choices simply open a power user\'s configuration window.
One part of the program we recommend new users avoid, or at least use with extreme caution: the Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost will disable core system services in an attempt to accelerate your computer\'s performance. Some of these include Windows Update and keyboard hot keys, and we wish that this section of the program was more explicit about how it can affect your computer.
To its credit, though, Advanced SystemCare Free includes a Rescue point creation tool, so it\'s not hard to undo changes if you\'ve had the foresight to make a rescue point. A smaller problem is that some of the program\'s options open in new windows, while others open in the same window. Those in the same window have convenient back-navigation buttons in the upper left; those in new windows are sometimes overlaid directly on top of the previous window and make it hard to see how to return to the previous screen.
Overall, we like Advanced SystemCare Free\'s toolset, performance, and convenience, yet still wish the program was more explicit about how it changes your computer.