Improves a PC's boot lime and overall feel. Deletes junk files. No license limitations. Deep system scan and repair. Real-time system monitoring.
Potentially confusing app branding.
- Bottom Line
The overhauled AVG TuneUp keeps your Windows PCs in tip-top shape, and now offers unlimited licenses. It's a top choice among tune-up utilities.
If your PC isn't running as smoothly as it did when you first took it out of the box, the likely culprit is a fragmented hard drive, an overabundance of junk files, a Windows Registry in disarray, or a combination of those ills. AVG TuneUp improves your computer's performance by digging deep into the system to perform many duties, including removing junk files, uninstalling unneeded programs, and defragmenting your hard drive. Even better, you can now install the tune-up utility on as many computers as you'd like. AVG Tuneup packs a wonderful one-two punch of effectiveness and value that makes it a new Editors' Choice for tune-up utilities.
//Compare Similar Products
What's in AVG's Suite?
The centerpiece of the overhauled AVG TuneUp suite ($49.99 per year) is AVG PC TuneUp, but it also includes apps for Android and Mac. Unlike the Windows utility, however, the Android and Mac utilities are branded as AVG Cleaner. The branding is somewhat confusing; I often mixed up AVG TuneUp the package and AVG PC TuneUp the utility as I wrote this review. In fact, you can't purchase AVG PC TuneUp as a standalone application; you must buy the overall AVG TuneUp suite to get it. Note that while I considered the other components, the bulk of my testing for this review focused on AVG PC TuneUP.
AVG Cleaner for Android lets you clean up junk files and identifies resource-hungry apps that may negatively impact your device's performance, while AVG Cleaner for Mac finds and removes duplicate and hidden junk files. You also get, as part of the suite, the AVG Zen Android app, which lets you initiate a PC tune-up from your Android smartphone when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. And I did so without any hiccups. It's a very cool feature.
Like Editors' Choice winner Iolo System Mechanic, AVG PC Tuneup can be installed on as many devices as you'd like. This is a big, money-saving benefit in multi-device households, as you no longer have to pay for additional licenses for all your systems, which used to be the case.
AVG's other new feature is the Automatic Software Update, which automatically downloads patches and adds fresh capabilities for TuneUp. On a related note, TuneUp also automatically downloads updates for dozens of other popular programs, including, Firefox, VLC Media Player, and WinZip. In my testing, AVG TuneUp detected that Shrew Soft Lightweight Filter was not working correctly due to an outdated driver. Clicking the Open icon launched AVG Driver Updater (an app installed as part of the AVG TuneUp download), which found the up-to-date driver for me.
What's Under the Hood
AVG PC TuneUp's panel-driven interface contains five main sections: Maintenance, Speed Up, Free Up Space, Fix Problems, and All Functions. Each panel has a useful, clearly defined function that's easy to understand. The Zen Dashboard, which is the app's default screen, displays your other AVG TuneUp-enabled devices, the number of problems detected, and the tools designed to repair them. At the top of the window is a circle-shaped meter that fills as you complete the steps needed to whip your PC into shape. I found it a handy way to stay on top of the maintenance process as I cleaned up my test system.
One of the tools is Duplicate Finder, which identifies duplicate files and lets you exclude file types (for example, DOC or XLS) from duplicate file searches in case you don't want them removed. AVG PC Tuneup also has cleaning definitions (instructions that let the program safely remove files) for several high-profile programs, including Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Avast Pro Antivirus, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, as well as nearly 200 other programs. These definitions help the remove data that gets left behind after you uninstall programs. The Live Optimization real-time system monitor keeps an eye on resource loads and boosts or throttles down programs as needed to keep the PC running smoothly. You can also disable programs that you rarely use from loading as your PC boots, thus reducing your computer's start-up time.
AVG PC TuneUp is more than a basic PC clean-up application, however. It also contains many other functions, including file backup and recovery, file deletion, Windows customization, and battery-life settings. Some of these features duplicate native Windows functionality, but it's still convenient to have them in one central location.
The Cleanup Process
Should you pull the trigger on a license purchase, you'll find AVG PC TuneUp incredibly easy to use. After you fire up the program, you're prompted to run a system scan that digs up Registry and defragmentation problems, as well as other issues. Then it's time to explore the tune-up utility's many features.
Clicking Show Details beneath each problem count takes you to a new screen that describes the problems in everyday language. Clicking the Run Maintenance button cleans up the mess. In my testing, it eliminated all the listed problems on my test PC.
I returned to the home screen after that task was completed, where I noticed that the optimization meter was at 50 percent. Anxious to see it hit 100 percent, I began exploring AVG PC TuneUp's other options that freed up disk space, repaired a handful of problems, and offered solutions to protect my test PC (such as installing a firewall). The optimization meter is a good way to encourage users to really dig into getting their PCs shipshape.
I tested AVG PC TuneUp's ability to reinvigorate a PC by performing two tests—running the Geekbench system performance tool and measuring boot times—before and after running the software to compare the computer's potency. I ran each test three times and averaged the results. Before AVG PC TuneUp scrubbed the system, my 2GHz Intel Core i7 X990 Style-Note notebook with 4GB of RAM and an 80GB Intel SSD drive achieved a 5,914 Geekbench score and booted in 50.3 seconds.
After I ran AVG PC TuneUp, the system saw improved performance. The GeekBench performance score rose to 6,274—very close to Iolo System Mechanic's category-leading 6,299 score. My testbed's boot time decreased to just 30.9 seconds, which is also on par with Iolo System Mechanics 14's 31.7-second mark.
After running the tests, I used the computer extensively to get a sense of how the app had changed the responsiveness of the machine. AVG PC TuneUp delivered a noticeable performance improvement; the entire OS moved at a snappier pace even with Steam and iTunes open.
All Tuned Up
AVG TuneUp and Iolo System Mechanic both delivered excellent results in my speed tests, with category leader Iolo delivering only slightly better numbers. AVG's multi-platform package and its ability to remotely initiate a tune up easily makes up the difference, however. You can install it on as many compatible devices as you wish (as you can with Iolo), which makes it a great choice for a household with multiple devices to protect. AVG TuneUp is an excellent system-enhancing tool, one that's more than worthy of a PCMag Editors' Choice award for tune-up utilities.
Other AVG System & Performance
By Jeffrey L. Wilson Senior Analyst, Software
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out Web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey mentors, practices Jeet Kune Do, blogs, podcasts, and speaks at the occasional con. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys… More »
More Stories by Jeffrey L.
- Fire Pro Wrestling World Finds a Perfect Home on PC
A game that heavily leans on community customization is destined for great things on the PC. More »
- NBA Playgrounds (for PC)
Saber Interactive's NBA Jam-a-like delivers monster dunks and a novel leveling system that enables t… More »
- Nintendo Switch Has My Gaming PC Covered in Dust
I'll return to my beast rig in the future, but Nintendo Switch is my go-to platform at the moment. More »