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Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free Review (August 2019)

All in all a great tool which has the benefit of being completely free to use. It also comes configured ready to run meaning the majority of users will be able to install and benefit from the software within a matter of minutes.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free Review

Features - 86%
Usability - 89%
Security - 90%
Support - 93%
Pricing - 100%

92%

Very Good

All in all a great tool which has the benefit of being completely free to use. It also comes configured ready to run meaning the majority of users will be able to install and benefit from the software within a matter of minutes.

ashampoo-review-logo

WinOptimizer Free

Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free is a great addition to any PC! Borrowing many of the great cleaning tools from its premium sibling it provides a fast and free way of keeping your PC running at top speed!

Of course, with this been the free version of possibly the most powerful system cleaner on the market it is naturally lacking some functionality in certain areas, namely automation and scheduling. This means this free version of WinOptimizer is much more suited to those looking for a more simplified cleaning tool which need to be run ad-hoc by the user of the PC!

*** Read my review on the fully featured WinOptimizer 17 by clicking here ***

Features

  • Well designed, powerful and easy to use PC optimisation software
  • Extensive web browser cleaning and privacy features
  • Powerful system analyser and benchmarking tools
  • Useful file tools including encryption tools and the “undeleter”
  • Built in statistics module (see the extent of the tools efforts for yourself)
  • Lacking the powerful real-time cleaning modes
  • Lacking the Game Boost performance module
  • lacking the powerful scheduling engine
  • Lacking the powerful 1 click optimisation module
  • Ideal as a low cost (free) occasional cleaning tool
  • Excellent free tool given the features on offer!

Usability

WinOptimizer Free is based upon the excellent WinOptimizer 17 and as such shares many of the great cleaning tools in addition to the solid and easy to navigate user interface.

Overall it provides a great feature set for a free tool and is very much a serious competitor to other popular and free cleaning tools such as the ever popular CCleaner!

winoptimizer free main home screen image

It is however important to note this is a cut-down version of WinOptimizer 17 and as such some of the tools found in the premium version are missing here. Having said this the main tools missing are mainly the real-time cleaning tools, the game boost mode and the ability to schedule cleaning, this means as a manual cleaning tool WinOptimizer Free is still a very powerful tool and worthy of a review in its own right!

Cleaning:

Upon opening WinOptimiser you will be met by the main cleaning home screen, it is from here that the main system analysis scan can be performed and the main system cleaning done.

To start the cleaning process simply click on “Analyze” and let the tool do its work scouting out multiple areas of your PC to help free up disk space, remove browser history, enhance privacy and free up otherwise wasted system resources.

winoptimizer free analysis done on home screen

Whilst all of the main features are available to give your system a good clean you will notice a couple of options are unavailable including the ability to clean unnecessary registry entries and the cleaning of unnecessary files. Whilst in my own opinion not cleaning the registry usually doest cause too much trouble the ability to clean temporary files (including the flash cache and temporary user files) might mean some, more heavy users should consider upgrading to the full version of the software.

winoptimizer free locked tools homescreen

Freeing up disk space is an important function of any system cleaning utility and in this regard WinOptimizer Free edition does a very decent job. Again it must be said that some of the most powerful drive and registry cleaning tools are only available in the full version so if you find you do need a more thorough clean after running the free version it might be worth also trying the premium version of the tool (check out our review here)!

Freeing up disk space is an important function of any system cleaning utility and in this regard WinOptimizer Free edition does a very decent job. Again it must be said that some of the most powerful drive and registry cleaning tools are only available in the full version so if you find you do need a more thorough clean after running the free version it might be worth also trying the premium version of the tool (check out our review here)!

winoptimizer free locked drive cleaning tools screen

One of the other things I really like about WinOptimizer is the ability to fine tune the software to clean exactly how I want it to. Many users, including myself often have specific cleaning requirements and certain items (for example, FireFox cookies) which might need to be excluded form any cleaning process. Fortunately, thank to the excellent settings menu this is easy to specify with WinOptmizer Free meaning you can get the level of cleaning you really need form this tool.

winoptimizer free settings screen

Once you have configured the tool to clean how you need it to one of the biggest drawbacks of the free edition is the lack of automation, scheduling and real-time cleaning tools. For many users this wont be too much of an issue and the ability to manually run a scan every now and then will be enough, for others however the lack of power offered by theses tools will be an issue resulting in a certain amount of lost cleaning.

The scheduling and “one-click” cleaning tool in particular are two excellent features found only in the premium version and help make keeping you PC cleaned to your specific requirements a fully automated process!

PC Tuning:

Several very powerful PC optimisation tools are included with WinOptimizer Free including modules for optimising the number of running processes, removing unwanted programs and also mitigating the impact of programs which run automatically during the booting of your PC.

winoptimizer free improve performance tools

Unfortunately the excellent automation tools found in the premium version including “Auto-Clean “Live-Tuner” and “Game-Booster” are not present in WinOptimizer Free. Whilst this might not be an issue for some people I have found having my PC automatically cleaned and optimised does make a reasonable difference and the PC runs smoother as a result. Not for everyone but definitely worth considering if you have an older PC or wish to maximise PC resources forrunning games or other demanding applications.

winoptimizer free automatic tools screen

*** If you want ot learn more about the missing real-time optimisation tools please see my review of WinOptimiser 17 by clicking here ***

Privacy:

Privacy is something Ashampoo have taken very seriously whilst developing WinOptimizer Free and just like its sibling the tool does not disappoint in this department.

Whilst for obvious reasons some of the other, more specialist cleaning tools have been included only in the premium version the tools for removing browsing history as well as encrypting and shredding of files remain. This means for most casual users not only is a good clean and performance boost possible but also the ability to main a good level of privacy on what might be a shared or office based PC still exists.

It is also nice to see the Windows 10 Privacy tool remains which, harping back to my full review of WinOptimizer 17 is a very powerful tool providing convenient access to securely configure all sensitive areas of a Windows install all in one place.

As can be see from the screen shot below the tool looks at several key areas of a Windows 10 configuration and for each area allows for easy configuration of the settings which might compromise security. For example, we can specify which applications can access Windows telemetry and location data, which apps can have access to the internet and to other networks such as Bluetooth as well as disabling specific hardware such as use of the webcam!

winoptimizer win 10 privacy settings

What’s important to note here is that whilst these settings can be changed without this tool the convenience in bringing them all together in one place and giving an explanation of each is of great value in my opinion. Bringing all of this together in one easy to use tool helps users easily understand what their current privacy levels are and adjust them accordingly making for a more secure PC!

AntiSpy Anti-Spyware Tool:

The AntiSpy tool further enhances the privacy configuration of your system by allowing control over key services which could allow user privacy to be compromised. This includes often overlooked areas such as automatically submitting error reports, script execution settings and media player meta-data services.

winoptimizer free antispy settings screen

Other Useful Tools

Aside from the core cleaning, performance tuning and privacy tools WinOptimizer Free offers many other built in tools to help manage and monitor you system, some of the notable ones include:

System Information:

Useful for quickly gaining insight into your PC hardware specifications and the specifications of any attached peripherals.

winoptimizer free system information screen

System Benchmark:

The system benchmark tool shows a brief overview of the PCs hardware and allows a full system benchmark to be established.

winoptimizer free system benchmark screen

Context Menu Manager:

A useful tool for slimming down you context menus by removing unnecessary entries.

winoptimizer free context menu screen

Security

As well as helping to remove junk, increase disk space and improving performance of your PC WinOptimizer Free also helps boost the security of your PC. This is in the form of specialist tools providing file encryption / decryption, secure deletion and ADS (alternate data streams) tools.

winoptimizer free security settings screen

The ADS tool in particular is an interesting and useful addition to the Free edition which checks for hidden information attached to files potentially helping to prevent malware.

Support

Ashampoo have a great website and provide a comprehensive Q&A section which handles most problems you might encounter. Should you still need to get in touch with a support representative you can submit support tickets online.

Pricing

Ashampoo Free is suprisingly free! The fully functional WinOptimiser 17 is priced at $39.99 per PC however you can obtain a special discount should you wish to upgrade by using this link!

Summary

WinOptimizer Free is a great system optimisation tool with plenty of cleaning and configuration options, it also comes configured ready to run meaning the majority of users will be able to install and benefit from the software within a matter of minutes.

Whilst an excellent tool in its own right I need to be clear the scheduling and real-time performance tools are found only in the premium version so the upgrade will still definitely be worth considering for most users!

All in all a great tool, thoroughly recommended for users seeking an easy to use, free and still very powerful tool for keeping PCs clean!

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