Fix and Optimize Your PC with Free Glary Utilities

Category: Software

Many of my readers have recommended the free Glary Utilities suite of computer maintenance tools, so I decided a review was in order. Glary Utilities does all the maintenance chores that you'd expect to find in such a package, is free for personal use, and throws in some non-standard functions as well. Here's the scoop on what Glary does well, its limitations and some pointers to other 'one-click fix' tools...

Review: Glary Utilities

Glarysoft’s Glary Utilities is a popular system maintenance toolkit for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. It is free for personal use, and CNET ranks it #1 in their Utilities category. Glary Utilities does all the maintenance chores that you’d expect to find in such a package, and throws in some non-standard functions as well.

The program’s user interface is nice and clean. The “1-Click Maintenance” screen lets you select the maintenance functions to be run each time you click the “Scan for issues” button. Functions include a registry cleaner, invalid shortcuts fixer, temporary files cleaner, spyware and adware remover, and a couple of unusual entries.

A “startup manager” option supposedly “cleans up dangerous startup entries.” It didn’t find any on my system. I cannot find any documentation that explains what “dangerous startup entries” are or how Glary Utilities’ 1-Click Maintenance detects and neutralizes them. It seems reasonable to assume these undesirable startup entries would be either adware, spyware or malware. But Glary Utilities doesn't claim to remove viruses and other forms of malware.
Free Glary Utilities

There is a "Startup Applications" section on Glary's community site, which lists a variety of potential startup entries, ranging from harmless, to useless, to necessary, to varying degrees of dangerous. This could be a nice resource for the curious tinkerer who wants to find out what all those startup items are supposed to be doing. Just be aware that all the program descriptions and security ratings are submitted by users, who may or not have a clue.

The “Tracks Eraser” option eradicates your history, cookies, and other traces of your computing and online activities. Other programs do the same, but Glary Utilities gives you unusually fine control over which tracks you wish to erase. On the downside, it works only with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Given that the Google Chrome browser has eclipsed both IE and Firefox in popularity, it seems like a rather Glaring oversight.

Other PC Maintenance Tasks

The Modules tab provides access to all of Glary Utilities’ tools, organized into various categories.

“Clean Up & Repair” includes junk data deletion; registry cleanup; invalid shortcuts fixer; and an uninstall manager that provides more options than Windows’ Add/Remove Programs feature. (See also What's Hiding on Your Hard Drive?)

“Optimize & Improve” includes the startup program manager; a memory optimizer; registry defragmenter; and a context menu manager. The content menu manager lets you fine-tune which options are available when you right-click on a file or folder, a pretty neat feature.

“Privacy & Security” includes the Tracks Eraser; a file shredder; a file undelete utility; and a file encryption/decryption utility. (See also Free Tools to Recover Deleted Files.)

“Files & Folders” includes a disk space analyzer; a duplicate files finder; an empty folders finder; and file splitter/joiner utility.

“System Tools” include a process manager that monitors and optionally stops running processes; a system information tool; and an Internet Explorer add-on manager. This category also provides direct access to default Windows tools such as Check Disk, Disk Defragmenter, System Restore, System File Checker, and Backup.

A Free Lunch, But No Dinner...

The Glary Utilities freeware edition is for personal use, but does not include automatic background maintenance; you have to run the 1-Click Maintenance routine manually every time. When I downloaded the free version, the installer pre-checks several boxes that steer you in the direction of accepting a GlarySoft Toolbar, and funneling all your searches into Glary Search. My advice is to UNcheck all those boxes and just install the Glary Utilities without these options, which don't add any value. The Pro version ($27.95 as of this writing) runs automatically, comes with phone support, and is licensed for commercial use.

Glary has provided a nice set of free system maintenance tools, and many AskBob readers rave about this utility suite. I wouldn't rely on it as a general purpose anti-malware tool, but then it doesn't claim to fill that role. I'd recommend it without hesitation to anyone who wants to do the occasional tuneup on their PC. But there are similar tools you might want to try as well. See my related article Do Those 'Speed Up Your PC' Programs Really Work? for other options in the "speed up/clean up/system maintenance" genre.

Do you use Glary Utilities? Tell me about your experience with this or similar tools. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Fix and Optimize Your PC with Free Glary Utilities"

Posted by:

02 Oct 2012

I looked at Glary Utilities several years ago. They aren't very good. They have a free version that is not very good either. A much better free set of utilities is IOBit Toolbox. Dose a much better job of cleaning registry and uninstalling programs.

Posted by:

sky ryder
02 Oct 2012

Got to love your Glaring pun!! :-)

Posted by:

02 Oct 2012

I've never used Glary, so I don't know what all is available. But the one options that I always appreciate in these 'kinds' of tools is the option to run from a thumb-drive. When a friend has really messed up their computer and asks me to help because I'm the closest thing they have to a computer geek friend, that option is really helpful. E.g., CCleaner can be loaded on computer or ran from usb.

Posted by:

02 Oct 2012

Glary utilities ruined my computer. Lost most of the programs. Had to reformat my computer and start all over. Never again.

Posted by:

02 Oct 2012

Wow... what bad timing, as I just renewed my PCMatic subscription!

Posted by:

03 Oct 2012

I downloaded and ran Glary Utilities, and when done it wiped out much on my computer. All my files on the screen were still there. I had to go to Explorer to download Firefox again, and some of my entries were still there, some I have not seen yet.
I had to reset some of my passwords, maybe more to come.
I hope it did what it was supposed to do.
For a while I was looking at a blank screen.
Now it seems to be working again.

Posted by:

03 Oct 2012

Glary is also available on - Without the add-on packages.

Posted by:

03 Oct 2012

I have been using Glary Utilities for a long time without any problems. Of course I always have a backup in case something goes wrong. Better safe than sorry. I have been using the pro version for over a year and love it. I got it free from the giveawayoftheday site. As with any program you should always check what it is about to remove before cleaning. Great program.

Posted by:

03 Oct 2012

I've used Glary Utilities for several years and never had a problem with it.

Posted by:

computer repair services
04 Oct 2012

yes this is the best one software the Modules tab provides access to all of Glary Utilities’ tools, organized into various categories.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2012

I have used glary utilities for a few years now. I have it installed on about 10 computers, works on xp vista and 7. I like it because it is fast and easy to use. Never had any problems with it.

Posted by:

07 Oct 2012

After reading this article I gave the program a try. It works great! I am now using it everyday. Thanks Bob...

Posted by:

07 Oct 2012

I wish I had read the comments on Glary Utilities before I used it. It messed up my computer big time! I had to reinstall MSOfficeSuite, fixup my MagicJack and there are still more problems that I will have to pay to have fixed. Stay Away!

Posted by:

Bob Boysen
12 Jan 2015

Hi, Bob - enjoy much of the info you provide. I am having a major (at least to me) problem. I followed your reco for free glary and have used it for quite some time. They had a good offer recently for the paid version so I paid for it and installed. Wow!!! What a mistake that was. My PC got so messed up I could hardly do anything, including Windows Live Mail. Since the Glary install, I've been unable to send though I can still use Gmail. I'm planning to call Glary and cancel and, hopefully, get a refund.

I uninstalled Glary - had to go into safe mode to do it - and have since done a full recovery on the PC. Am still working out the kinks and have lost - temporarily - all my folders and files. I've used Carbonite for that but it's really slow getting restored. Very cumbersome. I'm planning to cancel that too and go back to the "Good ole portable hard drive" backup. Had I done that, I'd have all my folders now - what a drag losing your history!

I've Googled the problem with sending WLM and have tried almost every suggestion. Even uninstalled and reinstalled to no avail. Receive fine, try to send - get dialog box "Some errors occurred...more details." and "Connection to the server has failed."

I usually don't concede to these problems but I'm going to uninstall WLM permanently and advise all my contacts to use my Gmail address. At least that way I can reply to messages.

Thanks for the good info - I love learning new things. Fortunately for my PC, I do not own a gun.

Bob Boysen

Posted by:

14 Jun 2016

Very effective software, rapid scan, easy to use and free. Keeps your PC tide and clean. Suggested to all.

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

I've been using this program for years and have tried other's but Glarysoft is the best and it is free for personal use.

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