If you use a Windows PC then you almost certainly know the Avast brand name. Avast started out as the maker of a truly excellent free anti-virus solution, one that should be on every PC, including yours. The Avast anti-virus suite is available in free and premium versions, with the paid version providing some bells-and-whistles functionality; the free version is sufficient for most users. Avast also makes VPN software, anti-tracking tools, cloud tools and other programs for home and business. There is no question that the brand is solid and they make quality products.
That said, how about their PC tuneup package, Avast Cleanup Premium?
Avast Cleanup Premium is a system tune-up suite that says it can speed up your PC, free up disk space and fix small issues with your computer. Within the Antivirus app and the Performance tab, it says Avast Cleanup Premium can fix Junk Files, Redundant Apps, Inefficient System Settings and Obsolete Registry Entries.
Registry cleaners and tune-up utilities deservedly have something of a bad rap. We have all seen adware and phishing emails trying to get us to download such apps and have all (hopefully) avoided them like the plague. However, Avast is the real deal. It is not adware or malware and other than hopefully persuading you to buy the product, Avast has no nefarious intentions that we know of.
Avast Cleanup Premium
Avast Cleanup Premium is exactly what it says on the tin. A premium app for cleaning up your PC. It costs $49.99 per user per year, $89.99 for two years or $129.99 for three. That’s not cheap, although you can download a free trial to try it out.
In return for your money, you get a fully-featured PC maintenance program that works well, integrates with any other Avast products you may use and keeps your PC running lean. Features include:
Junk file remover – The app removes old files, empties the recycle bin, orphaned files left behind by uninstalled programs and any other files that are not referenced by an installed program or are no longer used.
Registry cleaner – The Windows registry is a database of system settings used by Windows and any installed programs. As it gets used and you install and uninstall programs, the registry expands. Uninstallation does not always remove all registry entries which can cause a lot of bloat. In theory, this can slow down your computer.
Browser cleaner – Avast Cleanup Premium also offers to clean up your browser and remove old plugins, deletes cookies and a few other tricks.
Puts apps to sleep – The program puts open apps to sleep to help speed up your computer and prioritize the programs you’re using.
Disk cleaner – This cleans up your hard disk and frees up drive space if you’re running short.
Shortcut cleaner – Removes obsolete shortcuts from your desktop and applications to streamline the user experience.
That about sums it up for the features of Avast Cleanup Premium. Bottom line, it has a suite of tools that could help speed up your computer.
Is Avast Cleanup Premium worth it?
The jury is still out on whether registry cleaners actually deliver any performance benefit or not. If you have not maintained your PC for years and have been steadily installing and uninstalling apps during that time, you may get an initial performance boost. Otherwise, if you use Windows 10 and have half-decent computer hygiene habits, you may not see a boost at all.
There is a definite benefit to cleaning up old files, cleaning up your hard disks, removing old shortcuts, cleaning out old apps from your browser and deleting junk. Avast Cleanup Premium will do all those things for you. However, they are also all things you can do yourself in Windows, and for free.
- Right click a hard drive, select Properties and then Disk Clean-up to clean out the junk.
- Right click the Windows Task bar, select Task Manager, select the startup tab to prioritize programs that start with Windows.
- Use the Services tab in Task Manager to Open Services and put programs to sleep.
- Select Add-ons in your browser to disable and/or remove obsolete browser extensions.
- Drag and drop a desktop shortcut you no longer need into the recycle bin to remove it.
What’s more, you can use PowerShell or other scripting tools to easily automate these tasks for you.
The main benefit of Avast Cleanup Premium is the psychological advantage: your computer is being looked after (without you having to do anything) and having its performance boosted by a well known company with an excellent reputation. The actual physical performance benefits will be negligible at best if you maintain your system properly, but the psychological benefits could be important, depending on how you look at your computer.
So is it worth $50 a year? To experienced users, frankly, no. You can perform most of the functions from within Windows and the performance benefit of cleaning the registry is still unproven in all but the worst cases. There are also free alternatives should you want to use them such as CCleaner. Ironically, CCleaner is owned by Avast. The free version has everything you need and the premium version is only $14.99.
Avast is an excellent company that delivers superior security products but I cannot recommend paying so much for a program that duplicates what is already possible from within Windows.
Agree? Disagree? Share your opinion with us in the comments below!