10 Best PC Cleaners 2024: Speed Up & Optimize Your PC

Updated on: May 9, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Katarina Glamoslija Katarina Glamoslija
Updated on: May 9, 2024

Short on time? Here’s the best PC cleaner in 2024:

  • 🥇 TotalAV . An easy-to-use PC cleaner with some of the most advanced optimization tools on the market. TotalAV also includes a top-quality antivirus scanner with real-time protection, a virtual private network (VPN) with no limitations, and excellent identity theft protections.

I tested some of the most popular PC cleanup programs on the market. I looked at all kinds of software, including antivirus suites with system optimization tools and standalone PC cleaners, to figure out which ones are best for improving a PC’s performance. I looked for programs that offer a variety of system cleanup and optimization tools, such as junk file and bloatware removal, software updaters, system speedup tools, gaming performance boosters, disk defragmentation, and more.

My conclusion is that the best tools for optimizing PCs come with antivirus suites — these suites include specialized system tune-up features as well as malware scanners, which can remove malware, adware, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and other bloatware that can really slow down a PC. I also found a few good standalone PC cleaning programs, which would make great additions to any antivirus software you’ve already purchased.

You’ll find a program that works great for you on this list. My top choice is TotalAV, which offers an all-in-one internet security solution that can fully optimize (and protect) your system, but I’ve also included some convenient and affordable standalone PC tune-up tools. Whatever you’re after, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

TRY TOTALAV NOW (30 DAYS RISK-FREE)

Best PC cleanup & optimization tools in 2024:

  • 1.🥇TotalAV — Best overall PC cleaner and optimizer in 2024 (best system optimization tools on the market).
  • 2.🥈Norton 360 — Fastest computer cleanup and optimization tools paired with an excellent antivirus.
  • 3.🥉Avira Prime — Intuitive design and easy-to-use cleanup and optimization tools for Windows PCs.
  • 4. Bitdefender — Easy to use cleanup and optimization tools (tune your device with 1-click).
  • 5. McAfee — Excellent antivirus with a decent optimizer tool as a separate purchase.
  • And 5 More Quality Antivirus Products & Standalone PC Cleaners.

🥇 1. TotalAV — Best Overall PC Cleaner & Optimizer in 2024

Approved by our experts
TotalAV
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick TotalAV
Malware detection rate
99.60%
Key Features
Beginner-friendly apps
Number of devices
Up to 8
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
totalav.com

TotalAV is my favorite PC cleaner & optimizer on the market — it has more system optimization tools than most competitors, and they’re all easy to use, even for non-technical users.

The System Tune-Up interface is simple and easy to navigate — each cleanup and optimization tool is compacted into one intuitive display, making it very easy to boost your PC’s performance.

🥇 1. TotalAV — Best Overall PC Cleaner & Optimizer in 2024

TotalAV’s System Tune-Up includes the following features:

  • Browser cleanup.
  • Junk file cleaner.
  • Startup manager.
  • PUP removal.
  • Application uninstaller.
  • Duplicate file finder.

The browser cleanup feature clears your web browser history and cookies. Cookies can be used by advertisers (and occasionally cyber attackers) to track your online behavior, so I like that TotalAV helps you remove them all at once to protect your privacy.

TotalAV’s junk file cleaner and duplicate file finder are easy to use — I was able to quickly clear a lot of space on my disk during testing. The junk file cleaner found way more junk than Windows Disk Cleanup did. I also like the application uninstaller, which made removing unwanted and unused programs from my computer really simple.

TotalAV also comes with a powerful malware scanner. It’s able to effectively detect a wide range of malware, including PUPs, bloatware, and adware. Getting these hidden files off your device can make a huge difference in system performance, plus it will protect you against security threats.

I like how lightweight TotalAV’s virus scanner is, too. During testing, it didn’t impact my PC’s performance at all. This is great, as even some of the top competitors (like McAfee) can significantly slow down your PC during system scans.

🥇 1. TotalAV — Best Overall PC Cleaner & Optimizer in 2024

TotalAV also comes with a wide variety of additional useful features, such as a fast VPN, browser security tools, and excellent identity theft protections — all of which make TotalAV one of the best-value internet security programs on the market.

TotalAV Internet Security ($39.00 / year) is the best value plan — it covers up to 6 devices and provides system tune-up, real-time malware detection, a VPN, and more. The other paid plans come with the same cleanup tools, and they all offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Save 84% on TotalAV Antivirus Pro!
You can save 84% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

All of the tools in TotalAV’s System Tune-Up are really easy to use, and they all work really well — they significantly improved my PC’s memory, CPU speed, and even my browser’s privacy. TotalAV also offers excellent real-time anti-malware protection, which can detect and remove PUPs, adware, and malware files that can heavily impact system performance.

Read the full TotalAV review here >

🥈 2. Norton 360 — Fastest Cleanup & Optimization Tools

Malware detection rate
100%
Key Features
AI-based scanner & VPN
Number of devices
Up to 10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
60 Days
norton.com

Norton 360 offers excellent device tune-up options as well as powerful real-time protections that can remove malware, PUPs, and adware — all of which can cause severe system slowdown. Norton’s optimization suite includes a startup manager, file cleanup, disk optimization, and graphs.

🥈 2. Norton 360 — Fastest Cleanup & Optimization Tools

In my tests, the disk optimization tool defragmented my disk in a few minutes, and my PC ran more smoothly afterward. The file cleanup scan was really quick at identifying and removing junk files — however, unlike Avira and TotalAV, Norton didn’t delete browser cookies, unused programs, or duplicate files.

The Startup Manager improved my PC’s startup time. It accomplished this by stopping many programs from unnecessarily opening on startup — including OneDrive and my Spotify app. Program developers like to auto-enable the “launch on startup” function and make it hard to change this setting, so I like how quick and easy Norton has made it to fix this issue.

Norton’s Graph tool is a particularly helpful feature that shows you exactly what changes Norton is making on your device. It displays records, including firewall notifications, malware scans, file cleanup, disk optimization, and more, in an easy-to-understand graph format.

🥈 2. Norton 360 — Fastest Cleanup & Optimization Tools

Norton also has the best anti-malware engine on the market — it can detect all types of malware, including cryptojackers and spyware, which are frequently the reasons behind slow-running devices. Luckily, Norton didn’t find any aggressive malware on my device during my tests, but it did detect and remove bloatware and PUPs that were slowing my PC down.

If you own several sluggish Windows PCs, you might be interested in Utilities Ultimate, a separate product Norton offers to revitalize up to 10 Windows computers. In addition to standard tuneup tools included in the antivirus suite, this comprehensive system optimization and cleanup package comes with a file shredder, uninstaller with uninstall simulator (allows you to check beforehand just how much your PC would benefit from removing a program), file recovery tools, and more.

All Norton 360 plans include the full suite of cleanup and optimization tools. However, Norton 360 Deluxe is the best value — for $49.99 / year*, it covers up to 5 devices and includes the best antivirus on the market and all of the PC optimization tools, plus a huge range of other features, like parental controls and backup cloud storage. PC gamers should also check out Norton’s excellent gaming plan that optimizes gameplay and includes a powerful game booster (Norton is #1 on our list of the best gaming antiviruses in 2024). All of Norton’s plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Save 58% on Norton 360 Deluxe!
Get Norton 360 Deluxe for only $49.99*!

Bottom Line:

Norton’s cleanup and optimization tools are simple but effective. While I’d like to see a more comprehensive file cleanup, the optimization tools included in Norton 360 are helpful, easy to navigate, and will solve many performance issues on your PC. An additional benefit is that Norton has the best antivirus scanner in 2024, which will keep your PC safe from threats that can impact your security as well as your PC’s performance.

Read the full Norton review here >

🥉 3. Avira Prime — Great Range of Easy-to-Use Cleanup Tools

Malware detection rate
100%
Key Features
Device optimization tools
Number of devices
Up to 5
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
60 Days
avira.com

Avira offers a wide range of useful cleanup tools in an intuitive interface. It was able to significantly improve my old PC’s performance during testing, helping it to run more smoothly.

Avira Prime’s optimization tools include:

  • Startup optimizer.
  • Junk file cleaner.
  • Disk tuner and defragmenter.
  • Network traffic manager.
  • Service and process managers.
  • Driver updater.
  • Energy optimization.
  • Game booster.
  • Privacy optimizer.
  • And a lot more…

There are nearly 40 PC cleanup and optimization tools available with Avira, and they’re all really well-designed and user-friendly. In my testing, the junk file cleaner removed over 26.5 GB of junk from my hard drive, the disk tuner and defragmenter optimized my disk’s storage and noticeably improved my PC’s speed, and the startup optimizer sped up my PC’s startup time by 30 seconds. Avira also made all of these improvements easy to see thanks to an advanced diagnostics tool that displays metrics like startup speed, disk usage, RAM, and more, on easy-to-read graphs and charts.

🥉 3. Avira Prime — Great Range of Easy-to-Use Cleanup Tools

I really like Avira’s game booster too, which offers great CPU performance enhancement. It automatically shuts down background applications and services that can drain a computer’s resources while other programs are in full-screen mode, and most importantly, it optimizes network settings to improve CPU performance. That said, Norton’s game booster is even better.

Avira also has one of the most advanced anti-malware engines on the market, which can keep your PC free from PUPs and adware that can severely slow down PC functionality.

🥉 3. Avira Prime — Great Range of Easy-to-Use Cleanup Tools

Avira offers a range of antivirus packages, including a free version. However, while the free and lower-tier versions all include Avira’s powerful malware detection engine, they only include the more basic optimization tools.

Instead, I’d recommend going for Avira Prime ($59.99 / year), the best paid package available — it covers up to 5 devices, and it includes the full suite of advanced cleanup and optimization tools.

Limited time offer! Take 43% off Avira right now.
Get Avira Prime for only $59.99!

Bottom Line:

Avira Prime includes a host of really good PC cleanup and optimization tools. I was impressed with how well Avira was able to detect and remove junk files and PUPs and optimize my disk and startup process during testing. Along with these basic tools, Avira Prime includes literally dozens of additional tools to help manage privacy, system speeds, file cleanup, and more, making it a really good value.

Read the full Avira review here >

4. Bitdefender — Simple One-Click PC Cleanup Tool

Malware detection rate
100%
Key Features
Cloud-based scanner
Number of devices
Up to 10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
bitdefender.com

Bitdefender’s OneClick Optimizer is a very simple cleanup tool, which was extremely effective at clearing out junk files in my tests. Its cleanup scan targets a wide range of items on your PC, including Windows junk files, temporary system files, browser history, broken registry items, and more.

The scan only took a couple of minutes and flagged almost 1.5 GB of files for deletion. After I deleted these files, my PC was noticeably faster and more responsive.

4. Bitdefender — Simple One-Click PC Cleanup Tool

Bitdefender is lacking in some additional optimization tools that Avira, Norton, and TotalAV offer, such as a startup manager and duplicate file finder. The OneClick Optimizer works well, but I wish this suite had more features.

However, Bitdefender’s cloud-based malware scanner is one of the best — it uses machine learning along with traditional signature-based scanning to provide excellent protection against all types of malware threats, including adware, spyware, and PUPs, which can really slow down your PC.

OneClick Optimizer is only included in Bitdefender’s premium plans, including Total Security and Premium Security. Total Security costs $49.99 / year, covers up to 5 devices, and comes with a huge number of additional security features. Premium Security offers all of Bitdefender’s features, including a VPN with unlimited data and coverage for up to 10 devices for $79.99 / year.

Bottom Line:

Bitdefender provides fast PC cleanup and optimization and excellent antivirus detection. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it did a great job of clearing out junk files and speeding up my system — but Bitdefender doesn’t offer as many useful performance optimization extras as the top programs on my list. However, Bitdefender’s malware scanner is one of the best around, and it did a great job of identifying adware files and PUPs that were slowing down my computer without my knowledge.

Read the full Bitdefender review here >

5. McAfee — Decent Cleanup and Speed Boost Tools

Malware detection rate
100%
Key Features
Great web protection
Number of devices
Unlimited
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
mcafee.com

McAfee is an internet security suite that provides an excellent range of features and perfect malware detection rates. However, in terms of optimization, it only provides a simple tracker remover that removes web browser cookies and trackers, recycle bin items, and temporary files.

That said, McAfee also has a separate PC Optimizer that’s available as an individual purchase. Like McAfee’s tracker remover, it cleans your PC and web browser by removing junk files, registry issues, cookies, browser history, and cache files. It also includes a complete cleanup option that will scan your entire PC for optimizations and offer recommendations on how you can improve your computer’s performance.

5. McAfee — Decent Cleanup and Speed Boost Tools

When I tested PC Optimizer, it analyzed my entire PC in under a minute, finding over 1,000 issues to fix. Removing all the issues took less than a minute, leaving my computer free of junk and unnecessary files.

I then tried the PC boost tools (there’s 11 of them!). The results were mixed. The memory boost defragmented my system memory and recovered almost 8 GB, but the hard drive and program boost simply didn’t work.

PC Optimizer also comes with Privacy Shield, which disables personal data, Wi-Fi, and bandwidth sharing. There’s also Drive Scrubber, which is supposed to delete all data from a selected drive, but it didn’t work on my PC. PC Optimizer has a file and system recovery feature, too, and the option to schedule automatic PC maintenance.

Unfortunately, McAfee’s PC Optimizer is only available as a standalone product and it costs $34.99 / year. I’d really like to see it included in McAfee’s Total Protection plans, however, it’s a good companion if you’fe a fan of McAfee’s internet security suites (which start at $39.99 / year). I do think there are better bargains out there, such as TotalAV and Norton, but if you’re set on McAfee, it’s honestly not a bad choice.

Bottom Line:

McAfee PC Optimizer is a great tool for speeding up your computer. It offers a wide variety of PC boosting tools, and although not all of them work, it will make a noticeable difference in your system’s performance. Like other McAfee products, PC Optimizer comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full McAfee review >

6. iolo System Mechanic Pro — Excellent Standalone PC Cleanup & Optimization Program

Malware detection rate
95%
Key Features
System optimizer
Number of devices
Up to 10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
iolo.com

iolo System Mechanic Pro is a comprehensive standalone PC cleanup tool. This program is very feature-rich and includes automated PC care, PC cleanup, a startup program optimizer, cookie and browser history cleaner, CPU and RAM optimization, and malware removal.

System Mechanic Pro scans your system looking for over 50 kinds of junk files, and it also identifies pre-installed Windows programs that are slowing down your boot-up time and computer speed. In my tests, the scans were not only fast, but they identified junk files and registry issues that most other PC cleaners and optimizers didn’t pick up on.

iolo features LiveBoost, a tool that automatically optimizes CPU and RAM usage by tweaking hard-drive resources. I found this to be the most helpful and impressive feature, as it noticeably improved my system’s performance. I was able to launch and use multiple applications — like video editing software, online gaming platforms, and streaming — all at once and without any interruption.

6. iolo System Mechanic Pro — Excellent Standalone PC Cleanup & Optimization Program

iolo’s malware removal engine is also a nice addition. While it’s not as effective or advanced as Norton’s anti-malware engine, iolo’s antivirus is pretty good for basic malware protection.

At $20.99 / year, iolo System Mechanic Pro (which also includes the antivirus) is slightly cheaper than the other options on this list. It can cover up to 10 devices in one household, so it’s a good option for large families who need their PCs to be at peak performance. All iolo products include a 30-day refund policy.

Bottom Line:

iolo System Mechanic Pro is a good PC cleanup and optimization software if you want to ensure your PC’s performance is always at its best — and you aren’t in the market for an antivirus program. It has a lot of features that all work exceptionally well, it’s easy to use, and it will make a significant improvement to your PC’s performance.

7. Kaspersky — Quick & Easy Way to Remove Junk Files & Applications

Malware detection rate
100%
Key Features
Great parental controls
Number of devices
Up to 20
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
kaspersky.com

Kaspersky has a compact suite of system cleanup tools that are helpful in protecting online privacy and keeping your PC free of unnecessary files. The system cleanup tools include a PC cleaner, PC speed-up, startup tools, a hard drive health monitor, an unused data cleaner, and a privacy cleaner. But it’s missing a game booster, which both Avira and Norton include.

7. Kaspersky — Quick & Easy Way to Remove Junk Files & Applications

During my tests, the cleaner only took a few minutes to analyze my system. For each item flagged, I could choose to either delete, ignore, or do an online search to get more information about it. I really appreciated this, as it ensured I wasn’t just blindly deleting things off my computer. I also found the hard drive health checker pretty useful. It analyzes each hard drive connected to your PC and alerts you to any issues — however, it would be even better if it offered advice on how to fix the issues it finds.

Kaspersky has a great virus scanner that uses a large database and cloud-based machine learning to detect all types of malware, including PUPs, spyware, and adware that can slow down a device. I also like how Kaspersky allows users to choose to postpone scheduled scans when their PC is already running CPU-intensive tasks. There’s also an option to disable automatic scanning while your PC is idle, which saves on power usage (a good option for laptop users wanting to preserve battery life).

Kaspersky offers 3 plans, all of which include the system cleanup tools (though only the 2 higher-tier plans include the hard drive health monitor). The best value plan is Kaspersky Plus ($47.99 / year), which can cover up to 5 devices and comes with some useful additional features such as an unlimited-data VPN and a password manager — and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky is a good choice for those looking for a quick and simple tune-up. Its optimization tools are basic and won’t improve your system performance to the extent Avira’s can, but Kaspersky will remove unwanted and unnecessary applications and files from your computer to improve some system issues. And Kaspersky’s malware scanner will protect your PC against malicious applications that can slow down your device.

Read the full Kaspersky review here >

8. IObit Advanced SystemCare — Real-Time System Optimization to Improve Your PC

Malware detection rate
95%
Key Features
Powerful malware scanner
Number of devices
Up to 3
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
60 Days
iobit.com

IObit Advanced SystemCare is a good dedicated PC optimizer that uses AI-powered scanners to identify applications slowing your PC down. It comes with a ton of optimization features, from real-time tune up and improved surfing speeds to deep PC cleaning and malware protection.

8. IObit Advanced SystemCare — Real-Time System Optimization to Improve Your PC

IObit’s real-time tune-up is the standout feature in its suite of optimization tools. By using AI technology, IObit monitors device memory usage and optimizes RAM to improve your PC’s overall system performance.

IObit’s malware protection is also effective, but if you’re looking for an antivirus PC cleanup tool, I’d recommend either Avira or TotalAV — both have much more advanced anti-malware engines.

Overall, I was impressed with IObit — it sped up my computer and removed a lot of junk files. My main critique is that IObit requires additional downloads (and in some cases, additional purchases) to get its full suite of optimization tools, including a hard-drive disk defragmenter and application uninstaller. Both of these features are included in many other optimization programs, including Avira and iolo. I also didn’t like that IObit installed additional bundled software on my computer— it kept issuing various pop-ups and even slowed down my browser!

IObit Advanced SystemCare subscriptions start at $16.77 / year. You can choose between plans that support either 1 or 3 devices, and all plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

IObit is a decent optimization program that does a great job of improving a PC’s speed and overall performance. However, it’s a bit frustrating to have to download and purchase additional tools in order to get the full optimization suite.

9. Glary Utilities — All-in-One Tools for Quick PC Cleaning & Optimization

Malware detection rate
95%
Key Features
Speed-up & clean-up tools
Number of devices
1
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
glarysoft.com

Glary Utilities is an all-in-one PC performance optimization solution, and it’s incredibly easy to use. It has a PC cleaner, startup optimizer, memory optimizer, drive manager, software updater, and more.

In my tests, the PC cleanup and disk defragmenter were really effective, and my PC’s performance was noticeably improved after I’d used these tools. However, I do wish that Glary provided more details about the files that I was removing so I could have a better understanding of what I was removing (and be sure that it was safe to do so). The file recovery and shredder are also nice additions that aren’t available in all PC cleanup programs — they’re good privacy-focused tools that work well and are easy to use.

Glary includes a One-Click Maintenance option, which enables you to engage all of the optimization tools at once. This simple all-at-once approach is similar to Bitdefender’s OneClick Optimizer, and it’s a great option if you just want a way to optimize your device super quickly and easily.

9. Glary Utilities — All-in-One Tools for Quick PC Cleaning & Optimization

Glary Utilities Pro comes at a good price and is available as a 1-year license for up to 3 devices. There is also a free version of the program, Glary Utilities Free, but it’s somewhat limited compared to the premium version. Glary also offers a very generous 90-day money-back guarantee if you want to test its paid product.

Bottom Line:

Glary is an easy-to-use PC cleaner and optimizer that will improve a device’s sluggish performance. The One-Click Maintenance tool is an especially quick and easy tool if you don’t want to deal with time-intensive or complicated tune-up programs.

10. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26 — PC Optimization With Privacy Tools

Malware detection rate
N/A
Key Features
Anti-tracking tools
Number of devices
Up to 3
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
ashampoo.com

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26 is a good optimization program that can clean up and optimize your PC quickly and easily. It includes a large range of optimization tools that can essentially be summarized as these 4 main features:

  • Registry optimizer.
  • Internet cleaner.
  • Drive cleaner.
  • Privacy manager.

Ashampoo also looks after privacy issues by flagging concerns on your PC that you may not have been aware of. This includes disabling telemetry functions to prevent Windows from grabbing too much information about you, such as your passwords or keystrokes. It’s an effective feature and a nice addition to the optimization suite.

Ashampoo has many different settings, which may be off-putting for users. If you don’t have time to adjust hundreds of settings and just want something that works in a couple of clicks, it’s best to try a program like TotalAV or Bitdefender, both of which are much easier to set up and use.

10. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26 — PC Optimization With Privacy Tools

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 26 is sold as a one-time purchase of $30.00 / year for 1 device, or as a yearly subscription that costs $30.00 / year and covers 3 devices. Both options come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day free trial (no credit card info required).

Bottom Line:

Ashampoo is a good optimization tool to keep your PC running smoothly. It’s easy to use and has the added benefit of looking after your privacy as well as your PC’s performance. Unlike other PC optimizers that are available as subscriptions only, Ashampoo is also available as a one-time purchase.

Quick Comparison Table

PC Cleaner Starting Price Standout Tools Malware Scanner Extra Features Free Plan Money-Back Guarantee
1.🥇TotalAV $19.00 / year Browser cleanup, junk file cleaner, startup manager, app uninstaller, duplicate file finder VPN, browser security tools, identity theft protection, up to 8 devices 30 days
2.🥈Norton $54.99 / year* Startup manager, file cleaner, disk optimization, graph tool Malware removal, parental controls, game booster, backup cloud storage, up to 5 devices 60 days
3.🥉Avira $26.99 / year Junk file cleaner, disk tuner and defragmenter, startup optimizer, advanced diagnostics tool, network traffic manager. Game booster, privacy optimizer, advanced malware scanner, up to 5 devices 60 days
4. Bitdefender $17.49 / year OneClick Optimizer Cloud-based malware scanner, ransomware protection, VPN, up to 10 devices 30 days
5. McAfee $34.99 / year Performance boosting tools, file and system recovery tools, Advanced Uninstaller, Drive Scrubber (all in McAfee PC optimizer’s standalone tool) Privacy Shield 30 days
6. iolo $12.47 / year Automated PC care, CPU and RAM optimization Malware removal, 10 devices 30 days
7. Kaspersky $34.99 / year PC cleaner, unused data cleaner, privacy cleaner, hard drive health monitor Parental controls, Rescue Disk, VPN, up to 10 devices 30 days
8. IObit $19.95 / year Deep PC cleaning, real-time tune-up Malware protection, up to 3 devices 60 days
9. Glary $29.95 / year One Click Maintenance, PC cleanup, disk defragmenter File recovery, file shredder, up to 3 devices 90 days
10. Ashampoo $30.00 / year Registry optimizer, internet cleaner, drive cleaner Privacy manager, up to 3 devices 30 days

Testing Methodology: Comparison & Ranking Criteria

When rating PC cleaners, I followed our tried and true testing methodology, which allowed me to come up with balanced and relevant scores for each product. This meant:

  • I looked for effective system cleanup tools. This is a basic requirement for a PC cleaner — it must have effective cleanup tools to be worthwhile. All the products on my list will clean your PC effectively. Avira even has an advanced diagnostics tool that displays your computer’s metrics and shows each area that Avira has cleaned up.Testing Methodology: Comparison & Ranking Criteria
  • I included PC cleaners with a file manager. My top PC cleaners are great at spotting duplicates and helping you manage your files with ease. Some even come with tools to help you uninstall bloatware and other programs.
  • I picked tools that are easy to use. A good PC cleaner should be simple for everyone to understand and use. I only chose products that are intuitive and offer easy access to key features. TotalAV’s interface is particularly clean and beginner-friendly.
  •  I checked whether the product has a malware scanner. Most of the products on my list include a malware scanner as well as PC cleanup tools. Malware detection and removal is a vital part of keeping your computer safe and running well, and top antiviruses like TotalAV include excellent malware scanners.Testing Methodology: Comparison & Ranking Criteria
  • I looked for additional features. Many of the PC cleaners on my list are included in comprehensive antivirus suites that also come with web security features, VPNs, password managers, and more, meaning you get excellent privacy protection along with your optimization tools.
  • I searched for a PC cleaner that offers good value for money. There are heaps of PC cleaning products on the market, so it’s important that any product you choose provides a decent value. All of the products I recommend offer an excellent quality-price ratio, and they come with at least a 30-day money back guarantee (Glary offers 90 days).

What PC Cleaners Should You Avoid?

  • QBit Optimizer. If QBit Optimizer only makes your PC slower, you should count yourself lucky — it’s actually designed to take your money and install similarly bogus programs. If you’re installing another app and see the option to download QBit Optimizer, don’t go through with it. Frankly, the logo would be more appropriate if it wasn’t a stylized power icon but rather a giant red flag.
  • PC Accelerate Pro. PC Accelerate Pro is likely to clean out your wallet, not your PC. It performs basic tasks that your computer can do by itself, then tries to get you to spend money on unnecessary extras.
  • SpeedItUp. SpeedItUp is more likely to annoy you than get your PC running faster. It’s notorious for generating pop-up ads and constantly asks for money, even though most SpeedItUp products are supposedly free.
  • MyCleanPC. All of the useful tools included with MyCleanPC are available for free on every Windows device. What’s more, it relies on dubious advertising and scare tactics to pull users in.
  • Broom Cleaner. I can’t recommend Broom Cleaner because it isn’t very effective, and its presentation rubs me the wrong way. It claims to do all sorts of things and have some kind of special relationship with Windows even though this obviously isn’t the case.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • Panda Dome. Panda offers some decent cleanup tools for Windows PCs, but they’re pretty basic compared to what the brands on this list offer. While there’s nothing wrong with Panda’s tools, they just aren’t quite advanced enough to make my top 10.
  • Trend Micro. Trend Micro’s PC Health Check-Up claims to optimize your PC in 4 ways. However, when I tested it, I found it didn’t perform any better than the in-built Windows cleanup tools. So while Trend Micro is a decent antivirus, I can’t recommend it as a PC cleaner.
  • CCleaner. Even though CCleaner has long since patched up the vulnerabilities that resulted in its notorious 2017 hacking incident, I still don’t recommend it. Among other ongoing issues, it collects too much information about its users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do PC cleaners & optimizers really work?

Yes! PC cleaners and optimizers are great tools for computers with too many junk files, slow boot-up times, privacy-invading browser cookies, and unwanted programs. Advanced optimization programs like Norton and Avira can even boost system performance during gaming!

However, if your device is running really slowly, there’s a good chance it may be infected with malware. So it’s a good choice to get an antivirus program that includes PC cleanup tools, which — in addition to optimizing your device’s performance — can also remove dangerous malware files and annoying adware, spyware, and PUPs that can drain your disk space and hog CPU resources.

Will a PC optimizer help my gaming experience?

Absolutely — gaming can place a big strain on CPU and RAM, so by using a PC optimizer you can ensure you minimize the amount of lag and slowdown you experience during gameplay. Norton is one of the best options for gamers — it comes with an excellent game booster feature that can optimize your disk usage and running processes to make your PC run faster during gaming.

Gamers are also a consistent target for malware attacks — so if you’re trying to keep your computer safe (as well as fast) while gaming, you should check out our list of the top antivirus programs for gamers in 2024.

Can a PC cleanup program fix my computer?

PC cleaners are a great and relatively inexpensive way to revive sluggish computers. Rather than throwing out an underperforming PC and buying a new one, it’s always worth trying a PC cleaner to remove junk files, optimize your hard disk, and improve CPU and RAM.

However, if your computer is severely malfunctioning, issuing unnecessary pop-ups, crashing a lot, or you have unusual programs running on your device, then you probably have a malware infection.

Companies like TotalAV provide cutting-edge antivirus protection along with PC optimizers to help your devices run more smoothly and remove malware files that are doing damage to your system.

Is a free PC cleaner enough?

Unless your PC is already running smoothly, you’ll want a premium cleaner. That’s because free apps generally lack the tools needed to tackle the kinds of issues that seriously slow down PCs. You can’t use them to remove malware, PUPs, or other nasties slowing you down. TotalAV, on the other hand, includes a top-tier antivirus alongside effective optimization tools.

Antiviruses and tune-up tools really complement each other, so it’s best to just get one tool that does both. That’s why my top picks are all bundles.

Are PC optimizer programs better than Windows’s optimization tools?

Windows offers some basic optimization features, like program uninstallers and disk defragmentation. But just as the Windows built-in antivirus scanner isn’t as good as third-party alternatives, Windows optimization tools are also nowhere near as good as other products on the market — Windows’s own tools can be difficult to locate in your settings (especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for). While Windows does allow you to decide which programs to include in your startup, it won’t help you identify which applications you need and which you don’t.

Third-party PC optimizers are great for doing all of these things, and they make all of their features easy to find in one program. TotalAV’s interface in particular is really clean and simple to navigate, which is one of the reasons that it’s my #1 choice for the best PC optimizer in 2024.

Quick Overview of My Top Recommendations:

Our Rank
Our Score
Best Deal
1
9.4
save 84%
2
9.8
save 58%
3
9.0
save 43%
4
9.6
save 50%
5
9.4
save $100
*1st year, terms apply
The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation and some are co-owned by our parent company. This influence: Rank and manner in which listings are presented. 
Learn more
About the Author
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager
Updated on: May 9, 2024

About the Author

Katarina Glamoslija is Head Content Manager at SafetyDetectives. She has nearly a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing cybersecurity products and investigating best practices for online safety and data protection. Before joining SafetyDetectives, she was Content Manager and Chief Editor of several review websites, including one about antiviruses and another about VPNs. She also worked as a freelance writer and editor for tech, medical, and business publications. When she’s not a “Safety Detective”, she can be found traveling (and writing about it on her small travel blog), playing with her cats, and binge-watching crime dramas.