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10 Best PC Cleaners 2022: Speed Up & Optimize Your PC

Rachel Ho Rachel Ho 10 Best PC Cleaners 2022: Speed Up & Optimize Your PC

Short on time? Here are the best PC cleaners in 2022:

I tested some of the most popular PC cleaners on the market to find the best ones for improving a PC’s performance.

I looked for PC cleaners that offer a variety of tools to help speed up PCs, such as:

  • Junk file cleaners.
  • Game boosters.
  • Startup optimizers.
  • Browser cookie cleaners.
  • Uninstallers.
  • Software updaters.
  • And more…

In my testing, I discovered that the best tools for speeding up and optimizing PCs are included in premium 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 antivirus software you’ve already purchased.

Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one internet security solution that can fully optimize (and protect) your system, or you just want a convenient and affordable standalone PC tune-up tool, you’ll find a program on my list that works for you.

Best PC cleanup & optimization tools within an antivirus suite:

Best dedicated PC cleanup & optimization programs:

10 Best PC Cleaners for 2022 — Reviewed & Compared

To make things easy, I’ve divided my recommendations into two lists:

  1. The best PC cleaner & optimizer tools within an antivirus suite. Full-service antivirus suites that also include excellent PC optimization.
  2. The best dedicated PC cleaner applications. Standalone PC-optimization programs that offer high-quality tools that go beyond basic junk-file cleanup.

Best PC Cleanup & Optimization Tools Within an Antivirus Suite

🥇 1. Avira Prime — Best Overall PC Cleaner & Optimizer in 2022

🥇 1. Avira Prime — Best Overall PC Cleaner & Optimizer in 2022

Avira is my favorite PC cleaner & optimizer on the market — it has plenty of great features that are all really easy to use, and it significantly improved my PC’s performance during testing.

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…

Avira’s suite of nearly 40 PC cleanup and optimization tools is really well designed and user-friendly. In my testing, essentials like the disk tuner and defragmenter identified over 1.3 GB of junk files in just a few minutes, optimized my disk’s storage, and noticeably improved my PC’s speed. 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.

One of the things I like the most about Avira is the game booster that provides excellent CPU performance enhancement. This tool 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.

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.

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. Avira Prime is the best paid package available — it covers up to 5 devices, and it includes the full suite of advanced cleanup and optimization tools.

Bottom Line:

Avira Prime’s antivirus bundle 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. If you’re looking for powerful antivirus protection and top-quality PC optimization, Avira Prime is the best value package I’ve found.

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Read the full Avira review here >

🥈 2. Norton 360 — Fastest Cleanup & Optimization Tools

🥈 2. Norton 360 — Fastest Cleanup & Optimization Tools

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 the following features:

  • Startup manager.
  • File cleanup.
  • Disk optimization.
  • Graphs.

During my tests, the disk optimization tool defragmented my disk in just 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, Norton didn’t delete browser cookies, unused programs, or duplicate files.

Norton’s Graph tool is a particularly helpful feature that enables you to see 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.

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 reason 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.

All of the Norton 360 plans include the full suite of cleanup and optimization tools. However, Norton 360 Deluxe is the best value — 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 2022). All of Norton’s plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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 in your PC. An additional benefit is that Norton has the best antivirus scanner in 2022, which will keep your PC safe from threats that can impact your security as well as your PC’s performance.

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Read the full Norton review here >

🥉 3. TotalAV — Convenient & Easy-to-Use PC Cleanup Tools

🥉 3. TotalAV — Convenient & Easy-to-Use PC Cleanup Tools

TotalAV’s System Tune-Up feature is very effective at cleaning up cluttered computers and optimizing PC performance, and it’s incredibly user-friendly.

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

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

The TotalAV interface is very simple, which I really appreciate. It makes it easy to find and use these cleanup and optimization tools.

The browser cleanup removes web browser history and cookies from your system, which helps with performance as well as protecting your online privacy. TotalAV’s junk file cleaner and duplicate file finder were easy to use when I tested them, and they enabled me to clear a lot of space on my disk. The application uninstaller also made removing unwanted and unused programs from my computer really simple.

In addition to the optimization tools, TotalAV comes with a powerful malware scanner that is able to effectively detect a wide range of malware, including PUPs 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.

TotalAV’s antivirus suite 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.

All of TotalAV’s paid plans include the same cleanup tools, but TotalAV Internet Security is the best value plan — it covers up to 5 devices and provides system tune-up, real-time malware detection, a VPN, and more. All of TotalAV’s paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

All of the tools on 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.

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Read the full TotalAV review here >

4. Bitdefender — A Simple One-Click PC Cleanup Tool

4. Bitdefender — A Simple One-Click PC Cleanup Tool

Bitdefender’s OneClick Optimizer is a very simple cleanup tool, which was extremely effective at clearing out junk files in my tests.

Bitdefender’s cleanup scan targets the following items on your PC:

  • Windows junk files.
  • Recycle bin.
  • Temporary system files.
  • Browser history.
  • Broken registry items.

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

While Bitdefender’s OneClick Optimizer works well, it’s lacking in some of the additional optimization tools that Avira, Norton, and TotalAV offer, such as a startup manager and duplicate finder.

However, Bitdefender’s cloud-based malware scanner is one of the best on the market — 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.

Bitdefender offers a variety of plans, but the OneClick Optimizer is only included in its premium plan, Total Security. Total Security is an excellent internet security suite — it covers up to 5 devices, comes with a huge number of additional security features, and is one of the best value premium anti-malware programs in 2022.

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.

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Read the full Bitdefender review here >

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

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

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:

  • PC cleaner.
  • Unused data cleaner.
  • Privacy cleaner.

During my tests, all of the cleaners only took a few minutes to analyze my system and flag items that could be removed. For each item, I could 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.

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.

Kaspersky offers 3 different plans, all of which include the system cleanup tools. The best-value plan is Kaspersky Internet Security, which can cover up to 10 devices and comes with some useful additional features such as parental controls and an ad blocker — and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky is a good choice for those looking for a quick and simple tune-up. Kaspersky’s 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.

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Read the full Kaspersky review here >

6. BullGuard — Good PC Optimizer for Gamers

6. BullGuard — Good PC Optimizer for Gamers

BullGuard offers a few basic PC optimization tools, plus a game booster to enhance a device’s gaming performance, which makes it a good choice for online gamers.

BullGuard’s PC tune-up includes:

  • PC optimizer.
  • Cleanup helper.
  • Startup manager.
  • Duplicate file scanner.

All of BullGuard’s device tune-up tools worked well in my testing, clearing up space on my device, speeding up my boot-up sequence, and optimizing my disk.

BullGuard’s game booster is also pretty good. It redirects system processes on multi-core processors so that high-performance games can occupy multiple cores without any interference. This clever technology improved my PC’s performance for AAA games like Destiny 2 — increasing my frame rate, even with the graphics settings cranked to the max. While BullGuard is one of the top choices for gaming, I still slightly prefer Norton as it has the best virus scanner on the market, plus a somewhat better game booster.

BullGuard also uses machine learning and a malware database to effectively identify PUPs, adware, and spyware — removing these malware files can really improve your PC’s performance.

BullGuard’s Internet Security and Premium Protection plans include the full set of optimization tools. Premium Protection covers 10 devices, making it a good offer for larger households, but if 3 devices is enough, then Internet Security is your best-value plan. All BullGuard purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

BullGuard provides decent PC cleanup tools, a specialized game booster, and a good anti-malware scanner. BullGuard’s cleanup tools performed well in all tests, its game booster significantly improved my gaming experience, and its malware scanner detected all my test malware. Overall, BullGuard is a pretty good choice for gamers, but Norton’s gaming plan is a bit better.

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Read the full BullGuard review here >

Best Dedicated PC Cleaners & Optimizers

7. iolo System Mechanic Pro — The Best Standalone PC Cleanup & Optimization Program

7. iolo System Mechanic Pro — The Best Standalone PC Cleanup & Optimization Program

iolo System Mechanic Pro is one of the most comprehensive standalone system cleanup tools on the market.

This program is very feature-rich and includes the following:

  • Automated PC care.
  • PC cleanup.
  • Startup program optimizer.
  • Cookie and browser history cleaner.
  • CPU and RAM optimization.

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.

In addition to a sophisticated scanner, iolo 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.

iolo System Mechanic Pro isn’t the cheapest option — it costs the same as other antivirus plans that offer a wide range of features beyond just PC optimization. However, iolo can cover an unlimited amount of devices in one household, so it’s a great 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 an excellent 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.

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8. IObit Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro — Real-Time System Optimization to Improve Your PC

8. IObit Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro — Real-Time System Optimization to Improve Your PC

IObit Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro is a good dedicated PC optimizer that uses AI-powered scanners to identify applications slowing your PC down.

IObit Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro includes the following features:

  • Deep PC cleaning.
  • Browser history and cookie removal.
  • Real-time tune-up.
  • Improved internet surfing speeds.
  • Startup optimizer.

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.

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.

IObit Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro is available as a 1-year subscription for either 1 or 3 devices, comes at an affordable price, and includes 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.

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9. Glary Utilities Pro 5 — All-in-One Tools for Quick PC Cleaning & Optimization

9. Glary Utilities Pro 5 — All-in-One Tools for Quick PC Cleaning & Optimization

Glary Utilities Pro 5 is an all-in-one PC performance optimization solution that is incredibly easy to use.

Glary Utilities Pro 5 includes the following features:

  • PC cleanup.
  • Startup optimization.
  • Memory optimizer.
  • Drive manager.
  • File recovery and file shredder.
  • Software updater.

During my testing, 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 that it was safe too!). 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, with just one click. This simple all-at-once approach is similar to Bitdefender’s one-click optimizer, and it’s a great option if you just want a way to optimize your device super quickly and easily.

Glary Utilities Pro 5 comes at a good price and is available as a 1-year license for up to 3 devices. Glary also offers a very generous 90-day money-back guarantee policy.

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.

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10. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 19 — PC Optimization with Privacy Tools

10. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 19 — PC Optimization with Privacy Tools

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 19 is a good optimization tool that can clean up and optimize your PC quickly and easily.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 19 includes a large range of optimization tools that can essentially be summarized as these 3 main features:

  • Registry optimizer.
  • Internet cleaner.
  • Drive cleaner.

Like most optimization programs, Ashampoo can manage your startup applications to speed up your boot-up times, clean junk files off your devices, and defragment your hard disk to enhance the performance of your PC.

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 handwriting. It’s an effective feature and a nice addition to the optimization suite, but I preferred Avira’s privacy optimizer, which identified more issues in my testing than Ashampoo did.

Unlike most antivirus and optimizer packages, Ashampoo WinOptimizer 19 is a one-time purchase, making it an excellent long-term value. It also covers a generous 10 devices and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases.

Bottom Line:

Ashampoo is a good optimization tool that will 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 a one-time purchase.

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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. My favorite PC cleaner within an antivirus is Avira, but I also think Norton and TotalAV are great options.

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 and Avira are two of the best options for gamers — both coming 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 2022.

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

Are PC optimizer programs better than Windows’ 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’ own tools can be difficult to locate in your settings (especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for), Windows doesn’t have scanners that can identify broken registry entries and junk files, and 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 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. Avira’s interface in particular is really clean and simple to navigate — plus, Avira Prime offers nearly 40 different tune-up and optimization tools in addition to a full suite of internet security features, which is why it’s my #1 choice for the best PC optimizer in 2022.

About the Author

Rachel Ho
Rachel Ho

About the Author

Rachel Ho is a privacy and technology consultant with an interest in data protection and public policy. In her spare time, she can be found watching movies and pretending to be a coffee connoisseur.