System clean-up and optimization tools have something of a bad reputation, and this is thanks largely to a number of tools that have rather exaggerated their capabilities. But in recent years, software has been put under more intense scrutiny, so poor tools are much rarer. Cleaning Suite from ASCOMP Software is a great example of a utility that is shaking off the past and delivering real results to users.

In short, Cleaning Suite is much more than its name suggests. Yes, it can help you to clean up your hard drive, getting rid of files your really don't need and claiming back disk space. Yes, it can help you to clean up your registry by removing unnecessary entries – and in the case of cleaning out startup items, this can results in a very noticeable improvement in startup times and general system performance.

But the software goes further than this. In all, it offers six different tools (Startup Cleaner, Uninstaller, Drive Cleaner, Registry Cleaner, Recycle and RAMCleaner) which can be used to speed up, optimize and clean up your computer. In combination, you are pretty much guaranteed to see an improvement in the performance of your computer.

In the Startup Cleaner section, you'll find not only the option to stop programs that automatically start with Windows – via either the Start menu or the registry – but also to but a halt to autostarting tasks. The Uninstaller section serves two purposes, enabling you to both uninstall software you no longer need, and also clean up the uninstall list by removing entries for applications that you have already uninstalled.

In the Driver Cleaner section, you'll find numerous ways to claw back gigabytes of data. You can quickly remove a huge number of temporary and other unnecessary files, clean caches, remove internet traces, and also tidy up after installing big updates to Windows itself. Using the Registry Cleaner,you can get rid of any redundant links and needless references that serve no purpose, while the Recycler section gives you extra control over the functioning of the Recycle Bin.

Finally, there is the RAM Cleaner. This lets you not only free up memory by wiping the clipboard of data you no longer need to be able to paste, but also to free up memory by forcing Windows to unload data relating to applications that are no longer used. Windows 10 already does a better job of memory management than previous versions, but it's not perfect. Cleaning Suite helps to address this problem.

If you're concerned about the possibility of something going wrong, Cleaning Suite offers you peace of mind by enabling you to make a backup of settings before you change anything. In this way, should there be any unwanted side effects, you can quickly restore settings to get things back to how they were – a great safety net.

Verdict

It is easy to be cynical about system optimization tools – particularly those that are free. But Cleaning Suite is something of a refreshing change in that it makes as marked improvement to system performance. And the great thing is that you are in control of the whole process – you choose precisely what optimizations you make, in the order you want, so you can monitor and measure the positive results.