System Mechanic Review

Updated: September 12,2023
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There’s nothing worse than a slow PC. Absolutely nothing. Ice caps melting? Not even close. Global pandemic? Well, maybe. But you won’t be able to enjoy gaming in quarantine if your PC chugs processing power like a tractor. Just imagine being the laughingstock of your Discord server for missing critical shots in Warzone because your computer stutters like it has a speech impediment. You deserve better, and so does your PC.

PC tuning apps are nothing new; one could even say there are too many of them. But we decided to try out System Mechanic, review it, and see how it fares against other speed-boost programs.

System Mechanic Review - Logo


Starts at:$49.95
  • All-around PC maintenance tool
  • Whole home license
  • Real-time scanner
  • Quick scan and deep scan
What we liked
  • Unlimited licenses
  • Fast scanning tools
  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy to use
What we disliked
  • No discounts for multi-year purchases
  • Some settings are missing

System Mechanic Overview

System Mechanic is the best-known product from Iolo Technologies, a Californian maker of PC utility software. Launched in 1998, System Mechanic is now on its 20th version, and that’s the one we’ll review here. Iolo claims this is the pinnacle of PC optimization software, capable of breathing new life into aging computers.

The program has several modules that work together to analyze, optimize, and clean up your PC. It can free your PC from freezes, speed up the Windows boot process, and even improve the stability of your internet connection. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

System Scanner

System Scanner is the core component of System Mechanic. It fires up automatically when you start the program and scans your computer to find all the broken registry entries, leftover junk files, and other bloatware. You can decide how deeply Iolo System Mechanic will review your system’s status:

  • A quick analysis takes one or two minutes to check for the most common Windows problems.
  • A deep analysis takes significantly longer (depending on how much data you have). It is a multiple-level analysis of all of your PC’s files and settings.

system mechanic review system scanner

Running these scans won’t result in any changes: The scan gives you a quick overview of how the software can optimize your computer’s performance, whether it’s by cleaning up gigabytes of orphaned files or fixing the Windows registry. Like all of the best PC cleaning software, System Mechanic lets you pick exactly what to repair and what to leave as is. Of course, you can always come back and rerun the diagnostic.

Once the scan is completed, it’s time to proceed with one of System Mechanic’s powerful cleanup and repair tools, which are divided into several sections:

PC Cleanup Tools

First up: Cleanup tools. You can run an all-in-one PC cleanup, remove junk files and bloated data from your internet browsers, clean up Windows files (broken shortcuts, temp files, and more), run a registry-repair tool, or use an advanced uninstaller to remove programs from your PC completely - including their uninstall programs, which are often left behind.

system mechanic review pc cleanup tools

Speed Up Your Computer

Next up: Speed-up tools. This set of System Mechanic’s features can even speed up an old computer. The memory mechanic tool frees up RAM and optimizes startup processes so your computer boots up faster. Another great tool is the aptly named Program Accelerator, which is basically a light version of defragmentation software: It sorts the used data by app, which helps them load more quickly. For hard-drive and file maintenance, there’s a tool designed to scan and defragment a hard drive, but it’s not very different from the one integrated into Windows.

Protection Tools

If you want to use System Mechanic to its full capacity as the best PC utility program, it’s not enough just to scan and repair issues as they arise. Even if your computer runs on Windows 10, the optimization of core system processes is needed to prevent hackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities. That’s what System Mechanic’s System Checker tool does. It can also disable personal data sharing through Wi-Fi, keeping you completely anonymous even on a public network.


The essential tools from System Mechanic’s Recovery section can help you find and fix common data loss problems. The Recovery collection also includes System Restore, the same as Windows, but it only works if you’ve run regular backups.

Automatic PC Maintenance

We’ve reached one of the strongest tools in System Mechanic’s toolbox: Background system performance monitoring. System Mechanic uses the data this tool gathers to increase computer speed. This section is also called ActiveCare, and features many options and tools you can tinker with. Clicking on the little arrow on the right opens up a lot of additional options, too.


For example, you can instruct System Mechanic to defrag the hard drive and clean up your browser cache after a specific period of PC inactivity. All System Mechanic Pro tools are displayed on this screen, and all of them can be scheduled to run when you are not using your computer. This is perfect for when you don’t have enough time to run lengthy scans; instead, let System Mechanic run these individual scans and apply fixes whenever your PC is free.

system mechanic review settings

Scheduling options are very flexible. ActiveCare can be set to run at a specific time, or you can choose for the scanner not to run when you know you’ll be using your PC. One of the things we really liked when testing the app for our System Mechanic review was the scanner’s ability to wake the PC from hibernation.

There are no optimal or pre-made settings here, as we all use our computers differently. That being said, it would’ve been nice if there had been a preset or two aside from enabling/disabling everything. Not everyone needs all of these checkups to run simultaneously, so it’s entirely up to you to define your preferences. It might take a few tries to find the optimal arrangement, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. After all, PC optimization takes patience.

Real-Time Boosting

Iolo’s System Mechanic has both on-demand and scheduled components. The Real-Time Boost screen lets you check up on the program’s real-time components quickly and set everything up for optimal performance. A neat graphic in the right corner will show you what percentage of the total proposed optimizations you’ve used. Luckily, there are some presets here, mainly for a better gaming experience and reduced power consumption. All settings are easy to understand, and their effects apply immediately.

system mechanic review Real Time Boosting

Antivirus and Firewall

When you download System Mechanic, you’ll find that it also includes a set of antivirus and firewall tools. These elements are handy, but they’re not crucial, and most customers probably don’t use them. They are pretty decent, especially if you’re looking for a Microsoft Defender Antivirus alternative, but we prefer to let our dedicated antivirus software deal with any digital nasties.

User Experience

The program looks high-tech, to say the least. A dark-gray theme with red accents seems to be a popular color scheme among software developers these days, and it’s also why we gave a good score to the UI section of our System Mechanic 20 review. Dark mode has proved easier on the eyes anyway, so this palette works great right out of the box. The interface isn’t too cluttered, and you can quickly get information about all program functions by hovering your mouse over action buttons.

You’ll need to click on a lot of buttons, drop-down menus, and whatnot to get to all of the settings, but that’s not a bad thing. This is a complex piece of software, after all, and has a lot of extra tools other PC cleaners lack. It wouldn’t be the best PC tune-up utility if it were a barebones product - it’s as simple as that.

Still, you won’t see most of these buttons and menus more than once or twice after you’ve set the schedule for automatic cleaning. 

Most of the information you need is on the main dashboard. It shows the status of your system after its latest scan, along with the number of issues found. In our experience, once you’ve completed the initial deep scan, System Mechanic usually just prompts you to clean junk files now and again. In any case, the dashboard of the best PC optimizer is your friend, as it’s a one-stop shop for all system optimization info.

You may have noticed that we’ve only talked about Windows in this review. That’s because, unfortunately, System Mechanic runs only on Windows, just like all other Iolo Technologies utility software. System Mechanic 20 works with Windows 7 to 10. (Support for Windows XP and Vista hasn’t been available since System Mechanic 16.) If you’re rocking it old school, don’t fret: You can still download System Mechanic Classic through Iolo’s website. It looks like the current version, though some of the advanced features are missing.

Other iolo Computer Tuning Apps

Iolo isn’t a one-hit-wonder. The company offers a wide range of utility programs for personal and business use. Every app developed by this company is dedicated to computer optimization and security. Here are some other programs you can check out to complement your System Mechanic download:

Privacy Guardian

A recent addition to Iolo’s software lineup, Privacy Guardian keeps you truly anonymous while surfing the web. It blocks cookies that track your activity and serve you ads, keeps your browsing and search history away from spying eyes, and even includes data-theft prevention tools. Want to disable Windows 10 Telemetry processes? Get this app, and they’re gone in one click.

System Shield

We’ve mentioned that System Mechanic has a lightweight antivirus app in it. As a candidate for the antivirus world’s best utility for PC and laptop users, Iolo developed System Shield - a single app that handles antivirus and antispyware protection. System Shield can clean and block any kind of infection aimed at your computer. This AI-powered program excels at the early detection of malicious files and activity.

Search and Recover

Accidentally deleting files from a computer or USB stick used to be the bane of our existence. Nowadays, apps like Search and Recover can find and restore all those deleted photos, songs, and even emails. Like System Mechanic, it has a scanner for locating all recently deleted files. It’s one of the best PC utilities to keep around, just in case.


This is a total PC cleaner, i.e., an app that can completely wipe the data from a hard drive. Whether you’re planning to sell your computer or you’re just preparing the hard drive for a fresh Windows installation, this is the app you need. It’s even capable of cleaning drives that contain stubborn malware.

Customer Support

One of the final steps we took while working on this System Mechanic review was to check how Iolo supports the app. While we didn’t have any issues or problems during our research, you might find that you need to contact customer support for help. Iolo’s support team is available via live chat and telephone, and you can also browse the site’s knowledge base for quick inquiries. Just type in whatever you want to learn about their products, and you’re likely to find a comprehensive article about it.

System Mechanic Review Customer Support

If you’re looking for technical support for the best PC cleaner, you might want to opt for Iolo Premium Services. Available in the US and Canada only, this package can be purchased as a subscription for $199 a year or as a one-time service for $99 per computer that needs fixing. Premium customers also get access to a toll-free phone line 24/7. Iolo’s free service is quite good, too, but if you’re running a business, the cost of Premium Services isn’t that daunting, and it’s certainly a lot cheaper than replacing a whole PC if something goes wrong.

Pricing: System Mechanic Trial vs. Paid Versions

The best things in life are free, they say, but that rarely applies to software. System Mechanic’s free version is a great app. It can complete a full system scan, remove junk files from the browser and Windows, even defragment your hard drive. It’s not bad at all for a free PC cleaner, but it’s severely limited compared to the full version, so our recommendation is to use it for a test run and learning the ropes - not rely on it for daily use.

System Mechanic Trial vs Paid Versions

System Mechanic’s pricing comes in several tiers, and they all involve an annual subscription with unlimited licenses. Iolo calls this a Whole Home License, and it’s a rarity in this business. Most other companies offer three to five licenses with each purchase, meaning that homes with multiple PCs, or gamers that upgrade their computers often, are left out in the cold.

With System Mechanic, Iolo offers the Standard version, System Mechanic Pro, and the appropriately titled System Mechanic Ultimate Defense. Each brings more features and add-on apps into the mix. System Mechanic costs $49.95, but it’s often discounted to $39.96. We think that’s a great deal, especially when you factor in the unlimited licenses. The Pro version is $20 more, and the Ultimate version costs $10 more.

We like the Standard version and Ultimate Defense. The prices are just right, and with all the features we mentioned in our review of System Mechanic, you get quite a lot of bang for your buck. Ultimate Defense is an excellent pick if you want any other Iolo app besides System Mechanic, as the price for this bundle is much better than purchasing everything separately.

If you own a business, you should check out the business license. It is inexpensive, and you pay for the number of computers you’ll be installing the software on, with significant discounts if that number is above 25.

System Mechanic Pricing Plans


$39.96 /one time
  • PC optimization
  • Error repair and prevention
  • System cleanup
  • Protection against hacks
  • Performance maintenance


$55.96 /one time
  • PC optimization
  • Error repair and prevention
  • System cleanup
  • Protection against hacks
  • Performance maintenance


$63.96 /one time
  • PC optimization
  • Error repair and prevention
  • System cleanup
  • Protection against hacks
  • Performance maintenance

How Does System Mechanic Compare to Other PC Utilities?

iolo System Mechanic Logo
Starts at $39.96 ($49.95 without discounts)
  • All-around PC maintenance tool
  • Whole home license
  • Real-time scanner
  • Quick scan and deep scan
  • Money-back guarantee
CCleaner Professional Logo
Price $24.95/year
  • Automatic cleaning
  • Real-time monitoring
  • PC health check
  • Multiplatform
  • One license per purchase
Advanced System Optimizer Logo
Price $69.95
  • Automatic checkup
  • Driver update
  • Game optimization
  • System backup
  • Disk tools

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to speed up your laptop, bring an old gaming PC back to its prime, or just keep an office machine steadily chugging along, System Mechanic is one of the best PC tune-up utilities around. This is an all-in-one solution for any issues you might run into while using your computer. The design leaves total control to the user, which means that you’ll always know what is going on with both your PC and the program. It’s not the cheapest app on the market, especially if you pick the Ultimate Defense version, with all the bells and whistles, but it surely is one of the best at what it does, as you can see from our System Mechanic Pro review.

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Does System Mechanic Really Work?

Yes, System Mechanic can really speed up your computer. This program removes all the junk and broken files that inevitably pile up over the years, thus freeing up space for your more important documents. By restoring your hard drives and Windows registry, among other things, it also speeds up the boot process and makes your computer more stable for everyday use.

Is System Mechanic a Malware?

No. In fact, it’s one of the best PC cleaners that can remove viruses and block internet attacks. The most recent version of System Mechanic has an additional layer of malware protection and works in conjunction with the antivirus software you might already have installed. It doesn’t even need to make any modifications to the system. If you only run its scanner to check up on the computer’s health, System Mechanic will show you what issues need addressing, but it won’t touch any files without your permission.

Is System Mechanic Free?

You can download a free trial version of System Mechanic from the Iolo Technologies website. It is a lightweight version of the full application, able to do the same scans of your computer, but the repairs are limited to just a few quick fixes. There’s usually a discount when upgrading from the trial version, however.

Does System Mechanic Work on Tablets?

Unfortunately, this is an application that works only on Windows PCs. As we mentioned in our System Mechanic review, the developers of this app specialize in Windows utilities. That being said, it is one of the best apps of its kind, and millions of people use it daily.

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