AVG TuneUp (previously called AVG PC TuneUp) advertises itself as an “advanced PC performance optimizer” that can make your PC run faster. In the past few weeks I’ve tried a number of these tools including CCleaner, Advanced SystemCare (see my Advanced SystemCare review), CleanMyPC (see my CleanMyPC review) and more, and here I’ll be testing and reviewing AVG TuneUp through an objective and impartial lens. Click here to skip to my verdict on how good AVG TuneUp is, or continue reading to see how the software performed on my machine.
First: a rundown of AVG Technologies
AVG TuneUp is from a company called AVG Technologies, a subsidiary of Avast and a giant in the cybersecurity software industry. It was first founded in 1990 before being acquired by Avast in 2016 for $1.3 billion. AVG is most well-known for AVG AntiVirus, but it’s produced a lot of software over the years for PC, Mac and Mobile, with numerous tools for protection, performance (where AVG TuneUp falls) and privacy.
Getting started with AVG TuneUp
Download AVG TuneUp only from avg.com:
On that page, click the “Try it free for 30 days” to start the .exe download, then run it:
The install process will begin. On my machine, this took a few minutes to complete…
Then you’ll get taken to the welcome screen:
Even if you click “Skip” here, AVG TuneUp will immediately start examining your machine, and show you a screen like this:
Using AVG TuneUp
You can see there are 4 main parts of AVG TuneUp:
- Speed up
- Free up space
- Fix problems
Searches for broken registry items, broken shortcuts, system junk, browser caches, tracking and other cookies and browsing history. Here’s what it found in my laptop:
This was quite useful for me, as AVG TuneUp was able to find a few more registry items that could be cleaned than other tools I’ve tried such as CleanMyPC, and the “Broken shortcuts” was also a welcome new feature as it found a lot of shortcuts to files that I’d moved. You can then hit the “FIX & CLEAN” button to have these fixed within a couple of minutes (works in the free version):
It’s worth noting, though, that a lot of the registry “issues” AVG TuneUp reports won’t be all that significant.
Finds background and startup programs. This is a standard feature in PC Cleanup tools and also can be done within Windows itself without any need for external software like AVG TuneUp. However, one big advantage of AVG TuneUp is it actually tells you what the “slowdown severity” (i.e. how much it thinks each program is slowing down your PC) is:
(This is a Dell laptop, as you can surely guess 🙂 )
I am not sure how AVG TuneUp calculates this slowdown severity, but it’s nice to have a visual representation of what programs are slowing down your machine by how much.
Free up space
Finds files that can be deleted to save space, including cache files, log files, history files, temp files and so on:
This is again a standard feature of PC cleaners. AVG TuneUp finds all the normal files here that could be cleaned up, though these are a couple of categories of files it doesn’t look for such as restore points or the font cache (not much of a big deal).
Shows you programs that have updates available, along with the ability to scan disks on your machine:
I personally don’t care much about the feature for showing what software “needs updating,” as I don’t update software unless it’s definitely required. The disk scan feature, however, is useful, and is recommended if you suspect any disks on your machine are corrupted or damaged.
After trying all the features of AVG TuneUp, here are the stats it reported for me:
What I like about AVG TuneUp
AVG TuneUp is super-easy to use and requires no technical skills whatsoever; you just click a few buttons and you’re done. Also, for me at least, it was very fast — the registry and disk scans completed in a couple of minutes. This doesn’t match with everyone’s experiences (see below), but I can say that my experience using it was very pleasant. I tested AVG TuneUp on a relatively new laptop, so I can acknowledge that results may be different if you’re using it on your grandmothers’ 10 year old computer.
I also liked that AVG TuneUp nearly categorizes everything that it finds and wants to clean up, and especially the feature in the “Background & startup programs” that shows you how much resources (in visual form) each program is actually using (something lacking in Windows itself and other PC cleaners). The GUI (interface) of AVG TuneUp is also very well done.
What I dislike about AVG TuneUp (+ other people’s criticisms)
One of the gripes I had in my CleanMyPC review also applies to AVG TuneUp: it doesn’t give you the option to backup your registry before it fixes what it thinks are broken registry items, leaving the potential of it doing damage if the software makes a mistake. In my time using AVG TuneUp, that was the only real concern for me, as the software performed smoothly for me.
Common criticism for AVG TuneUp
I didn’t face these issues myself, but in doing research on AVG TuneUp, I found these common complaints:
- Slows down a PC significantly
- Shows intrusive pop-ups
- Scans take far too long
- Uninstalling is a PITA
- Potentially breaks a computer due to the lack of a backup feature
I was confused by some of these complaints as they didn’t match my experience at all. AVG TuneUp never showed me intrusive pop-ups, it had a totally ordinary uninstall process (it asks you to confirm you’d like to uninstall, you click confirm, and it uninstalls in a minute with no dramas), the scans were fast (just a couple of minutes as mentioned above) and I noticed no slowdown on my computer at all. Most of these complaints I read were years old, so I’m not sure if these were just issues in older versions of AVG TuneUp. However, the issue of it not backing up your registry before it makes changes remains a concern.
AVG TuneUp vs CCleaner and other competitors
CCleaner is the most popular piece of software in the PC cleaner market, and has an excellent reputation. The main advantage CCleaner has over AVG TuneUp is that it can backup your registry and all changes it makes are reversible. On the other hand, AVG TuneUp is a bit easier to use for beginners. I consider AVG TuneUp to be similar to CleanMyPC in this regard.
So, the bottom line: Should it be called AVG TuneUp or AVG TuneDown?
I consider AVG TuneUp to be a fair name, as this software has a number of useful features and performed well for me (even if that hasn’t been everyone’s experience).