Click here to visit the latest System Mechanic website (2021) and use the coupon code OUTWITTRADE to get 10% off
System Mechanic is a package of applications for improving your PC’s performance which claims to have repaired “over 80 million PC’s” (source) and, as of 2011 at least, is chosen by “nearly 9 out of 10 people in North America” (source). While I’m unable to verify these numbers, System Mechanic is definitely one of the main PC cleanup tools on the market, available not just for purchase online but also through major brick and mortar retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy. In this review I’ll try it on my own laptop and answer the main questions people have about it. Click here to skip to my verdict on how good System Mechanic is or keep reading for the full review.
What’s the company behind System Mechanic?
System Mechanic is developed by iolo technologies, first founded in 1998 by CEO Noah Rowles and now headquartered in California. In a 2010 press release, iolo is described as “always privately held, self-funded, debt-free, and profitable since inception.”
In 2020, iolo was acquired by a company called RealDefense.
Downloading System Mechanic
Go to the iolo website here and click the light green “Try For Free” button. The latest version of System Mechanic, at the time of writing, is 52.2MB. Then, double click the .exe to run the install process:
This should be finished within a couple of minutes:
Using System Mechanic
The first time you open System Mechanic after installing it, it will want to do a quick scan, which looks like this:
After this is done, I recommend doing a deep scan which searches for a lot more than just the quick scan. A deep scan with System Mechanic will search for registry issues, bloatware, hard drive issues and a lot more. According to iolo, these are the things included in a deep scan:
- Memory Mechanic
- Internet Cleanup
- Windows Cleanup
- Registry Cleanup
- Security Optimizer
- Privacy Shield
- Stored Passwords Check
- Repair Internet Connection
- Startup Optimizer
- Disk Defragmenter
On my personal laptop, though, all the deep scan found was a few minor registry issues and Windows junk files:
There was nothing too serious here, and even the deep scan was done very quickly. As this is a fairly new laptop, though, I didn’t expect too many issues.
Other applications included in System Mechanic: Privacy Guardian, ByePass, Malware Killer, System Shield, Search and Recover and Drive Scrubber
I’ll give a quick rundown of the applications in System Mechanic (other than the System Mechanic tool itself) below:
Privacy guardian (only available in System Mechanic Ultimate Defense)
This can be thought of an enhanced version of incognito/private mode on modern browsers. Incognito mode in Google Chrome, for example, is used when you don’t want store any browsing history, cookies, or autofill information. However, it doesn’t prevent tracking scripts that build a profile of you to serve you more relevant ads. Privacy guardian is able to block attempts to track you much better than simply using Incognito mode in Chrome. However, you’re still vulnerable to having your data stolen if you enter it on any website, as no software can protect your data after it’s voluntarily been handed over to another website.
ByePass (only available in System Mechanic Ultimate Defense)
This is a password manager that you have to install separately for each browser. It works nicely, but many of its features (such as suggesting and remembering a secure unique password for each website you visit) are already inbuilt in modern browsers like Chrome. It’s also not as feature-rich as some other password managers like Sticky Password (see my Sticky Password review).
Malware Killer (only available in System Mechanic Ultimate Defense)
A simple malware scanner that took about 5 minutes on my laptop. This didn’t find anything for me, but then I didn’t expect it to:
System Shield (only available in System Mechanic Pro)
Similar to Windows Defender, this is another virus scanner:
System Shield differs from Malware Killer (above) in that it offers real-time protection, aiming to prevent your computer from ever being infected in the first place. It didn’t use many resources on my laptop when just running it in the background. However, in my testing, running a scan on this took much longer than the aforementioned Malware Killer or the core System Mechanic Pro tool itself.
Search and Recover (only available in System Mechanic Pro)
Tries to find and recover deleted files, similar to a product like Disk Drill (see my Disk Drill review):
I didn’t think this was as good as Disk Drill, though, for several reasons. Mainly because it brought back a huge number of files and you can’t search or navigate them easily. In my test I simply deleted a .txt file to see if the Search and Recover tool here could recover it, and instead of recovering it easily I just got a huge list of files that the .txt file may or may not be in.
Drive Scrubber (only available in System Mechanic Pro)
Completely wipe a drive contents:
This was the one tool in System Mechanic that I did NOT try using. 🙂
Tools in System Mechanic
Apart from the applications in System Mechanic, there are also these tools (available on the menu on the left within System Mechanic):
Most of these still fall under the applications shown above. However, if you have a browse through the Toolbox items, there are a few other programs that can be helpful. Here are some screenshots of me trying some of the Toolbox programs:
What are the system requirements for System Mechanic?
The system requirements for System Mechanic are very minimal: Windows 7 and above, 70MB of hard drive space, and at least 512MB of RAM.
Where can I download a torrent, crack or activation key for System Mechanic?
As always, we don’t condone trying to steal software, and I strongly discourage you from downloading any kind of pirated version of System Mechanic (good chance it comes bundled with viruses).
Is System Mechanic safe?
System Mechanic is definitely not a virus or malware, and it’s perfectly safe to run on your computer. It didn’t do any harm to my laptop and I haven’t heard any reports of it messing up a system.
How do you uninstall System Mechanic?
System Mechanic can be uninstalled the same way you uninstall any normal piece of software. Go to the Add or Remove programs screen (just search for it in the Windows taskbar), find System Mechanic, and choose to uninstall it.
How much does System Mechanic cost?
There are 3 versions of System Mechanic:
- The base version of System Mechanic ($49.95 with 1 year support)
- System Mechanic Pro ($69.95 with 1 year support)
- System Mechanic Ultimate Defense ($79.95 with 1 year support)
Different versions of System Mechanic include different applications as described above and here.
Of course, you can often get System Mechanic significantly cheaper using coupon codes (see below).
Is there a discount or coupon code available for System Mechanic?
Yes. Click here to visit the latest System Mechanic website (2021) and use the coupon code OUTWITTRADE to get 10% off
What are the alternatives to System Mechanic?
There are several PC cleaning and optimization tools, some of which I’ve written about before:
- Avast Premium Security
- Advanced Systemcare
- AVG TuneUp
System Mechanic vs CCleaner: CCleaner is cheaper than System Mechanic at a base price of only $24.95, but is nowhere near as feature-rich. Many of the applications in System Mechanic that I showed above won’t have an equivalent in CCleaner. However, CCleaner is an excellent tool for PC optimization and registry cleaning.
System Mechanic vs Avast Premium Security: See my Avast Internet Security review. It’s very feature-rich, like System Mechanic, and its base price is a little lower than System Mechanic (though as mentioned, you can almost always get System Mechanic cheaper than the default advertised price). I did have a couple of gripes with Avast Premium Security which I brought up in my review, and System Mechanic overall gave me a better impression.
System Mechanic vs Advanced Systemcare: See my Advanced Systemcare review. Advanced Systemcare did a more comprehensive registry scan on my laptop than System Mechanic, but like other tools, it doesn’t quite have the amount of functionality that System Mechanic has. It’s also much more expensive at its default price (though like with System Mechanic, you should be able to get it at a discount).
System Mechanic vs AVG TuneUp: See my AVG TuneUp review. AVG TuneUp is a good tool that couldn’t be any easier to use, but again, it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as System Mechanic.
System Mechanic vs CleanMyPC: See my CleanMyPC review. CleanMyPC is like AVG TuneUp: simple and easy to use, but not a complete PC cleaner like System Mechanic.
Is System Mechanic any good?
Yes. System Mechanic is an extremely comprehensive suite of applications for taking care of your computer, and after you get it you shouldn’t need any other antivirus or PC optimization software of any kind. I can definitely recommend it if you can get it at a reasonable discount from its default price.