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Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 : A Short-Spin
#1
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 : A Short-Spin
 
[Image: 1-awop18-review-banner.gif]



In our everyday life we always get some junk and need to clean house (if you clean your house that is!). It is innate in any individual that when he sees anything out of order he fixes it and makes it accommodating to his usage or whatever his purpose is. This is also the same for our pc system. As Windows evolves so as the tools should evolve. Tools that we need to keep it in tip-top shape or else (in the end, IF you don't clean house) you the user will suffer the consequences of a slow unreliable pc. There are a lot of worthy tools out there in the market (both free and paid applications). Enter Ashampoo WinOptimizer

Ashampoo WinOptimizer has been around and have been in the forefront of system tools that are among the top ten most preferred for people who (clean house) require "only" the best performance out of their system. There are a lot of reviews (so-called reviews and the like) out there in the internet and all are good welcome-guides to any user. This is my take on Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18. I call it a "short-spin" of Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 because I have not used it for a long time. I will be showing it's functional features, usage observations and a little raw comparison to alternatives accompanied with "final" commentaries . 


Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 is the new version of Ashampoo's premier system optimization suite that takes care of the weak spots in every Windows machine. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18's main focus is on system core cleaning, performance tuning / optimization and privacy tools but there are a lot of system utilities being provided in the "All Modules" (See "C. ALL MODULES" below). WinOptimizer 18 boosts the user's system performance, fixes system errors and reduces file clutter. Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 makes Windows PCs faster, cleaner, leaner and safer. The built-in cleaners are among the most popular features and safely remove web browsing traces, junk files and installation leftovers to free up valuable disk space. AntiSpy and Privacy Control restricts and puts Windows telemetry in-check preventing unnecessary issues thus protecting the user's privacy. 

 
[Image: 3-install.gif]

[Image: 4-NAV-over-1.gif]

[Image: 5-NAV-overview-opti-program-start.gif]

[Image: 6-NAV-overveiw-skins.gif]


For better system performance and PC stability, WinOptimizer also fixes registry errors, removes broken shortcuts and disables unnecessary background processes and autostart entries. Several analysis tools that display detailed file information about installed hard and software and that track resource hogs have been included for better system transparency. The tweaking module allows for individual Windows customization. Browser Extension Manager lists each and every one of your browser add-ons and extensions, including hidden, and often malicious ones. 

WinOptimizer 18 features dashboards for instant-easy access feature with absolute informational clarity covering the all areas of the use's system cleaning, optimizing and analyzing. Defrag has been completely revamped and optimized for high performance and low resource consumption. Benchmark Center bundles all performance-related tests in a single file easily accessible location. System Information has been significantly extended and updated to support the latest hardware and provide even more in-depth information. 

The Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 interface is arranged so as the user will have quick-access to modules if user does not fancy to be granular in usage. Interface dashboards are bundle core features of related module and is easily accessible. 

FEATURES AT A GLANCE:
 
  • New more efficient Defrag
  • Dashboards for up-to-date overviews on essential details
  • Accelerate and slim down your system
  • Reclaim disk space efficiently
  • Maintain hard disk and system health
  • Handy task scheduler for maintenance and optimization
  • Powerful browser extension management
 
Latest version build is Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 version: 18.00.16 (2020/06/12)

New:
 
  • Dashboards for always up-to-date and instant features access
  • Instant access and always up-to-date information with dashboards
  • Merge free disk space with Defrag
  • Extensive drive analysis and hardware review with Defrag

Improved:
 
  • Completely intuitive user interface 
  • Enhanced Browser Extension Manager    
  • Updated search algorithms for all cleaner modules 
  • Remove internet traces with Internet Cleaner 
  • Clean hard disks with Drive Cleaner 
  • Optimize Windows Registry with Registry Optimizer 
  • Enhanced system details view with optimized hardware detection 
  • Get detailed system information     




Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 SETTINGS

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 provides 11 settings for full optimization of the user's system. 

 
  • Basic functions

    User can use these settings to select a different program language or a change in look via "skins".
     
    [Image: 8-1-settings-basic-functions.gif]
  • One Click Optimizer

    Sets "One Click Optimizer" options on how-to run and specify whether found issues should be  fixed automatically.
     
    [Image: 8-2-settings-one-click-drive-cleaner.gif]
  • Drive Cleaner

    Sets what information will Drive Cleaner scan and should clean. User may also select  files/folders to be excluded from scans.
     
    [Image: 8-2-settings-one-click-drive-cleaner.gif]
  • Registry Optimizer

    Sets which file elements to include in scans and what local drives should be scanned. User can also remove exceptions created using the context menu in Registry Optimizer.
     
    [Image: 8-4-settings-registry-optimizer.gif]
  • Internet Cleaner

    Sets what scanned file types to be deleted for each browser. Secure cookie list is also set here. 
     
    [Image: 8-5-settings-internet-cleaner.gif]
  • Defrag

    Specify the level of fragmentation that will be used for a specified drive. If he prefers, user can also activate boot time defragmentation to defragment files usually used by Windows once its launched before the boot process has commenced.
     
    [Image: 8-6-settings-defrag.gif]
  • File Associator

    These settings allow the user to select the formats that will be listed for each file extension category. To include a file type, user simply add its extension to the desired category (use commas to separate multiple formats).
     
    [Image: 8-7-settings-file-aso-diskspace-wipe.gif]
  • DiskSpace Explorer

    User can adjust the visual representation of file distribution here. "Number of chart sections", how many parts a diagram, (re: a pie chart, can
    consist of). User may adjust the lists of formats used for each category such as "Audio Files" or "Documents" and even create his own custom category/group.



  • File Wiper

    User can select the deletion method to be used by the module here. The default set is "DoDD 5220.22-M (seven write iterations; extremely difficult to restore). 


  • Undeleter

    This is where the user can set options (folder structures and the like) to be used for effective file restoration. 



  • Duplicate Finder

    Set options here to what should be scanned and exclusion of single file formats to make an effective scan of duplicate files. 
 
[Image: 8-8-settings-duplicate-finder.gif]


A. OVERVIEW

The Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18's "Overview" displays the CPU usage gauge and an Analyze button. The user can check all unnecessary files, broken registry entries, invalid shortcuts, and browser traces such as cookies and history files here in one view. 
 
[Image: 5-NAV-overview-opti-program-start.gif]



B. AUTOMATIC

Ashampoo WinOptimizer offers automatic features for optimizing the user's system. Along with that, WinOptimizer shows the user the history of all actions done (as well as backing up everything that it does so it will be easy to "go-back" to previous state via "Backups"). Automatic features offered are: (i) Auto-Clean, (ii) Live-Tuner, and (iii) Game Booster.  A tray icon will be shown when automatic features are enabled. User can just right-click the icon to access the settings for each feature.
 
[Image: 9-NAV-automatic.gif]
 
  • Auto-Clean

    Auto-Clean removes application-related "temporary files" as soon as the applications are closed to regain disk space. Running applications store these temporary File / data and as they run they continue to take up space even applications are closed/exited. 

  • Live-Tuner

    Live-Tuner adjusts process priorities to speed up application launches.

  • Game-Booster

    Game-Booster automatically terminates all processes/applications that are non-essential to the game to free up resources thus preventing slowdown of the user's games. 





C. ALL MODULES

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 has 6 modules (functions) complete with all the necessary tools that any user will need to maintain and optimize his system. A "switch view" toggle is provided at the upper-right corner of the "All modules" interface / dashboard. this "switch view" is for the user and can be, say, "Switch view = ON -- functions" is tailored for the new user. This is the "use-case" method (detailed view of functions) to aid him in what he wants to do. The "Switch view = OFF -- all modules" (quick overview) is more for the familiar or  intermediate user (those who know a thing or two about optimization/tweaking). The collection of functions / modules will help te user manage all common PC settings, optimization as well as system information and improved tools (Windows tools based). 

The six (6) modules are: (i) Maintain system, (ii) Improve performance, (iii) Customize Windows, (iv) Analyze system, (v) File tools, and (vi) Administrative tools. 

 
[Image: 10-AM1-all-modules-switch-view-s.png]



(i) Maintain system
 
  • One Click Optimizer

    Offers an easy "one-click" optimization and maintenance of a user's system. It runs Internet Cleaner, Drive Cleaner and Registry Optimizer in succession. Click the magnifying glass icons to open the a selected module and adjust the results. Click "Delete now" to remove all found objects.
     
    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-one-click-optimize.gif]

    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-magnifying-glass-icon.gif]
  • Drive Cleaner

    Drive Cleaner scans the user's system for files that are no longer needed and displays results grouped by categories. User can click the number of results to display necessary details for each category. Check boxes are provided to select/deselect individual results or use the top buttons to select all/no results from a category. Creation of a report via a text file is also provided via the "Create report" button. 
     
    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-drive-cleaner.gif]
  • Registry Optimizer

    Registry Optimizer scans the user's Windows Registry database for unneeded entries and displays results grouped by categories. User can click the number of results to display necessary details for each category. Check boxes are provided to select/deselect individual results or use the top buttons to select all/no results from a category. Creation of a report via a text file is also provided via the "Create report" button. User can specify an entry as an exception to exclude it from future scans / searches. 
     
    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-registry-optimizer.gif]
  • Internet Cleaner

    Internet Cleaner scans the system for unneeded "internet-related” files and displays results grouped by categories. User can click the number of results to display necessary details for each category. User can specify a selected cookie and indicate it as a "secure cookie". When such has been set, this cookie will no longer show up in future search results. User is allowed to keep settings such as login data for webmail account from being deleted every time he uses Internet Cleaner eliminating the need to input it again. 
     
    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-internet-cleaner.gif]
  • Defrag

    Defrag  or "defragmenting" rearranges  file fragments to speed up  file access times. Take note that defragmentation’s are ONLY USED with mechanical drives. Modern SSDs provide nearly constant access times irrespective of  file fragmentation (thus defrag is not needed).
     
    [Image: 10-AM1-maintain-defrag.gif]
  • Registry Defrag

    This module defragments the Windows Registry database to speed up your Windows performance. To use this, the user must click "Analyze" to scan all Registry areas and select his preferred areas to be optimized. A "reboot" pop-up will appear and must be done for the process to push through. 
 
[Image: 10-AM1-maintain-reg-defrag.gif]






(ii) Improve performance

 
  • Service Manager

    Services are background programs required by Windows and other applications to work properly. This module lists all installed services and provides a rating on their usefulness. It also allows you to modify start types individually.
     
    [Image: 11-AM2-improve-service-man.gif]
  • StartUp Tuner

    This module lists all applications that launch with Windows. Use the check boxes to enable/disable individual entries.
     
    [Image: 11-AM2-improve-startup-tune.gif]
  • Internet Tuner

    This module helps you optimize your Internet connection.
     
    [Image: 11-AM2-improve-internet-tuner.gif]
  • Process Manager

    This module lists all currently running processes and allows you to adjust their priorities or terminate them.
     
    [Image: 11-AM2-improve-process-manager.gif]
  • Uninstall Manager

    This module allows you to uninstall applications and remove entries for incompletely uninstalled programs.
     
    [Image: 11-AM2-improve-uninstal-manager.gif]
  • SSD Wizard

    Use these settings to optimize your Windows for SSD drives.
 
[Image: 11-AM2-improve-ssd-wizard.gif]








(iii) Customize Windows

 
  • Tweaking

    Tweaking allows the user to customize various system settings. There are 10 tweaking categories the user can choose to "tweak", (i) Windows Logon, (ii) Devices, (iii) Drives, (iv) System, (v) Desktop, (vi) Explorer, (vii) Internet Explorer, (viii) Mozilla Firefox, (ix) Other Software, and (x) Windows 8 and higher. User just needs to select his desired category and use the tabs to navigate through each category. To set the tweak user just needs to click "Apply". A restore feature is present to restore the original settings.
     
    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-1.png]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-logon.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-devices.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-drives.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-system.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-desktop.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-explorer.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-IE.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-mozilla.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-other.gif]


    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-tweaking-win8-high.gif]
  • AntiSpy

    AntiSpy can disable many of Windows' telemetry features used to collect data and send it back to Microsoft. User just needs to select his desired category and use the tabs to navigate through each category. To set the AntiSpy preference, user just needs to click "Apply". A restore feature is present to restore the original settings. "Restore safe settings" will automatically adjust the settings to avoid the most common security risks.
     
    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-antispy.gif]
  • Win10 Privacy Control

    This module enables you to adjust all settings in Windows 10 that might compromise your security or privacy. User just needs to select his desired category and use the tabs to navigate through each category. To set the privacy preference, user just needs to click "Apply". A restore feature is present to restore the original settings. "Restore safe settings" will automatically adjust the settings to avoid the most common security risks.
     
    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-win10-privacy.gif]
  • File Associator

    File Associator allows the user to associate file types with viewer/editor programs. File types that are currently unassociated are marked "red". User can click an entry to select a single file type or, hold down Shift to select multiple entries.
     
    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-file-asosociation.gif]
  • Context Menu Manager

    This module allows the user to enable/disable various menu items in Windows' right-click context menu. Use "Activate" and "Disable" to turn individual items on/off or use the check marks. User needs to click "Apply" to set / apply modifications.
     
    [Image: 12-AM3-customize-context-menu.gif]
  • Browser Extension Manager

    This module lists all browser extensions from all browsers in all available user profiles.
 
[Image: 12-AM3-customize-brow-extnsn.gif]








(iv) Analyze system

 
  • System Information

    This module provides various informative details of the user's PC hardware including installed applications. A report can be generated via "Create Report". Details of the report can be viewed in the user's browser (HTML file). 
     
    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-hardw.gif]


    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-drives.gif]


    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-softw.gif]


    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-netw.gif]


    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-multi.gif]


    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-sysinfo-pow.gif]
  • DiskSpace Explorer

    DiskSpace Explorer analyzes and visualizes the file distribution across the user's drives. User needs to identify the target drive for scanning. Results obtained will aid the user to evaluate his options towards better optimization. 
     
    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-diskspace.gif]
  • Benchmark Center

    This module allows the user to benchmark PC performance and analyze results as compared to other systems. It is advised to close running applications to get a better / accurate benchmark results. 
     
    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-benchmark.gif]
     
    • (i) System Benchmark

      This module can benchmark the performance of your PC and compare it to other results online. User needs to click "Run benchmark" to start benchmarking process and (click) "Compare online" to compare your results to other machines.

    • (ii) HDD Benchmark

      This module can benchmark the read/write speeds of your disk drives. User needs to click "Start" to benchmark the selected drive and "Compare online" to compare your results against other drives.



  • HDD Inspector
    This module displays details pertaining to hard disk drive health as well as other information about the user's disk drive. 

     
    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-hdd-inspctr.gif]
  • Disk Doctor
    Disk Doctor scans your hard disks for errors and can try to fix them. Errors may / can be caused by power cuts, crashes on the user's system (and on external drives). An option to use "Deep scan" is provided. 

     
    [Image: 13-AM4-analyze-diskdoc.gif]
  • Font Manager
    This module lists all installed system fonts.
 
[Image: 13-AM4-analyze-font-man.gif]








(v) File tools

 
  • File Wiper

    When Windows deletes a file, the selected disk space is marked as reusable. As long as it isn't used for new data, the original data is still there and can be recovered easily. File Wiper overwrites these areas with data such as zeros so the data can no longer be recovered.
     
    [Image: 14-AM5-filetools-file-wiper.gif]
  • File Manipulator

    File Manipulator allows you to split up files into several parts (for easier sharing or archiving). It can also re-assemble these parts or encrypt/decrypt them. Splitting / Joining files will require the user to input the "destination" folder for the "to-be" manipulated file. Otherwise the new-manipulated file will be placed in the original location. Encrypt allows the user to create a self-decrypting EXE / delete the original file as well as password protect the encrypted file. 
     
    [Image: 14-AM5-filetools-file-manipulator.gif]
  • Undeleter

    Undeleter "attempts" to recover accidentally deleted files. User just needs to select a drive and click "Search" and click "Restore" to recover the selected file/s. Take note that user needs to make sure to select a different drive (than the source) as "destination" to avoid data loss.
     
    [Image: 14-AM5-filetools-undeleter.gif]
  • Link Checker

    Link Checker validates file shortcuts and provides the user to "delete" invalid items. These shortcuts allow the user to access the underlying files via double-clicking (like most of the user's Desktop icons). Shortcuts become invalid when the underlying file is moved or deleted. 
     
    [Image: 14-AM5-filetools-link-chek.gif]
  • Duplicate Finder

    Duplicate Finder scans the user's drives for duplicate files and lists them side by side. This allows the user to "delete" duplicates and regain disk space. User need to click "Search" to begin the operation. Check boxes are there to select/deselect scanned items. User can create a report of the findings via "Create report" (to create a text file). 

     
    [Image: 14-AM5-filetools-duplicatef-finder.gif]
  • ADS scanner

    Alternate data streams (ADS) attach secondary but hidden data streams / files to a file as it is usually shown in Windows Explorer.
    These streams usually contain additional data used by programs that process the "main” file. However, they can also be used to hide
    malware. This module scans the initially selected drive for such streams and allows the user to "delete" them, if warranted. 
 
[Image: 14-AM5-filetools-ADS.gif]









(vi) Administrative tools
 
  • Backup management

    This module lists all the backups automatically done by Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18. to undo changes made by WinOptimizer should the changes have led to undesired / untoward system behavior. Backups are done automatically after each optimization. User can set auto-delete backup in the settings. 
     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-backup-management.gif]
  • System Restore Manager

    This module manages system restore points as created by Windows. System restore points allow you to revert your machine to a previous state in the event of system errors.

     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-system-restore.gif]
  • Icon Saver

    Icon Saver saves the position of the user's desktop icons and can restore their original layout. 

     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-icon-saver.gif]
  • User-Rights Manager

    Use this module to adjust/restrict user rights, (keep guest accounts at bay or in-check). It is particularly useful in multi-user environments.

     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-user-rights-manager.gif]
     


  • Energy Manager

    User can adjust existing or create new power schemes. Each scheme offers separate settings for battery and grid operation.

     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-energy-manager.gif]
     


  • Task scheduler

    This module allows the user to specify a time for the next system analysis or schedule "One Click Optimizer" to run automatically. If
    needed, the program can shut itself down, once the process is complete.

     
     
    [Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-task-scheduler.gif]
     


  • Statistics

    This is a summary of all WinOptimizer activities. A "Rest" is provided to reset all values.
 
 
[Image: 15-AM6-Admintools-statistics.gif]
 





D. CLEAN

"Clean" (as the word implies) module helps you Clean the Registry, remove web browsing traces and to track down no longer needed  Files.

 
 
[Image: 16-NAV-clean.gif]


E. OPTIMIZE

User can speed up boot times, defragment mechanical hard disks for faster access times and adjust essential privacy settings for added protection.
 
 
[Image: 17-NAV-optimize.gif]


F. INFORM

This dashboard provides essential details about your installed hardware and software. All relative information can be accessed in this module. 

 
 
[Image: 18-NAV-inform.gif]



G. BACKUPS

Use this module to undo changes made by WinOptimizer should the changes have led to undesired / untoward system behavior. Backups are done automatically after each optimization. User can set auto-delete backup in the settings. 

 
 
[Image: 19-NAV-backups.gif]




 
PERTINENT LINKS
 
 
 
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 — System tuning, Cleaning and details in one program!
 
System optimization with Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18




OBSERVATIONS:


Installation of Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 is quick and simple. The usual 30-day trial period is now 10 days. Usage isn't hindered dramatically except for the nag pop-up requiring you to enter the "license key" which can be entered offline and will be automatically activated when an internet connection is detected. A "skin" selection is presented to the user. The user can either select, (i) Dark Blue, or (ii) Snow White. He (the user) can change his mind anytime (as I did) when I found out that the "Dark Blue" was too dark for me to see "all" the tools to be used. 

Cleaning
Now as an intermediate user may have experienced before, deep or advanced cleaning as claimed by developers is NOT always safe. Deep / advanced cleaning involves removing any unnecessary files, registry entries, browsing traces, broken links etc., (which hinders an optimal performance on any system) in one way or another a user may render an experience of something wrong / funky happening to his system (after such "deep/advanced" cleaning was done). With Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 the user need not worry about such as there is an "automatic” backup done every time such "cleaning" is done. Thus if anything "funky" happens (like the system went a bit slower than before, etc.) a backup is just a click away. Very nice touch there Ashampoo.

Having a backup to revert to is and always be a very good feature! Or else (if no backup feature or restore is given), and something goes wrong, user will suffer! An image backup (if he has one) can save him but sometimes it may not be a solution depending on the user's scheme and backup methodology. Just like an "accidental deletion" of a file which is not yet included in an existing image backup. Some system tool / utilities "asks" the user "if" he wants to create a backup (or something like it) via a pop-up prior proceeding to clean. I find that Ashampoo's way is better as sometimes the user is in a hurry and opts out of a backup and then "boom" you get hit! Ashampoo's is "automatic" backup. Hell I even checked it and there it was AND I did not create one. THAT is the good thing about it! Yes, Sir! This will never happen in Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18! 

Cleaning can be accessed by the dashboard item "Clean" (marked "D" in the interface map). See also "D. CLEAN" above where elements (i)Registry database, (ii)Web browsing traces, and (iii) Unnecessary files are offered to be "cleaned". Actually, Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 has a couple of ways to make the user informed that he needs to "clean/optimize" his system. User can set to "ON" in the dashboard "Overview" (marked "A" in the interface map) the "Analyze at program launch" after which he can just click "Optimize" to start "cleaning" (See "A. OVERVIEW") or, he can set "Auto-Clean - ON"  via dashboard "Automatic" (marked "B" in the interface map). See "B. AUTOMATIC", where (i) Auto-Clean, (ii) Live-Tuner, and (iii) Game-Booster can be toggled to be set to "automatically" optimize the user's system. 

One thing observed is that after Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 has finished cleaning via "A. OVERVIEW" and "D. CLEAN" and it says there that "Your PC is running at full performance -- Presently there is no need to optimize" a free alternative CCleaner Free version 5.42 says otherwise. See image below showing traces found by CCleaner Free "after" Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 has finished cleaning. 

Alternatively, I fired Glary Utilities 5. 157 Pro and used it's "1-Click Maintenance" and it also found traces. Note that automatic maintenance for Glary is turned-off.
 
[Image: 1-AWOP-clean1-ccleaner-glary-scan.gif]


I used Glary Utilities 5. 157 Pro (and used it's "1-Click Maintenance”) to "Repair Problems". After Glary has repaired all problems I fired up Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 and it found 10 KB of browsing traces. Both "A. OVERVIEW" and "D. CLEAN" found the traces. I used Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 to clean the Glary Utilities remnants and once cleaned I scanned again (redundantly) via Glary Utilities 5. 157 Pro via it's "1-Click Maintenance". No remnants were found. 
 
[Image: 2-Glary-clean-awop-scan-with-remnants-aw...y-scan.gif]




To have further the comparison, I fired-up Wise Care 365 v5.6.1 Pro and used it's "PC Checkup".  Note that Wise Protection is OFF" for Wise Care 365 v5.6.1 Pro. 
 
[Image: 3-AWOP-18-clean-Glary-scan-Wise-care-sca...8-scan.gif]



Wise Care 365 v5.6.1 Pro "PC Checkup" scan gave 234 issues (remnants) from the Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 cleaning (take note that -- previously mentioned above- - the confirmatory "1-Click Maintenance" of Glary Utilities 5. 157 Pro had no remnants). I let Wise Care 365 v5.6.1 Pro "PC Checkup" fix the issues after which I scanned again using Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18. There were remnants found by Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 which were mostly unnecessary files and browsing traces. I let Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 clean the remnants left by Wise care 365. I did a re-scan using Glary Utilities 5. 157 Pro and Wise Care 365 v5.6.1 Pro which resulted with zero remnants. 
 
[Image: 4-AWOP-clean-wise-care-scan-glary-scan.gif]


This is just to show that regardless of apps used there will always be remnants traced by apps which are mostly browsing traces and unnecessary / temp files. When you exit Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 and fire it up again (and you have "Analyze at program launch" -- which to my opinion can be opt out and can be used manually just like the "One-Click-Optimizer") almost often it will detect issues like "browsing traces" and/or "unnecessary files".  This behavior is the same as that of the alternatives used for comparison (except CCleaner Free). Differences in scanning algorithms of every application is the thing here. Not one is the same altogether.  

WinOptimizer's "One-Click-Optimizer" has a dedicated desktop icon but the user can access it also via All Modules > Maintain System > One Click Optimizer. One thing when running "One-Click-Optimizer" the user should take extra care as One-Click-Optimizer will run "Internet Cleaner, driver Cleaner and Registry Optimizer modules automatically. It is advised that the user (even though an automatic backup is made by Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18) check the details of each results (via the magnifying glass icon at the extreme-right of each category) before clicking "Delete now". 


"B. AUTOMATIC" issue encountered
There were more than a couple of times that I was surprised that the "B. AUTOMATIC" was set at "OFF". I mean all three (3) elements, (i) Auto-Clean, (ii) Live-Tuner, and (iii) Game-Booster were "OFF". 

The (i) Auto-Clean's main focus is on disk cleaning and will remove browser traces as well as unnecessary files (temp files created when apps are opened / closed). (ii) Live-Tuner's focus is to speed-up application response and performance by automatically optimizing process priorities. (iii) Game-Booster closes any unnecessary applications/processes unnecessary when you do gaming. When "off" Game-Booster will automatically restore any processes and application it had initially closed / stopped. 

I must have turned-on the "Ashampoo LiveTuner service" manually 5x now since I used Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18. Plus there isn't any way to determine that it is "off" but the tray-icon (which is not-shown). And this is before I installed Glary Utilities 5.157 Pro and Wise Care v5.6.1 Pro so it cannot be attributed to the two alternative apps being installed alongside Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18. I have been accustomed to relying on the "A. OVERVIEW" "Analyze at program launch" for an automatic scan (I just need to click on "optimize"). There should be an indicator of some sort in the "A. OVERVIEW" module or an exclamation point indicator at the right side of the "B. AUTOMATIC" so the user will know that it is set at "OFF". See images below. 
 
[Image: 5-Live-Tunerissue.gif]

[Image: 6-error-in-module-indicator.png]


Start-up Tuner
The start-up tuner gives the user option to check and control what applications and services are set to start (auto-start) automatically. The list of applications is "rated" by the Ashampoo community thus the user will be guided on what process is necessary or not needed. This is like "SysInternals Autoruns" or, "ComodoAutoruns" which can also provide such options. 


SSD Wizard
Although Ashampoo take steps to better optimize SSD performance the "tuner" delves more onto the services that have been proven to affect SSD lifespan and performance (like Prefetch, Superfetch, Hibernation and defragmentation) other than that there is a "TRIM" command which shortens write access time. This of course if your SSD is new. Older models "may" not be supported. If you get a greyed-out "TRIM" then your Windows version is not supported. The "TRIM" command in my set-up is greyed out so that's bad for me dropping all SSD wizardry for me. Other than the offered "TRIM" command, the user can manually disable the detrimental features /services on his own via Admin services. Some defrag applications also offer this "TRIM" command like O&O Defrag 23 and 24 Professional. 
 
[Image: 7-SSD-Wizard.png]



Privacy
Most freeware apps will place privacy checking focusing only on 3rd party cookies and deleting browser history. In WinOptimizer 18 the application adds more for the user via Windows 10 Privacy Control. User can set / specify apps restriction on telemetry or how will apps have rights to access hardware, location settings, calendar and other account related data. Or if needed the user can out rightly "prevent apps from sending telemetry data" via just a check box! Nice touch. Other popular 3rd party applications like O&O ShutUp also offers this options for free. The alternatives used to compare with Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 (Glary Utilities 5.157 Pro and Wise Care v5.6.1 Pro) do not have this privacy module. Although the intermediate user can tinker and disable/enable features manually in Windows the new user will be glad that Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 has this to simplify things. 


AntiSpy
This also Ashampoo AntiSpy being bundled with WinOptimizer. AntiSpy goes beyond privacy and adds focus on areas often compromised such as script execution and meta-data services alongside report or feedback submission to external contacts. This is a welcome addition as not all users can delve into intricate checking of data in his everyday computing life. Of course there are also 3rd party applications that renders this purposes and also AV security suites (paid AV's). 


There are other notable tools bunched in the “All Modules” dashboard (See "C. ALL MODULES" above), like "System Information" which gives an updated overview (hardware / software etc.) of the user system (such information can also be accessed via F. "INFORM"). Benchmark Center helps the user gauge performance of both (i) System, and (ii) Hard disks giving him more mileage on hardware configurations. The HDD Inspector also helps the user gauge HDD performance and status. SMART self-diagnostic is given also. The ADS Scanner scans / checks for hidden information (ADS streams) attached to files thus potentially helping prevent malware. This is a welcome addition to WinOptimizer 18's AntiSpy and provision of encryption tools with secure deletion. 



Dashboards "NOT" NEW
Ashampoo banner's the WinOptimizer 18 dashboards as "NEW" -- Dashboards for always up-to-date and instant features access". 

The "dashboards" are NOT "new" because "dashboards" was already present in WinOptimizer 17. The full details of both WinOptimizer 18 and 17 shows and lists "dashboards" there. So it’s not "new" but "improved dashboards". To claim such is false. 

WinOptimizer 18 "only" streamlined its "dashboard" and altogether the overall look. WinOptimizer 18 looks “neat" as compared to WinOptimizer 17. The dashboard of WinOptimizer 17 is plagued with un-needed redundancies as the modules, Maintain system, Improve performance, Customize Windows, Analyze system, File Tools and Administrative tools is already in the "All Modules". See image of redundant dashboard modules below. 
 
[Image: 8-redundant-dashboard-modules-in-17.png]

[Image: 9-redundant-dashboard-modules-in-17-2.gif]


Using both version 17 and 18 I did not find any significant changes as the feel is the same. The "feel" of using both WinOptimizer 17 and 18 is the same except for the interface changes. Moving from a module to a different module or elements takes a bit of time because even if version 18 is streamlined to not confuse you (unlike WinOptimizer 17) the collection of tools are almost the same and shifting from here to there is a drag. Oh well a "new" build / product is and always be a "new product". 

 
[Image: 10-18-17-interface-compare.gif]


[Image: 11-18-17-CPU-RAM-res.png]



Ashampoo WinOptimizer 17 and 18 FULL Details Comparison

See also the FULL Details of both Ashampoo WinOptimizer 17 and 18 as taking a closer look "almost" all looks the same. 

 





PRICING:

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 is priced at a discounted price of $15.00 (from $49.99) and a single license can be used on 10 devices! Now that's a bargain there. The alternatives, Glary Utilities Pro is priced at $19.97 (from $39.95) but that price is subscription based 1-year (renewal price is $19.97). Install is up to 3 PCs only. Wise Care 365 Pro (latest build is 5.6.1) $35.98 for a lifetime license / $15.98 for 1 -year. Pricing is for installation of up to 3 PCs.  Surprisingly when I checked the price for Ashampoo WinOptimizer 17 versus Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18, WinOptimizer 17 costs at $20.00!  $5 more than the latest version. But perhaps the WinOptimizer 17 has not been updated or something...
 
[Image: 13-Win-Optimizer-Pricing-Dilemma.png]

[Image: 14-Glary-interface.gif]

[Image: 15-wise-care-365-interface.gif]
 



FINAL WORD:


Ashampoo still has a hold of the software application market and one that is very evident is its commitment to developing existing products. Ashampoo software development is great and is among the top developers in the market. They strive to keep pace with what is new and emerging techs out in the world. When Edge browser has been upgraded there it is Ashampoo quickly made WinOptimizer cater to it. In version 18 they did a good job overhauling the interface as version 17 was full of redundancy that the user will either be (i) overwhelmed, or (ii) annoyed of the "repetition" of features.

Let's be frank here, almost all who will use or be keen (at the very least) on tinkering with WinOptimizer (has in a way) been exposed with other alternative utilities. The better half or majority will be "intermediate". Why? Because WinOptimizer isn't original and others have made their own variants. To the newbie WinOptimizer may be overwhelming! I know of new users who have not been used to CCleaner Pro and have only been immersed with it when the pandemic hit. They normally do not do cleaning as they leave it to the pc techs in the office. They are forced to do "maintenance" at home. Honestly when I used WinOptimizer 16 (and then version 17) there are two things that came to my mind: (i) a user will not need anything else if he has WinOptimizer but I have some 3rd party tools that does a better job on some features of WinOptimizer... and (ii) I already have effective (proven) alternative tool here with me (some who I have learned to trust have been with me years) those tools are also in WinOptimizer..isn't it redundant enough? The dilemma is there for me. Its either (i) retain my trusted tools, or (ii) junk my trusted tools and use just WinOptimizer. That is "still" the same question with WinOptimizer 18. 

If I retain my tools alongside WinOptimizer then a lot of redundancies are there. Redundancies that will have increased because there have been redundancies with the 3rd party tools I have been using even without WinOptimizer. Windows has the majority of the tools included in WinOptimizer. It is in the tweaking that will distance Windows from WinOptimizer (and from other alternative tools). WinOptimizer (as with other system utilities) are catered to the user so he will have some sense of order or will be at ease tweaking. WinOptimizer (especially version 18) is streamlined the way for the user to have all tools in one bundle. 

Windows (Microsoft for that matter) has for a long time wanted to govern all of us by making us take what they offer. Some tools or tweaks they hide so that the user will not be at ease looking for it and making some changes. Telemetry is one glaring example here. Such scheme of Windows (developers) was catered for Microsoft and NOT the user. Thus the advent of 3rd party system utilities. 

On pricing versus the alternatives used here, Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 still is the best deal. The one time of $15 for 10 devices is and always will be the hands-down best deal ever. 

The Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 installer packs all the necessary tools needed in one installation file (.exe) and upon installation the user can used it immediately. As compared to Wise Care 365 which gives the user the core component only and lets the user download the rest of the tools from the Wise Cleaner site to complete all Wise Care 365. 

On "privacy" the alternatives used to compare with Ashampoo WinOptimizer 18 (Glary Utilities 5.157 Pro and Wise Care v5.6.1 Pro) lacks the privacy protection of WinOptimzer 18 and although the intermediate user can tinker and disable/enable features manually in Windows it is the "new user" who will benefit from this option making it available for him at once. 

I'd like to add that the issue with the "LiveTuner service" turning itself "off" I experienced again before I posted this review so I'll have to send Ashampoo Support feedback on this. 

So questions still remain, (i) not to use WinOptimizer and retain/trust my old 3rd party tools, (ii) to retain my old 3rd party tools alongside WinOptimizer, or (iii) junk my 3rd party tools and just use WinOptimizer. 

That may be the question also for you guys. I'd like to have a good/great system utilities app and WinOptimizer 18 is one (absolutely). But simplicity knocks on my door...Hmmm...Good thing having mutli-boot is having one setup different from another Wink

If you are a beginner learning the ropes (or lazy doing house cleaning) go for WinOptimizer 18 and you won't be sorry. For the intermediate then its 50% both ways. If you are an advanced user, then the questions above may be the same for you. For the app hungry then definitely, install all you want! Dang with redundancy! 

This is only WinOptimizer 18 guys. If you have Ashampoo Uninstaller 10 then a lot more redundancies are there! Yeah you bet there are!

So I guess (perhaps...IF Ashampoo wants -- that's a big "IF"...) Ashampoo can streamline their apps features so redundancies will be placed at a "very" minimum or just create "one" distinct app that will have all the power features, (say select WinOptimizer and create  WinOptimizer Ultimate including the power features of UnInstaller 10). One power-app to rule them all (as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy says, -- One ring to rule them all"Imagine that! 

Cheers guys!
[-] The following 4 users Like jasonX's post:
  • dhruv2193, dinosaur07, harlan4096, silversurfer
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#2
Thanks a lot for another exquisite and thorough review, @jasonX.
Perfectly done indeed.
Cool
software enthusiast!
[-] The following 3 users Like dinosaur07's post:
  • dhruv2193, harlan4096, silversurfer
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#3
There are no words to express the level of detail of the review, again great work as always! thanks @jasonX!
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  • dhruv2193, silversurfer
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