Glary Utilities Review: Free vs Pro Version [2019]

Updated June 25, 2019

Glary Utilities is an all-in-one utility for cleaning your PC. Like most other PC cleanup tools, it has a free version and a paid version called Glary Utilities Pro.

So what exactly does Glary Utilities Pro do compared to the free version? Is Glary Utilities Pro worth $40/year?

I checked out the free and paid versions to answer these questions for you. Let's get right into it.

Glary Utilities Review

What I LikedWhat I Didn't LikeTL;DR
Tons of features Expensive for what you get 4/5

Powerful but hard to use

Can undo changes
Effective at freeing disk space UI is hard to use
Able to fix computer problems

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Is Glary Utilities Pro Worth it?

To answer your question, Glary Utilities Pro is only worth it if it’s on sale. I mention this because it seems like the software is on sale a lot of the time for up to 50% off. At that sale price, I would recommend buying the pro version. Otherwise, you should get Iolo System Mechanic (full review) instead for better value.

The free version, as you'll see, has a huge amount of features. If you're looking for extra features Glary Utilities Pro offers such as scheduled scans and scheduled privacy data cleaning, then you should go with Iolo System Mechanic instead. The chaotic UI of Glary Utilities also makes it hard to justify the money, but if you're a power user then this shouldn't matter much anyway.

Glary Utilities Free vs Pro

Glary Utilities has so many features that it would be overwhelming to list them all out here. I’ll do my best to cover everything that matters. Here's a comparison at a glance:

 

glary utilities tools

Free Features

1-Click Maintenance

This is the main feature of Glary Utilities and what people will probably use most often. It can:

  • Fix broken registry items
  • Fix broken shortcuts
  • Remove spyware
  • Repair hard disk errors
  • Erase browser data for privacy
  • Clean up temporary files
  • Manage your startup programs

glary utilities maintenance scan

 

This is convenient that Glary Utilities provides an all-in-one place to do all these useful functions. Broken registry items and hard disk errors could cause issues with your computer. Also, clearing browser data and removing temporary files is always a good idea to save space.

However, I wouldn’t recommend solely relying on Glary Utilities to get rid of spyware. For that purpose, you should use Malwarebytes.

Windows Registry Maintenance

Glary Utilities allows you to perform the following Windows Registry tasks:

  • Repair
  • Defragment
  • Backup
  • Restore

glary utilities registry repair

 

First of all, I’m not going to tell you that cleaning up or defragmenting your registry will speed up your computer, because it won’t. However, I think it’s good to fix registry issues because they could cause problems with your computer down the line.

I would recommend backing up your registry using Glary Utilities before performing a registry repair, just for some peace of mind.

File Management

Glary Utilities provides tons of features to do various things with files and folders on your PC. They are:

  • Remove duplicate files
  • Analyze disk space
  • Split files
  • Restore deleted files
  • Permanently delete files
  • Encrypt/decrypt files

glary utilities disk analyzer

I think all of these features are useful, but I wish Glary Utilities executed them a little better. For example, there’s no way to see my disk usage by file type, only by folder names. Also, the duplicate file finder found false positives (because it doesn’t search the actual file contents, only file metadata like size and date created).

Other than that, these tools are fantastic. You can delete files such that they can’t even be recovered by specialized software, and you can encrypt files to ensure only you will be able to access them.

System Tools

These features allow you to do various system-level tasks, such as:

  • Manage startup programs
  • Manage services, scheduled tasks, and processes
  • Repair system files
  • Backup Windows

glary utilities system tools

First off, you can do all of these yourself with tools Windows already provides. In fact, the “Repair System Files” tool literally runs the System File Checker in the background. Also, you can manage startup programs, services, and processes in Windows Task Manager (open with Ctrl + Shift + Esc).

That being said, it’s convenient because Glary Utilities provides you with an easy way to access and manage these system settings.

Driver Management

This suite of tools allows you to:

  • Backup drivers
  • Restore drivers
  • Uninstall drivers
  • Update drivers

glary utilities driver manager

Keeping your drivers up-to-date is extremely important to make sure your computer functions correctly. Glary Utilities does a good job of providing you with all the tools you need to make sure your drivers are working correctly.

I recommend backing up your drivers once you get them working.

Program Management

In terms of managing your programs, Glary Utilities helps you:

  • Uninstall programs
  • Update programs

You can uninstall programs yourself in Windows and it’s really easy, so this isn’t too special. However, the software updater is nice since most programs will only tell you they need to be updated when you actually open them.

See here for why you should always update your software.

Pro Features

Deep Registry Clean

In the free version of Glary Utilities, you can only fix problems for parts of your registry. With Glary Utilities Pro, you can do a “deep scan” and fix all registry problems.

glary utilities registry clean

 

I find it strange that this isn’t a free feature, since other free versions of PC cleaners like CCleaner allow you to clean your entire registry. What’s the point of cleaning your registry if you’re not cleaning all of it?

Scheduled 1-Click Maintenance

If you have Glary Utilities Pro you can automatically schedule 1-Click Maintenance scans to run every day, week, month, etc. at a certain time.

glary utilities auto clean

This is a useful feature to always make sure your computer doesn’t have useless files, and to stay on top of any computer issues you may run into. Personally, I use CCleaner Pro and run automatic scans once a month.

Erase Privacy Tracks Automatically

Instead of manually clearing your browsing data with Glary Utilities each time, this feature lets you do it automatically every time you logoff or shutdown windows (see above picture).

Browsing data includes things like tracking cookies, browsing history, and temporary files of your browser. This is a useful feature to protect your privacy, but I wish you could customize when this happens. For example, I would like this to happen when I close my browser instead because I leave my Windows logged in most of the time anyway.

Automatic Updates

Honestly, this is a feature that should be free since it’s not really that important. This all comes down to whether or not you’ll have to click a few extra buttons to update Glary Utilities

Free Technical Support

It makes sense that Glary Utilities doesn't provide free technical support to everyone that uses their free product, since they have so many users. I personally don't find this that useful, but I could see how you may need technical support given how complex this software is.

Is Glary Utilities Safe?

In short, yes, Glary Utilities is safe. It won’t introduce anything dangerous like malware to your computer.

However, this is a very powerful tool with a ton of features. It’s important that you pay close attention to what you’re doing to make sure you don’t accidentally delete anything.

One thing to mention is that Glary Utilities has a Restore Center (similar to Avast Cleanup) where you can undo the following changes:

  • Uninstalling programs
  • Enabling/disabling startup programs
  • Clearing browser data
  • Cleaning disks
  • 1-Click Maintenance scans
  • Repairing registry
  • Fixing shortcuts
  • Removing Malware

If you’re careful with what you’re doing and use the Restore Center when needed, you should be 100% safe.

Alternatives

There are many PC cleaners out there, such as:

If you're looking for an alternative that also has a free version, check out CCleaner. It does some things better like the disk analyzer and duplicate file finder.

However, if you actually want to speed up your computer, you should use Iolo System Mechanic.  The main thing that makes it different from other PC cleaners is that it dynamically re-allocates system resources to programs that are actually being used.

Conclusion

Glary Utilities is a monster PC cleaning tool, with a ton of advanced features. The pro version also offers useful additions like scheduled maintenance, and scheduled privacy data cleaning.

However, the user interface and user experience could definitely be improved. It feels chaotic, and I had trouble finding tools often. Also, like most other PC cleaners, it most likely won't speed up your computer.

Overall, I recommend picking up Glary Utilities Pro if it’s on sale, or the free version if you’re a hardcore user. Otherwise, my #1 choice for PC cleaning tools is still Iolo System Mechanic. It has a comparable feature set, the interface is a lot easier to deal with, and it's much more effective at increasing the performance of your computer. Check out my full review of it here.

 

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About the Author

Tyler Sanderson

I'm a Canadian who is currently working at Google's NYC office as a software developer. I love board games, cooking, and learning about all things tech related.

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