Iolo System Mechanic Review: Our Lab Results [2019]

Published June 25, 2019

Iolo is well known for their PC optimization software. One that gets a lot of attention is Iolo System Mechanic.

With all of the PC cleaners out there, how do you know which ones are actually effective and worth the cost? For example, System Mechanic is normally $50/year (but goes on sale a lot).

I took an in-depth look at the features of the standard and pro versions, and used actual benchmarks to determine if Iolo System Mechanic is legit.

So, how does it hold up? Let's get right into it.

Iolo System Mechanic Review

What I LikedWhat I Didn't LikeTL;DR
Clean UI Slow customer support 4.5/5

#1 PC Cleaner
Sped up my computer
Easy to use
Has tons of features

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Is Iolo System Mechanic Worth it?

Based on extensive testing of the standard and pro versions, I can say that Iolo System Mechanic is definitely worth the cost. It’s the first PC cleaner to give me measurable performance improvements, and it has a ton of useful features.

I also think that it has the nicest UI and is the easiest to use. The LiveBoost feature alone is worth the money.

Iolo System Mechanic Pro, on the other hand, is not worth the upgrade. The System Shield straight up doesn’t work as an antivirus, and the other pro features are available in free software like CCleaner or Glary Utilities.

Does Iolo System Mechanic Work?

I benchmarked my internet speed, startup time, CPU, GPU, hard disk, and RAM performance before and after using Iolo System Mechanic. Using similar testing methods that Iolo themselves used, I measured improvements in all categories. This is actually the first PC tune-up tool to give me noticeable results, so my answer is yes, Iolo System Mechanic works.

I specifically ran all of the “Clean” and “Speed Up” tools in the System Mechanic Toolbox, and enabled all “LiveBoost” settings. Along with idle benchmarks, I also tried to simulate an actual user environment when running benchmarks. I did this by opening Steam, Skype, Discord, and a few Google Chrome tabs.

iolo system mechanic internet speed benchmark iolo system mechanic boot time benchmark iolo system mechanic novabench iolo system mechanic novabench idle

You’ll notice that I saw minimal Novabench score improvements with more powerful specs, even when under load. However, I saw huge performance gains with lower CPU and RAM specs, especially when under load. I attribute this mostly to the “LiveBoost” tool, which dynamically re-allocates RAM and CPU resources to the programs actually in use. I’ll talk more about this when I get into the features.

Features – Standard vs Pro Version

The standard version of Iolo System Mechanic has a comprehensive set of features on its own, including:

  • Cleanup module
  • Speed Up module
  • Protect module
  • Recover module
  • Manage module
  • Scheduled registry cleaning and system scans
  • LiveBoost performance booster
  • Windows firewall monitoring

Iolo System Mechanic Pro adds a few additional features:

  • System Shield for malware protection
  • Search and Recover to retrieve lost and deleted files
  • DriveScrubber to permanently erase data

I used the standard version on trial for a bit and then upgraded to the pro version to see for myself what the difference is. I also put together a nice little comparison below so you can see all the features of both versions.

iolo system mechanic features

Standard Features

Quick/Deep System Scans

Iolo System Mechanic has a quick and deep system scan. The quick scan looks for a subset of issues that the deep scan looks for. The following are issues the deep scan looks for:

  • Memory that could be freed up
  • Internet junk files
  • Windows junk files
  • Registry issues
  • Windows security issues
  • Tracked personal data
  • Wi-fi and bandwidth sharing
  • Suboptimal internet connection settings
  • Broken internet connection
  • Startup delays
  • Hard drive defragmentation issues

iolo system mechanic main

This is pretty comprehensive compared to scans of other PC cleaners, which tend to only find registry issues, personal data on internet browsers, and junk files. System Mechanic’s scans also focus on issues that could be slowing down your internet, delaying your startup times, and sharing personal data outside of internet browsers.

Clean Module

This module handles cleaning junk files, private data, registry issues, and unwanted programs.

clean module

This is pretty standard compared to other PC cleaning tools out there, which do the same things mostly. One thing I like is that you have a lot of control over exactly what gets cleaned as part of each category. For example, you can do internet cleanup but leave all your saved passwords and browsing history.

On the other hand, none of the cleanup tools allow you to remove the junk files of specific programs. Also, the uninstaller only allows you to uninstall one program at a time, which can be slow depending on how much cleanup you have to do.

Speed Up Module

This module focuses on speeding up your internet, increasing your hard drive efficiency, increasing your RAM efficiency, and improving your boot times.

speed up module

Honestly, I only think that NetBooster, Startup Optimizer, and Disk Defragmenter are useful. As you saw from my benchmark results, NetBooster noticeably sped up my connection, and the Startup Optimizer helped me figure out which processes and programs I actually needed at startup. It’s also generally accepted that you should defrag your hard drive once in awhile (not SSDs).

Sure, you can manually change your internet settings and manage startup programs yourself in Windows. However, I’m not exactly sure how to optimize my internet settings myself. Also, the Startup Optimizer includes super helpful things like community votes on whether or not you should keep a startup process, and the importance of a startup process.

startup optimizer

What about the other features in this module? Like I said before, you don’t need the Program Accelerator, or Memory Mechanic.

The Program Accelerator basically makes sure that program data and parts of individual files are close to each other on your hard disk. This in theory will increase file access speed, but in reality, you won’t notice much of a difference.

The Memory Mechanic defragments your PC’s RAM the same way your hard drive gets defragmented. This is something else that sounds useful in theory, but it’s completely useless. Read here to find out why.

Protect Module

This module focuses on Windows security issues, personal data sharing, and permanently deleting files.

protect module

The Security Optimizer fixed, and informed me of my network vulnerabilities I had no idea about, such as a SYN attack vulnerability. Sure, it’s unlikely that I would be the target of such an attack, but it’s always good to have that extra peace of mind.

Privacy Shield gives you more control over things like sharing your program usage habits, location data, and browsing history with Microsoft. You don’t need Iolo System Mechanic to opt out of sharing these, but the software makes it really easy and provides you with additional information.

The incinerator basically adds the “incinerate” option when you right-click files. This securely and permanently deletes a file, so it can’t even be recovered by specialized software. I use this on files I never want anyone seeing. EVER.

Recover Module

This module focuses on getting your computer back to a state where it was working before.

recover module

There’s nothing too special about the System Troubleshooter or System Restore. The System Troubleshooter literally just opens “Troubleshoot” under Windows system settings. Similarly, System Restore opens the System Restore module that Windows has. It’s useful that Iolo System Mechanic makes it easy to access these features but it’s nothing new that’s not already built in to Windows.

Manage Module

This module is for power users who want to tinker with advanced Windows settings.

manage module

Did you know that Windows has a Super Control Panel? Neither did I until I came across this feature.

You can customize pretty much anything imaginable in Windows with this feature, like administrative tools, internet options, power options, programs and features, various system settings, and more.

super control panel


However, this is also something that Windows has built in. Iolo System Mechanic just makes it easy to access. To access it yourself, create a new folder and name it SuperControlPanel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. Pretty cool, right?


This is a fancy name for the feature that allows you to schedule system scans and repairs.



As you can see you have a ton of control over ActiveCare settings, and System Mechanic settings in general. I would recommend doing a scan and repair every week or month at a time you don’t use the computer, like at 4 AM (unless you’re a night owl).

I could probably write a whole separate article about all the settings here but I think the overview above gives you most of the information you need.


This is what really makes Iolo System Mechanic stand out from its competition. LiveBoost dynamically re-allocates system resources to programs that are actually being used. As you can see from my benchmark results, you can potentially see huge performance gains.


I’ll break these down further and explain what they actually do. LiveBoost consists of four core features:

  • OptiCore
  • PowerSense
  • RAMJet
  • AcceleWrite

Opticore and PowerSense optimize your CPU performance. Basically, they automatically detect when you’re doing something CPU intensive like playing a game or editing a video. Then, they automatically:

  1. Set those processes to high priority
  2. Turn off unneeded background services
  3. Unpark your CPU cores to make sure they are fully available

RAMJet monitors for idle programs and processes that are using memory, and releases that memory. This makes sure the programs you’re actually using have access to as much RAM as possible.

AcceleWrite detects unnecessary data writes to hard drives and SSDs, and tries to minimize the amount of file fragments created on your system. I’m not convinced AcceleWrite is actually that useful since I didn’t notice much of an increase in disk speed when I analyzed my NovaBench results. This is especially true if you have an SSD, which is already super efficient.


This module allows you to monitor your Windows firewall settings and make sure you have some sort of antivirus protection enabled.

security module

Managing your Windows Firewall settings isn’t that special, since you can do that in Windows already. However, this module is useful to tell you if you have some sort of antivirus protection enabled.

Pro Features

System Shield

This feature is supposed to be an all-in-one antivirus solution for your computer.

system shield


Notice how I said “supposed to be” above? That’s because System Shield is ineffective as an antivirus.

I went to the lab and acquired a sample of 45 randomly selected test malware. This included things like ransomware, spyware, and trojans. Then, to test the real-time protection of System Shield, I tried to open the malware to see if System Shield would protect me.

The result? Let’s just say I had to do a System Restore because my computer was taken over by a sample of ransomware. In fact, a System Shield manual scan only detected 2 out of the 45 test malware signatures I acquired.

On the other hand, Bitdefender detected every single piece of malware that System Shield didn’t. So System Shield is not an antivirus or antimalware replacement at all.

Search and Recover

This module allows you to recover deleted or lost files on your computer.

search and recover

This feature definitely works as I was able to recover test files I deleted beforehand. The scan was also pretty fast, taking less than a minute for my entire hard drive.

However, I don’t like how you have to scan an entire volume instead of choosing a specific folder (the screen says you can choose a specific folder but I didn’t see that option). This doesn’t really matter that much since the scan is fast anyway.


This module permanently deletes all data from a drive or removable device.


As you saw from the Search and Recover module, files you delete regularly can still be recovered. However, if you incinerate them or wipe them with DriveScrubber, they will be lost forever.

This is a useful security feature, but I don’t like how you can’t customize what data you’re wiping. For example, I would like to only wipe free space on a disk, or maybe a specific folder instead of my entire drive.

I should note that CCleaner allows you to do exactly this (for free).

Is Iolo System Mechanic Safe?

In short, yes, Iolo System Mechanic is safe. It won’t put any dangerous files onto your computer, and the system scans make sure to only remove files that are safe to delete.

Like most PC tune-up software, any possible dangers are due to how you use the software. It’s always possible you will accidentally uninstall a program you didn’t mean to, accidentally delete the wrong file, or accidentally disable an important startup program.

Thankfully, Iolo System Mechanic makes it hard for you to do these things since it has extra warnings and a really clean UI. No matter what though, I always recommend creating a System Restore point before making any big changes to your computer (you can also do this using Iolo System Mechanic).

Customer Support

One thing Iolo could improve on is their customer support. From reading user reviews, it looks like it’s difficult to get proper support when your software isn’t working correctly. Iolo said themselves that they have two support centers: one in Pasadena for more technical issues, and a call center overseas for most other issues.

Funnily enough, a lot of users have had success direct messaging or tweeting at Iolo on Twitter for tech support.

So you can see both sides of the story, here’s a 5-star review and a 1-star review of the product I found online:

Not entirely sure where all the bad reviews on here come from? I have used system mechanic for years and have always found it to be reliable and valuable programme. I am a pretty heavy gamer and system mechanic just works away in the background to keep the PC clean and free of junk.5 star reviewer
Very disappointed with the product their support.
Sent one ticket asking for more info and never received a response.
Purchased Phoenix 360 and after installing it had troubles dealing with installing Privacy Guardian for Firefox.
Now I can’t find any active panel to install everything that came with the product.1 star reviewer


There are plenty of other PC cleaners out there, but none of them gave me the same performance increases as Iolo System Mechanic:

If price or customer support are super important to you, I’d recommend checking out CCleaner instead. CCleaner historically has good customer support, and is about half the price of Iolo System Mechanic. Even the free version is really useful.

CCleaner may not actually speed up your computer like Iolo System Mechanic, but it’s great at freeing up space on your computer, making sure it's running correctly, and providing you with tons of useful tools to manage your computer.


Overall, I think Iolo System Mechanic is the best PC cleaner on the market, and worth the money. The LiveBoost feature specifically is what makes it stand out among all other software.

However, don’t waste your money upgrading to the pro version. I upgraded and I don’t think it’s worth it at all. Just use CCleaner or Glary Utilities (both free) to replace DriveScrubber and Search and Recover. Also, use Bitdefender for an actual antivirus instead of System Shield.

Check it out yourself, and let me know what you think. Iolo System Mechanic has a 30-day trial so you can decide for yourself.

Get System Mechanic

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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