This page was last updated 2014-05-29
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2014 Donald R. Snow

My Freeware Corner Notes are printed in our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group monthly newsletter TAGGology and posted on my Family History Class Notes webpage , sometimes with updated information there.

When downloading and installing any software, but especially freeware, always use the Custom Installation option and NOT the Express Installation.  Also, uncheck things you don't want installed on your computer.  Many companies try to sucker you into installing bloatware without you knowing it by putting checks in boxes and hoping you don't read it carefully.  Another tip, when downloading freeware, I add "-Freeware-2014-01-06" at the end of the download name before the extension, so I can tell later that it is freeware and the date I downloaded it.  Writing the date in this International Date Format YYYY-MM-DD makes them sort chronologically and helps in identifying the latest version.

GLARY UTILITIES -- Available from 
Glary Utilities is a computer maintenance program
that helps keep your computer running smoothly.  It is commercial, but free for private use.  It has features that I use several times each week and have for several years.  The current version is Version 5.  After installation you see 3 tabs at the top, Overview, 1-Click Maintenance, and Advanced Tools, followed by a button to the right called Menu.

Overview shows the version number, the database date (for the viruses and other checks it does), and a Boot Time that shows how fast your computer booted up and how that compares to other computers.  That's quite revealing and my desktop computer is really slow.  Overview also has options to check for settings you want or don't want, e.g. you can set it to look for updates of itself automatically when you run it.  And there is a button there to take you to the Startup Manager so you can see and edit what runs at boot up that might be slowing down your computer, but I usually get to that section another way that I'll describe below.  There are several other options in Overview, but I haven't used them.

The second tab, 1-Click Maintenance, is what I use most often.  It has options you can check or uncheck for what you want it to do:  Registry Cleaner, Shortcuts Fixer, Spyware Remover, Disk Repair, Tracks Eraser, Temporary Files Cleaner, and Startup Manager.  I check all except Disk Repair since that one checks all the unused space on your hard drive and it takes a long time.  Occasionally I run that one, but only when I'm not going to be using my computer for awhile.  With the checks the way you want, click on the green Scan for Issues button and it analyzes your computer to see what problems it finds in these categories.  You see a progress bar so you can judge how much longer it will take to finish the analysis.  The result shows how many problems it found in each category.  The first time you run this analysis it may take several minutes and find lots of problems, but after running it every couple of weeks, it won't find as many problems.  The green button now says Repair Problems and when clicked it shows a progress bar while it fixes the problems.  When done, the green button turns into Scan for Issues again.  There are also several options at the bottom of the window.  I haven't used those and I think they just take you to other parts of the program that I get to from the next tab.

The Advanced Tools tab opens up many categories to help maintain your computer.  The categories are Windows Registry (4 items), Disk Space (5 items), System Tweaks (2 items), Anti-malware (1 item), Privacy (4 items), System Control (5 items), System Status (4 items), Hard disks (3 items), Drivers (3 items), File management (3 items), and Programs (3 items).  Each item is a link to a part of the program that accomplishes that task and opens it in a new window.  For example, under Hard disks, the link to Defragment opens up their Disk Defrag program.  Under System Control, the link to Startup Items allows you to see and edit programs that open when your computer boots up.  Under Disk Space you can find and remove duplicate files, remove empty folders, and remove broken shortcuts.  Every couple of weeks I run the System Control - Context menus option since installing programs frequently puts more items on the right-click menu of Explorer (the Context menu) and this allows me to edit them the way I want.  An option that I have found very useful is Programs - Check for updates.  At first I thought this just referred to updates of Glary Utilities, but then discovered that it looks at all installed programs on your computer and checks to see if there are later versions.  You can have it do this automatically, but I prefer to run it only when I want.  After running, it opens your default browser showing a list of all installed programs on your computer that have later versions with an option to click to update that program.  It also shows newer beta versions of the software, if there are any.  In some cases you may not want to update the program, e.g. FastStoneCapture 5.3, the last freeware version of it.  The current version is 7, but that is now shareware and no longer free, and the old free version works fine for me.  You may also want to be careful of beta versions of updates since they are not always stable.  Under the Programs category there is also an Uninstall option, but I have never used it since I use the freeware RevoUninstaller to remove all traces of old programs.  There are lots of other options in this Advanced Tools section and you may want to investigate and use some of them.

In the upper right corner further to the right beyond the tabs is a Menu button which takes you to Helps, FAQs, Settings, and other things.  You can get lots of your questions answered about Glary Utilities there.

When you exit Glary Utilities, it gives you a reminder that it is still running in the tray (lower right side of your computer screen) so you can exit it completely, if desired.  For me Glary Utilities has been a very helpful program and is free for private use.  I have used it for several years without a problem and I recommend it.  There are other free computer maintenance programs and if you use one and like it, please let me know what it is and what you like about it.

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