The New Year is an invitation to fresh starts. If you’re like most small business owners, you’re thinking about how to optimize your strategy and energize your team to make 2013 a resounding success. But have you given any thought to your computers? They too have likely become cluttered with last year’s problems, programs, and processes and need an airing out. A new utility, SlimCleaner Free, uses an original approach to helping you do just that for your Windows systems.

Like most system utilities, SlimCleaner Free provides tools for helping your computer run quickly and more smoothly. It can identify and remove viruses, malware and cookies, defrag and optimize your hard drive, help you slim down your start-up programs, identify duplicate files, and update drivers. And it does a great job at this for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 systems. But where SlimCleaner Free provides true innovation is with its crowd-based approach to diagnostics and fix recommendations.

Here is an example of how it works for a common system optimization task: cleaning out your StartUp programs (these are the programs that open automatically each time you boot-up your system). To initialize the process, you select a clearly marked “Optimize” button from left navigation and the program opens to the “StartUp” tab. SlimClearner does a quick scan and analysis of your computer. It then provides a list of all your Startup programs. Each program is given a “Community Rating” on a scale from 1-5 (Dark Red to Dark Green) as to how useful it is, and whether it is something you should keep on your computer. “Good” programs are keepers, “Optional” programs are kept at your discretion, and red “Unwanted” programs are typically adware or malware that you should remove. For more information about any item listed, click the “more info” button, which will display detailed comments others have left about what the program does and why you should or should not keep it.

SlimCleaner scans a large number of program files that are likely to appear on people’s systems — based on recommendations from the “crowd –” and if it has scans available for a program it finds on your computer, a Cloud AV “View Results” link appears from which you can view them. Finally, it provides you with the program publisher name, along with the exact path to the .exe file in your Startup folder. After reviewing all the available information, make your decision. To remove a program, check its box and click the “Remove Selected” button. SlimCleaner removes the program from StartUp, and creates a restore point in case you change your mind.

A similar process is available for cleaning system services, reviewing applications installed on your computer, registry entries, device driver updates, cookies, toolbars, Active X controls and other plug-ins. The non-crowd-based disk tools for defragging, analyzing, and deleting files are equally effective and easy to use.

SlimCleaner Free is completely free to use, but if you’re benefiting from the community you may want to contribute to it. You can link your Facebook account to SlimCleaner, or create a separate online SlimCleaner account. From there you can provide your own ratings and reviews, as well as access additional cloud-based system tools.

CNET editors give SlimCleaner Free a 5 Star Rating, and the average CNET User Rating is 4.5 stars. The latest 4.0 version was released in December, 2012 and is available for download from the trusted CNET site. Give it a try, and give your computer a fresh start in 2013.

This Small Business Tip from PaySimple offers one more way to optimize and accelerate your business.

Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

My name is Lisa, and I'm the Vice President of Knowledge, responsible for the management of corporate, product, competitor, marketplace, legal, and regulatory knowledge, and creation and dissemination of knowledge tools using these assets to PaySimple prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

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