Glary Utilities Pro
Glary Utilities Pro is a self-described computer cleaner and optimizer. It includes numerous tools, some of which are built into Windows, which purportedly help improve your computer’s performance.
In my opinion, Glary Utilities is an overall useful tool that has outlived the usefulness of some of its parts.
As a tool that offers a fully-featured free version, I think it’s a no-brainer for someone who wants to take advantage of Glary Utilities’s functionality on one computer. If you expand use to more than one computer, you’re technically required to buy a license, though there’s no apparent mechanism to enforce that.
What I Like: straightforward utility dashboard with plain language tool explanations and sensible organization.
What I Don’t Like: I don’t think there’s anything to dislike, to be honest. Glarysoft is very transparent about what the tool does and what licensing provides.
I think very good! It sets out to present many computer management utilities in one place and does so in easy-to-navigate and understand ways. I think it’s a good tool for amateur tech support.
Yes! Glary Utilities has numerous functions that can harm the functionality of your computer if used incorrectly. However, it also includes numerous safeguards that, if you use them, make the overall experience very safe.
Honestly, it’s a tossup and really depends on which user interface you like better. Both perform incredibly well and cover most of the same features.
No. Glarysoft offers Malware Hunter, which purports to remove malware. If you have a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC, then Microsoft Defender which comes free with Windows performs the same function with greater success.
Table of Contents
Why Trust Me for This Review
I’m Aaron, an information security and information technology professional. I also tend to do amateur tech support for my friends and family. It’s what makes a rewarding and fulfilling career in technology both a blessing and a curse.
I got my start in technology in the 90s by tinkering on my family’s computer and then my own. Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP were all susceptible to performance degradation and conflicts as a result of disorganized software registries.
For those operating systems, it was much more important to understand how to properly uninstall software and also scrub their registry entries. Products like Glary Utilities and CCleaner were novel and unique in that space and performed well. Are they still relevant two decades later?
Detailed Review of Glary Utilities Pro
Glary Utilities Pro is a toolset and function aggregator for numerous unique and handy Windows maintenance tools. It’s billed as both a computer cleaner and optimizer. Let’s see how it lives up to that description and some of the key ways it streamlines that.
Clear and Straightforward Presentation
For tools like Glary Utilities Pro, which aggregate inbuilt Windows functions and scripts, presentation is everything. As a technology professional, I need to know why I need the product and what it does for me. Where it’s also used by laypeople, I’d expect clear explanations of what the product does.
Glary Utilities Pro doesn’t disappoint. Its User Interface, or UI, is clean and harkens back to a more classic design with squared edges and lots of iconized buttons with context boxes that appear when you hover the mouse over them.
There are two ways to access the full suite of tools offered by Glary Utilities Pro. The first is by clicking the arrow on the first Overview page.
The second is by clicking the Advanced Tools tab.
In another nod to more classical UI design, the Advanced Tools tab has two views: verbose (pictured above) and condensed (pictured below) which can be toggled by clicking on the two dots at the right side of the window.
Glary Utilities Pro also offers 1-Click Maintenance for what its developers consider to be critical functionality.
That functionality includes:
- Registry Cleaner, which will suggest cleanup of dangling or orphan registry entries;
- Tracks Eraser, which cleans histories for many Windows programs that you can select and deselect in the Options window; and
- Startup Manager, which can recommend programs to disable on startup to speed booting.
My personal take: There’s a lot Glary Utilities Pro does and I think they presented it well. Some of the menus feel cluttered at times and I think that’s because of the classic UI design choices. I, personally, like that layout. Others may find it offputting. From my perspective, it puts everything you need at hand, in one place, without hiding it.
One of the main features used to market Glary Utilities is its ability to make your computer faster. There are a couple of features that assist with this and I’ll walk through each in turn.
Starting with the Overview Menu, Glary Utilities puts windows boot time front and center.
It tells you the time it took your computer to boot and gives you a handy link to the Startup Manager.
The Startup Manager exposes numerous startup elements including programs, tasks, and services. Even better, it tells you how long it took each element to load in seconds. While some of those times can overlap, you will be able to see programs that are dragging out your startup.
Changes are as simple as a flip of a switch and happen instantly. If you realize that a change makes your Windows experience unstable, there’s a global Undo Changes button in the bottom right corner.
Undo Changes also gives a few options. You can restore each element individually or, by clocking the triangle next to Restore, you can restore all. Glary Utilities also gives the option of deleting entries, in case you never want Undo Changes to automatically undo them.
Admittedly, all this information is pulled from Windows and can be done in separate windows. For startup programs, you can access the same information in Task Manager’s Startup tab, which shows boot time and time impact.
Notably, the Startup tab doesn’t let you know how long each takes, just the level of impact. You’ll also be able to pull up the Task Scheduler and Services Window.
That being said, all of those different windows or apps provide less info than Glary Utilities. They also don’t provide a one-click restore for any settings, instead forcing you to remember what you did and reverse it manually. That convenience and foolproofing is key, in my opinion, for people who want to tinker.
The Advanced Tools Optimize & Improve option builds on Startup Manager by exposing other features.
As with Startup Manager, some of these features already exist. Windows has an inbuilt Disk Defragmenter and Optimizer, Memory Optimizer, and Check Disk. You can also manage drivers and updates separately.
What Glary Utilities does is pull all this together in one convenient place. It also lets you bulk manage things like driver and software updates and provides restoration and rollback for some features.
A critical supplement for that is the System Tools option.
This lets you back up and restore your registry or system and even entirely undo changes made by Glary Utilities. Except for the most egregious operating system changes one can make, these options make the process of tinkering with system settings as safe as they can be.
My personal take: Glary Utilities puts a lot of helpful diagnosis and optimization tools in one place. It can be useful for addressing the inconvenient symptoms of some computer problems and also the problems themselves. Additionally, Glary Utilities exposes helpful diagnostic and identifying information that Windows doesn’t.
The other main functionality Glary Utilities markets are the ability to make helpful registry modifications. As I mentioned above, I feel that these are artifacts of decades-old technology and have limited utility in meaningfully positively impacting modern computer performance. Conversely, deleting important registry entries can make software or Windows inoperative.
Glary Utilities provides two major registry management tools. Registry Defrag under the Optimize & Improve option reduces fragmentation of the registry.
I’ll be honest: registry fragmentation isn’t an issue I’d heard of before using Glary Utilities, at least not expressed like that. I suspect that Registry Defrag is just a simplified wizard version of the Registry Repair option under the Clean Up & Repair menu, since they operate effectively identically.
Both options are very straightforward to use and I’ll cover them in turn. When you click on Registry Defrag, the first of a two window wizard opens and explains that Registry Defrag will reduce fragmentation, correct structural errors, and recover memory to speed up your computer.
Clicking Next advances to a scan after which is displayed the size after optimization. Clicking Next runs the optimization and restarts your computer.
Running Registry Repair provides you with a list of issues based on sections scanned and lets you Repair your registry with one click.
Registry changes aren’t effective until reboot, so you’ll want to reboot after the repair.
My personal take: I’ve previously written that I don’t like security or technology theater. Registry cleaners fall into that category for me. They do more harm than good, especially when modern hardware isn’t meaningfully slowed by orphaned registry entries, and modern iterations of Windows address orphan entries by virtue of how it installs and uninstalls programs. If this were the main or only tool and not one of about thirty tools, most of which are particularly useful, this review would look a lot different. Add to that the fact that Glary Utilities lets you backup and restore the registry with a click and I think the risks are relatively minimal.
Privacy and Security
Glary Utilities also markets an extensive set of privacy and security tools which I think can be helpful for the average user.
My favorite in the bunch is the File Undelete option. That operates very similarly to Recuva in that it scans the Master Boot Record of a disk to find deleted files that haven’t yet been overwritten. Simply click the three dots to pick where you want to search and press Search.
Recuva is a little more feature-rich, in my opinion, providing both a guided wizard and block-level scanning.
You may also find other Privacy & Security tools helpful like the File Shredder, which provides secure erasure of data, perfect for securely deleting sensitive information. Also interesting is the File Encrypter which lets you encrypt and decrypt individual or bulk collections of files.
My personal take: the Privacy & Security menu option provides some nifty and helpful features for file management and protecting your data. You can get the same functionality from numerous other free or low-cost tools, but remember, Glary Utilities’ base functionality is also free. So you don’t have to pay for the functionality described here.
Glary Utilities’ Pricing Model
Glarysoft is very transparent about what your Glary Utilities Pro license gets you. Four of the features are aimed at promoting convenience: deleting history on Windows shutdown, automating updates, etc. You can still do all of the things those features enable, but manually.
The two other features you get are 1) the ability to use Glary Utilities commercially (e.g.: for your small business) on up to three computers and 2) email technical support.
My personal take: I’m a big fan of products that have the same underlying functionality for laypeople and professional users and distinguish between tiers based on something that professionals would use that laity wouldn’t (e.g.: commercial use).
Reasons Behind My Rating
Glary Utilities Pro is a full-featured computer utility program. It has a lot of the same functionality as other competitors in the space, like CCleaner. I think Glary Utilities Pro performs very well at what it does.
Glary Utilities provides great features for file management, windows performance management, application management, and privacy management. While I’m not sold on the need for registry management now, the other features dwarf that. The other features also add functionality and information that Windows has but doesn’t readily expose.
I paid $39.95 for Glary Utilities Pro, which is full price. It’s competitively priced with CCleaner, which I see as its main competitor. Similar to CCleaner, that price gets you more simultaneous installations (though there doesn’t appear to be technical enforcement of that) and live support.
As I said above, I like Pro products that don’t arbitrarily hide features behind a paywall and instead differentiate pricing on features that professionals would use. I think it’s a great model, but unfortunately, an increasingly difficult one to find.
Ease of Use: 4/5
I like Glary Utilities’ layout. Some won’t. Glary Utilities pays homage to the UI design of the era during which it was incredibly relevant. Windows were packed with links, information, and small text.
It tries to adopt a modern UI design, with iconized and sparser menus, but I think it falls short of a lot of modern software. That might speak to the variety of options Glary Utilities provides. I feel like a version of this software released today would release in separate modules focusing on one or part of a menu option.
In doing so, it would achieve that sparser look, but be less feature-rich. Given that Glary Utilities is uncompromising in functionality and designed with that in mind, I think the ease of use with that compromise is high.
Glary Utilities Pro is a tool of a bygone day when a FAQ page and email support were sufficient. Even CCleaner and Recuva offer a robust public forum to discuss issues and support.
These years I think it’s difficult to fail to provide both a discussion forum and a live chat or support option. I see one of those options as a bare minimum for a software company operating this year.
Is Glary Utilities Pro worth it? Yes, if you need to leverage commercial use or support. With respect to support, there’s really no other option. If you can’t find your answer in the FAQs, then you’ll need to email support.
The great thing is that outside of those uses, Glary Utilities Pro largely functions identically to Glary Utilities Free. Other than automated updates and history cleaning, you get the exact same product for free. At that cost, it’s a no-brainer for the functions and features Glary Utilities aggregates.
What do you think about this Glary Utilities Pro review? Share your feedback below.