A Guide to the Changes Incorporated into New System Mechanic 16.5 Pro®
With the advent of System Mechanic 16.5 Pro, iolo welcomes System Mechanic Pro into the Quicksilver High-Performance™ family of optimization products. The new software platform makes System Mechanic 16.5 Pro the fastest and most stable version of the security and optimization utility ever launched.
System Mechanic 16.5 Pro focuses on fully leveraging Windows® 7 through 10. A special version of System Mechanic for Windows XP and Vista, System Mechanic Classic, retains all the legacy tools and menus that benefit those older operating systems. If you are running Windows XP or Vista and you attempt to install System Mechanic 16.5 Pro on your machine, you will receive an install error message.
Easier Product Activation
- Windows® 10, 8, 8.1, or 7 x86/64
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or later
- Minimum 512 MB RAM (optimal 2 GB)
- 35 MB of available hard disk space
- Internet connection (required for license activation)
- Windows “Administrator” User Account
System Mechanic Pro will typically launch immediately after installing and run a first-time analysis. Click the Analyze now
button or the OK
button on the dialog box to proceed.
Note: During installation, you may be prompted to separately accept the installation of System Shield®. Accept the installation of this component in order to complete the installation of System Mechanic 16.5 Pro.
Once the analysis is complete, click the blue button to license your product with your Activation Key and email address:
Licensed users, license information is shown on the CD case/sleeve or in the email message you received.
New iolo Smart Updater™
- In the Email field, enter the email address that you used to purchase System Mechanic Pro.
- In the Activation Key field, completely type all letters and numbers, exactly as shown. (The hyphens will be automatically entered.) Both of these fields are required for activation.
The new software platform delivers regular, nearly instantaneous updates for far more frequent product enhancements.
Next-generation Tune-up Definitions™
The new database of thousands of programs and processes are classified in six key categories, from dangerous to necessary. They are now capable of continuous updates that find many effective new optimizations for modern apps.
The streamlined Dashboard no longer features separate Overview
tabs. Simply scan for issues with one click, and then Repair All
or Repair selected
with another click.
From the Dashboard you can:
- Run an analysis of your PC and see a snapshot view of your computer's condition.
- View and repair any issues detected in the last analysis.
- Monitor system components that impact performance.
- View System Mechanic activity.
To repair individual issues, simply click the action button to the right of the issue, such as Repair
, which will allow you to resolve the issue immediately.
You can also click the dropdown arrow next to the action button, which displays additional options to fix or remove the issue, including:
- View details in wizard, which resolves the issue using the corresponding tool wizard. This opens the System Mechanic tool that can perform the necessary repairs or optimizations. Selecting this option allows you to configure settings and exclusions to suit your preferences.
- Hide the issue from view.
- Show issue description, which displays issue details.
Review any Recommendations in the bottom half of the Issues pane, and choose an appropriate action using the Review
button and dropdown arrow to the right of each.
New Navigation Bar and Content Pane
The navigation bar, on the left, is how you access all the major functions in System Mechanic. The content pane, on the right, displays the function currently selected.
Click on a category from the navigation bar to expand the list of relevant links. Then click on a link to display its functions in the content pane.
The Toolbox is now organized into these main categories:
- Speed Up
These tabs access System Mechanic's individual repair and optimization tools to meet a specific need. It is here that you can fine tune whether and how specific components of your PC are optimized.
The ActiveCare® tab lets you:
The LiveBoost™ tab accesses:
- Automate maintenance
- Designate issues that you want System Mechanic to monitor and automatically repair
From the Security tab you can monitor and adjust:
- Real-time status
- Automated optimization of your CPU, RAM, and storage drives
- Anti-Malware, including the maintenance of System Shield
From Security > Anti-Malware
, under Maintain System Shield
, simply click on the corresponding buttons for the functions you wish to enable/disable. You may also scan your entire system to check for malware, or scan a specific folder or file by clicking on the down arrow to the right of the Scan now
Choose Configure System Shield Settings
to customize precisely how System Shield scans for and quarantines malware. Refer to the "New System Mechanic Settings" section of this article to learn more about configuring System Shield’s settings.
The View Quarantine
tab allows you to see which, if any, files have been quarantined by System Shield. Items in quarantine should be reviewed and purged frequently.
The View History
tab displays a list of scans, thwarted threats and updates to System Shield for your review. Click the down arrow to the right of the blue button to change how far back you wish to view the history.
New Consolidated Toolset
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about specific tools that have been enhanced, folded into other tools for a simpler user experience, or eliminated due to obsolescence or changes to how new versions of Windows function.
The All-in-one Tool
functions have been fully incorporated into ActiveCare and the Clean, Speed Up, Protect, Recover
tabs for ease of use.
now launches when you click on Repair All
after scanning for issues.
Where is TOTAL REGISTRY REVITALIZER?
Microsoft defragments and compacts the system registry in Windows 7 and above, necessitating only that System Mechanic clean the registry. Therefore, Registry Tuner is the only registry repair tool needed—to periodically clean out the system registry.
Where is JUNK FILE FINDER?
Junk File Finder is now listed as "Windows Cleanup," and also functions within the All-in-One PC Cleanup tool.
Where is PRIVACY CLEANER?
Privacy Cleaner is now listed as "Internet Cleanup," and also functions within the All-in-One PC Cleanup tool.
Where is REGISTRY TUNER?
Registry Tuner is now listed as "Registry Cleanup," and also functions within the All-in-One PC Cleanup tool.
What happened to SHORTCUT REPAIR?
Shortcut Repair's functionality has been folded into the All-in-One PC Cleanup tool, with no separate tool interface required.
What happened to STARTUP MANAGER?
Startup Manager’s functions have been absorbed into Startup Optimizer.
Some tools with either overlapping functionality or that were determined to be obsolete
in the more modern versions of Windows have been eliminated from the new streamlined System Mechanic 16.5:
Some tools planned for possible refinement and reintroduction include:
- SSD Accelerator
- Registry Compactor
- Process Manager
- Drive Medic
- System Change Tracker
- Advanced System Information
- NetSpeed Analyzer
- The PC Health Status Gadget (Windows 7 only)
- CRUDD Remover
- Duplicate File Inspector
Re-designed Startup Optimizer™
- Registry Backup
- Designated Drivers
This feature comprehensively identifies, classifies and disables many new types of unwanted bloatware from launching and taxing your system without your knowledge.
Enhancements to Startup Optimizer include:
Revised location of the All items (Advanced) tab
- New delayed start option for certain items to keep boot time speedy without affecting items you don’t want to disable
- Advanced grid sorting by application Name, Community Choice, Importance or Status
- The return of Community Recommendations that advise you as to what the majority of other users are turning on/off
- Performance Impact Data for many items lets you really see what the major culprits are
- Relies on the new Tune-up Definitions to discover whole new categories of unneeded startup items
iolo created the All items (Advanced)
tab/view for the review of certain startup items only by expert, highly technical Windows users and trained technicians, and does not recommend tampering in this tab/view for the average Windows user.
Some users were occasionally accessing and disabling critically required services or programs from the All items (Advanced)
tab of Startup Optimizer.
Items labeled “Necessary” or “System,” for example, are critical to the proper function of the Windows OS, and should never be turned off.
Previous Advanced view:
Beginning with System Mechanic 16.5 Pro, this section of the product is now available only via an “Expert view” link
so that it is not easily confused with the basic Startup Optimizer settings:
A detailed warning dialog box
also displays prior to allowing access.
Enhancements to Privacy Shield™
This feature, built to temper Microsoft’s new aggressive data collection, now also disables broadband-hogging Windows Update Delivery Optimization to help prevent this new cause of internet slowdown.
Enhancements to ActiveCare
- More granular control over how Windows and internet junk are removed. Individually choose whether to clean expired browser cookies, cache files, clipboard items, five different types of temp files, and much more
New Menu Bar
- New notification alerting user if ActiveCare couldn’t run
The red menu bar now contains the following options:
- Language. Choose the language in which you would like System Mechanic to display.
- SafetyNet. Opens the SafetyNet window, which allows you to undo selected System Mechanic actions and revert your PC to its prior state.
- Settings. Opens the Settings window, which allows you to change various default settings in System Mechanic (details below).
New System Mechanic Settings
- Help. Opens the Help menu, which offers access to help resources on the Web, product update downloads, and your licensing information.
Click the gear icon in the red menu bar to customize System Mechanic settings and preferences. The Settings menu contains:
- Dashboard settings control the display of alerts in the Issues pane. The items listed in this section show the problems and warnings, if any, that you hid on the Dashboard's Issues pane.
- If you have hidden a problem/warning and wish to change its settings, click Change. The Hide Alerts window offers the following options:
- Hide [X] alerts for 1 day.
- Hide [X] alerts for 3 days.
- Hide [X] alerts for 7 days.
- Do not show [X] alerts again.
- Show [X] alerts (stop hiding).
Note: Issues do not contribute to the System Status computation when they are hidden.
- The Repair Options section allows you to control the display of repair confirmation prompts.
- To turn off the prompts, clear the Prompt me before performing repairs and optimizations check box; select the check box to turn the prompts back on.
- Display a summary on the Dashboard will summarize completed repairs and optimizations on the Dashboard.
Note: You can also turn off prompts by selecting the Do not show this prompt again
check box directly on the message itself.
In this section you can choose whether to save undo information when making registry repairs.
Hints and Tips
By default, System Mechanic displays tips that you may find useful when performing certain functions. To turn off the display of these tips, clear the Show tips
check box; select the check box to turn the tips back on.
By default, System Mechanic displays occasional information on your desktop that you may find useful. To turn off the display of this info, clear the check box; select the check box to turn the messaging back on.
Update Connection Settings
For Pro users, the General Settings have an Update Connection Settings section that allows you to change how you connect to iolo’s internet server to check for product updates.
By default, the Automatically detect proxy server settings
option is selected.
Some System Mechanic Pro users experience difficulty downloading new virus definitions. The inability—or only intermittent ability—to receive new virus definitions can stem from the settings in your broadband router. If you are unable to connect, you may need to bypass your computer’s proxy settings.
To do so, select Do not use a proxy server to connect to the internet
. Establishing a direct connection to download new virus definitions should resolve the issue.
The third option, Use specific proxy server settings
, allows you to choose the specific proxy server you wish System Mechanic to use to connect to the internet.
- Proxy server. Enter the IP address or domain address of the proxy server.
- Port. Enter the port number of the proxy server.
- Proxy requires authentication. If this is the case, check this box and enter the User Name and Password for the proxy server.
In ActiveCare settings, you can adjust when Automated Tasks are performed and the visibility of those tasks.
You can set the number of hours between ActiveCare operations. You can set ActiveCare to wake your computer to run if it is in sleep mode.
ActiveCare operations can be configured to never run at certain intervals. ActiveCare can be configured to never run when your computer is on battery power.
Choose whether analysis and repair operations by ActiveCare are performed silently in the background or show progress. To view ActiveCare operations as they occur:
- Select the Show progress during ActiveCare analysis check box to see a progress bar for analysis operations performed by ActiveCare.
- Select the Show progress during ActiveCare repairs check box to see a progress bar for repair operations performed by ActiveCare.
In PC Cleanup settings, you can adjust how junk files are removed, registry exclusions, and which junk file patterns are recognized. Any items you have selected to exclude from within the PC Cleanup tool—or any of its three internet, Windows and registry cleanup subtools—will appear in the corresponding Exclusions list within Settings > PC Cleanup
Choose the appropriate radial button to determine whether junk internet files are deleted or incinerated.
- Deletion is the equivalent of moving files to the Recycle Bin and then emptying it.
- Incinerating files permanently removes them from your system using military-grade file wiping technology, which prevents even file recovery software from retrieving them.
Any items selected for Exclusion from the Clean out internet junk files
subtool within Toolbox > Clean > PC Cleanup
will appear in the list of Internet Exclusions here.
Any items selected for Exclusion from the Clean out and repair registry problems
subtool within Toolbox > Clean > PC Cleanup
will appear in the list of Registry Exclusions here.
Junk File Patterns
reflect any items you have excluded from cleaning in the Toolbox > Clean > PC Cleanup
tool, including the subtool Clean out Windows junk files
It is here that you may also set New
junk file patterns, Edit
existing ones, Delete
junk file types from the list, or reset to System Mechanic’s Default
junk file settings.
System Shield (Anti-Malware)
Pro users also have a System Shield section included in the Settings menu. In System Shield settings, you can adjust how and on which drives scans are conducted and how threats are dealt with; which, if any, file extensions are to be excluded from scans; and what information is displayed to you. You can also customize how often virus definitions are updated.
It is recommended that you leave real-time protection Enabled by ensuring the box remains checked.
It is also recommended that in the Drives to include
field you leave checked the boxes next to the drives System Shield detects on your system.
In the Scanning scope
section you can choose to scan all file types or have System Shield scan only dangerous file types (recommended).
The Advanced settings
options default to on, and include whether System Shield uses artificial intelligence, looks for macro variants, ignores remote templates, or scans compressed .exe files.
Actions to take when infected files are found
This section allows you to tell System Shield which actions to perform and in what order when an infection is found.
- Quarantine places the file(s) in a safe holding area for your review.
- Disinfect attempts to repair a file that may have a virus or other malicious content attached to it, but is not irreparably corrupted by the virus.
- Disinfect and Quarantine attempts to perform both of these actions.
- Delete removes the file from your system.
- Add opens a dialog box that lets you enter specific file types to exclude from scans.
- Edit lets you make changes to existing exclusions. Click on the excluded file extension in the list to highlight it, and click Edit.
- Delete removes an existing exclusion from the Exclusions list. Click on the excluded file extension in the list to highlight it, and click Delete. This file type will again be included in scans.
- Default returns your settings to the default position.
In addition, you may add specific files or folders to Exclusions by clicking Add
above those corresponding fields. Add opens a Windows Explorer window so that you can choose a specific file or folder. The file path will then be displayed in the list of excluded files. Be sure to click on a file path before clicking Delete in order to remove it from the Exclusions list.
System Shield Alert Behavior
Check the boxes next to any prompts or other information-display behavior you wish to enable.
For the best protection, it is recommended that you leave Enabled automatic downloads of virus and spyware definitions, as they frequently update.
System Shield defaults to checking for virus definitions updates every three (3) hours. To change this value from as frequently as every hour all the way up to just once daily, click the down arrow and choose a number between “Every hour” and “Every 24 hours.”
The following are additional enhancements specific to the tools found only in System Mechanic 16.5 Pro:
New Easy Upgrade
Making the leap to Pro has never been easier. Now you can get all the performance benefits of System Mechanic plus dual-engine antivirus protection, military-grade drive scrubbing technology and advanced file recovery all in one, without uninstalling any older version of System Mechanic and reinstalling the new version as a separate step.
Re-designed System Shield®
The updated VB100-certified AV engine now scans for and removes threats far faster than previous versions. The new software platform also delivers more continuous virus definitions updates for the best antivirus protection available.
Click on the type of scan you wish System Shield to perform, and follow the onscreen instructions.
The options available from within the Protect > System Shield
- Scan the entire system for malware
- Scan a specific folder for malware
- Scan a specific file for malware
- Configure System Shield settings
Clicking on this option opens the System Shield section of the System Mechanic Pro Settings menu (described above).
- Manage System Shield quarantine
Restore or permanently delete items from the quarantine by selecting a quarantined item to highlight it, and then clicking the down arrow to the right of the Select an action
button to display a list of options.
Items in quarantine should be reviewed and purged frequently.
- View System Shield history
This option displays a list of scans, thwarted threats and updates to System Shield for your review. Click the down arrow to the right of the blue button to change how far back you wish to view the history.
Safely and permanently delete sensitive data from entire hard drives with military-grade file deletion technology that now includes a Linux-based USB-supported data removal client that handles the latest drives.
From Protect > DriveScrubber
, click either Securely Wipe All Data from a Drive
or Create bootable USB to wipe system
drive, and follow the onscreen instructions.
- Securely Wipe All Data from a Drive
This option will wipe all the contents of any drive that does not contain your operating system. Choose a drive from the dropdown menu, select from one of two wiping methods, and click the Wipe drive button
- The recommended wiping method is the default, and is compliant with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Choosing the Custom wipe method option allows you to select the number of overwrites the wiping procedure will perform.
- Create bootable USB to wipe system
This option requires you to insert a USB drive onto which your operating system will be saved. Once this boot disk is created, DriveScrubber can proceed to wipe the entire contents of your system drive, including your OS.
Re-designed Search and Recover™
Finding recoverable files is easier with this streamlined wizard. Retrieve irreplaceable emails, photos, music or critical system files from many types of hard drives and other devices.
From Recover > Search and Recover
, choose your search location from the dropdown menu of drives listed. Next choose a place to save the recovered data by clicking Browse
. Decide which type of search you wish to perform by checking the corresponding boxes, and click the blue Search
For more tips on getting around in System Mechanic, refer to the System Mechanic 16.5 User’s Guide.