Applications such as CCleaner and other utilities have been popular for years as a quick and easy way for users to scan for and clear out temporary files, caches, logs, and other files to boost performance. Microsoft has released a new utility called PC Manager, which provides interesting features, including performance and security apps, in one location for Windows 10 and 11 PCs.

What is PC Manager?

PC Manager combines several quick shortcuts to system utilities that enable users to boost performance and carry out security-related tasks.

The cleanup capabilities include a health check, storage management, process management, and startup apps. The security features of PC Manager include Windows Update, Browser Protection, and Pop-up Management.

This interactive program is displayed in your taskbar. There is no option to minimize to the system tray or something similar. If you "X" out of the program, it closes altogether.

Launching the PC Manager utility in Windows 11

Launching the PC Manager utility in Windows 11

The home screen of the utility provides some useful system information, such as the size of temporary files, available disk space, number of running processes, and memory usage. It is also the starting point for the four main tasks of PC Manager:

  • Health check
  • Storage management
  • Process management
  • Startup apps
The Start screen in PC Manager

The Start screen in PC Manager

Health check

The Health check option contains four subchecks:

  • Items to cleanup
  • Viruses
  • Potential issues
  • Startup apps to disable

Note that it does not show Viruses in the results pane if Defender detected none. As you can see, PC Manager will display items to delete, issues, and potential startup items to disable.

Viewing the PC Manager health check options

Viewing the PC Manager health check options

Storage management

Under the Storage management option, you can perform a full cleanup scan, manage large files on the C: drive, remove rarely used apps to save space, and automatically clean up temporary files with Storage sense.

Process management

The Process management tool in PC Manager provides a more straightforward and concise version of Task Manager, allowing users to see what processes are running with the ability to click End for each one.

PC Manager Process management

PC Manager Process management

Startup apps

PC Manager also provides a quick and easy listing of Startup apps that could affect PC startup performance. It displays a simple toggle next to each startup item, allowing you to disable the app from startup.

PC Manager Security options

The security-related options comprise scans for threats, Windows Update, browser protection, and pop-up management. The first will simply initiate a Windows Defender virus scan, and the second allows you to install patches from a different interface than the settings app. Browser protection allows you to block any attempts to change the default web browsers, and pop-up management suppresses pop-ups generated by apps. However, it's not clear whether this feature is limited to web apps.

PC Manager Settings

Under PC Manager Settings, we find the following options:

  • Start PC Manager automatically when I sign in to Windows
  • Auto update PC Manager
  • Check for updates
PC Manager settings

PC Manager settings

Installing PC Manager

The process of installing PC Manager is straightforward. The PC Manager utility is free to download from this Microsoft site. The installer is a small 4 MB executable, MSPCManagerSetup.exe.

Once you have downloaded the executable, the installation involves only a few clicks.

Wrapping up

Many users who have downloaded and used PC Manager have mixed opinions about the solution. The utility does not introduce new functionality in Windows 10 and 11. However, it allows users to access underlying Windows 10 and 11 features in one consolidated location without searching for individual utilities in the operating system or the Settings app.

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It will be interesting to see how Microsoft continues to develop the PC Manager utility and the features introduced once the app reaches general availability. For example, will they allow the app to run from the system tray? However, it looks like an app with the potential to provide easy visibility and configuration settings in one location to help with performance and security issues.

  1. bgavin 4 months ago

    CCleaner offers a Portable version, to avoid yet another program leaving droppings in the Registry as this program will do when installed.

    I’ve been in the game since the beginning, and as a result have developed a healthy jaundice for any product Microsoft releases with the intent of taking over another product, such as CCleaner.

    Kudos to the author for highlighting this latest MS offering, but I have zero interest in replacing CCleaner with yet another MS v1.0.0 bit of fluff.

  2. mothership 4 months ago

    Ummm, have you not heard of Piriform software development was hacked, and contains a trojan?

  3. Terence C 4 months ago

    Nice write up! Now if we could only get something like this into a powershell module for sysadmins. I know that there are various tools that get the job done. However this seems to be a lightweight means to do so.

  4. Jochen 4 months ago

    Hi does it work on a terminal server, for all users…?

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