dMaintenance Home cleans up messy PCs

dMaintenance200-175Utilities developer Foolish IT has released dMaintenance Home Edition, a free version of its PC maintenance and cleanup tool.

The program can perform various maintenance tasks, including cleaning up your print queue, browsers (IE, Firefox and Chrome) and hard drive, as well as resetting your browser home page, clearing proxy settings, and resetting your HOSTS file. There’s an option to scan your computer with Windows Defender, and once it’s complete dMaintenance can create a restore point, reboot your PC or just shut it down.

As this is the free version, it’s no surprise that dMaintenance Home has some restrictions. The most notable is that you can’t schedule any maintenance tasks to run unattended, and so the program will be more about emergency cleanups than anything else.

We took dMaintenance for a test run, and noticed that its finished report seemed misleading, warning us “MALWARE FOUND: Windows Defender (or Microsoft Security Essentials) needs your attention!” In reality we’d just turned Windows Defender off, but it seems dMaintenance reports this as “MALWARE FOUND” rather than a more accurate “couldn’t scan”.

You also need to be careful which options you select. Checking “Delete %windir%\$NTUninst Dirs”, for instance, wipes the backup files created by Windows Update when it installs a new patch. This might save a lot of drive space, but it also means you won’t be able to uninstall any individual update.

DMaintenance isn’t something we’d use on our own PCs, then -- but if you need to clean up the PC of a non-technical user who’s not done any maintenance for a while -- or ever -- it could work well.

And please note, while dMaintenance Home Edition requires installation, it seems it can be used as a portable tool; we were able to copy the program folder to a USB stick and run it elsewhere without problems.

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