PC Matic’s PC Pitstop Review

Temporary files scanning, free space checking, and updated driver testing; these are just a few of the several important areas of your computer that one must check on periodically.  Other aspects, such as virus and spyware scanning, should be run more on a daily basis.  If you stop to examine and crate a list of items and processes to check up on, it may be larger that you think.

Of course, some of these tasks are already automated for you.  Providing you have a decent security software package, the virus and spyware scanning are already covered.  You may have a program that routinely checks for excessive temporary files, and cleans accordingly.  Perhaps you even have a program like Diskeeper to help stave off file fragmentation.

Each of these types of programs has a practical purpose on your Windows computer.  However, in order to view information on what all of them are doing, you have to go to each application and view the current activity or historical log files.  The average person may not keep tabs on each program.  Sometimes it helps to have a good overall picture of your computer so you know where to shift your focus.

Every so often, a program comes along that is helpful in getting you the information you need in short order.  PC Matic’s (found here) free scanning routine, rather the trial version of PC Matic, does a very good job of showing someone the inner workings of their Windows computer.  This scan looks over many aspects including the amount of junk files on your computer, security threats, missing hardware drivers (if any), and a host of other areas.

When you open up PC Matic, the only clickable area is the Free Scan, illustrated by a large gear shaped icon.  This is where you begin the assortment of scans run against your computer.

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In this test sample, the scan took just shy of six minutes to complete.  Keep in mind, PC Matic does not run a very detailed spyware type scan during this process, just a high level, quick scan (so it is not a substitute for your current anti-virus or anti-spyware software).  Additionally, depending on the size of your registry, the amount of temporary files you have, and the overall speed of your computer affect the duration of the scan.

When the scan is finished, you will be presented with a dashboard covering all the sections of your computer that were scanned.  On the left hand side of the dashboard, you have a brief Summary area, Security, Performance, and Disk results.  Other than the summary box, any of the listings in the three other boxes are links to more information.

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The colored boxes indicate one of four things.  Green mean the test passed without issue, blue is simply information, yellow is a warning, and red needs immediate attention.  Looking over the dashboard further, on the right hand side you will notice the Other and Reports areas.

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One of the nice features of PC Matic is that each clickable item contains further explanation regarding the presented data.  For instance, if you were to click on the High Security Threat Test, you will see a list of potential or actual threats.

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Paired up with this list is a brief summary of the data, or actions to be taken.  This may help alleviate some of the confusion people run into when running applications like this.

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Moving on from the security section, one area to pay particular attention to is the Registry Test.  When you click on this link, a list of registry errors is shown.  If you notice a large amount of entries, they, among other things, can drag down your computer’s performance and should be addressed.

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Perhaps you are having issues with certain hardware, such as a video card.  Even if you are not, if the Drivers test comes up red, you should look into it.  In this section, any hardware that is not up to date with current drives files, will be flagged red here.  Should you need to reference the driver version, it can be located under the Driver Details column.

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No scanning utility of this type is complete with a temporary files (junk files) scanner.  PC Matic is no exception.  Clicking on the Junk Files Test will navigate you to the Junk Files section.  When you click on one of the red arrows, a list will drop down and display the folders where the unneeded files are currently residing.

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Last but not least, and this is a particularly interesting test, is the top ten largest files on your computer.  Though you may not use the results of this test at all, this section is worth a look.  Odds are, the largest files on your computer are system files like pagefile.sys, and other files with dollar symbols in their names.  Granted, these are ones you do not want to delete.  When you do locate one you wish to remove, hover the mouse pointer over that file to see its location on your computer.

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Once again, this version of PC Matic is simply a free trial scan.  The actual product, should you click on the Fix All link, is $49.99 for a 5 license version.  The scanner itself is a good way to find issues on your computer without the need to purchase the paid version.  There is a good chance your software tool set includes programs to fix these very issues.  If nothing else, the PC Matic scan is a good starting point to create a “to do” list for computer maintenance.

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  1. AMMAGIC says:

    I bought and used PC Matic just the other day. I have an old PC and it was getting slow. It seemed every now and then it would "go off on it's own doing something" and leave me waiting for it to finish. I took the plunge and hit "FIX ALL". It looks like I won't need to but a new machine for a while.

  2. Ronald DeGolyer says:

    I purchased the 49.95 version. However, when I run a scan and tell it to "Fix All", the program cycles back to the purchase screen.

    How do I get it to fix the problems since I have already paid for the service?

  3. divineimage says:

    Ronald:

    You need to log in

  4. James McCanna says:

    I ran pc matic after removing my registry mechanic and PC Tools spy Doctor. I am now not sure I have an antivirus program as you state PC Matic includes everything, but my footnote messages tell me to find one online. ? ? ? ?

  5. PuddleDuck says:

    So, does the free version actually fix anything?

    According to the commercial I just watched on TV, it does. In the commercial, the girl's computer is running slowly, so the boy downloads and runs the free version of the program and viola!, the computer is fixed.

    Does it really work as indicated or do I have to buy the software for it to fix anything on my computer?

  6. George Suelzle says:

    I bought PC Matic but had to change my HDD on my laptop so I lost my PC Matic. How do I recover it again after working on my computer?

  7. natmacx says:

    Don't touch this product, or at least check out the negative reviews on it first!! It's a poor value, poor service and a poor system. And they will debit your credit card without asking.

  8. lzflatfish says:

    The basic rule of thumb; There are No Free Lunches!

  9. computerdummy says:

    Re: Puddleduck's comment, I have the same question.

    What does the "FREE" (sic) download actually do?

  10. Jerry Taylor says:

    I purchased their program and it seems to work except it removes some programs without the ability to recover the programs. There is no response from the company. I have sent emails to them and still await a response.

  11. Jame Douglas says:

    Look, folks. You want to play but you don't want to pay. Life doesn't work this way. Read the reviews and decide for yourselves whether the product is of any value. If you decide it is then PAY for it. That's exactly what I did. As someone else mentioned, there are no free rides although FREE is often advertised in a duplicitous manner on the web. As for PC Matic: it works great. It's updated some of my drivers, kept my hard drive defragged, cleaned out junk files and corrected a few stability issues. Could other programs have done the same? Undoutedly but then there would be naysayers about these as well. I don't regret purchasing the program. I did take out automatic renewal so that at the end of this year "I" will decide whether it is worth it to continue. So far, I'm reasonably impressed with the results.

  12. eboyd says:

    Does anyone have a phone number for PC Matic????????????

  13. Pete says:

    Write to them and they will stop debiting your account, I did they replied and I’m keeping their reply. They do not have the right to debit your account without your permission.

  14. Steve Sybesma says:

    I did some research on the specifics of this product and it has been around for almost 13 years. I’ve known about PC Pitstop long ago which is the original product. Apparently, the same people have owned it all along.

    So, it’s the marketing strategy this company has taken from the beginning that to me indicates what the genuine worth of this product and its reputation have turned out to be. It doesn’t have the following in the tech community that other well-known products have, and it doesn’t seem to deserve it. It has tried to purchase that reputation.

    I would say that this is not a spectacular performer, but basically an average-quality product that you are paying full price for.

    When any company toots its own horn a lot more loudly than anyone outside of it does, it just means they have a very high opinion of themselves that is not necessarily warranted. No shortage of that, these days.

  15. EEK SEZ says:

    I’d be very careful downloading/buying this type of software that claims to repair/speed up your machine. One time I purchased something like this and it ruined my computer. The best is to find yourself a person that knows how to repair computers and have them take a look at your computer if it’s slow (and I’m not talking about the Geek Squad at BB… run as fast as you can from them!!) I’m talking about a qualified computer repair person.

    Their commercials are enough to make me never want to use their services. I cringe every time I see the one with the annoying wife talking down to her husband like she’s a computer genius.

    Sometimes messing around with your computer and the registries can really wreak havoc on your machine. Take it to someone that knows computers. I have two repair shops where I live and in most cases they’ll have your machine ready and checked within just a few hours.

  16. Mike says:

    How can anyone be so dumb to buy this crap ?

    GET A MAC !!!

  17. DT says:

    Your “review” says nothing about whether the errors reported by PC Matic were a valid cause for concern.

    I’ve seen a ton of programs that claim to help you clean up your PC. Usually, they suffer from one of two problems:

    1 – Crying wolf about things that aren’t that serious (like the red dot in your screenshot for the modem drivers)

    2 – Advising someone to fix things that might break an unbroken computer (e.g., registry fixes that may do more harm than good)

    If you’re going to “review” a program, then REVIEW it. Don’t tell us what the program claims to do; test whether its claims are valid, whether what it reports to you makes good sense, and what happens if you just go ahead and blindly tell such a program to fix all the problems it reports. I remember a client that did that with one of the top-recommended programs on the market several years back, from a major vendor with a yellow circle as its logo (guess the rest). Two hours and one reboot later, I had to reload his PC from scratch.

  18. shirley clark says:

    After installing PC.Matic my computer would freeze up at every turn. Thanks but no Thanks, I’m just out $49.00.

  19. gtre says:

    Scammers. Tell you its free then NOT tell you that you have to pay to fix the problems. Defintley wont be using their product! False advertising

  20. rach says:

    PC Matic sucks. I cannot get anything to work right. I cannot even find a phone number. I want some damn answers as to why my computer does not work and I want a refund!! Where is there phone number. I still have not heard back from their customer service since I had to send them some sort of email for them to get back to me. What the hell? This is the crap!! My advice is to never use PC Matic. It does not fix anything–it just makes things worse!!!!!!

  21. Shawn says:

    How do I cancel auto billing? Does anyone have a telephone number?

  22. D. King says:

    They debited my account without permission and I requested a refund which they did. When I log on to my PC a screen pops up in the middle of my desk top requesting that I renew PC Matic. When I tried to delete this message from my start up file I get an error message that states that I have to reinstall the program to correct the error. In order to reinstall it I would have to purchase it again, which I do not want. Any idea’s how to get rid of this nuisance?

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