Is McAfee PC Optimizer worth the price tag?

It never fails. When I first build a PC, everything runs at blazing speeds. Then a few years later, after multiple installations and uninstallations of games and apps, things start to go to crap. Games that ran smooth as butter start to sputter, slow, and stutter (yup, I’m proud of that rhyme). I’m not naive enough to think it’s my GPU. I’ve enough experience to know that conflicts arise with more software and RAM starts to get used up trying to keep up with the number of background processes that slowly get installed over the course of time. While there are ways to manually help free up RAM and HDD space, I decided to give McAfee PC Optimizer a shot. Why not try to fix background issues with the click of a button?


The beauty of modern-day software installation is the fact that we live in a digital age where physical media is practically non-existent. Perhaps it’s a blessing and a curse, but I sure do enjoy simply going to a website, downloading a file, and clicking on it to begin my installation. In my current PC build, I don’t even have a physical disc drive. Life with software is quick and easy, and it’s no different with McAfee PC Optimizer. Once I download and install the program, it’s just a matter of creating an account.

The sign-up process is just like any other. Simply create an account, have your payment info ready to go and voila – you are running the program. At the time of this writing, McAfee PC Optimizer is merely $34.99 to cover you for a year. This may be a Cyber Monday type of deal, but if you find the right time to purchase, it’s pretty easy to find a deal. According to the site – this is a sale price where the normal cost is $60 a year. Again, wait for a sale price, they are always running something. It’s important to note that this price will get you the service for up to 10 devices which is pretty sweet. Once your account is up and running, it’s time to start diagnosing what may be causing your PC to run so slow.


Once the McAfee Dashboard pops up on your screen and you are logged in, you will notice a host of options to select. The primary option for most users will simply be the “Home” dash. Here, the program automatically runs a PC analysis and gives me options to repair. This includes removing Windows “junk” files, deceptive and unwanted programs, available memory, internet junk files, registry issues, internet connection settings, broken internet connections, and startup delays. All of these functions can certainly slow down a PC if not running correctly. Admittedly some are easy to fix without the software.

The “Home” screen does a full PC analysis, but if I want to run a more specific scan, I can always narrow the focus to simply PC Cleanup issues, HDD boosts where I can defrag non-Solid-State drives etc. There are truly a plethora of options here to boost just about anything you can think of. The question is do they actually work? That is the main issue I have with this type of software. There is a certain level of trust that it is actually doing something, and it’s difficult to prove with data that it works. However, I can say that through simple observation, it sure seems to.

Proof it works?

For example, while running Baldur’s Gate 3, I noticed some massive stuttering happen where none had before. My normal process would be to check my RAM usage through the task manager and determine where my resources are being bogged down. This can be tedious and often leads to me having to “google” a bunch of background processes to see if they are legit or not. Time to fire up McAfee PC Optimizer for simplicity. I analyze my PC through the “Home” dashboard, and it says my PC is running poorly. Okay, yup it is. It then pops up all the reasons why and asks if I want to fix everything. Yes, I do.

After the scan, it now says my System Status is “Good”. Again, there is a level of trust here that it fixed something. I double check my system resources and know that it did free some RAM that was being used prior by unknown processes. It did work behind the scenes, and on my next boot of BG3 everything is running smooth again. Pretty sweet.

There is so much more to this program though. I can have it reformat a Hard Drive, attempt to restore files, restore the system to a previous date, give my PC a real-time boost. I can even have it do scheduled maintenance.

So, do I like it? Yep, I do. I really do. Is it going to solve everything? It depends. PCs are incredibly complex, and for beginners, having an expectation that software is a cure all is terribly naive. Sometimes your system may not have the resources to run certain games or programs. Software simply can’t fix that.

Who is this for?

McAfee PC Optimizer is for those who don’t want to dive into the complex labor of discovering and troubleshooting PC issues. It is built to quickly analyze, fix, and delete unnecessary processes and files that bog down a system given time. It may save some a trip to the Geek Squad at a fraction of the cost.

I truly enjoy using PC Optimizer. For $35 bucks a year to cover 10 devices, it is well worth the price tag.