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Optimize and Secure Your Windows Machines With Microsoft PC Manager

4 Min. Read

This article will show you how to optimize and secure your Windows machines with Microsoft PC Manager.

Introduction

Microsoft PC Manager is a new utility app for your PC that Microsoft just released and became generally available in February 2024. It offers features such as one-click boost, storage cleanup, file management, and protection of your default settings from unauthorized changes.

The good news is that this tool is Free. It’s available in the Microsoft store, so if you open the Microsoft store and search for Microsoft PC Manager, you go ahead and click Get, as shown in the figure below.

Install Microsoft PC Manager
Install Microsoft PC Manager

Once installed, you’ll click open, and it will show you the following window. It starts on the home screen, allowing you to manage pop-up management, turn on PC boost, various health checks, processes, deep cleanup, and startup options.

Open Microsoft PC Manager
Open Microsoft PC Manager

This tool is designed to help you clean up your PC. You may have heard of tools in the past like CCleaner. Microsoft PC Manager is a native Microsoft offering that’s similar but won’t have all the same capabilities. Now, this tool is leveraging some of the existing capabilities built into the OS, for example, Storage Sense, disk cleanup, Windows security features, and Task Manager. Still, it’s trying to bring it to the Forefront.

You probably don’t need this utility if you’re a PC expert, but it may help you optimize your Windows machines if you’re a casual user.

Navigating Microsoft PC Manager

In PC Manager, we can do pop-up management; for example, you can enable this, which will block many pop-up advertising options, so you could go ahead and turn that on to block a lot of the pop-ups.

Manage pop-up management in PC Manager.
Manage pop-up management in PC Manager.

The PC boost will boost your PC automatically in times of contention. It will go ahead and do things like optimize some of the processes running in memory and clean up some of your temporary storage space so that it will help you in times of contention settings. Then, we have these various health checks and processes.

PC boost in PC Manager
PC boost in PC Manager.

So, if we start with the protection, it can hook into the native Windows security capabilities for Antivirus. Are we running the latest Windows updates? The biggest thing most of us can do to protect ourselves is to stay current with patching.

Then, we have options for changing the default browser settings, repairing the taskbar if you’ve got problems, restoring your default apps, and pop-up management. So, we have many options to bring some critical things to the Forefront.

System protection in PC Manager.
System protection in PC Manager.

On the Storage side, we can do deep cleanup. This is similar to the disk cleanup tool, which will scan your machine’s various areas where you can save some space. So it’s showing here like Windows update, Microsoft Defender, Temporary files, and so on. I don’t particularly like that it’s showing the Windows Prefetch; it’s not selected by default on my machine, though, which is good. The prefetch is a folder that helps speed up the launching of specific applications, and it’s generally tiny; I think if you were to clear it, it would just repopulate and slow down the launching of those applications.

The figure below shows it goes through all the different areas (System cleanup, Application cache, Recycle Bin, and Web cache). You can select the one you are interested in to clean those items. In this machine, we could claim back approximately 1.3 Gigabytes, so we could click Proceed, and it’s super quick to do the cleanup.

Storage cleanup in PC Manager.
Storage cleanup in PC Manager.

Additionally, we have this idea of looking at and managing large files and storage sense. Storage sense is a feature that’s just part of the OS, but as you can see, it can run during low disk space options, all the time, every day, every week, or every month. Automatically delete files in the recycle bin, automatically delete files in the downloads based on a certain number of days, and some of the cached content you have from the cloud. So this is just a native feature of the OS that it’s bringing to the Forefront for you.

Manage large files and Storage sense in PC Manager.
Manage large files and Storage sense in PC Manager.

On the Applications side, these are things available in Task Manager, but it’s showing me what processes are running and the impact on the apps that are starting; you could disable them from here, manage rarely used apps, and hook into the Microsoft Store.

Application management in PC Manager.
Application management in PC Manager.

On the Toolbox side, we have the following core Windows tools and Web tools: it has some custom links, you can delete all of the custom links it came with, and you can click the Edit, and then you can click the delete button, and you can add your link.

You can also show the toolbar on the desktop, where you get a particular set of resources, like Boost, Screenshot, Notepad, and Edge links.

Toolbox in PC Manager.
Toolbox in PC Manager.

If you click the little settings icon when it says Add tools, it will give you a list of available options. You could remove the ones included via the minus sign to remove some of those default ones; if you want to, you can add other ones via the plus sign. If you close PC Manager, the toolbar will stay on the main screen, and you can move it wherever you want.

PC Manager toolbar on the desktop
PC Manager toolbar on the desktop

Last, on the Settings side, we can configure the Smart boost and have specific shortcuts to enable the custom block of pop-up management and the option to launch it automatically when you sign in to Windows.

Settings in PC Manger.
Settings in PC Manger

Summary

Microsoft PC Manager is here to help bring many existing capabilities in the OS to the Forefront. As mentioned earlier, if you’re a general user, these are not something you typically focus on; you can go through the different options; it may help with Patching and Antivirus, maybe cleaning up some of the files, and it can help get your PC a bit cleaner.

I hope that was useful!

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect with 20+ years of IT experience. As a Swiss Certified Information Security Manager (ISM), CCSP, CISM, MVP, and MCT, he excels in optimizing mission-critical enterprise systems. His extensive practical knowledge spans complex system design, network architecture, business continuity, and cloud security, establishing him as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in the field. Charbel frequently writes about Cloud, Cybersecurity, and IT Certifications.
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