Favorite Programs to Clean Things Up

I hear this question all the time, “Doug, can you clean up my computer? I think it has a virus.” While usually a virus is not the problem occasionally it is. At any rate, here are the my favorite programs to clean computers up. All of these programs are FREE 🙂

  • CCleaner – cleans browsers, recycle bin, registry, temp files, and more. I use this repeatedly throughout the process.
  • Spybot Search and Destroy– spyware remover that often goes unnoticed by anti-virus. You know your computer has spyware if toolbars are showing up, homepages have been hijacked, or Spybot now has bootable CD for really tough malware. “Spyware silently tracks your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies.”
  • Avast – my favorite anti-virus program. Lighter weight than most of the competition. Plus, it has a boot time scan feature that will allow you to run AV before windows even loads.
  • Revo Uninstaller – removes stubborn programs and remnants. Also has forced uninstall
  • Defraggler – defragment specific files or folders rather than the full drive, boot time defrag available
  • Malwarebytes – another spyware/malware destroyer. I don’t use this one as often, but on tough stuff it is in the arsenal
  • Super Anti Spyware – yet another spyware/malware remover
  • Windows Defender – Microsoft’s own pop-up, spyware blocker

The reason I use so many programs is because these are all FREE, as such a malicious bug writer can test against each of these to see if their bug is ‘invisible’ to the software. By using many different kinds I reduce my risk of overlooking something.

Finally, I use Ninite to download these and many other helpful tools without much user interaction. In fact, the items available from Ninite are enough for most computer users and they are all FREE!

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