“How do I clean up my computer?”

So you want to clean up your own computer? There are millions of software packages out there offering to keep your computer clean. Offers to clean your registery and fix your every problem with the touch of one button. Just buy their software, pay them money, and you will be set free from the computer slug run. Well, probably not.

While it is true that you will need software on your computer to help you keep it clean, it is still ultimately a process of understanding what will help the most. Adding more software does not help your computer, unless it is the right software and properly used. There are just as many ways to clean up a computer as there are software to use. This is only one way.

DISCLAIMER: JUST TO BE CLEAR, ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DATA. SOME ACTIONS HERE CAN MAKE YOUR COMPUTER WORSE NOT BETTER. I MAKE A LOT OF ASSUMPTIONS IN THE ARTICAL. IF YOU REALLY NEED IT CLEANED UP FAST–CALL YOUR LOCAL COMPUTER REPAIR TECHNICIAN OR CONTACT WILTECH SERVICES FOR REMOTE SUPPORT (WE CAN CLEAN UP IT OVER THE INTERNET) 940-320-9114.

Now, that you are ready to start. Stop. Back up your data. If you already have a backup, that is okay. Back it up again. Any time you start cleaning your system with free third party tools, you take a chance that something will go wrong.

So you feel safe to continue cleaning your computer. You have your backups all ready just in case. Here is a list of tools that we will be using:
Microsoft Security Essentials
Note: Windows 8 no longer uses Microsoft Security Essentials. It uses Windows Defender instead.
Hitman Pro Trial version
Spybot
Malwarebytes
CCleaner
Combofix

IDrive Remote Backup

If during this process something does not work correctly, go to the next step. Then go back to the steps that failed after your computer has been cleaned by the other processes. Each of the following may be possible on your computer and many may not work. I make a lot of assumptions.

Your computer is Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8. All the hardware is working correctly. You either have an infection or some other software related issue causing your computer to run slow. You have access to the internet. You may have pop ups, unwanted ads on pages that normally do not have ads or odd search results when surfing the internet.

Let’s also assume it will be easy.

Install Malwarebytes, updating the definitions when asked. If it installs without any problem, start a full scan. This may take a while depending on your system.

Install CCleaner and Spybot. Get all the updates, but do not start the scans yet. If you do not have any antivirus on your computer, run the Microsoft Security Essentials(MSE) install and update it as far as you can. If you have any problems such as being asked by Spybot or Microsoft Security Essentials to restart the computer. Wait. Let Malwarebytes finish. You may have to go get a cup of coffee or have some lunch.

Once Malwarebytes is finished it will give you the option to remove any malware found on your system. Follow the instructions from Malwarebytes. It will most likely ask you to restart. If not, restart anyway.

When your computer starts back, install Hitman Pro. Install any updates for hitman. Let it do a full scan, have it clean whatever it can clean. Then restart the computer again.

While HitMan is running you can start CCleaner. You will run 2 scans in CCleaner. “Cleaner” to remove the temp files and “Registry” to clean up the registry entries. You may also want to go to “Tools”, “Startup” and removed anything that appears to be harmful from the startup options. You can “Disable” anything that you are not sure about, so it can be turned back on.

When HitMan finishes, you may have to run the cleanup process. After Ccleaner and HitMan have ran go ahead and restart your computer. Your computer should be in better condition. You should run a full scan with Spybot.  It will probably take over an hour depending on your computer.  If it finds problems, let it clean them.

After restarting from Spybot start a Microsoft Security Essentials (or Windows Defender in Windows 8) full scan.  This will take a while as well. After all is finished, restart and rerun Malwarebytes, Spybot and Hitman Pro to make sure all is cleaned up.

If there are still problems, your last resort is to install and run Combofix. Follow the instructions to Combofix very carefully. Combofix can be a dangerous tool if you have some odd issues on your computer. After running Combofix restart your computer TWICE.

When you return from your 2 restarts, rerun Malwarebytes, Spybot and Hitman. Your computer should be all cleaned up and free of viruses now. If not, please consult a professional.

You can contact WilTech Services nationwide for Remote Telephone Support. Call 940-320-9114.

Keep Your Work Computer Usable

Your company computer is just about as important of a tool as anything in the office. If not more so. It is advantageous of you to keep it accessible and in good functioning order. About the most important thing to you do to your computer is to keep it clean. I do not mean to get out the scrub brush and get it immaculate. Not yet anyway, that comes later. What I mean is the software that runs your computer needs to be clean and in good working order.

Every process in your computer takes a fraction of time. The more processes it has to do, the more the time adds up. If your computer is not cleaned of all the extra junk and little demons that run around, it will soon start to slow down. There are many ways that extra software gets into your computer, but most of them are a result of your everyday use.

Let’s get some ideas on what to avoid.

1. Toolbars

Probably one of the primary uses on the computer is internet or internet based solutions. Whether it be a Google or Yahoo search, a cloud based documents share, or intranet portal. You face some of the same issues. Google has a toolbar, Yahoo has one, MSN, Dogpile, Ask, Ebay, MapQuest… I could list for days the toolbars out there. And if there is not one out there already, there are just as many ways to create your own custom toolbars. We will not even touch on the junkware toolbars lurking around to turn your day into a nightmare. If you have ever been on the internet, chances are you have been tempted to install a toolbar. The idea is simple: save time, save effort, quick and easy, save money.

Don’t do it! Or more yet, ask yourself a few questions before you actually install it. Do you really need that toolbar? Is it really going to save you time? You have been doing without it this long, why do you need it now. Do you have other toolbars already? If you are going to use another toolbar, will it replace one you already use?

Most people that I deal with, never use their toolbars. They don’t need them. They only take up space on the browser and add just one more round of ticks on the clock during processing time. There are good uses for specific toolbars, but that is an entirely different topic. Unless you really see a true benefit, avoid the toolbars.

2. Registry Cleaners

It has to be going through your mind right now. Hey, to keep my computer clean I need to clean the registry. Everyone tells me that.

And that is true. Everyone does tell you that. But it is not necessarily the best solution to have multiple registry cleaners. Some may even argue that is not a good idea to have any. My question to you is this. Do you really need a registry cleaner running all day, every day, taking up process time? For what? If you are going to use a registry cleaner, it certainly does not have to run all the time. Pick one, run it occasionally. Avoid the blot of multiple cleaners and full time registry scanners.

3. Messengers

Do you really have that many people that use messaging services that you just have to have every service out there? IMs are almost as abundant as toolbars. Yahoo, AOL, MSN, whoever, all have messengers and all want to run in your tray, even when you do not have them on. (Thanks Microsoft) I don’t need your chat software running non stop. Just another piece of junkware most of the time. If you use IM, pick one. Stick to it. Many allow you to chat with other users on other services. So you don’t have to have multiple IM programs running all the time, even if you chat on them all.

Also check the preferences, options and tools sections in the IM software. See if you can remove them from starting up automatically. Have a shortcut on your desktop. Run it when you need it. If you must have one, only use one messenger and avoid running it in the system tray when it is not in use.

4. Streaming Audio/Video

Okay. If you are the only person in your office, or your house, you pay the bills–use it all you want. If not, if you are in an office environment with several users. Use your MP3 player of choice. Connect to a power source (not your office computer.) You can get MP3 docking stations for cheap. They allow you to listen to your music without streaming it over the company internet. Remember, every process takes a little time. Many processes take much more time. Avoid streaming non work related media to your company workstation.

Now that you have an idea of what to avoid, why not check out for instructions on how to clean and maintain your computer.