How to Clean up Your Windows PC

Disclaimer: We're providing this information as a Do-It-Yourself  guide to assist you in cleaning up your PC but TBE does not take responsibility should something go wrong in the process but know that we have assisted many end-users and clients utilizing these same procedures.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Manual Uninstall

It’s a good idea to remove “junk” software from your machines, especially software that was recently installed before your computers started running slow. This type of junk software includes toolbars, “free” anti-virus programs, “tune-up” programs, driver updates and software that you just don’t recognize on your systems.

Here are a few easy ways to get to the list of installed programs:

  1. In most versions of Windows you can open the Start Menu and type “appwiz.cpl” in the search to bring up the Control Panel “Programs and Features” window.
  1. Alternatively, in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can right-click on the start menu and click on “Programs and Features” or “Apps and Features.” Which option you see depends on your version of Windows. “Apps and Features” will bring up the “modern” style app manager in Windows Settings.

2. CCleaner

After an uninstall we usually move on to CCleaner. While CCleaner is not a virus removal tool, it does help remove a lot of temporary files and can help reset browsers. CCleaner can also be used to turn off start-up applications.

There are a couple of important things to check/do in CCleaner:

  1. In the “Cleaner” tab: under the “System” section under the “Windows” tab, make sure “DNS Cache” is checked.
  2. If you have files on your computer that you DON'T want permanently removed, uncheck "Recycle Bin"
  3. If you are on Windows 10, also make sure “Session” under “Microsoft Edge” is checked.
  4. You can now click “Run Cleaner.”

3. TDSSKiller

TDSSKiller is not a substitute for anti-virus or Internet security software protection. To keep your computer and devices secure, you should install Internet security software.

Installing TDSSKiller is easy and will scan your system in only about 15 seconds.

TDSSKiller by Kaspersky is a rootkit detection and removal tool. It is useful for finding malicious services and processes that have tried to worm their way into Windows.

A rootkit for Windows systems is a program that penetrates into the system and intercepts the system functions ( Windows API ). It can effectively hide its presence by intercepting and modifying low-level API functions. Moreover it can hide the presence of particular processes, folders, files and registry keys. Some rootkits install its own drivers and services in the system (they also remain “invisible”).

4. ADW Cleaner

ADW Cleaner by Malwarebytes is a great utility to find and remove unwanted adware, junkware, toolbars, and browser extensions from your computer. Using ADW Cleaner is simple, click “Scan.” When the scan is finished a .txt file will be displayed with the results of the scan. After that, the scan button will turn into a “Clean” button. Click clean and let ADW Cleaner do its job.

5. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a fantastic anti-malware application that can find and remove some very obscure and hard to detect threats. When you first install Malwarebytes, it will activate a 14-day free trial that includes real-time protection and increased vulnerability detection. You can opt out of this trial if you only want to use Malwarebytes for scanning. Scanning with Malwarebytes is easy, there is literally an arrow pointing to the “Scan Now” button. When you click “Scan Now” Malwarebytes will do any updates and will scan your system. After the scan, make sure all detected threats are checked and click “Quarantine Selected.”

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