• CCleaner cleans up junk and temporary files, also secure erase
  • Defraggler free defragmenter – works better than Windows Defrag.¬† Do not use on Solid State Drives.
  • CheckDiskGUI – provides an easy interface to chkdsk, to check for and repair errors on your hard disk. Do not use recover mode on Solid State Drives.

Helper applications


  • MalwareBytes for removal of spyware. I like the free version but you need to remember to run it yourself. The Pro/Premium version is always on the lookout. You may try the trial and revert to the free version at the end of a month.
  • MalwareBytes BrowserGuard¬† is a free browser extension that blocks ads, tracking cookies, scams, malware and dangerous websites.


  • BackBlaze – Online backup – great value for about $5 per month. Full disclosure: this link gives me a teeny tiny commission. Carbonite is also good.
  • Keyfinder records your Windows and Office license keys in a text file.
  • Asterisk Key reveals the password behind the ***.
  • Spybot also for removal of spyware
  • SyncBack “Synchronize & Backup”
  • File Shredder to securely delete files from a hard drive – but CCleaner can also do this.
  • VNC remote control assistance


  • iTunes free music player from Apple
  • Picasa free photo organizer and editor from Google
  • free replacement for Microsoft Office!
  • Roboform for securely storing online passwords (only free for a certain number of passwords)
  • Firefox web browser replacement for Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome a fast browser. Works especially well on older, slow computers

Virus Cleanup

Use them in this order:

  • rkill attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your security software can run and clean your computer of infections (click the green “Download Now @ BleepingComputer” button)
  • TDSSKiller Root-kit remover (fast, but more limited. Click “TDSSKiller.exe” in the section titled: “How to disinfect a compromised system”. )
  • JRT (Junkware Removal Tool). Works as advertised. (click the green “Download Now @ BleepingComputer” button)
  • AdwCleaner – my favorite, but always requires a reboot. Check what folders it wants to delete because once or twice is has wanted to delete an important folder. (click the green “Download Now @ BleepingComputer” button. Alternatively click “Visit Author’s Site” for the latest version).
  • ComboFix Root-kit remover (click the green “Download Now @ BleepingComputer” button). Doesn’t work on Windows 10 yet nor on newer versions of Windows 8.
  • autoruns – to see what programs (viruses?) are starting up.
  • sometimes what looks like a virus can be something as simple as a start page change or a command embedded in an shortcut / icon to open a certain site. These are easy to check and fix.
  • HijackThis – if you’re still having trouble. Handle with care.

Other Useful Links