- 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.
- Open Shell Menu essential for Windows 10, 11 (and 8) – get your Start button back!
- Adobe Reader essential for viewing PDF documents (do not download extra junk such as McAfee)
- Office 2007 Compatibility Pack for opening Office 2007 and 2010 files in earlier versions of Office.
- Bonjour Apple’s Bonjour Print Services for Windows
- Powerpoint Viewer from Microsoft
- 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
- OpenOffice.org 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
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
- Shadow Explorer – pull previous versions of your Office files out of System Restore!
- SARC Symantec Anti-virus Research Center
- Norton Anti-virus updates
- Norton Anti-virus Corporate Edition updates
- Tools for virus removal (Symantec)
- Stinger for removal of the most common viruses (useful many years ago)
- “Shields Up!” Firewall test
- Linksys Downloads
- Netgear Downloads