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    Windows Cleanup

    One downside to using Windows regularly is how performance seems to degrade over weeks and months of normal system usage.  In my experience, the root cause is typically sloppy and/or malicious software. 

    Bad software frequently leaves a mess of temporary files, extra registry entries, and sometimes extra software components you are not aware of.  This problem is increased with frequent web surfing as many popular websites actually install software on your PC as you browse.

    You should already be running some sort of Anti-Virus software.  Such software updates itself daily with signatures of known viruses.  At home I use Trend AntiVirus (one license covers several machines.)  At work I use Symantec (because thats what my employer pays for.)

    AntiVirus software does not typically detect all of the bad stuff that may be on your PC.  I use two additional free utilities on a regular basis.  You may want to try them for yourself.


    CCleaner is a nifty utility that scans and deletes extra stuff that can bog down your PC.  It also removes logs of your activity that many common programs create.  It is a free download, and is free to use.  Note that the setup wizard will install a web browser toolbar by default, so I always remember to “uncheck” that box.

    CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

    Malware Bytes Anti-Malware (MBAM)

    Malware Bytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is great utility that scans your system for “malware.”  Malware is software you don’t generally want on your PC, even though it isn’t technically a virus.  A classic example of malware is software that advertising companies quietly install to track what sites you visit, and sometimes interrupt you with advertising popups.  MBAM does a good job of finding and removing garbage that your AntiVirus software may ignore.  MBAM is free to download and use, however they offer a “premium” version that costs money but runs automatically in the background.

    We at Malwarebytes have created an easy-to-use, simple, and effective anti-malware application. Whether you know it or not your computer is always at risk of becoming infected with viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and malware that are constantly evolving and becoming harder to detect and remove. Only the most sophisticated anti-malware techniques can detect and remove these malicious programs from your computer.

    What other tips can you share?  What utilities do you use to keep your Windows clean?


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