Who says that you need to spend a lot of money to keep your Microsoft Windows based computer or laptop running in tip-top performance. There are free, yes completely free ways on how to clean up and maintain your Windows system by using the following recommended programs and applications which are guaranteed 100% safe, and can be downloaded at no cost.
All of the software downloads along with the helpful tips apply just towards the Window based Operating Systems including: Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. You should be using these free downloadable programs if you suspect that your system may be infected with viruses, malware or beginning to run slower than normal.
Always Update The Windows OS Using Windows Update
Although updating may be quite obvious, the majority of Windows users do not bother to install the latest updates which are available for their Windows Operating System, which is provided free by Microsoft.
Either they will ignore the update notices completely which Windows sends them, or their computers Windows setup does not have the automatic updates feature turned on. So make sure that the latest version of your Windows OS has the latest updates as well as the patches installed. This is one of the best ways to keep it functional.
However, there are those who are knowingly partial to having their Windows OS updates set to automatically download and then installing the updates. One of the reasons being that they’re surfing on the Internet, and then suddenly their Web connection as well as their computer suddenly slows down because Windows decides to download and then install the updates.
As a result, the automatic updating is considered a nuisance and the feature is turned off. Some users would just rather visit Windows Update online once a week and then just manually check for any updates.
Scanning Your Computer For Malware By Using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
If your computer cannot visit Malwarebytes’ official site because the domain happens to be blocked on your browser, or you’re suddenly forwarded to another website, then guess what, your Windows computer may be already infected by malicious Malware code.
That is a direct testament to how well the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works. The majority of malware developers will actually block your system from using this excellent eradication tool.
If you’re attempting to wipe out any malware from your infected computer which is preventing you from actually visiting the Malwarebyte site, you will need to download the software program from a computer that’s not infected, and then copy it onto your computer via a USB flash stick or an USB external drive.
It’s suggested that renaming the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware file to something else is recommended before you run the app on the Windows computer which is infected. There has been sophisticated malware which actually even deletes the Malwarebytes’ installation file.
Even after you’ve successfully installed the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, the malware on your computer might just delete the executable (mbam.exe) file immediately, even before you start it. If this is the case, then you will then have to copy the mbam.exe file from another computer, then rename it to another name and then click on the file directly, for it to run on the infected computer.
If you’re unable to use your infected PC’s USB ports, because the malware is blocking access to them, then try to copy the installation file onto a writable DVD.
If the malicious malware has even prevented you from accessing your infected computer’s media drives, then you’ll need to physically take out your PC’s hard drive and then connect it to another Windows computer, and use it as an external drive or slave. Then have the second system run the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program to scan and then clean up the infected drive.
Removing All Unwanted Programs By Using Revo Uninstaller
You should be uninstalling all of the applications from your Windows computer which you don’t use, or do not recognize, and you’re certain that your system doesn’t need or use them. But obviously be careful when you do this.
Once excellent program to do this is by using Revo Uninstaller. This program is able to adequately and thoroughly delete all of the unwanted miscellaneous files, settings and folders which will often remain when other programs are deleted or removed using Windows standard uninstall function, which is found in the Control Panel.
There is a free version of Revo Uninstaller which is able to remove 32-bit programs which are installed on either an 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows. You will however need to purchase the pro version of Revo to remove any 64-bit programs.
You can also use the Revo Uninstaller to deactivate as well as completely remove any autorun files, so this way, the start up of your Windows computer won’t be slow by it automatically loading any unwanted programs which you don’t even use or need. These unwanted programs will run every time you boot up your computer.
Cleaning Out Your Temporary Files As Well As The Windows Registry Using CCleaner
This is an extremely effective and popular tool which removes your Window OS’s unwanted Web browser cookies as well as miscellaneous temporary files which are collected or created by other applications.
It will also scan through your registry settings of your Windows computer and then remove any entries which are no longer needed. Although when deleting these unwanted items will free up a lot of hard drive space, it’s really debatable whether doing so improves the overall speed performance of your PC.
Regardless, we all like to keep our Window’s PC as squeaky clean as possible, as well as running it fast and smooth. So using CCleaner is an excellent and essential tool which clears out any cluttered temporary files and frees up hard drive space.
Similar to Revo Uninstaller, CCleaner includes a tool which removes unwanted autorun files helping to speed up the “boot time” on your Windows computer.
Checking For Updates On Installed Programs Using FileHippo Update Checker
As previously mentioned, most will prefer to just turn off their automatic updating functions in Windows, this to prevent any unexpected system or Internet slowdowns as well as interruptions in speed when surfing.
The same can be said for individual applications on your computer which has automatic built-in capabilities for updating themselves without your input. It’s recommended that you Switch these off as well. A lot of the applications, such as Adobe Reader, allows you to download any updates manually.
But rather than going through your entire installed software list to check for any updates for them, you can install FileHippo’s Update Checker. This utility will audit all of the programs which are installed on your system, and will then open a page in your Web browser that will list links so you can download the latest versions of your software programs.
De-fragmenting Your Hard Drive Using Auslogics Disk Defrag
After you have updated Windows, then scanned for any malware, and then thoroughly removed all of the unwanted programs as well as files which you don’t need, the final maintenance step is to defragment your system’s hard drive. Doing so will optimize the speed as well as its overall performance.
There are a few good defragging tools which are available, including the one that’s included with Windows. But there is also one program that is preferred above anything else, which is Auslogics Disk Defrag. This program is easy to use and provides an excellent graphically informative snapshot of your hard drive, while offering warp speed defragging as well.
Make Sure You Use Firefox, Chrome Or Opera As Your Default Internet Browser
It’s pretty much recommended and agreed by most not to use Windows default Internet Explorer Web browser, or Safari for that matter.
This is no attempt to knock on them, but both of them are not as safe and as secure as using Firefox, Chrome or Opera browsers. Although Internet Explorer 10 is certainly a lot more safer to use than any of the previous IE versions, it still may pose significant security flaws which can potentially expose your computer to unwanted malicious code.
If you’re required to use Internet Explorer, since say because your entire office uses it, then go through the browser’s list of any add-ons and then uninstall any of the ones that you don’t need or recognize.
Although Firefox is recommended, it’s also not immune to being compromised as well. There has been cases of Firefox installations which has had their default search engine settings hijacked to forward directly to another site, despite no add-on’s or anything else being installed. The best solution is selecting the functions within Firefox which allows you to restart it with the add-ons disabled.