Recently I made a housecall to update and cleanup the parents’ two windows computers. Here’s the (free) tools I recommend for do-it-yourselfers. All of these are download, install and run.
To find and clean out all the tracking cookies, spyware and advertising delivery bots, run some combination of the following three programs once a month. You’ll be surprised at what they find.
- Adaware SE from http://www.lavasoft.com/ Very simple to configure and run.
- Spybot Search and Destroy, from http://www.safer-networking.org/en/ This one catches things missed by Adaware.
- Microsoft recently released a free Antispyware program available here This has received good reviews from the normally MS-critical computer and hacker press.
I recently found this general disk cleaner. It runs and cleans out all the old temp and junk files that accumulate on your hard drives. On my work PC, it took 156 seconds to scan and find over 2.5 gig’s worth of removable files. Its http://www.ccleaner.com/ which stands for ‘crap cleaner’.
All these software downloads are available in one efficient site: http://www.filehippo.com/
7/02 Update: Warning! be sure to close your browser windows (and any other programs that might be open) when running ccleaner. There is a documented bug with Firefox if it is left open.