How to Clean up Your Windows PC
Our Guide to Removing Malware, Junk-ware and Viruses From Your Windows PC
At TSF Computers we are experts at removing viruses, malware and other unwanted programs from your computer. We put this guide together so we could share our expertise and show the process we use at our office, including links to the programs we use that will help you do a basic clean up. This guide will show you how to clean up many of the common types of unwanted computer programs that cause issues such as slow downs and pop-ups.
1. Manual Uninstall
Our first step is always to manually uninstall any “junk” software. This software usually includes toolbars, PC tune-up software, driver updaters, malicious internet browsers, etc. If you aren’t sure what a program is, feel free to google it and see if other people have asked about it. If you are unsure, it may be safer to leave it. If it is malicious, the other tools in this guide should remove it.
There are two easy ways to get to the list of installed programs:
In most versions of Windows you can open the Start Menu and type “appwiz.cpl” in the search to bring up the Control Panel “Programs and Features” window.
Alternatively, in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can right-click on the start menu and click on “Programs and Features” or “Apps and Features.” Which option you see depends on your version of Windows. “Apps and Features” will bring up the “modern” style app manager in Windows Settings.
Note: CCleaner from step 2 also has an “Uninstall” feature in the “Tools” tab that functions the same as the Windows “Programs and Features” window allowing you to manually uninstall programs during that step.
After an uninstall we usually move on to CCleaner. While CCleaner is not a virus removal tool, it does help remove a lot of temporary files (which can speed up some of our other scans) and can help reset browsers. CCleaner can also be used to turn off start-up applications.
There are a couple of important things to check/do in CCleaner:
In the “Cleaner” tab: under the “System” section under the “Windows” tab, make sure “DNS Cache” is checked.
If you are on Windows 10, also make sure “Session” under “Microsoft Edge” is checked.
You can now click “Run Cleaner.”