Clean, Optimize, and Protect your Computer for FREE!
This tutorial will show you how to clean your system and rid of most threats and best of all, doing it for FREE! This tutorial features free versions of the software listed, but many of them have paid versions. I've personally bought CCleaner and Malwarebytes (I highly recommend doing that). This continues to be updated (at the time of this update, it's August 2019) and will continue to be updated as new programs come out and take over.
If you've ever seen those commercials on "FixMyPC" or anything similar, you don't need to pay for that program because you are about to learn how to do it for free (and it's easy)!! There are many scams out there where companies (a friend use to work for one that did this) will have you pay to install their program, run and "clean" your computer, and then lock you out of it and hold your system for ransom. Do not fall for those.
I've used the steps in this guide for YEARS when helping others with their computers and have only come across 1 virus in the past that all of this didn't fix. If you do run into that issue, back up all your data that you need (you should be doing this regularly anyway) and do a fresh install of your OS. If you are going to do this and you have another computer, use Ninite to package many of the common install programs into 1 exe so you can install everything with 1 go (minus the ones that can't be installed with this package).
- CCleaner - Scroll down and choose CCleaner. I've used this program so much throughout the years that I've bought the Pro version.
- Malwarebytes - Just like CCleaner, there is a free and paid version. This AV has helped me so much throughout the years, I pay for the Premium version for the real-time protection.
- RKill - kills remote connections to your computer. If you are TeamViewing into a friends' or family's computer, you will be booted from the connection when this runs.
- Adwcleaner - This has turn into a free standing Malwarebytes (meaning, a scanner that does not need to be installed).
- Windows Repair - I haven't used this yet but saw that it was useful for a lot of people
CCleanerSetting CCleaner up - Optional
- Mark certain cookies to keep - this is useful to get rid of a lot of data that can be used to track your movements on the internet while keeping you logged into the sites you frequent (so you actually run the tool as opposed to putting it off because you don't want to enter your password again).
- Click the Options tab on the left
- Go to the Cookies option in the right side of the window.
- Scroll through the cookies (cookies are files that tell your browser where you can stay logged in at, they don't store your user and password, just the option to keep you logged in) that you want to keep, left click them, and then click on the "->" to move them to the keep side.
- For me, things like Se7enSins and the few other forums I frequent are moved over and that's about it.
- Include | Exclude certain files/folders
- If you have specific files or folders you do or do not want CCleaner to clean, you can use those tabs to add the files or folders.
- I personally do not use these options but thought I would mention them here.
- This is perfect for those that want to set it and forget it (perfect for office use).
- I would suggest doing a Weekly schedule during the hours that you aren't using your computer. If at work, set it to perform during closed hours and make sure you aren't shutting the computer down the night it is suppose to run.
The uninstall feature in CCleaner will help you uninstall some of those pesky programs that are near impossible to uninstall. But you should also uninstall programs you no longer use.
- Go to Tools in the left sidebar.
- It should default to the "Uninstall" tab.
- Scroll through all the programs and uninstall the ones you no longer need or want. If you don't know what something is, use Google to see what it does and decide if you want to uninstall.
- You should still be in the Tools tab. Make sure you select "Startup" on the tab options on the right.
- Scroll through all the programs that are set to enable and see if you want them to load at start up.
- When you find one that you don't want loading at start up, select it and click the disable button (i.e. Skype likes to run at start up and I don't want it launching at start up).
- Rinse and repeat.
- Run CCleaner. You are going to have to close this browser during the scan, so make sure it's bookmarked.
- When CCleaner is open (it will default to the "Cleaner" tab on the left), click "Run Cleaner".
- When its done analyzing, it will show you how much of your computer it will clean in the window.
- Click RUN CLEANER
- When it finishes, it will tell you how much it cleaned out. Your done!
- On the left side you will see buttons and one is labeled as REGISTRY, click that.
- Click SCAN FOR ISSUES
- When it's done scanning, choose FIX SELECTED ISSUES. It will ask to save, save it.
- You are done. I suggest restarting now and resuming on the next part of this tutorial.
To learn more about viruses, feel free to read this thread.
- This program is meant to stop any remote connections (i.e. hackers). If you suspect something nasty on your computer, you have to run this first.
- Run the program. A DOS window will pop up. It should say something like "Press any button to start", do it.
- It will run through everything automatically and let you know when it is done.
- Once it is done, move on to the next steps.
- Run Malwarebytes
- You should be on the DASHBOARD tab. Click "Scan now"
- Let it run its course. Depending on how many files/hard drive space you have, this could take quite a while.
- Once it is done, View Report
- Remove selected (it should show you all the malware you have on your computer)
- Restart computer
- I would suggest running CCleaner again once you reboot
- Launch the program (it's just an executable, no install).
- Run the scan.
- Look through the results. This program is very sensitive so it may pick up some false positives. Double check to make sure, Google names to see what they are, uncheck the ones that are false positives.
- Restart, re-run the CCleaner portion (cleaner and registry)
As mentioned in the downloads section, I've not personally used this so if you are still experiencing problems, many users are saying this has helped.
If changes were made to your OS and you are still experiencing remnants of the virus, you can also try ComboFix.
If you are still having issues, www.bleepingcomputer.com has numerous resources, downloads, and tutorials to help you fix your issue.
I use to recommend running a defrag program but from researching it and reading what experts say, they recommend to not ever run a defrag. Something to do with the harddrives now days not needing it and can possibly reduce the life of the harddrive. NEVER ever ever run one on SSDs.
Recommendations to stay secureBrowsers
Browsers have come a long way since I started this guide back in 2006. There were really only 2 good options back then for Windows. With the increased awareness of the privacy breaches from services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and even credit reporters like Equifax, people are wanting to give themselves a little more protection while on the internet.
There are various options with how hardcore you want to get with your Privacy. Based on recommendations around the internet, I will list the ones that are recommended highly at the top and work our way down; this list will be a list for the top recommended though, so the bottom doesn't mean it's the worst.
Most of these browsers are now shipping with adblock built in. While I understand the need to block these ads, these ads are what allows small business sites such as Se7enSins to be able to operate. Otherwise, we will only have big conglomerates running the internet kind of like how Google is growing and expanding right now into every market. If you are blocking ads, please consider financially supporting the websites you frequent so companies like Google aren't the only ones running the internet. In any case, having adblock enabled while surfing sites you don't frequent will help protect you from malicious advertisements that some websites (not us) put up on their site to infect users visiting. This is really big on pirating and pr0n sites.
Sandbox sketchy programs
If you are downloading programs that you do not trust 100%, you will want to install Sandboxie. Sandboxie is a program that will isolate programs on your hard drive, almost like walling it off, so if you download a program that can harm your system it is isolated and kept away from your Operating System and essential utilities.
[Click here to view this link] - This is a project that was discontinued but there is a group that has continued the project unofficially. This will detect legit and malware processes so don't remove anything unless you are certain. It would be best to find a community (maybe BleepingComputer? I'm not sure if TrendMicro would still help or not) and post your logs for people to look over and tell you what to remove. This is definitely for advanced users and if you don't know what you are doing, you could mess up your computer.
Let us know if this has helped you clean and fix your computer. Post what this thread has done for you and your computer.
See what people are saying about following this guide:
Guys, CCleaner got 31 trojans out of my computer last night when i asked azzid for help.
Than even better super anti spyware got 112!!!!!!!!!!!! TROJANS AND SPYWARE OUT OF MY COMP.!!!!!!!!!!! And today just blocked 2 viruses, amazing, really. Guys, i reccommend this 110%
Very nice tut azzid. It freed up almost 700 MB's of space for me of junk I don't need and that shouldn't be there.
dang nice tut i removed like 250 files thx comps much faster
It cleaned mine up significantly. Thanks a lot, Azzid.
Azzid, everything worked out as planned on my part. Thanks for the programs, and the advise. Everything works much more smoothly now
i agree, i was bogged down until i used this, very nice thanks.
thanks this thread really help out my computer
thanks a lot superantispyware got like 150 spyware and trojan threats out of my computer. i just downloaded ccleaner but i analyzed it and it said it was deleting files from system32. should i worry about this? cuz without system32 u cant run ur comp
It took me about 2 hours to complete the Malwarebytes disc check...
I had 75 bad items, including 48 tracking cookies
And before that CCleaner deleted about a gig of unneeded items on my PC...
Yeah, im scared too...
wow this guide really helped me out. i knew there had to be something going o with my computer and all the programs completely cleaned out my system.
yes this works wonders my friends computer was so ****ing slow cause he is not computer smart at all, CCleaner got rid of 2,200 MB which let alone sped it up noticably, then AntiSpyWare got rid of over 400 TROJANS!!!!! none of them were big they were just annoying pop up things......this is a great tut!!!! my computer works with McAfee and it works good for me so i haven't had to use this yet
this helped a lot Azzid
TY SO MUCHHHH!!!!!!this is DEFINITLY better than anti spyware programs that u pay for
Thanks alot for this :lol:
my computer is so much more efficient and doesnt take forever on start up like it used to
Thanks! I had over 60 viruses in my computer that i got out. I was using McAffee and did a scan before getting these AV programs and found nothing. and now my computer goes super fast
Just finished this, only 3 threats, all cookies
In the first 10 minutes of the scan it found 5 viruses.
I love you!:.(
my disk was running full after doing this
i freed about 50.00+ GB space.
and got rid of 30+ trojans
May my gamers skills bless up on ye!:.(
Thanks so much
Thanks to this tutorial, I have been able to:
-Stop viruses/Trojans on their tracks
-Find and fix issues that slowed my PC down
-Find viruses hidden on my PC
This is just too good to be true, but it is!
btw very good tut and over 20 trojans found nice thx.
thanks, you saved my computer
Thank you so much Azzid! My computer is running so much faster now! Keep up the good work
Azzid... I can't even express how much I love you! My computer was being completely destroyed by several hundred viruses, keyloggers, trojans, spyware, all that crap. I ran the Malwarebytes thing, and now I don't have any problems. My computer even seems faster. They were terrible viruses too. I couldn't use internet browsers, 3/4 of my applications didn't work, I got these fake virus removal popups every 15 seconds, and my Internet Explorer kept opening up to pr0n sites. To use this program, I had to download it on my Linux Ubuntu HDD Partition, then move it into my C: Drive. Thank you so much, man .
~ Love, Ares
Thank you Azzid. i can't express my gratitude towards you right now! iv'e 789 and counting threats on my pc. thanks to you my pc will be running smoothly.. Although im religious and all i'm going to say it. AZZID > God!!
I'm currently doing Malwarebytes and it's showing 7 infected.
I can't believe the difference this has already made! My web browser has tripled in speed just from the first 2 programs!
My Overall view so far. Absolutely Amazing! I will update more when I'm finished.
Edit: Finished with Malwarebytes, the full scan found 7 infections. Had no clue!
thank you so much for this!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for taking the time to make this great tutorial. It has helped me out!
Thank you for that amazingly detailed tutorial, I use Kaspersky Internet Security instead of any of those ones since I get it free with my bank account.