As careful as some of us can be, sometimes our computers get cluttered with software and services we possibly only needed once or forgot about. Sluggish performance and a plethora of issues can come from ignoring our drives, not to mention the dangers of crapware and malware being left on our system. It also helps to have browser extensions as extra tools for safe online browsing. We covered some of our favorites in a recent browser extensions article here.
From nostalgic tools like CCleaner or Stephen Gould’s Cleanup! To more recent and popular ones like Malware, we have used multitude of tools to help us get the job done over the course of the years. Today we present two free and effective tools; FreeFixer and AdwCleaner.
Free Tools To Clean Up Your Windows
We liked the simplicity, performance and speed of FreeFixer. It brought us back to the simple effective tools available over a decade ago. It runs and full scan of your system, listing all the installs on the hard drive. Very cleanly laid-out, it offers the user some extra information to help decide if the item is needed or useful. Easily allows you to remove unwanted items quickly and safely.
Let’s drill into the good stuff. FreeFixer lists all the important items in a well categorized manner, allowing you to fine tune your machine’s performance by removing the clutter. The list includes services running, processes running, namespace service provides, SVCHost and Explorer modules, browser extensions, search engine add-ons, scheduled tasks, all important registry start-ups and more. As a security feature, the software does not list any critical system files so that you cannot delete anything you shouldn’t have.
Each item type lists file path and an additional info section to learn more about it. We ran through a couple of machines and the information listed was more than satisfactory to help us identify unknown services and processes. Some additional features such as scheduled system scans, Windows System File Checking allows users to verify OS health and File Nuking allows deleting on reboot.
Although FreeFixer is simple to use, it may still be daunting to the average users. AdwCleaner takes an extreme approach to simplicity by creating a program that scans your computer for every single unwanted item and allows you to delete them all at once, no fuss, no check lists, it does all the work for you. It has been around for a while and good reviews can be found by happy users so we decided to share it here.
We purposefully installed a long list of crapware including but not limited to much hated search engine toolbars and put it to the test. We ran the search and it found the bad stuff on each one of our browsers. AdwCleaner provided a text file with a list of unwanted crapware with a delete all button. Not only did it remove almost every one with no issues, it did it very quickly. We found that a couple needed to be found manually and removed that way but was still good considering we installed over 15 different bloat programs.