About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 16, 2015

Decrapify Your Computer

Last week I mentioned a friend whose computer was struggling through a major malware and viral infection.  I had several readers write to ask, what was done to resolve it and even more importantly how to stop a reoccurrence of the same problems. 

To resolve it I installed Avast! for antivirus protection and Malwarebytes to remove the malware.  I had to run each several times to get rid of all but a couple of nasty ones. 
For those last two or three I had to search the net to find solutions since I had never heard of them.  I found the solutions, ran them and those problems were gone, too.  This was not a quick process.  The first run of Avast! took several hours and Malwarebytes took a couple of overnight runs.  But finally all was well.

I will also say that a huge majority of their problems came from trial antivirus expiring and nothing replacing it, plus many coupon saving apps which were putting on all the malware to get usernames and passwords along with surfing habits.  Fortunately they did not do any banking online or they would have been broke, too.

Next, on a new computer the first thing you should do is to install the two applications mentioned above or pay for the free/trial antivirus provided by the manufacturer and add  Malwarebytes. 

Next, you need to remove the PUPs from your new computer.  (Potentially Unwanted Programs, and yes that is an actual term.)  These are the "junk" programs on new computers that you do not use and will likely never have a need for. 

For the past many years I have built my own computers so I only install what I need; however, in the olden days I used an application called, "PCDecrapifier."  I reinstalled it today to test it out and it still works well. It will remove the majority of your PUPs and bloatware / crapware; however, you may still have some left. For those remaining you should uninstall them upon discovery as you would any application. 

PC Decrapifier logo

PCDecrapifier is a standalone app, which means no installation other than running the downloaded executable.  When you are done all you do is remove the Decrapifier file you downloaded and ran earlier.  It will request if you would like to create a restore point.  I doubt you will need to worry about it but I suggest that you do this.  I recommend you create a restore point anytime you install any new application.

Last today I have several steps for installing new software from day one on.  Start by reviewing the program you are looking to install on your favorite search engine.  See if anyone mentions any "security" issues about it.  Throw out the top 10% of lovers and haters of the application and you will have realistic opinions.  Next, when you install it, if there is a "Custom" install choose that over the default which asks you no questions.  The reason is even some reputable programs have "add on" programs that go with them.  For instance some install Google Chrome along with the real app you mean to install.  In my opinion that is not bad since I am a big supporter of Chrome; however, some apps install PUPs.  A custom install will allow you to choose exactly what is installed so you can "uncheck" any PUPs you see. 

July 12, 2011

CCleaner & InPrivate Browsing

Donna S. from Shenandoah wrote and asked a couple of good questions.  They first thing she wanted to know was which files she should delete when working in her browser under Options.

In your browser’s Options when deleting temporary/old files (settings vary per browser), there is one that I don’t delete.  That is the one that has to do with deleting saved passwords.  Note that it is labeled slightly different in the various browsers but you will be able to figure it out from the title.  For more experienced users you may choose differently, but that is OK, to each their own.  I like to keep the “recorded” passwords in particular so that the individual sites will not need me to remember the passwords and retype them the next time I visit a site.  This is only true if you allow your browser to remember your sites’ passwords.

After saying all of that I have a better recommendation.  I am surprised, but it appears as though I have never mentioned this application before and I have been using it for many imageyears.  The app is called “Ccleaner” ( and according to the site, “Historically the software was originally called “Crap Cleaner”, but this was shortened to CCleaner to prevent any offense and to allow corporations to use it.”  So there you go for your “inside info”.

CCleaner will run through your programs and delete all of the unneeded files.  Now be warned that it is removing files from your computer which could cause problems; however, after using it for years, I have never, ever had any issues caused by CCleaner.

Once, you install it, run the CLEANER at the top, left side and after it completes run REGISTRY.  I always use the default settings and delete all of the suggested things that will come up in the list.  It will clean your browser (which must be closed for CCleaner to run) and your computers “junk” files too.  They ask for $24.95 for priority support, but as of now I have never had a reason to get support, so I suggest the freebie.

imageDonna also asked about what “InPrivate Browsing” which she saw while looking around her browser.  It is also labeled as, “Private Browsing” in FireFox and “Incognito Windows” in Google Chrome; however, it is the same thing.

The InPrivate browser settings are jokingly called by many geeks the “Porn Browser Mode”.  Basically, InPrivate and its other nomenclatures, will not leave a trace of where a person has gone on the internet.  Then if someone else checks their computer they can’t see what sites they have visited in the past.  Although you should be aware that your internet service provider can provide that information if needed,  InPrivate only keeps your history off of your local computer.

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