Clean & Optimize

The following is a list of the steps I take and the tools I use for Cleaning and Optimizing a Windows based Computer. Some items may be specific to XP or Vista or Windows 7. You can assume I performed a “Malware Removal” for computers that are not new or fresh installs. Links for things mentioned in this guide, will be found at the bottom of this page. Now let’s get started…

New PC / Fresh Install

  1. First, without a doubt, remove any antivirus programs that are not paid for ( Trial Versions, etc ) on the computer.  I have a comprehensive list of  AV Manufacturer’s Removal Tools here, definitely use it.
  2. Next Clean off all the trial software, toolbars and any other crap that manufacturer’s love to throw on. You can use PCDecrapifier to get rid of most of it, however I prefer to use Glary Utilities and select the programs myself. 
  3.  After uninstalling the easy stuff, run the following 3 programs to get rid of even more junk:  Toolbar Cleaner,   Junkware Removal Tool, and ADWCleaner.
  4. Next, before connecting to the internet, install any service packs available for the OS you are working on.
  5. Connect to the internet, but only go to Windows Update, and update that computer with every High-Priority update there is. In addition I update all the optional updates with the exception of the “Bing” items. The latest Internet Explorer browser is always a must. Use Microsoft Update to get the latest updates for all the microsoft software on the PC.
  6. Once done with all the updates, I make sure Automatic Updates is turned on, or turn it on in the Security Center.
  7. I then go to and select to install Microsoft Security Essentials, Adobe Reader, Java, .NET, Silverlight, Glary Utilities, and Malwarebytes. Download the installer and run it so all of these programs will be installed all at once. I grab I-tunes also if a customer needs it.
  8. During the previous steps I usually notice that file extensions aren’t visible in windows explorer, so I go into Folder Options, under “View” and  turn them on, as well as show hidden files and folders.
  9. I then set IE’s home page to be and may set up as a second tabbed home page, so I can access all the links I will be needing, easily.
  10. I turn System Restore off all drives then turn it back on for the C: Drive and then create a fresh new restore point.
  11. I then install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player if I think the customer will need it. You need to Install Flash for both IE and for other browsers if you chose to add Chrome or Firefox.
  12. Now download and install Spyware Blaster. Choose “Manual Updating” when prompted, “Finish”, then click “Updates” and “Check for updates”. Click on “Protection Status” and then “Enable All Protection” near the bottom of the window.
  13. Now I go and grab Cryptoprevent and apply the prevention to the computer. Reboot as suggested then re-run and test.
  14. Next go to Control Panel and switch it to a more desireable view. Find in the Network settings where you can change the DNS settings for the network interface card and input the IP addresses from of and Do the same thing for any Wireless Network Connection Icons. 
  15. On the slowest systems I now go to Control Panel, “System”, “Advanced….” tab,  Performance “Settings” and select “Adjust for best Performance”. This is rarely an issue these days.
  16. Delete all of the install files you’ve downloaded, then run Glary Utilities One Click Maintenance, and make sure all items are “checked”. 
  17. Now Click on Start, Run, and type in msconfig and look in the “Startup” tab for unnecessary Startup items. Google them and only disable what you know you should.
  18. That is the end of my own personal list. If you would like to do more, I suggest checking out this 99 ways to make your computer blazingly fast article.
  19. PC Decrapifier
  20. Revo Uninstaller
  21. Glary Utilities
  22. Microsoft Update
  23. AVG Antivirus
  24. Windows Defender
  25. JavaRa
  27. Firefox Web Browser
  28. Adobe Acrobat Reader
  29. Adobe Flash Player
  30. PC Fixer
  31. Advanced System Care
  32. Spybot Search And Destroy
  33. Spyware Blaster
  34. 99 ways to make your computer blazingly fast

Extra options for the more advanced:

  1. Turn Page file off, reboot then turn back on, manually set to 2.5 – 3 times the amount of Ram.
  2. Turn Unnecessary services off based on “safe settings” at