Number Three - Spybot - Search & Destroy (spyware scanner)
Next on the list is another massively popular free PC application called Spybot - Search & Destroy. It is an application that is designed to protect your system from spyware, malware and other crap that can bring your system to a halt if not handled properly.
Possibly one of the best aspects of this program is its "Immunize" feature. After you update the software and download the latest database detections, you should always run the "Immunize" feature, which effectively stops possible spyware infections before they happen by blocking you from viewing dangerous websites and servers and accepting bad cookies.
It also has a built-in bot-check that scans your system for spyware and other bad code and removes it from your system. It not only checks files, but also your web history, cookies and cache.
You should run this program at least once a week, if not more if you can. Always do a manual check for the latest updates before scanning and you can select the option to download BETA updates, which you will provide you with the most up-to-date database protection from Safer Networking Ltd.
Number Four - Defraggler (defragment your files)
Windows has a built-in defragmentation application for your files, but it is slow and gives you little control over what is happening.
There are many applications out there to do the job, including Diskeeper 2009 which we love, but you need to pay for it. As far as free apps go, Defraggler made by the same folks as CCleaner, is a good choice.
We could dedicate a guide alone for this, but in one sentence a defrag tool is designed to organize files more efficiently on your hard drive for quicker access and also faster writes by better sorting free space.
One program I have recently started using is called Defraggler and it is fairly unique in that it is able to build a list of fragmented files and gives you the ability to defrag each individually. Of course you can defrag your whole drive (recommended), but this can take a long time.
We recommend you defrag all of your hard disk drives once a week and this will go a very long way to help keep your system snappy and very responsive.
Number Five - Revo Uninstaller (advanced uninstalling tool)
The final must-have free app on the list today is a program called Revo Uninstaller.
You could think of Revo as an advanced "Add or Remove Programs" that is built into Windows. It not only removes programs, but also removes all files, folders, registry entries and traces left overs by the installed program. As you can see in the screenshot above, there are four options you can choose.
Coming into a little of CCleaner territory, Revo also has some extra tools built into it that allow you to remove files no longer required. It has a browser cleaner to remove history, cookies and so on. It has a Microsoft Office cleaner to remove recent document listings. It has a Windows cleaner to remove all sorts of stuff such as recent document history, empty the clipboard, crash memory dump files and check disk recovered file fragments. CCleaner handles most of this, but there is some that it doesn't.
Whenever you want to properly uninstall a program, Revo is the one to use.
We hope you enjoyed this guide into the five must-have FREE apps for Windows PC maintenance. Feel free to comment in our forums!
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