Mike Binns
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Remove Unnecessary Programs

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  • Uninstall unneeded/unwanted programs

Programs running in the background hog your RAM, and therefore slow down the programs you actually want to use. Some of the programs are necessary, but a lot of them are not. The best way to get rid of most of the programs clogging your system is simply to run add/remove programs and get rid of them. Below is a list of items you should remove and reasons why each one should be removed.

Opening Add/Remove Programs

To get to the Add/Remove programs page, click the start menu, then control panel (or settings->control panel). Double click the "add/remove programs" icon. It may take a bit for it to load the list of programs installed.

Programs you should remove
Program NameDescription
Any Program you do not use any more If you know what the program is but never plan on using it again (i.e. if the program doesn't work properly anymore), remove it.
Any program that has "Toolbar" in the name Unless you know what it is AND actively use it, remove it. These programs slow down web browsers. This includes AOL & Yahoo toolbar. Even if you use AOL or Yahoo, you do not need the toolbar slowing down your computer. If you don't actively use the toolbar, dump it
Any program that mentions "Spyware" or claims to remove it
EXCEPT
Microsoft AntiSpyware
Ad-Aware
Spybot Search & Destroy
A common tactic by spyware makers is to make a "spyware defender" program that you install except it actually installs spyware. If it isn't on the accepted list to the left, dump it.
Any program that mentions "Search", "Deals", "Value", "Bargain", or "Click", such as "Search Assistant" or similar names These programs are spyware that basically hijack your computer and tell it to go to their site whenever you mistype a web site or pop up advertisements. They run in the background and take up RAM
Any Registry Cleanup program Registry Cleanup programs are dangerous in that most contain some sort of spyware, and those that don't can potentially damage your operating system. If things truly are bad enough that you need to clean out your registry, you should consider Formatting & Reinstalling Windows
Any Memory (RAM) Cleanup program/monitor (RAM) Memory Cleanup programs are dangerous in that most contain some sort of spyware, and those that don't can potentially crash legitimate programs. The only safe way to clean up your memory is to follow the instructions on this site to remove unwanted programs, and if you still don't have enough RAM, consider Purchasing more ram for your computer
Any Peer to Peer (P2P) Music Swapping Software Peer to Peer Music Swapping programs are riddled with spyware and constantly re-install the spyware when you delete it. Plus, as much as you don't think so, it is stealing. If you continue to download illegal music, you deserve all the spyware that comes with it :P. In addition to that, many people are being sued by the MPAA and RIAA for their or their children's P2P usage.
Any Antivirus Software
EXCEPT
Avast Antivirus
Since you will be installing Avast antivirus, any other antivirus program can conflict with Avast!. Uninstall any other antivirus program that is installed.
Specific Programs By Name (Alphabetized for your convenience :) )
Ares Peer to Peer music swapping program, see above note on why you should remove Peer to Peer music swapping program.
Gnutella Peer to Peer music swapping program.
Kazaa or Kazaa Lite Peer to Peer music swapping program.
Morpheus Peer to Peer music swapping program.
MusicMatch Jukebox This program is installed on many computers by default. It is a resource hog even when not in use and should be uninstalled. If you need to listen to music you can use Windows Media Player just as easily.
Norton (or Symantec) Internet Firewall or Internet Security This program is installed on many computers by default. It is basically useless and gives you a false sense of heightened security, while slowing down your computer and adversely affecting your network connection. I have had so many problems with it corrupting internet access to sites that I recommend you uninstall it from your computer. If you are using a Network Router such as a Linksys, DLink, or Netgear, you are safe from outside attacks.
Peer Points Manager This program is installed with P2P Music Swapping programs, and runs in the background, slowing down your computer. Its icon is a gold piece of paper.
Real Player It looks like Real Player may finally be going away as a web standard. This is good as the Real Player application has always been a nuisance, running in the background and popping up messages. Most sites that use RealPlayer also offer the streaming in Windows Media Player, and if you happen to come across a site that does really require RealPlayer, it will always show you how to install it again. Unless you are sure you use this regularly, you should delete it.
WeatherBug This program is nice, but it takes up way too much ram for its use. It also has ads. I highly suggest you uninstall it. If you want the functionality of WeatherBug without losing the resources, install the "Forecast Fox" extension to Firefox (instructions on doing this are in a later step)
Webshots While webshots is a great program for making your computer look pretty, it runs in the background all the time and hogs your computer's ram, slowing your other programs down. If you like it a lot, you can keep it, but know that your computer's speed will suffer from having this program running. If you are having speed issues, dump it. You can always re-install it if you find you cant live without it.

Got a suggestion for a program that should be listed here? Please Let me know the name and why it should be listed here.



Progress Tracker Update
(Click the checkbox and click next to update the progress checklist)
I have removed all programs listed above

Next >> Start at the Beginning and go through all the steps!




Next >> Install AntiSpyware






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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Although these instructions have been tested on thousands of computers without incident, and chances of any damage or loss of important data resulting from following these instructions are virtually zero, there always exists a very small chance that something could go wrong. I add the following warning not because I ever believe that anything will happen but because today's lawsuit happy world requires it:

Although I will attempt to assist you (via the contact me form) with issues that arise from following these instructions, you are using this website at your own risk, and I am not legally responsible for any damage or loss of data that may occur related to the use of this website.


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