When confronted with adware or other junkware, the average person is going to tell you that you’re going to need an application like SUPERAntiSpyware or Malwarebytes to get rid of the problem. While those are two of the best names to protect your PC from these annoyances, you should know that there are easier solutions available.
Sometimes, a freeware seems too good to be free. It comes with a cost that you may not realize. Many applications are being wrapped with secondary installers that attempt to get all sorts of crapware on your machine. The author of the software you’re originally installing can make plenty of cash by bundling toolbars and homepage hijacks in the installation process. It’s a mess, but that’s just how “free” works.
The best way to avoid this problem is to be very careful during installation processes. Sometimes, they slip past even the best of us. AdwCleaner can help us in that regard.
AdwCleaner is a simple, portable little application that requires no hard installation. The application itself is just over 500KB and is probably easier to use than any alternative you’ve ever tried. It works on 32 and 64-bit versions of XP, Vista, 7, and 8.
Click Search to begin scanning your system for issues. After the scan has completed, a text file should pop up in your default handler (which will probably be Notepad).
This is going to give a rundown of what AdwCleaner was able to find on your system. As you can see, my system had several issues. Complitly (also known as Claro Search) is a huge annoyance and gets bundled with many installers. Viewpoints and the Ask.com Toolbar aren’t anything to be proud of either.
Why do you care about this information? You should. Look over what is found on your system and ask yourself how it got there. Research the names on Google and try to come to a conclusion. Maybe you’ll uncover that your system is further infected than you’ve ever assumed. It’s good to learn from your mistakes.
Be advised that you can click the question mark at the top-left corner of the screen to see an Options menu if you want to allow any of these applications to stay on your system. Maybe you’re into toolbars, who knows.
Now comes the removal process. Be advised that AdwCleaner is going to want to close all open applications and then reboot your computer right after cleaning it. Make sure you’ve got everything saved and then click the Delete button on the main screen.
Give it a little bit of time, and while you do consider how much easier this entire process is versus going through and manually cleaning your system. Xplode put together a nice little program.
Upon rebooting you should get your report. If you want to make sure everything was successful, give AdwCleaner another run. As you can see in my log, it left me squeaky clean.
I’d recommend keeping AdwCleaner around. It’s small and effective. Like I always say, toss it in the Dropbox or on a flash drive. If you’re confident that issues won’t come up again, you can easily get rid of AdwCleaner from the interface. Just click the Uninstall button.
AdwCleaner proves that lesser-known third-party adware removal applications can be just as useful and effective as the big names. Let me know what you think of it in the comments!