Computer Clean Up

Below are some steps you can take to protect your computer, fix current problems, and prevent future virus-related and spyware attacks:


Install an up-to-date antivirus software. Trend Micro Internet Security is recommended and free for students to download. Students can download Trend Micro Internet Security at: For more information refer to [faq id=339].

  • If you have installation problems, complete the below recommendations:
    • Uninstall any other Anti-virus or Internet Security Software on you machine (examples: Norton, McAfee, AVG, Kaspersky, Avira, etc).
    • Unzip the downloaded files to your local hard drive and run the installer from there.
    • For Vista and Windows 7 users, right-click on the installer and choose "Run as Administrator." Once installed and updated with the latest virus definitions, do a complete system scan of all hard drives.


Download, install, and run anti-malware tools (Malwarebytes Anti-malware, SuperAntispyware, AdAware, or Spybot) to remove various types of malware that may be on your machine. A Google search for anti-malware tools will help you quickly find the download pages. These programs are free. To see a comparison chart visit: Once you install the software, be sure to update with it the latest virus definitions.

  • If you encounter a virus that keeps you from installing one of these tools, restart your computer and boot into Safe Mode (repeatedly tap F8 before Windows starts up, then select Safe Mode with Networking). Then attempt to run the software again. If this still does not keep the virus from interupting your programs, try running RKill ( RKill will stop any known malware from running.

Cache & Cookies

Clear your Internet cache files by going to

  1. Internet Explorer, Tools, Internet Options, and clicking Delete Files.
  2. Also delete Cookies and Temporary Internet Files.
  3. Clear all cache files for other web browsers also, like Firefox.


Update your computer from Internet Explorer by accessing:

Startup Items

On Windows XP, run MSCONFIG to turn off any unneeded startup items.

Spam Email

Do NOT open email attachments unless you are sure where they came from and what is contained in the attachment. Do NOT open attachments with .EXE, .SCR, and .BAT extensions.

Microsoft's statement: As a rule, always treat e-mail attachments with caution. Because mass-mailer viruses such as Bagle hijack e-mail accounts and send messages to known contacts, viruses can initially appear to be legitimate messages. If you cannot confirm with the sender that a message is valid and that an attachment is safe, delete the message immediately. If you receive a questionable message that purports to be from Microsoft, you should be aware that Microsoft never distributes software through e-mail.

Additional information: is a good resource for understanding and responding to Microsoft Windows related virus and security issues. Here, you can learn about the three steps for securing your system in more detail. For more information regarding services that you can utilize to clean your pc, please refer to [faq id=61].