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If you download a lot of stuff from the internet, you know the problem; your system gets increasingly clogged up with needless stuff and the overall performance starts to lag.
Some of the things you download come with their own installer app and should be easy to remove. Others, like ad-supported toolbars, can stick to your operating system with the tenacity of chewing gum on a shoe.
Even when you think you’ve erased every trace of every unwanted program, chances are that some elements still remain. This is where AdwCleaner can help. It exists to safely get rid of adware, toolbars, browser hijacks, temporary files, orphaned DLLs, and any other unwanted programs cluttering up Windows and installed web browsers.
AdwCleaner is freeware, but it doesn’t skimp on functionality. When it says it will clean your PC, it cleans it, blowing away junk files with the precision of a laser-guided bomb.
The software itself is straightforward. It consists of a primary search mode that analyses your PC’s hard disk for this junk and a cleaning function that consequently hurls it into the digital abyss.
Once AdwCleaner has loaded, you simply initiate a search. The software then returns a comprehensive list of suggested targets and you get the option of deleting them all with one happy click or manually examining each one and choosing whether or not to get rid of it. This is an important step, as AdwCleaner could target files and/or applications that you still want to use. No algorithm is perfect.
You may have to restart your system after files have been zapped by AdwCleaner, but it’s a small price to pay for software that does such a thorough job of delousing your computer. You may find that the SmartScreen filter in Internet Explorer blocks the download of AdwCleaner. This is obviously a false alarm.
Verdict: AdwCleaner reliably deletes unwanted adware and programs from your computer. You don't even have to install the program, just click on the downloaded EXE file to start it up.