Download a lot of stuff – as many of us do these days – and your computer is likely to get slowed down under the sheer weight of programs.
Should you decide to rid yourself of some of these downloads, most of the time the process is fairly straightforward. However, on occasion software will simply refuse to go quietly, leaving entries in the registry or popping up again after you thought you'd uninstalled it.
And when this includes things like browser hijacks and annoying toolbars, there really is a problem.
Fortunately, there's a solution in the form of AdwCleaner. It claims to clean your computer of adware, and it really doesn't hold back. It blasts adware, toolbars, browser hijacks, temporary files, orphaned DLLs, and any other unwanted programs cluttering up Windows and installed web browsers.
Setup is quick and simple – you don't even need to install the program, just run the EXE file and AdwCleaner will open up, ready to go. From here you can start a search for any grime that may be clogging up your computer.
Once its completed its search for adware, AdwCleaner will bring up a list of files it suspects of cluttering up your computer. You can eradicate them all in one fell swoop, or you can pick and choose which you want to destroy and which you want to keep.
This is often the best idea, as programs such as AdwCleaner can bring up false positives – perfectly safe programs that it thinks are digital pests. To avoid deleting something that you actually want to keep, we'd recommend scanning the list instead of obliterating everything at once.
The display is simple and easy to understand, with a progress bar along the top and clear buttons denoting options to Scan, Clean, Report, Uninstall and Donate. Search results are placed in categories such as Services, Folders, Files and more, allowing you to quickly sift through and assess the results.
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 AdwCleaner download. This is a false alarm.
Verdict: AdwCleaner lets you reliably delete all the rubbish that works its way onto your PC. Just make sure to check what its found before deleting everything.