Scan Your Computer for Running Processes & Remove Them

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There are many programs (both free and fee-based), out there that will scan your computer and let you know what is running on your computer. The first one we’re looking at today is free and is called Process Scanner, by Uniblu. I like this program because it not only tells me what is running on my computer, it also gives me a link to where I can actually research what a particular process is.

When the report is complete, you can see the results at the top of the page with these categories:

  • All processes
  • Security
  • Network
  • Performance
  • Autostart

Yikes – I had 99 processes running on my computer. For each process listed, you can click the hyperlink to either assess a threat or get more information on resources being used. I went ahead and clicked for a ‘threat assessment’ on my Evernote program (a great tool I blogged about earlier). Instead of giving me a report, it took me to another Uniblu website for a free spyware scan – not really what I was expecting. Since the site was verified by everyone and their dog, I went ahead and downloaded and ran that program that looked for spyware in my cookies, registry and files. It said my system was clean – with only 4 tracking cookies. I found that if I wanted to remove the cookies, I would have to purchase the spyware cleaner service—which I declined.clip_image001[4]

As I mentioned, the helpful thing about this program is that you can actually go and research in their directory exactly what a process  and then decide if you could remove it from the list of things that start when your computer boots. This part is free. This feature is available without having to run a scan.

 

Microsoft Free Tool

Microsoft offers a free tool that will do the same thing. Download and run Process Monitor to get a report of what’s running on your computer. The website also has links to other Microsoft utilities that might be of interest. Reading through the information on Process Monitor, I couldn’t really tell if they give a way to remove processes or not. I find a lot of the Microsoft KB verbiage seems to be written in programmer-speak, as I sometimes have difficulty understanding it.

Operating System Tools

If you have Vista, you can take a quick look at and end or disable processes running on your computer.  To access, go to Control Panel>Performance Information & Tools>Manage Start Up Programs. There are many reports and tools that can be used here to see what’s going on inside your computer. Here’s a great article from CNET that gives the step by step.

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CCleaner – Another Alternative

I use this free program about twice a month to clean up and optimize my system. Below is a list of what it can do

Cleans the following


Internet Explorer
Temporary files, history, cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat.


Firefox
Temporary files, history, cookies, download history, form history.


Google Chrome
Temporary files, history, cookies, download history, form history.


Opera
Temporary files, history, cookies.


Safari
Temporary files, history, cookies, form history.


Windows
Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files and Log files.


Registry cleaner
Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more… also comes with a comprehensive backup feature.


Third-party applications
Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more…


100% Spyware FREE
This software does NOT contain any Spyware, Adware or Viruses.

Conclusion

Give one or several of these programs a try. I’m using CCleaner regularly and I need to delve into the tools already on my computer from Microsoft to cull the list of start-up programs I have. If you don’t want to do a reformat of your computer right now, this should help clean things up and make them faster.

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