Removing Viruses, Spyware, and Unwanted Programs for Free to Make Your Computer Run Faster

Page content

Free, Effective, Antivirus Software

As most people know, having Antivirus software installed on your computer helps to keep your personal information, as well as your computer, safe. What most people do not realize is that most commercial antivirus software is not only expensive, but uses up a ton of your precious system resources. Others avoid using antivirus software because of this, and get themselves into just as much speed trouble by allowing their computer to be infected. Is it a catch 22, or is there a way to be safe and fast?

The open source community has blessed the computer users of the world with several solutions to this conundrum. Powered by the people and not corporate money, two wonderful programs, in particular, have emerged.

Free AVG

If you want some of the fancy features of paid virus protection, and you want to “donate” to the free virus protection cause, you can purchase the retail version of AVG antivirus. However, this is not necessary, even to receive the best protection. Free AVG is the preferred antivirus of thousands of seasoned computer users across the globe, not just because its free, but because it uses minimal computer resources and is very good at what it does. You can download the Free AVG software here.

Avast! Antivirus

Another one of the most popular free antivirus solutions is Avast! Antivirus which comes in two flavors: The (paid) professional edition, and the (free) home edition. Avast! Antivirus requires you to register a valid email address (which is kept private) and enter a “trial” serial key within 60 days of installing the software. The key is good for one year at a time. After one year, you may elect to continue using the software for yet another year, and so on and so forth. You are never required to pay for it, and the service is excellent. You may download Avast! Antivirus here.

Spyware and Adware Removal

Again, you can thank the open source community for providing free tools to keep us safe and sound from Spyware and Adware as well. As you have probably heard, Spyware and Adware play a huge part in degraded computer performance. Thankfully, with these fantastic tools, eliminating Spyware and Adware is easy.

Spybot - Search and Destroy

Besides having a humorous and fitting name, Spybot is one of the most effective spyware removal tools available - and it is completely free. It has received excellent ratings on for many years running and is my personal favorite. I’ve been recommending it to clients for years with much success. You can download this free spyware removal tool from CNET’s own


Many people are under the false impression that Spyware and Adware are the same beasts. This simply is not the case. Adware removal requires its own methods and processes, and nothing does it better than Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware. There are paid and free versions of Ad-Aware, but I have been using the free version for years with great success. Like it’s counterpart, Spybot, Ad-Aware is in the top 20 most popular downloads from CNET’s You can get this free adware removal tool here.

Add/Remove Programs

The last thing that you can do to remove unwanted programs from your computer and speed it up, is to go through your installed programs and remove things you can’t identify, or that you no longer use. However, you do not want to arbitrarily go through your files and start deleting - you must use the Add/Remove programs tool located in the Control Panel. It is simple and straightforward, and something that you should be familiar with.

This post is part of the series: Make Your Computer Faster

Quick, easy tips to making your Windows computer run like the day you bought it. Speed up your computer with these do-it-yourself suggestions and step-by-step guides.

  1. Disabling Startup Programs to Make Your Computer Run Faster
  2. Eliminating Unwanted Programs to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Optimizing your Hard Drive to Speed Up Your Computer
  4. Performing a Memory Upgrade to Speed Up Your Computer