Run Internet Explorer in Safe Mode (without Add-ons)

Internet Explorer Safe Mode (no Add-ons)
If you are having problems with Internet Explorer one of the first things to try is starting IE without Add-ons as one of them could be causing your problems. If IE works fine without add-ons, you can try re-enabling them one by one until you find the offending add-on.

Read more: Run Internet Explorer in Safe Mode (without Add-ons)

Speed up your PC - Disable unwanted startup items in Windows 7

One of the most common reason why Windows computer with time gets slower and slower is the increasing number of unnecessary startup items. Large number of installed software try to add themselves to the Windows startup list so it starts automatically with Windows. Some just add a small software utility which checks for updates for example. This may be useful or even necessary for some software (such as Anti-Virus), but in majority of cases it just increases Windows startup times and memory footprint without providing any benefit.

Luckily you can quite easily remove unwanted entries from the Windows startup list:
  • Click On Start type msconfig.exe and press Enter.
  • Change to the Startup tab.
  • Remove a checkbox next to the items you want to disable.
  • Click OK
  • For changes to take affect restart your computer.

You may be surprised by how much software is starting automatically with Windows. And initially it may difficult to know what exactly you should disable.
Couple of points which may help:
  • If you disable software it will simply not start automatically with Windows. You can still start it via a shortcut on the desktop or from Start > All Programs. For example you probably don't need iTunes starting automatically with Windows, you can always start it manually when you need it. On the other hand, you probably want to leave software such as AntiVirus, Online Backup clients, VOIP clients intact.
  • You can't brake Windows by disabling these items. If you made a mistake and disabled something you shouldn't have, you can always go back and re-enable it.
  • With some items you may have to employ trial and error method. Disable an item first and if after a restart something is not working as it should, re-enable it.

Disable add-ins in Outlook 2010

If you are experiencing issues with MS Outlook 2010, one of the first things you should try is disable add-ins as they often are reason for Outlook crashes and other problems.

First of all disable all of them and if problem is solved, re-enable one by one until you find the offending add-in.

  1. Click on File
  2. Open Options
  3. Click on Add-Ins. At the bottom, in Manage drop-down select COM-Add-Ins and click Go

  4. To disable Add-In, uncheck the check-box next to each add-in name and click OK
    If you are sure that add-in is no longer needed you can select the add-in and click Remove to completely remove it from the system.
  5. Restart Outlook.

Clean computer from viruses and spyware

Some Windows infections can be quite difficult to clean, but majority of them can be resolved using pretty standard procedure:

  1. First off all try to do a full computer scan with any exiting antivirus you may have. Unfortunately because it allowed infecting your computer in the first place there are not many chances this will succeed.

  2. Download and install good anti-spyware. For example free Spybot - Search & Destroy. If you managed to install it, click on "Check for problems" to do full computer scan.

    When scan finishes, select all infections and click "Fix Selected Problems". It may ask to do a restart and scan again in order to clean any locked files. Be patient, scans can take quite long time.

    In some instances this will be sufficient to clean your computer, however some malware will prevent you from running, installing or even downloading security software. In this case download Spybot - Search & Destroy and save it on your desktop. If you can’t do even this, use another computer and save it to a USB flash drive or a CD disk.

  3. Start Windows in Safe Mode. To do this shut down your computer, then start it and keep pressing F8 key until a menu similar to one below appears.

    Select Safe Mode, press Enter and let computer to boot. Your desktop will look different, this is because only essential Windows services and drivers are loaded in Safe Mode. This also prevents vast majority of malware from starting automatically with Windows, which means it won’t be interfering with security software trying to do its job.

  4. If you couldn’t install Spybot - Search & Destroy in step 2, install it now from desktop or an external USB flash drive. Ten run the scan as explained in step 2.

  5. Restart your computer and make sure malware has been removed.

  6. Run your normal antivirus software scan. If you don’t have any antivirus software or think it’s not adequate, download and install Microsoft Security Essentials. This is a good free antivirus from Microsoft. Be aware it will not work on pirated or illegal versions of Windows. Another free alternative to MS Security Essentials is AVG Free
    If you are replacing an existing antivirus, make sure you remove it before installing Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG Free.

These steps will help to clean majority of malware, however some particularly nasty infections may not give up easily. In this case try searching online for instructions to remove your particular type of malware.
Alternatively, backup your important data, format hard drive and reinstall Windows. In some cases re-installing Windows is the quickest and most reliable cure, especially if computer was badly infected with large number of different malware.