Whether you are on your computer or not, as long as it is on and connected to the Internet, it is under constant threat of harm, infection and the other turmoil of using the Internet. WinPatrol was created with this idea in mind. WinPatrol boasts being one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal against threats while at the same time using the least amount of system memory. This can be a big plus for those who neglect scanning their system for harm because they cannot do anything else due to memory usage. Our guide will get you started with WinPatrol.
How to use WinPatrol
WinPatrol is easy to download, install and get started with. When you open it for the first time, take a deep breath and use our guide to help you get used to WinPatrol.
WinPatrol free offers a variety of options for you to monitor, change and work with. The first tab you will open is Startup Programs.
This tab will give you a list of everything that starts up with Windows. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Windows uses a lot of resources during startup; this includes processes, programs and other features that are required for you to use Windows. However, it also includes a variety of programs, in particular, you do not need to boot up with Windows. You should go through each program one by one and see if it is necessary to boot up with Windows. If you are not sure, you want to do further research to determine if this will compromise Windows starting or not by disabling it.
If you want to disable a program from starting up, click on it in the window. Then, click “Disable.” Upon your next boot, it will no longer start up with Windows. By disabling a program from starting up, you can enable it at any time. If you remove a startup process or program, you will have to manually add it down the line. For most users, disabling a startup item is the easiest process.
If you still want some programs or processes to start up with Windows but not during the bootup process, click the “Delayed Start” tab.
This area will let you add processes to start after Windows boots up and is ready for use. The more you have to start up at the same time Windows does, the slower booting up is. By delaying the start of some programs and processes, you can still take advantage of them from the get go but without slowing down the boot process.
Click the “IE Helpers” tab.
This area works with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Many programs and processes have plug-ins that work with browsers. Since you are using a Windows-based system, IE will always be what is included in these programs as opposed to working with Chrome, Firefox, Opera or other browsers. If you do not use IE, you can ignore this section. If you do use IE, this section can help you cut down on the amount of memory the browser uses which can speed up use.
Now, click “Scheduled Tasks.”
This area shows you everything scheduled to run on your computer on automated tasks. This includes virus scans, automatic updates to Windows or other programs and other automated processes. Until you look at your own system and how it handles scheduled tasks, you may not realize how much happens when you step away from your system. You can remove any of these scheduled tasks by clicking “Remove” at any time. If you do remove a scheduled task, you will have to manually update or enable automatic updates through the program itself in the future.
Next, click “Services.”
This area shows you all the background services running on your system. This area will only give you information on those services, as the majority of them are necessary for Windows and software you use to function properly.
If you click on any of the PLUS REQUIRED tabs, you will get a brief overview of what that tab consists of plus the option to enable it by upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS. These areas include ActiveX Controls and Registry Locations.
For most users, they do not need access to these areas but if you are interested in upgrading, you can click the “PLUS” tab to get details on how to do that.
Click “Time you upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS” to head to WinPatrol’s website to purchase the full version. Once you have, you can enter your registration details in this tab to upgrade to the full version. You can do this anytime.
Up next is the Options tab. Click “Options.”
From here, you can change the various options in WinPatrol to your liking. You can also view the Logs, a Spreadsheet Report and other details in WinPatrol.
Now, click “Active Tasks.”
This tab will give you a list of all the active programs running on your computer. Some of these programs are necessary to software and hardware performing correctly, so be sure to check out the info first before deciding to kill a task.
Next, click “Cookies.”
Cookies are the way web sites keep track of your personal information. This can include browser settings, usernames, passwords and other data. You can use this tab to eliminate cookies with certain factors, such as keywords. This can help keep your privacy online a bit more automated rather than constantly clearing cookies, browser history and more after an Internet session.
Click “File Types.”
This area can be helpful to reassign file associations. Various programs on your computer can open, edit and view files. When you install a new program that involves this, you usually have the ability to set file associations. This area of WinPatrol will allow you to change them at will which can be easier than tracking down where in certain programs to do this manually.
Now, click “Hidden Files.”
Unless you know exactly how hidden files work on Windows-based systems, you want to avoid changing anything in this tab. This tab shows you all the hidden files open and working in the background. Most of these are necessary for Windows to function properly and if you begin tinkering with them, this can cause major issues while using your operating system.
Finally, click “Recent.”
This might be the coolest tab in WinPatrol. This shows you a list of all the recent malware, spyware and infections on your system. While your antivirus or other security programs may have dealt with them or put them into quarantine, WinPatrol allows you to look up removal details as well as let you remove some on reboot. You will have to go through each and every one of these to find the right options for removal as some may just be legitimate files or components for your system.
As you can see, WinPatrol gives you easy access to just about every area Windows makes harder to deal with on your computer.
Pros of WinPatrol:
- Free version of WinPatrol offers just about everything a user needs to monitor a system
- Gives you access to every area you need to take control of your system
Cons of WinPatrol:
- UI can be overwhelming for some users
- WinPatrol PLUS may offer little additional features in the paid version
Is WinPatrol a good guard for your system when you’re not?
If you choose to use WinPatrol, get ready for a whirlwind of learning about just what goes on with your computer, especially in the background. WinPatrol gives you access to just about every area Windows would rather you stay out of. This gives you control over things that may be affecting your system performance that you have no idea was happening. Giving WinPatrol a shot is another way to take control of your PC instead of it controlling you and what you do when logged on.