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is there a best all over computer cleaner for novices like

I read so much about unneeded programs, startup programs, files, and the list goes on. Are there any good all over cleaners for people who just don't have the time or knowledge to do it themselves? I have no idea what programs I don't need at startup or anytime. I wish I had the ability to screen what is helpful and what isn't or what's needed and what isn't. I am sorry this question is so broad.
I have XP home 5.1 service pack 3 running I.E. 8.0. Best regards

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Nope, these programs don't exist, sorry. Any program that claims to do this is either a scam, or worthless.

This is going to sound a lot harsher than it's intended, but here goes anyway. Owning a computer is a lot like having a pet. There are certain responsibilities that go along with having a pet. You need to feed it, clean up after it, and generally care for it. The analogy isn't perfect, but the idea is that there are certain responsibilities that are inseparable from owning a computer. And you rattled off most of them in your post.

So you have basically three choices. You can A) make the time to learn these things yourself, B) get ripped off regularly paying a place like Best Buy to do it for you, or C) get rid of your computer.

There are no easy answers here, it's just a lot of hard work. Maybe some day someone will invent the appliance computer that doesn't need any maintenance. Until that day however, your options are outlined above.

Just be sure not to fall into the trap of thinking you have to become some end-all be-all expert on computers. There are plenty shades of gray to choose from. You don't have to be a professional hair stylist to comb your hair nicely. You don't need to be a doctor to take some aspirin for a headache. But don't you save a lot of money combing your own hair in the mornings, and not going to the ER every time you have a headache?

What you need to do, is start going through each and every program you have installed, and remove them one by one. If you find that you're missing some expected functionality after removing a program, put it back. If you don't even notice it's gone, move on to the next one. Yes it's tedious, yes it's boring, yes it's time consuming, but it's also necessary and the only way you're going to do what you want effectively. There are no easy answers or quick fixes here. Or let's put that a different way. The easy and quick fixes will likely create an even bigger set of problems for you, which I assume is not what you want.

And once again, this likely sounded a lot harsher than it was intended, so keep that in mind if you're inclined to rant and rave about something. But you seem like a no BS sort of person, so I gave you a no BS answer.

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No substitute for this?

I think we either learn a little or pay for it. As time goes on I can see why more folk will get an iPad.

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There's no easy answer to this

You may have gathered from the other responses what we think about such cleaning and optimisation tools here.

I believe what you are wondering about are Optimisation utilities, and Registry Cleaners. We don't like them because in the hands of users who are unsure, they can cause enormous damage to a system, and in the hands of users who are more confident, they are not needed.

You are quite right that operating systems like XP do need careful maintenance and it gets to be like gardening. Leave the garden for a few months and it looks like a jungle. But look after it a little each day, and the work is easier, and the garden keeps looking neat and tidy. Computers are like that, be careful what you install, keep the system free of viruses and other malware, and, sometimes, clean it inside the case if you can.

For startup programs i don't think we could do better than to point you towards Grif's very successful "A Few 'Tips' for Computer Newbies", and in particular his post and guidance here for, How to Shut down unnecessary Start Up Programs.

That is a really good guide, and if you get the time, scroll through that whole thread for other useful tips and tricks.

I hope that helps.


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is there a best all over computer cleaner for novices like

The safest cleaner and the one almost everyone likes is CCleaner from is a safe utility and its registery cleaner ismild and safe...but you do not have to use the registery cleaner just the uninstaller Available from CNET.

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