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Automate Windows maintenance tasks

Cleaning and protecting your Windows computer is essential, but some tasks can be difficult to automate -- and to remember. DMaintenance helps you automate the process by bundling tasks together.

It can be hard to remember to take care of your computer's maintenance in a timely fashion. Microsoft Security Essentials is great for virus and malware protection, but removing old files and registry entries can be a pain. DMaintenance performs basic maintenance tasks and can bundle in third-party software so you don't have to remember every last thing. Here's how it works:

  1. Download DMaintenance here.
  2. The first time you run it you will see the configuration screen; if you ever want to tweak DMaintenance again, you will need to type open the Start menu, type "Run," then type "dMaintenance.exe /config" (without the quotes).
  3. When entering your configuration options, stick with what you're comfortable and familiar with. Deleting temp files and disabling IE toolbars are pretty straightforward, for example. One nifty option is to have DMaintenance send you an e-mail when it's all done, including PC Health Status info and additional reports.
    Screenshot by Rob Lightner/CNET
  4. To add third-party software to the automation queue, click the button on top labeled Custom Applications. Choose from the apps on the left, then click the Download 3rd Party Apps Now button if you don't already have them installed. You can also add custom adds on the right; you will need to configure each using the Custom Apps Config button beneath the list.
  5. There's always a catch. You will need to remember to run DMaintenance regularly, but at least it's a one-step process. If you like, you can access Windows' Task Scheduler from the Control Panel (through System and Security, then Administrative Tools) to automatically run DMaintenance, but if you're comfortable with the Task Scheduler, you may not need DMaintenance at all.