Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Cool Spybot feature

There’s a feature of Spybot Search & Destroy that I’ve only just noticed but is potentially very useful. To get it to work properly, you must first:

  1. Download the latest updates, in particular the ‘Startup entries’ update
  2. Go to Mode and enabled Advanced Mode
  3. Expand Tools and select System Startup

This will list all programs which run on system startup. If you’ve done a scan and removal with Spybot, then there shouldn’t be any spyware here, but there will be a panel on the right-hand side which tells you what each app does. It’s pretty comprehensive – it recognised the apps used for the hotkeys on my keyboard (which alas I need to be able to lower the brightness when on batteries) and some other obscure applications. Disabling a couple of helper apps for my graphics chip, along with Apple’s annoying QuickTime applet and Sun’s annoying Java updater, led to a saving of around 10MB of memory. Admittedly this machine has 512MB of physical memory plus a swap file so there isn’t exactly much of an improvement bar slightly a slightly shorter boot-up time, but on older machines I can imagine there’d be a noticable boost to performance.
Have a play yourself – you may well improve your system’s performance. Though I would create a restore point first as if you disable something important then your system really won’t like you.

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