The best free malware removal tool 2017

The best free malware removal tools

Keeping your antivirus software up to date will ensure your PC is protected from new viruses as soon as they emerge, but there are other malicious programs to be aware of. For example, adware and spyware don’t behave like viruses, and might escape detection.

That’s why you need a malware removal tool. Here we’ve picked out the programs we trust to protect our PCs from all kinds of threats – both broad-spectrum security suites to replace your existing antivirus software, and smaller malware removal tools to supplement it. We’ve also looked at programs that will identify and eliminate malware infections on friends’ and relatives’ PCs – essential if you’ve become the family tech support.

Note that you should only have one antivirus program installed on your PC at a time to avoid potential software conflicts.

If you suspect that your PC is suffering a malware infection, Malwarebytes is the best tool around for identifying, isolating, and removing it

1. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

The most effective malware remover, with deep scans and daily updates to find the latest threats

If you suspect a malware infection, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should be your first port of call. It’s updated daily, so you can trust it to identify and remove new threats the minute they appear.

The first time you install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you’re given a 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it reverts to the basic free version. This has to be activated manually, but is still a top-notch security tool. We recommend running it at least once a week to check or any nasties that you haven’t noticed, or if you notice that your web browser has suddenly started acting strangely (likely a result of adware).

Last year, Malwarebytes bought Adwcleaner, which – as its name suggests – targets and removes annoying programs that hijack your browser by changing your homepage, resetting your default search engine, or adding unwanted toolbars. It’s also available free, and along with Anti-Malware, is a great addition to your security toolkit.

Download here: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender is our favorite free antivirus software, it it also protects your PC from adware, trackers, and other forms of malware. If you’re considering totally overhauling your security suite, it comes highly recommended

2. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Prevention is better than cure, and Bitdefender delivers both in one slick package

If you’re thinking about replacing your antivirus software, check out Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. It has a dedicated anti-malware engine to help you avoid an infection in the first place, and mop up any existing problems.

One of BitDefender’s best features is the ability to scan files or folders that look a bit suspicious by simply dragging and dropping them onto its home screen (it might be a good idea to do this with your Downloads folder if you’ve noticed some funny business lately). Any unpleasantness detected by the malware removal engine will be swiftly quarantined, and can be disposed of at your leisure.

BitDefender is unobtrusive, but its Protection Shield will alert you to any malicious attempts to compromise your system. All in all, it’s an excellent foundation for your anti-malware arsenal.

Download here: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ is another full antivirus suite with superb anti-malware tools built in

3. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Ad-Aware can replace your main antivirus or work a supplement to eliminate brand new malware

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ is another great option if you’re building an anti-malware toolkit from the ground up. It includes a virtual environment where suspicious programs can be analysed to see if they behave like malware (a technique known as heuristic analysis). This means you’re always protected from new malware – even if you’re the very first person to be affected and the malicious program isn’t yet in Ad-Aware’s database of known threats. The malware can then be safely contained and removed.

All this happens quietly in the background, and can be suspended temporarily if you want your processor’s full power for a gaming session.

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ can also scan downloads before you install them, helping prevent malware infestations in the first place by filtering their most common point of entry.

If you already have an antivirus program you trust, you can opt to install a version of Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ without real-time scanning, so it won’t cause conflicts and can work as a security supplement instead.

Download here: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

If a family member’s PC is acting up – producing popups, or resetting browser preference – Emsisoft Emergency Kit is the perfect tool for identifying and eliminating the source of the problem

4. Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Portable malware removal that’s perfect if you’ve been assigned the role of home tech support

If you’re called in to help a friend with a malware infestation, Emsisoft Emergency Kit is the tool for you. It’s a portable app, so you can keep it handy on a USB stick, or your cloud storage service of choice (it’s only 591GB, though it does generate log files, which will take up a little extra room).

Like any malware removal tool, Emsisoft Emergency Kit has a database of current threats, and the PC you’re cleaning needs an internet connection so the software can check for updates.

Once it’s updated itself, it scans the PC for threats and quarantines anything it finds to stop it doing further damage to your system. After a quick reboot, the files will be deleted.

Download here: Emsisoft Emergency Kit

One of SUPERAntiSpyware’s best features is the ability to scan ZIP archives without extracting them first. If you like downloading and experimenting with free software, it’s very useful

5. SUPERAntiSpyware

All-round protection from malicious software that gives you full control over manual scans

The free edition of SUPERAntiSpyware detects all forms of malicious software – including adware and spyware – and removes every trace quickly and efficiently.

If you suspect that a particular file might contain malware, you can submit it to SUPERAntiSpyware’s threat labs, where its behavior will be analyzed. It’s not as fast or convenient as tools that scan files using a virtual machine, but is a good option if your system is low on resources.

You can also control which types of file are scanned, whether SUPERAntiSpyware should follow shortcuts, and whether it should check inside ZIP archives – very handy if you’ve downloaded a program in an archive and want to check it before extracting the contents.

Scans must be performed manually, but SUPERAntiSpyware’s granular control makes it a great choice for more confident users.

Download here: SUPERAntiSpyware


Download of the day: CherryPlayer


CherryPlayer is a superb media player that’s designed to make finding new music a breeze.

Not only is CherryPlayer an excellent choice for playing and managing your media library, with support for all the most popular audio and video formats, it can also stream content straight from the biggest music and video portals.

Why you need it

CherryPlayer’s killer feature is its ability to stream new chart music straight from Billboard,, YouTube and BBC Radio, helping you keep up to date and discover new songs in moments.

Other supported sites include Twitch.TV, making CherryPlayer a good choice for gamers as well.

You can also use CherryPlayer to download content from your favorite sites, though bear in mind that you should only download videos and music if you have the copyright holder’s permission.

Download here: CherryPlayer


Download of the day: OpenRocket


OpenRocket is a strangely addictive spacecraft simulator that lets you design your own rocket from nosecone to tail fins. Once you’ve finished, OpenRocket launches it into simulated space and shows you how it performs in the air.

Why you need it

It might be rocket science, but building your own spacecraft is straightforward and fun. Just select and add components (internal and external), then adjust options such as size and shape. There are helpful notes to explain any particularly esoteric terms.

Once you’re confident that your creation is spaceworthy, OpenRocket will simulate its flight, giving you real-time details of its altitude, velocity and acceleration. The simulation is extremely detailed, and you can see the effect of each of your choices on its performance.

OpenRocket is brilliant fun, and completely free. Download it today and give it a try!

Download here: OpenRocket


Windows 10 setup now supports voice commands, thanks to Cortana

The way you install Windows has changed forever, because you can now use your voice to help set up Windows 10. This can be done either with a clean install you’re performing yourself, or on a new PC you’ve just purchased and are firing up for the first time.

Yes, Cortana has been introduced to the operating system’s initial setup process with the Creators Update – which has been available to install manually since the middle of the week. Now, you can save wear and tear on that mouse or keyboard, listen to the digital assistant prompt you, and vocalize your selection of options during setup.

There are a couple of things to note here: firstly, using Cortana is optional. From the off, you can tell the assistant to shut up if you wish, and handle things the old-fashioned way.

Secondly, not every option can be dictated by voice. As Windows Central notes, more complicated menus still require selections to be made with an input peripheral.

For example, the new privacy settings, which involve multiple sliders and a good deal of explanation text, must be handled with a mouse or keyboard (or your touchscreen, if you have one).

But, if you want Cortana’s guidance and help a good deal of the time during the setup process, it’s there.

  • For an even simpler setup, consider one of these Chromebooks

Image Credit: Windows Central

Convivial Cortana

While the idea of a Cortana-assisted installation will doubtless make some users shake their heads, there are less tech-savvy folks out there who will more than likely benefit from the help. And, perhaps more importantly, a feeling of talking to their computer rather than battling with it could create an overall less intimidating vibe to Windows setup.

Microsoft has big plans for Cortana, and in the grand scheme of things, wants the virtual assistant not just on your PC, but also on all manner of devices across the smart home.


Facebook Messenger has a new AI assistant

Facebook has announced the release of an AI assistant known simply as ‘M’ for its Messenger app that will pop into your chats and suggest actions it can perform for you depending on what you’re talking about.

M isn’t intended to be an in-your-face and always present assistant. Instead the system will quietly analyze your conversations in real-time and call M to action when you use key-words that trigger its capabilities.

At the moment, the actions M is able to take include sending stickers, sending payment requests, initiating apps such as Uber and Lyft, starting polls, sharing your location and formalizing plans.

Helpful suggestions

M’s actions are optional and its suggestions will pop up in the chat window like any other message, allowing you to either take it up on its suggested actions or disregard them completely.

If, for example, you were to be chatting to a friend and one of you mentioned meeting at a certain place and time, M would pop up and offer the ‘make a plan’ suggestion.

Clicking on this would allow you to set a time and a place for meeting your friend and then M would remind you of your plans an hour before they take place.

Or, if someone were to ask you where you are, M would give you the option to share your location. Would you rather they didn’t know? Just swipe the suggestion to the side and forget it was ever made.

Facebook has been working on this M feature for a while with testing starting in December of last year. Things have obviously progressed well as Facebook has started rolling it out to iOS and Android users across the US with a global expansion planned eventually.

M suggestions is just a part of Facebook’s grand plans for bot integration in Messenger. Rather than a standalone bot that you ask to perform specific tasks, however, it’s an example of how AI can be weaved almost seamlessly into conversation in order to provide contextual help without the user having to ask or seek it out.

If M is perhaps too similar to the annoying paperclip from Microsoft Word for you, however, you will be able to mute it completely or mute certain suggestions it can make in the app’s software settings panel.


Apple watchOS 3 and watchOS 3.2 features and updates

Update: Apple’s WatchOS 3.2 update for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 is here and so is watchOS 3.2.2 beta. Here are all of the recent change and every single watchOS 3 feature.

WatchOS 3 and WatchOS 3.2 are the new software updates that finally make owning an Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 a worthwhile investment.

Your smartwatch is instantly faster (in speed, not actual time, silly) than it was with watchOS 2, yet it’s still able to deliver powerful new features without slowdown.

WatchOS 3’s interface is cleaner and since the launch of watchOS 3.2, it has had fewer bugs. Pair it with an iPhone running iOS 10, and it’s the Apple Watch done right.

Now that Apple watchOS 3.2 has launched, there’s a lot more to explore. Here’s a breakdown of what we found from watchOS 3 through watchOS 3.2.2 beta.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next version of Apple’s smartwatch operating system
  • When’s it out? Download it today
  • What will it cost? Nothing, it’s a free upgrade!

watchOS 3 to watchOS 4

Just a heads up: We may see watchOS 4 on June 5, the confirmed keynote date for WWDC 2017. But we don’t expect an Apple Watch 3 release date there.

WWDC is when Apple usually announces the next version of its software, so we expect everything from a new macOS to iOS 11 to watchOS 4.

We don’t have a watchOS 4 features list at this time – not even rumors yet – so let’s move onto the next update: watchOS 3.2 while we wait.

watch 3.2 beta and watchOS 3.1 update

  • watchOS 3.2 launched on Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Theater Mode (in Control Center) turns off raise to wake
  • Adds message effect replays and accessibility features

Apple launched watchOS 3.2 alongside iOS 10.3 on Monday, March 27, and in the five-month wait between it and watchOS 3.1 on October 24, we got a handful of useful features.

The new Theater Mode turns off the ‘raise to wake’ feature we love – most of the time. It’s a real problem when we’re in a darkened movie theater, for example.

Before watchOS 3.2, you were always ‘that person’ every time you moved your arm in the movies. Accidentally sleeping with the Apple Watch on was a problem too.

Now, you can just flip open Control Center (swipe up from the bottom) and tap the comedy/tragedy Greek theater masks. It’ll initiate theater mode.

Your Apple Watch turns to Silent Mode and the screen remains darkened until you do one of three things: tap the screen, press the Digital Crown or hit the side button.

watchOS 3

watchOS 3.1 was more of a bug-fixing update than anything else. However, it did have a few front-facing features to get excited about.

Ever miss a friend’s iMessage animation? Bubbles and full-screen effects like balloons go bye-bye very quickly if you don’t pay attention. Now you can replay these message effects thanks to watchOS 3.1.

Message effects now show up even if you have your Watch tuned to the more docile ‘Reduce Motion’ setting within the accessibility menu.

Finally, you’ll see more consistent Force Touch controls in conjunction with third-party apps, fewer Activity Ring watch face fails, no more Timer notification redundancies (I already hit snooze!), and zero charging errors.

Both watchOS 3.1 and watchOS 3.2 are compatible with all Apple Watches: the original Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2. So if you pick any one of the recent cheap Apple Watch deals, it’ll work with this software.

Best of all, watchOS 3.2 is completely free to download. You’ll just need an iPhone and a charged-up Apple Watch in order to complete the install process.

All Apple watchOS 3 features

The big update in watchOS 3 is in the optimization of your Watch, which makes it faster than ever before.

watch os 3

Remember this? It’s now a thing of the past

Apple wants to have your apps respond instantly and have all the information you need before you even look at it. No more waiting around for third-party apps to boot up.

Apps will now pre-load information in the background, and some apps are seven times faster than on watchOS 2. Even in beta form, our Watch was lightning fast by comparison. It can only get even faster in the future.

There’s a new Dock

There’s a new Dock section on the Watch that allows you to access your favorite apps even quicker than the hexagonal grid (which is still here, too). There can be up to ten apps within this app-switching menu.

The Dock is accessed via the side button – a much better use of it than the accessing your friends list. Your friends haven’t cared about your heartbeat since the week after everyone got their Apple Watch.

Our dock includes options such Messages, Timer, Workout, GoPro, Camera, Apple Home (new in iOS 10), Facebook Messenger, Mail, Google Tasks and Now Playing.

Control Center and SOS

The Dock means there’s no more Glances, which were similar in practice, but access from a swipe up gesture. Now that same gesture is dedicated to Control Center, just like on an iPhone.

watchOS 3

Control Center has expanded with watchOS 3. There’s a grid of toggle buttons: battery life, airplane mode, silent mode on/off, do not disturb, Find My iPhone, lock your smartwatch and AirPlay. It’s great that all of these essentials are one swipe away now and not buried within Glances.

There’s also another feature called SOS for when you’re in trouble and need the emergency services. It works by you holding down the side button (like you’re going to turn off the watch), and it ideal when you’re in a dangerous situation.

watchOS 3

It’ll ring the emergency services if your Watch is connected to your phone ,or use the internet if you’re on Wi-Fi. SOS will work around the world, no matter what country you are in.

It even connects with a new Medical ID feature now included in watchOS 3 that allows you to keep your emergency details and vital stats on your person, rather than just on your phone.

Apple watchOS 3 Activity

The exercise based Activity app on watchOS is going to get an upgrade as well. The focus is on competition with a feature called Activity sharing.

If you swipe to the right of your activity ring it’ll show your family and friends details too so you can start competitions.

WatchOS 3

Share and compete

It means you can send your heart rate to one of your friends or send a message with running details attached to show off your kickass workout.

Activity now also supports those in a wheelchair too. Apple has applied a number of major changes to the way Activity works on the Apple Watch for those who are in a wheelchair.

The notification “time to stand” will also switch to “time to roll” as well as the addition of two specific workout modes within the Activity app.

Apple watchOS 3 Breathe

Breathe is a new app to help you calm down after a stressful day at work – it’ll give you breathing exercises to try to help relax you. You can set up smart notifications to remind you to use the app and you have the choice of doing workouts from one to five minutes long.

Watch OS 3

You can even do it with your eyes closed – just switch on haptic feedback and the buzzes will tell you when to breathe in and out.

Apple watchOS 3 messages

Ways to respond to your messages have changed in watchOS 3 by including easy to see shortcuts for voice messages and emoji to make it even quicker to reply. That’s followed by your smart replies that sit just below the message you’re reading.

Watch OS 3

There’s also a new feature called Scribble that allows you to write a single letter on your watch at a time that will then build into a word. This works in a number of different languages too – you can even scribble in Chinese.

Apple watchOS 3 faces

It’s quicker than ever to switch your watch face – now it just takes a single swipe. You can even add elements such as the weather on top of your photo watch faces.

Watch OS 3

New activity faces

Maybe of favorite update: Minnie Mouse in now coming to Apple Watch, too, and joins the popular Mickey watch face.

You may have already seen the Apple WWDC demo in which the Minnie Mouse’s outfit colors can be customized, but did you know both Disney characters read the time aloud when tapped? It’s a neat, hidden watchOS 3 feature.

We’ll unlock more watchOS 3 secrets as Apple continues to updates roll out updates for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2.

TechRadar will remain your best source for hearing all about what’s new for the best smartwatch for iPhone.


The best free password manager 2017

The best free password managers

1. LastPass

2. Dashlane

3. Roboform

4. KeePass

5. Sticky Password

Read on for our detailed analysis of each program

Passwords are a nuisance. It’s easy to mock the people using ‘12345678’ for everything, but creating and recalling strong passwords that are unique to each website is a huge PITA. Thank goodness, then, for password managers: not only do they do the remembering so you don’t have to, but they can usually do all the typing too.

The apps we’ve selected here are all master password managers, and many of them have useful extra features too. Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.


Download LastPass free

1. LastPass

Download LastPass free

Free, secure login storage and generation – LastPass is the best password manager around

There are two versions of LastPass – free and premium. Both can store an unlimited number of account logins in a secure vault protected by a master password, will complete online forms for you automatically, and can employ multi-factor authentication.

The premium edition also syncs across multiple devices, stores passwords for desktop programs, and lets you share secured folders with other people. with customizable permissions.

One of LastPass’s best features is its ability to generate strong, unguessable passwords for all your accounts, which it then stores for you. There’s no need to remember long, awkward streams of characters, or re-use the same password for multiple accounts. It’s a class act.

Download here: LastPass


Download Dashlane free

2. Dashlane

Superb password security for all your browsers and devices. A great alternative to LastPass

Dashlane is LastPass’s most serious rival, and like LastPass it’s absolutely superb with strong password security, exceptional ease of use and ability to store notes for future reference.

In addition to the Windows desktop password manager, there are browser plugins and mobile versions, and as with LastPass there’s a premium edition of Dashlane that adds unlimited syncing and sharing.

The premium edition of Dashlane costs US$39.99 (about £30.24, AU$52.86) per year, but the free version provides all the essentials: you get the core password manager, autofill and digital wallet features, all of which work flawlessly. Don’t settle for LastPass without trying Dashlane first, and vice versa.

Download here: Dashlane


Roboform s free desktop version is strictly limited but you can sync across as many mobile devices as you like

3. RoboForm

Download RoboForm free

An excellent desktop password manager with free mobile apps for security on the move

Roboform claims to be the world’s best password manager, though its free version only lets you store up to 10 logins and lacks the breadth of features offered by some of its rivals. If you need to store more passwords, a premium account costs US$9.95 (about £7.55, AU£13.20) for the first year, though the mobile apps are free.

It’s available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and is a good option for anybody who wants a simple and secure way to sync passwords between desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

RoboForm doesn’t have quite the same features lists as Dashlane or LastPass, but it’s a very good tool nonetheless and the free mobile apps are excellent.

Download here: RoboForm


Download Keepass free

4. KeePass

Download KeePass free

An open source password manager that receives regular updates to maintain security for its users

It isn’t the prettiest password manager around, but KeePass is both free and open source with strong security, multiple user support and a whole bunch of plugins to expand the app further.

The password manager is small enough to run from USB without installing on a PC, it can input from and output to a wide range of file formats and there are stacks of customization options to play with.

The fact that KeePass is open source means anybody can inspect the code for potential weaknesses, which means that any security issues can be identified and fixed quickly. It’s a great little app, if a bit intimidating for absolute beginners.

Download here: KeePass


Download Sticky Password free

5. Sticky Password

Download Sticky Password free

Superb password management from the antivirus experts behind AVG Antivirus

Sticky Password comes from the team behind AVG Antivirus, so you can be confident that security is its top priority.

There are two versions of Sticky Password: free and premium. The latter adds cloud syncing and backup and costs £29.99 (about US$40, AU$50) a year.

The app works on PC, Mac, Android and iOS, supports fingerprint authentication on mobile, is available as a portable USB version and offers lots of synchronisation options including Wi-Fi syncing with local devices. It doesn’t support the Edge browser just yet but it will once the Anniversary Update introduces extension support.

Download here: Sticky Password


Get the first three levels of Dishonored 2 free today

Bethesda Softworks is giving away the first three levels of its stealth masterpiece Dishonored 2. The free demo is available to download free for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC from 6 April.

The original Dishonored cast you as disgraced royal protector Corvo Attano. Framed for murdering Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, and granted arcane magical abilities by a Machiavellian entity known as the Outsider, Corvo could use either stealth or brute force in his quest to clear his name and restore Jessamine’s daughter Emily to the throne.

Dishonored 2 is set 15 years later. A crazed witch named Delilah has seized power during a coup, and you must take the role of either Corvo or Empress Emily as they seek to reclaim the throne using a combination of steampunk-inspired weaponry and supernatural powers.

The free trial can be downloaded from Dishonored 2’s page on the PSN Store,Xbox Marketplace, and Steam. If the free levels get you hooked, you can upgrade to the full game and pick the adventure up where it left off. All your save games will be kept too, so you can go back and try a different approach to any of the earlier missions.


Twitter has launched its Lite mobile service for the data-deprived

Twitter has announced the launch of a more streamlined and less data-hungry version of its mobile website which it’s called Twitter Lite.

In its official announcement of the lighter service, Twitter said that despite smartphone adoption growing to “3.8 billion connections by the end of 2016, 45 percent of mobile connections are still on slower 2G networks.“

As a result, Twitter Lite is largely geared to these emerging mobile markets without 4G connectivity and slow and unreliable wireless networks.

I can’t believe it’s not Twitter

The service will provide all the main features of the Twitter app including timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more but it’ll take up less than a megabyte of space. It also features a further data-saving mode that will blur out any images or videos until the user taps on them to view them.

It’ll also work offline so users will be able to continue using the app even if their connection drops out, though obviously they won’t get access to new tweets.

According to Twitter, the ‘Lite’ version of the site will be able to load to a usable level in under 30 seconds on most 3G devices, and says that as well as loading faster, it will use around 40% less data in normal use, and up to 70% less when the data-saving mode is turned on. Being less power hungry than the official app, we imagine it could also be a battery-saving method of using Twitter too.

This should, Twitter says, make it “more affordable for you to use Twitter in areas where mobile data is expensive.”

Though it’s geared towards emerging markets, Twitter Lite is currently available globally so it’s likely that at some point you’ll find yourself using it without even realizing.

Of course, Twitter isn’t the first social media service to set up a more streamlined version of its app, with Facebook and YouTube having had versions of their own for a while now. This could be a pretty key move for Twitter in terms of attracting more users to its service – something it’s struggled to do as of late.


Download of the day: VSDC Free Video Editor

VSDC Free Video Editor

Imagine a video editor that enabled you to create projects in Full HD, export in MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, XVID, DIVX, FLV and MPG, included useful visual and audio effects and could export to DVD and devices such as iPods, Xboxes and phones. Now imagine the price. Nope! It’s zero!

Why you need it

Many free video editing programs are fairly limited, stuffed with adware or faintly horrible, and the very best apps are aimed at pros with deep pockets. Here’s the alternative.

Now that it’s dumped its adware component, VSDC Free Video Editor offers decent features with no price tag and no downsides unless you want to work in 4K and/or 60fps. But if you do, you’re probably a pro with a software budget to match.

It’s not the most straightforward app to learn – when we reviewed it we described its “slightly odd way of working” – and the interface is dated, but it’s worth sticking with it, because the app does offer a lot of power for a price tag of zero. The app is under constant revision too, so if you do encounter a bug it’s not likely to exist for very long. It’s definitely one to consider before you think about paid-for products.

Download here: VSDC Free Video Editor