Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
The first defense in unwanted downloads is to prevent them from installing in the first place. If they do download, you may need to take some extra steps to get your system cleaned up.
Today, I downloaded a VLC media player and along came a lot of unintended crap: for instance, a browser called "Alot" that I never wanted but it installed itself. I uninstalled it with some effort, but I see but see a whole lot ("alot") of files still lurking on my C: How can I purge this stuff? When I hit Delete, it won't let me get rid of the "Alot" app file. Can you advise?
In this excerpt from Answercast #30, I look at why extra downloads may show up on your computer, and the proper way to get rid of them.
So I'm really surprised that you got this with VLC. VLC, in my experience, has been a very reputable app.
I want to make sure that you are getting VLC from the right place, from videolan.org. They're the official site for it.
Don't bother going to another download site. There's simply no reason to get it anywhere else.
Also, whenever you install software (I don't care if it's VLC or something else that you get from somewhere else on the internet), always, always, always choose the custom or advanced option when you install the software.
Never, ever choose the default settings because quite often the default settings will include additional software that is one of the revenue generators for the software that you're downloading.
Finally, when you step through the install process, make sure you're reading every screen.
Very often they will ask you, "Do you want to install this nifty new toolbar or browser?" And the checkbox will be checked on by default. If you're not paying attention and you just click Next, you literally asked for this software – for this download – and installed on your machine.
Now, with that out of the way, how do you get rid of it?
I've never heard of the "Alot" browser; I really haven't. My suggestion would be to run REVO Uninstaller and see if it will pick up the leftovers that have been left by the Alot browser.
Of course, whatever security software you're running: make sure those are up-to-date and scanning regularly.
Finally, this is one of those cases where, if it is seriously causing you trouble, I would strongly recommend restoring to a backup taken prior to the installation of VLC and this Alot browser.
With that out of the way, when you hit Delete, "It won't let you get rid of the file?" I need to know what error message you're getting.
In other words, the file may have been installed with administrative privileges. Even though your account may have administrative privileges, you're not actually running as the administrator by default.
You would need to right-click on the icon for Windows Explorer and choose Run as administrator. Then after having done that, it may give you the additional permission to delete the files.
So hopefully, I've given you some things to try.
The most important thing; the most important lesson for you (and everyone else who's reading this or listening to this) to take away is to:
Next from Answercast 30 – How does Facebook figure out who my friends should be?
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.