WinPatrol, Monitor Programs, Critical Items

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 5, 2010
Updated • Dec 18, 2014
Software, Windows software

WinPatrol has been designed as a complimentary program for a system's main security software.

The free program monitors programs and critical items on the system and will alert the user if modifications are made to monitored components.

Lets take a look at the stuff that WinPatrol monitors:

  • New auto startup programs
  • New browser add-on's like Toolbars or Browser Helper Objects (BHO)
  • New Windows Services
  • Creation of scheduled tasks on the system
  • Changes to file type associations
  • New registered ActiveX components
  • Changes to the Windows Hosts file
  • Changes to the Internet Explorer home and search pages
  • Automatic Updating and Windows UAC changes
  • Date and Time that programs are created on the system

That's a lot of useful features, and free users are able to make use of all of them. The program does not come only with monitoring and notification options but also removable and restoration options.

It is for instance possible to remove or restore settings for most of the monitored items above. Lets take a look at the program's interface.

WinPatrol uses tabs to group features together. Startup Programs is the first tab that gets loaded on program start. It displays all startup programs on the system. It is possible to enable "secret" startup locations as well for an extensive rundown on all items that are loaded on Windows start.

Action buttons on the bottom can be used to get additional information about an item, and to add, remove or disable startup programs.

Delayed Start is related to this tab. It is not necessary anymore for Windows 7 users but pre-Windows 7 users can use the feature to delay the start of startup applications to speed up the system start.

There is lots to explore; From listing the most recent files on the computer system, over displaying all active tasks and services to cookie filters, hidden file listings and the creation of a HiJack log.

Alerts and notifications are displayed directly on the screen, usually with yes or no options to allow or prevent the changes to the system.

WinPatrol is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system.

A download is provided at the developer website. There is also a portable version called WinPatrolToGo which offers most of the features of the core program.

Closing Words

WinPatrol is an excellent program as it monitors important areas of Windows for changes and informs you about them. It can be customized to only report what you want to know and leave out what you are not interested in.

It is excellent for new or inexperienced users but also a great tool for experienced users who want more control over what is happening in the background.

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  1. kalmly said on December 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I, too, grabbed the 99 cent deal. If I’d known how good and how dependable the program was, I’d have bought it years earlier. Thank you Bill P – again.

  2. tinwheeler said on December 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I don’t know if BillP will ever offer it again, but sometime back I got a life time subscription to WinPatrol Pro for 99¢. So it might be a good idea to keep your eyes & ears open just in case he makes this incredible, magnanimous offer again.This is an incredibly useful program from a trustworthy guy.

  3. Neo said on December 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    very useful app
    i use it every-time,, and its light too

  4. Crodol said on December 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Using the program for a while and like it.

    Don’t tell the evil hackers… but it’s the only protection I use on my computer, i.e. instead of anti virus etc.

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