Fix Windows after a virus attack with Automatic System Cleaner

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 9, 2014
Windows, Windows software

You have two basic choices when it comes to deciding what to do after a successful virus attack on your system. You can try and repair the damage after you have made sure the virus is gone for good and has not left any nasty bits behind, or you format everything and start anew.

If you select the first option, you may need to spend quite some time fixing and repairing things, depending on what damage the malicious code caused on your system.

While it is certainly possible to repair Windows manually, it is sometimes better to use a program for that, especially if you are not really sure what needs to be done.

Automatic System Cleaner is a free program for Windows that you can use for that purpose. The portable program provides you with action lists that you can customize to your needs.

automatic system cleaner

The program displays options in the first tab, and the various scanning, repair and reset options in the five other tabs it makes available.

It is set to create a restore point and to backup the Windows Registry by default, and will reboot the PC when it has run all operations. You can modify the behavior here if you like, but it is highly suggested to create a backup of sorts before you click on the execute button.

The Actions

The security tab offers integration for CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Vipre, that you can use to scan the system, or perform a rescue scan in the case of Vipre.

What this means is that the selected programs will be run one after the other by Automatic System Cleaner. The documentation confirms that the required programs will be downloaded by the program, even if they are already installed on the system.

Here you can also update the host file, which will replace it with the MVPS hosts file, remove installed toolbars, and disable security notifications which turns off UAC and the security center during program run.


The performance tab contains actions to prune the autoruns using an internal list of programs that do not need to be run on start up.

Services will be reset to their default values if the action is selected. The author notes that this should not be used if the system is connected to a domain.

Here you can also enable various other performance related optimizations, such as optimizing the system's resource usage (by applying various tweaks such as enabling large system cache, disabling page zeroing or paging executive.

The maintenance tab schedules system file defragmentation, hard drive defragmentation using Defraggler, and a Checkdisk run on the next start up.

In addition, it is set to reset file and Registry permissions on the system.

The last two tabs contain various fixes that reset ir repair Windows features such as Windows update, Network Interfaces, Windows Installer, file associations, the Task Manager, or printer install errors.


The majority of actions are selected by default which is not necessary in most cases. It is recommended that you go through each tab manually to uncheck actions that you do not want to run.

The program displays a help icon next to each action that you can click on for additional information. This loads a documentation page on the author's website where everything is explained in detail.

Tip: Click on the uncheck all button under Options to deselect all actions.

Automatic System Cleaner is a useful program for Windows users who need to repair the operating system after a virus attack. While part of the options that it makes available are not linked to the recovery, they may prove useful nevertheless.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

    1. Tweakmaster said on September 29, 2023 at 9:57 am

      U are just * [Editor: removed] thats the problem ;p first of all u shall always debloat windows u shall have max 65 services with your drivers for pc and windows own servs. You didnt know what that script did

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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