Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Try WinPatrol Again

WinPatrol is known for many functions and is often classified as a spyware monitor or an AutoRun program manager. Over the years I’ve packed a number of important functions into two small program files that make up WinPatrol.

WinPatrol was a first of its kind intrustion detection program 11 years ago and continues to have many unique features not found in other utilities.

WinPatrol is a program I use personally on every computer I own. It really runs in the background without slowing down other applications. Its small foot print, robust proformance and new features are based on what I want myself and I hope you do too.

I’ve put together a list of features that some folks may not know about.

  1. Delay Startup Programs
    While WinPatrol can be used as a one time tool to clean up your startup programs, perhaps you have some programs you’d like to keep. Using WinPatrol, you can schedule some programs to run once your system is up and running successfully.

    WiPatrol Delayed Startup

  2. Warn if Auto Update Status Changes
    It’s not unusual for malware to change your auto update setting but some folks noticed that occasionally Microsoft has been known to change this value also. Either way WinPatrol is one of the only programs designed to alert you to this kind of change.

    Warning if your update settings are changed

  3. Track Date/Time Programs are First Detected
    Have you ever wondered when you installed a new program? WinPatrol will keep track for you. This works best when, as many do, you install WinPatrol as the first application on your new or restored computer. If you’re ever infected with malware with random filenames this feature makes it easy to pick out all the related bad guys.

  4. Automatically Remove Reoccuring AutoRun Programs
    Many legitimate programs from Apple, Adobe, Google and Microsoft think they’re so important that just running the program they’ll add companion applications to your startup list. WinPatrol’s “Disable” button will tell WinPatrol to remove them automatically when added to your Startup list.

  5. Prevents Changes to File Type Associations
    This feature was originally designed to prevent malware from changing .exe and script settings. It has proved to be useful to stop programs that try to reassign themselves to play your MP3’s or edit your JPG files.

  6. Kill Multiple Tasks in One Step
    Unlike Windows Task Manager, WinPatrol uses the standard multiple select keys to highlight more than one program so you can kill multiple tasks in one step. This is especially useful for removing malware that reproduces itself

  7. Twenty Thousand Program Descriptions
    WinPatrol PLUS is designed to be educational. We now have over 20,000 program descriptions created so they can be understood by mere mortals. PLUS members can just double click for more information on any program they find.

  8. Secret Startup Registry Entries
    While MSConfig will show you the basic RUN registry startup locations, WinPatrol digs deeper into the registry to display programs using non-traditional locations commonly used by malware and even some legitimate programs.
    Secret Startup locations
    Click for list of secret locations

  9. Disable Vulnerable ActiveX Controls
    You won’t have to wait for a Tuesday security patch when a new activex vulnerability is found. WinPatrol allows you to safely use the kill-bit function to disable any dangerous code objects.
    WinPatrol ActiveX Manager

  10. Create Hijack Style Log Files
    Many online helpers have become accustom to reading logs from HiJackThis. WinPatrol creates a log using this familiar format while including additional benefits.
    WinPatorl Hijack Log

If you haven’t looked at WinPatrol lately, I’m hoping you’ll give Scotty another look. It’s a small download at
(International versions available as well)

Thank you to everyone who has supported the development of WinPatrol by upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS. I wouldn’t be able to continue adding new features without your support. Feel free to add some of your own favorite unique features as comments.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

WinPatrol Plus program descriptions have been very helpful in allowing me to know what programs/tasks are, and whether they are needed/useful. I would not be withour Scotty.

Bill Farmer

5:23 PM  
Blogger McSimmons said...


I recently upgraded to WinPatrol PLUS and have been using WinPatrol for several years now. It is an indispensable tool and the fact that it hasn't ballooned in size like every other program over the years is commendable. Thank you.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had visited WinPatrol's site before, but I wasn't quite sure what it did. After reading that description I see it has a number of features I have been looking for. I am installing it to check it out now for sure! Thanks!

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a program puts itself in the auto-start menu and Winpatrol detects this behaviour. If you press the “no” button (I suppose that the caption is the same in the English version) to delete this new auto-start entry, then the program is closed. Would it be possible to add a button to be able to choose if you want to close the program or not?


11:55 AM  
Blogger creigd2k said...

I quickly realized WinPatrol was perhaps the most efficient, effective, and practical functional utility available to the nontechy PC user. I immediately contributed to supporting the author of this program with the modest subscription to the Plus version. It is the best source of meaningful information in my system. I have used it for nearly all of the eleven years it has existed and recommend it every opportunity I find.


12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you add a feature to create a "whitelist" & "blacklist" of processes that are auto-allowed/blocked from being added to startup locations?

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you add RAM and cpu usage to the active tasks monitor to be able to know which process is eating all the resources and to close it if it should not be running or it does not work as it should do?

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be different from the usual set of comments...but its the truth for me.

I respect the work that Bill has done, I enjoy reading the blog, but on the three occasions I have tried WinPatrol Free I always end up thinking "Do I really need this running ?"

Autoruns covers lots of the startup entries - not that I am installing that often really. So when Java decides to put a startup entry I just manually disable it. No problem. Once every 3 months or so (thats the only program I regularly install that has a startup entry).

The program list I guess could be useful, but I am not forking out for a program that only has one function that I would acutally use.

Hijack This logs I just use Hijack this to do.

Delay startup programs seemed like a good idea - and maybe 2 years ago I would have been interested. However, usually if I need to delay the startup of programs its usually because of some other problem. eg the machine just cannot handle the software I am loading up. For example, on my old 600Mhz machine with 256 RAM, AVG 7.5 would find it hard to load up - adding to the startup time by about 30 seconds.

Killing multiple tasks may have some use, but I am not sure what as of yet. Sure if you have spawned malware killing all the processes at once so it can't respawn each other...but again not something I need.

Thats not to take away from the good work you have done - everyone I know in security circles recommends Winpatrol. Yet everytime I try it...I somehow get almost no use from it.

Thats not to take away from the fine work that you have done with it - or the great pricing scheme!! Or even the fact that you keep me well informed about events.

Just a personal opinion from a semi annonymous user.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to be able to change the file type’s program associations using the WinPatrol’s interface, so I would not have to open explorer to do it. (Maybe it could be added to the File types’s context menu)

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WinPatrol Plus is great - it enables me to quickly and easily find out what every program is, and so decide whether I need it or not. And it alerts me every time anything attempts to install something new, from a toolbar to spyware or a change. I think it's a great little utility. Thanks, BIll.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I know WinPatrol is great,I wouldn't be without it.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have used
winPatrol for years,wouldn't be without it.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just got the plus version with the 99 cent deal. I never used it before so not sure what the plus version adds other than the "plus" online database. I noticed that when exploring the startup programs on my computer, and I click for more "plus" info it opens a web page and looks it up online. When I suspect a virus or spyware, I usually have to fix it while disconnected from the Internet and also in safe mode. I would prefer if the database of startup (and other) information were part of the program. That would make it much more useful to me.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Skye-hook said...

Reading a couple of your articles made me really wonder about a starnge new phenomenon in my PC.(I was looking for info about it & found your site.)Since finally accepting SP3 and setting Windows updates to auto a couple days ago, I am suddenly having Online Armor telling me that 0 filesize files in temp are trying to go online, & so also is a batch file in temp. I told it "block". So..hmm..that could be new MS files? And maybe I blocked something urgent? Maybe I best set as "Ask". Dunno, so I set auto-updates to what you said to. Now will set as "ask", & pray. Why did they make it even more confusing & create a new vulnerability- that we have to deal with decisions about it & can mess things up. When we start OK-ing batch files to go online, that's a BIG vulnerability! And ya can't tell where these files came from so..have to look it up with Google nad your site. :) Thanks for mentioning it!

8:19 AM  

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