WinPatrol – Monitor Programs, Critical Items

Free security software always make me nervous, but program monitoring does seem like an interesting function …

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 starting tab, displaying 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 at 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 alerts

WinPatrol is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system. A download is available at the developer website. There is also a portable version called WinPatrolToGo which offers most of the features of the core program.

© Martin for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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