Supplement your computer’s security with WinPatrol

scottyToday I am here to tell you of a program that you can use to supplement your protection software to enhance digital security. Meet WinPatrol:


WinPatrol is a very lightweight security app that does all of the following:

  • Detect and Review New Auto-Startup Programs.
  • Automatically Disable Reoccurring Startup Programs .
  • Monitor BHO’s and Tool Bars.
  • Monitor Creation of Scheduled Tasks .
  • Display and Kill Multiple Running Tasks.
  • Monitor, Stop and Control Window Services.
  • Manage and Automatically Remove Unwanted Cookies.
  • Monitor IE Home and Search pages.
  • Monitor and Edit HOST File Detect and Lock Changes to File Type Associations.
  • Detect and View Newly Created Hidden Files.
  • Track Date/Time when programs are first detected on your system.
  • Delay Auto-Startup programs for quick bootup.
  • Multiple System Report Options.
  • Detect and examine newly created undocumented or HIDDEN Registry Startup Keys.
  • Monitoring and Management of ActiveX components.

Here is the developers description of what the program can do:

“Clean up your Taskbar, ActiveX and Startup programs. WinPatrol monitors and exposes adware, keyloggers, spyware, worms, cookies, and other malicious software. This program puts you back in control of your computer with no need for constant updates. WinPatrol’s goal is to help you better understand what programs are running on your computer and to alert you to any new programs added without your permission. Unlike traditional security programs, WinPatrol doesn’t scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats. Instead, it uses a heuristic behavioral approach, taking a snapshot of your critical system resources, then alerting you to any changes that occur without your knowledge.”

To put it in simple terms: this program kicks @$$. I use it myself; it just saved me yesterday from Extra Photo SlideShow changing my homepage. I know for a fact it works.

WinPatrol comes in three flavors:

  • WinPatrol Free – all the features I described above apply to WinPatrol free.
  • WinPatrolToGo – a portable version of WinPatrol Free/WinPatrol PLUS.
  • WinPatrol PLUS – this is a paid version. You pay a one time fee of $29.95 for a single license. Life time upgrades come with it. The advantage to PLUS as opposed to free is that you get access to the PLUS database and RID protection.

The PLUS database is a database that contains information about 20,000+ programs:

“Use WinPatrol to learn more about the programs and cryptic files on your computer. If you see a program that you’re curious about, you can click on its “PLUS Info…” button. You’ll be connected to our online database and we’ll let you know what the program is all about. Descriptions are created for mere humans to read, not just computer geeks. We’ll also try to include links and program tips that might be useful.”

RID protection is like live protection. It detects and and takes action against malware as soon as it is installed/put on your computer. I had a chat with the developer about RID and asked him if the Free version would also be able to remove the same malware that the PLUS version can with RID. His response was a “yes”:

“The free version will still alert users to system changes and malware. It’s just not an immediate alert. In 99% of the attacks out there this isn’t a problem because we still allow users to remove the infiltration. Most attacks are intended to stay so they don’t do their damage immediately. If the attack was something that did a system format then our free version wouldn’t catch it but there’s no real value these days in the bad guys doing damage.  They want to get control.”

Two last things to point out:

  • WinPatrol is behavior based. This means that it will cause little to no conflicts with your other security applications. I made sure to ask the developer about Threatfire also, since that is behavior based, and he informed me that he knew of no such conflicts.
  • WinPatrol only uses ~2-5MB of RAM while sitting idle for me. While some people may think that is a lot, I find it to be very little when compared to the protection it provides.

Are you convinced yet? Come on, what do I have to do, pat my head and rub my belly at the same time? Get WinPatrol!

WinPatrol homepage

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  • rroberto18

    Extra plus for WinPatrol Plus:
    You get email support from developer Bill. Very quickly.
    Either he types real fast or he has some smart minions working for him.

    I started with the free version and upgraded to PLUS for a variety of extra services.
    One of the best investments I ever made

  • Ashraf

    @Charles: No, it is still available. The download works just fine for me.

  • Charles

    I tried several times to download WinPatrol Free without success. Is this program no longer being offered?

  • Don

    WinPatrol is truly a fantastic program to have. I got lucky and got my Plus version for 99 cents a year or so ago. When it finally moves up a whole number in its version numbers and I have to buy instead of simply update I will certainly buy it. SpyBot Search and Destroy is another great utility to have.

  • RobCr

    I came across this page, whilst I was posting about StartupMonitor on your other page –
    I thought it best to go to their web site to get the latest free version.
    Their site is pretty silent on free versions (aka I could not find any mention).
    The link you give is version  2009.10.14.1929 and is  976 KB
    The last free version on this site –
    is  11.1 2007 and is 5,500 KB
    Which do you reckon is the later (better) version ?

  • Frank

    Dear Ashraf,
    I bought WinPatrol when it was 1$.
    It’s not even worth that 1$, I uninstalled. To open any document (even a PDF) prolongued from 1 to 5-10 sec /w WinPatrol.
    It surely protects me from threads. When I do not open documents anymore (because it takes ages) I cannot infect my PC.


  • JC

    Keep up the good work Ashraf!!

    Very deserving of the widely heralded “Master Guru Award”.. And that ain’t just a-whistlin’ Dixie.

    Whether one always agrees or not, and in most cases I do, always very worthy info to consider here at dotTech..

    It is much appreciated.

    You’ve talked me into this one. Sounds like a winner.


  • jefffox

    Morning Ashraf,
    Looks good, but lately I’ve added so much complementary stuff i seem to spend most of my time making decisions about what to allow or not that just maintaining is more time consuming than using this thing.
    So, if you or one of your knowledgeable readers would look at this list and let me know whether Win PatrolPluswould be a reasonable addition or replacement for something i already have, it would be ‘preciated.
    1.a-squared anti malware
    2. malwarebytes anti malware
    3. Webroot spy sweeper
    4. online armor
    5 spyware blaster
    6 Advanced system care pro
    8 glaryutilities

    I only got Winutilities and glary recently and havent run them yet…not sure i need to.
    Im at the point where i have overdone trying to keep it up and running…STRANGE THING but maybe i take too much advice???
    Any feedback would be ‘preciated

  • VanHutenHower

    Great article Ashraf, thanks a lot mate.

    To the dunces whining about spelling and grammar, for fuck’s sake who gives a flying fuck. The dude has just saved you $100s and given you a more secure system than what bloatafuck bitdefender/zone alarm/insert overpriced POS security suite here.

    I have bookmarked you Ashraf, absolute legend. Thanks dude.

    BTW I have just dumped my paid version of Zone Alarm ISS. Slow, bloated Piece of Absolute Shiteness.

  • Pete

    What are the Systems Requirements?

  • Ardwych

    I second that, observer.
    Ash has been hitting the spot more and more lately and I’m finding his notes excellent.
    I must click on his ads or send a donation before too long.

  • observer

    “Spelling exactly is not my forte”

    Hmm. Neither is syntax or construction, but I’ll have to say that Ashraf:
    a) kicks serious ass
    b) has single-handedly changed my 15-year habit of downloading every free program to try into one of discernment and careful selection.

    Cannot thank you enough, Ashraf, for the thousands of minutes you have saved for me to more wisely invest. would have little value without your kcik-ass, take-no-prisoners presence there.

    Many, many thanks for the little doggie, too. GREAT software.

  • That’s a great software

  • Ardwych

    As the Yanks say on their cop n court TV shows, Mike, ‘it goes to credibility’. :)
    Carry on.

  • MikeR

    Sorry, but. . .

    If spelling exactly is not my forte, then you shouldn’t be spelling exactly exactly as you have done.

    Eggsactly would’ve been OK and even beter, spelling exactly is not my forty.

    Of course, what the heck this has to do with software, I’ve no idea. . .

  • IE,

    This program is well worth it – I agree you should give it another shot and see how it goes.

  • Thanks =) Spelling exactly is not my forte.

  • Ardwych

    Looks nice. Thanks, Ashraf.
    You might use a spelling checker on the title. You got it right the second time: ‘Supplement’.
    There’s compliment, as a noun – an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: A sincere compliment boosts one’s morale.
    There’s compliment, as a verb – to show kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor: He complimented us by giving a party in our honor.
    And complement, the noun – the quantity or amount that completes anything: We now have a full complement of packers.

    [I see we have no preview here. Something could go very wrong.]

  • internetexplorer

    I tried whatever the version was several months ago and found that it did its job enthusiastically, but so much so that it slowed down my computer and kept me clicking on things when I didn’t want to do so. If they have done anything to improve these drawbacks or if there are some settings I missed that would alleviate them for me, I’ll try again.

  • Pegi

    I have been using WinPatrol for a long time and find it easy to use, and the dog icon makes it interesting to look at too. It truly will stop programs from installing in your start folders. The free version doesn’t have as much info though about what your looking at, no matter just google it then decide what to keep running and what to stop. It uses very little in the way of system resources. When you download a program you don’t always realize the new services etc it installs but the little doggie will ask your permission for each background install. This is one of the programs I generally install on peoples machines that I fix. There are other free programs that do the same thing however the dog adds that extra something… lol