Today, I downloaded a VLC media player and along came a lot of unintended
crap: for instance, a browser called “Alot” that I never wanted but it installed itself. I
uninstalled it with some effort, but I see but see a whole lot (“alot”) of files
still lurking on my C: How can I purge this stuff? When I hit Delete, it won’t
let me get rid of the “Alot” app file. Can you advise?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #30, I look at why extra downloads may show up on your computer,
and the proper way to get rid of them.
So I’m really surprised that you got this with VLC. VLC, in my experience, has been a very reputable app.
Get downloads from the right source
I want to make sure that you are getting VLC from the right place, from videolan.org. They’re the official site for it.
Don’t bother going to another download site. There’s simply no reason to get it anywhere else.
Choose custom or advanced install option
Also, whenever you install software (I don’t care if it’s VLC or something else that you get from somewhere else on the internet), always, always, always choose the custom or advanced option when you install the software.
Never, ever choose the default settings because quite often the default settings will include additional software that is one of the revenue generators for the software that you’re downloading.
Read every screen
Finally, when you step through the install process, make sure you’re reading every screen.
Very often they will ask you, “Do you want to install this nifty new toolbar or browser?” And the checkbox will be checked on by default. If you’re not paying attention and you just click Next, you literally asked for this software – for this download – and installed on your machine.
Removing unwanted software
Now, with that out of the way, how do you get rid of it?
I’ve never heard of the “Alot” browser; I really haven’t. My suggestion would be to run REVO Uninstaller and see if it will pick up the leftovers that have been left by the Alot browser.
- If it is truly malware, I would also consider running something like Malwarebytes to see if it will clean the thing up.
Of course, whatever security software you’re running: make sure those are up-to-date and scanning regularly.
Restore to backup image
Finally, this is one of those cases where, if it is seriously causing you trouble, I would strongly recommend restoring to a backup taken prior to the installation of VLC and this Alot browser.
Deleting the program file
With that out of the way, when you hit Delete, “It won’t let you get rid of the file?” I need to know what error message you’re getting.
- It may be that you simply need to be running Windows Explorer as an administrator.
In other words, the file may have been installed with administrative privileges. Even though your account may have administrative privileges, you’re not actually running as the administrator by default.
You would need to right-click on the icon for Windows Explorer and choose Run as administrator. Then after having done that, it may give you the additional permission to delete the files.
So hopefully, I’ve given you some things to try.
Pay attention to downloads
The most important thing; the most important lesson for you (and everyone else who’s reading this or listening to this) to take away is to:
- Pay attention… pay very close attention to where you’re getting your downloads from; and to all of the options that are offered in the installation process.
Next from Answercast 30 – How does Facebook figure out who my friends should be?