by Inspector on November 10, 2013

in System Utilities

HijackThis by Trend Micro is used to generate a report of system registry and file settings which is useful in detecting malware. It inspects your computer browser and operating system settings to generate a log file of the current state of your computer. After that you can selectively remove unwanted settings and files from your computer. It also includes a process manager, HOSTS file editor and alternate data stream scanner. For system and network administrators, this is a must have utility.


Detect vulnerable or suspect parts of your system, such as browser helper objects and certain types of Registry keys. Scanning through this software generates a log of items, most of which are just customizations. Select item from scanning results and click Info. It will tell you why the entry was flagged as suspicious. To find out more about that item, search the Web for that item’s name. Configuration window contains new tools. The ‘process manager’ and ‘hosts file editor’ help you remove malicious infections. Advanced users can use HijackThis to remove unwanted system settings or malware files.

How to Use

To analyze your computer, start HijackThis and run a scan. HijackThis will display a list of areas on your computer that might have been changed by spyware or malware. Do not change any settings if you are unsure of what to do. It is important to use extreme caution when choosing to removing anything using HijackThis.

  • Download and run HijackThis.
  • Click the button labeled “Do a system scan only”.
  • Once the scan is complete, click ‘info on selected item’ button. A pop up will open containing helpful information regarding that item.

After the scan, you may save the log file to your PC. Once you select where you would like to save the file, it will open in your system’s default text editor. Typically this application is Notepad.

How to Generate a Startup List Log File

  • Run HijackThis.
  • Run scan.
  • Click ‘Config’ button and then click ‘Misc Tools’.
  • Click the “Generate StartupList log” button and a warning box will appear.
  • Once you click “Yes” to continue, the log will open in your system’s default text editor.

Common Log File Uses

Once you have generated a log you can analyze the results to identify what settings have been made by malware. The web offers a wealth of resources that can help you interpret your log file results and help you manually clean your system. A common practice for novice users is to generate a HijackThis log file and submit it one of the many forums devoted to HijackThis on the web. Experts at these forums provide information on which items are causing your problems and how to remove them safely from your computer.


HijackThis does not determine what is good or bad. Do not make any changes to your computer settings unless you are an expert computer user. Don’t check off an item and hit the Fix Checked button unless you’re sure it’s malware. Use expert’s advice on log file to remove problems from PC.


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