How to remove Spyware from your PC (part 2)

How to remove Spyware from your PC (part 1) guided you in using Ad-Aware SE Personal to remove Spyware. This tutorial will guide you in using Spybot Search & Destroy to find anything that Ad-Aware may have missed, and to use it’s “immunize” feature to pro-actively help avoid Spyware from showing up on your system in the first place.

First things first, download and install Spybot Search & Destroy. At the end of the installation you’ll be prompted to run Spybot for the first time. Unless you’re certain that your computer is completely infested with Spyware, Adware and Trojans, you can probably safely skip the first step of the “Wizard” that will launch the first time you run Spybot (backing up your registry). You will however want to check for updates right away, which is where we’l start this tutorial –

  1. The 5th step in the “run for the first time” wizard will ask if you want to check for updates. Click the Search for updates button

  2. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  3. If any updates are available, download and install them now.

  4. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  5. Some types of updates may require that Spybot re-starts itself – which it will do on its own. Once you’re at the main window (see screenshot below) select the Check for problems button.

  6. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  7. You may want to go and fix yourself a cup of coffee now. Spybot can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to scan your entire system, depending on a number of factors (speed of your computer, size of hard drive etc).

  8. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  9. When it’s done you’ll be presented with a list of everything suspicious that was found. You can review each item by selecting the + (plus sign) icon directly next to each name. By default, Spybot will “select” each item that it finds (so that you don’t have to) for removal. When you’re ready, click the Fix selected problems button.

  10. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  11. Click Yes when prompted
  12. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy

  13. Click OK
  14. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy

  15. Now lets immunize your system to help avoid having Spyware get installed in the first place. Click the Immunize button from the column on the left.

  16. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  17. Now click the Immunize button at the top of the window. Spybot will then “protect” your system from certain known pieces of Spyware.

  18. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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  19. It’s a good idea to always check for updates before using Spybot to scan your PC. To do so, just click the Update button from the left column, and then the Search for updates button

  20. Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy
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Note: Spybot will remove anything that it considers Spyware. Some of the software you may have installed could have intentionally come bundled with Spyware (which is one ugly way that some shady software vendors will make money). These programs are sometimes created in such a way that if the Spyware that they included is removed from your system, their program will no longer run. If you find yourself in this situation and must have that program working again, re-installing it will likely solve the problem (and put Spyware back on your system). You may want to seriously re-consider using any software that insists on having Spyware installed in order for it to function.

Remove Spyware with Spybot Search and Destroy