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frankzappa

The 11 Best Free Spyware Removal Tools 3

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08
of 11
Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK)

What We Like
Checks for actively running spyware and spyware in the file system
Runs in portable mode
Custom scan options
Finds more threats than just spyware
Also works as a command line program

What We Don't Like
The program files have to be extracted, and they take up nearly a gigabyte of space
No option to install it to check for spyware automatically
Scheduled scans aren't supported

Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a portable anti-spyware tool that you can run from anywhere to scan and delete all types of malware in addition to spyware, like worms, adware, keyloggers, etc.

The reason it's on this list is because it's completely portable (doesn't need to be installed) and is capable of scanning for actively running spyware that's currently loaded into memory.

EEK can also check for spyware traces that exist in the registry and elsewhere that could indicate an infection. There are also some options for finding potentially unwanted programs and rootkits.

This anti-spyware utility supports some other features too, like scanning email data files, finding spyware in archives like CAB and ZIP files, and excluding or including only certain file types in the scan.

There are two versions of this tool — one is a regular application with a user interface and the other is a command line utility that's useful for automated or batch scanning. They are both included in this one download.

Download Emsisoft Emergency Kit 
This program is around 300 MB when downloaded, but after you extract all the program files, the total space required to run it ends up being around 700 MB.


09
of 11
Spybot - Search & Destroy

What We Like
Great for advanced users
Helps protect your files from new spyware in the future
Can scan any file or folder to check for spyware
Includes lots of options you can customize
Scans for rootkits, too

What We Don't Like
Might be too advanced for most people

Spybot is great for advanced users who want total control of how the program scans and protects against spyware, but it's not ideal for novice users who just want to delete spyware. For that, use one of the other programs mentioned above.

One of Spybot's most notable features is its immunization option, which blocks common threats in various web browsers. It's as easy as scanning for the vulnerabilities and then hitting Apply immunization.

Another benefit of Spybot is that it makes it a breeze to disable tracking cookies that could compromise your privacy, again with just one click.

Of course, Spybot can also "search and destroy" spyware too, using its system scanner. If you have particular files to scan, you can do that too.

Among the many options you can enable is one to scan and immunize not only the current user's files and settings but also those of any other user on the computer.

You can also add a spyware scan option to autoplay devices like flash drives, tell the program which folder holds your internet downloads so that it will do deep spyware scans there, and run rootkit scans.

Download Spybot - Search & Destroy


10
of 11
Dr.Web CureIt!

What We Like
No installation needed (it's portable)
You can choose what to scan, including just the memory
Lots of scan options
Removes other threats, too

What We Don't Like
Free for personal, home use only

The Dr.Web CureIt! anti-spyware scanner is completely portable, which means you don't have to install it and can even keep it on a flash drive or other portable device.

You can scan the whole computer or check for spyware in particular places only, like in the Windows system folder, temporary files, the user's Documents folder, RAM, and some other places.

You can also add your own custom locations like another hard drive or some other folder, as well as scan inside installation packages and archives.

Dr.Web CureIt! is a bit large when compared to these other tools (over 170 MB), but it can also scan for a number of other malware types like adware, riskware, hacking tools, dialers, etc.

Something interesting to note about this program is that it's the only spyware scanner from this list that uses a unique name with each download, which is to help prevent malware from blocking it.

Download Dr.Web CureIt!
This program is only free for home users. You must purchase Dr.Web CureIt! to use it in any other form.

 

11
of 11
ComboFix

What We Like
A spyware scan runs automatically when you start the program
Important files get backed up automatically before deleting any spyware
Installation isn't required

What We Don't Like
Results are hard to read
No graphical user interface
Windows 10 isn't supported

ComboFix is very much a hands-off, on-demand spyware scanner. After downloading it, just open the ComboFix.exe file to immediately start the whole process.

Here's how it works: ComboFix backs up the Windows Registry before anything else, followed by the creation of a System Restore point. After that, the scan starts automatically and you see the results populate in Command Prompt.

When the spyware scan is complete, a log file is created at C:\ComboFix.txt and then opened for you to read through. It's there that you can see if any spyware was detected and removed and which ones were found but not removed (which you can delete manually or use another tool to remove).

ComboFix only works on Windows 8 (not 8.1), 7, Vista, and XP.

Download ComboFix

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