Windows XP / Getting Started

Detecting and removing spyware

There are a bunch of free apps on the Web that will help you scan your computer for adware and spyware. There are two programs you use to scan your computer. Each of these programs has its own database of adware and spyware that is updated frequently. To make sure that no spyware and adware goes undetected, it is a good idea to scan your computer with both programs. The first app is called Ad-aware.
This is a great program that has a basic version available for free when used for personal use. The second app is called Spybot S&D and is also free.

Using these two apps to detect and remove spyware and adware from your computer will not only rid your computer of those annoying programs, but will also speed up your computer and free up disk space. Follow these steps to get started using Ad-aware:

  1. Visit and download a copy of the basic version of Ad-aware that is free when used on personal computers.
  2. Once you have Ad-aware installed on your computer, start it up by clicking the Adaware icon on your desktop and then Ad-aware is loaded, the first thing you should do is update the data files. This can be done by clicking the globe icon.
  3. Then, on the Webupdate screen, click the Connect button. It will tell you if a new update is available. If one is, just click OK and it will be downloaded and installed.
  4. Now that Ad-aware is updated, you are ready to scan your computer. Just click the Start button in the lower-right corner of the window.
  5. Select Perform Smart System-Scan on the Next screen and click Next. The scan will begin.
  6. Once the scan has finished, you will hear a sound. Click the Next button again to view the results.
  7. The Scanning Results screen will be shown, which lists any instances of spyware and adware on your computer. Scroll through the list and uncheck any objects that you do not want to remove. Then, click the Next button again.
  8. You will be asked to confirm that you want to delete the items on the list. Click OK to continue removing the files and registry entries associated with spyware and adware.

The files will be quarantined as a backup just in case you experience any problems with the operating system after you remove the files and registry entries. You are now finished with using Ad-aware and can close the application.

You are now ready to get Spybot Search & Destroy installed and set up on your computer so that you can ensure that you have removed all spyware and adware from your computer.To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit Spybot's Web site at and download a copy of Spybot Search & Destroy.
  2. Once Spybot S&D is installed on your computer, start it up by expanding the Spybot Search & Destroy folder and selecting Spybot S&D (easy mode). The first time it is run, you will have to select the language that you want to use and will be shown a few legal disclaimer screens.
  3. When Spybot loads, you will want to update its data files as well. This can be done by clicking the Search For Updates screen located in the middle of the screen and then check all of the updates that are shown on the screen and click the Download Updates button.
  4. Once Spybot has finished downloading and installing the updates, it will restart itself. When that happens, you are ready to begin scanning your computer.To begin scanning, just click the Check for Problems button.
  5. Once scanning has finished, you will be presented with the Results screen. Click the Fix Selected Problems button, to remove all of the selected search results.
  6. When all of the entries in the search box have check marks, Spybot is finished cleaning your system. You may now close Spybot.

Your computer has now been scanned and cleaned with two great spyware cleaning software apps. As you can see, Spybot picked up on some things that Ad-aware missed. Using both of these programs together will allow you very good detection and removal of spyware on your computer.

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