Learn how to use Spybot – Search & Destroy to keep your PC free of spyware

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Review

Spybot – Search & Destroy is one of the best anti-spyware software out there today. This freeware is able to detect and remove spyware from your Windows PC that even most anti-virus may not yet be able to detect.

Spyware are fairly new sort of threat, they get installed in your computer without your knowledge, they remain hidden, they track and collect your online movements to build a marketing profile which later can be sent without you permission to compilers and then sold to advertisers. Spyware besides of secretly collect information, they can also interact with users in different ways like installing additional software, e.g., new toolbars in your Internet Explorer, and they can also change various of your computer settings resulting in change of URL destinations, slow connection to the internet and problems interacting with other programs. If you see any of these behaviors in your system you are probably in the presence of spyware.

Now that you know a little bit more about spyware, next you are going to learn the basics of Spybot – Search & Destroy to maintain your computer free of spyware.

1.  Head to the Spybot – Search & Destroy page and download a copy.

2.  Double-click to run the installation wizard. While the installation of this freeware is not complicated, there still somethings that you should pay attention to. For example, make sure that in the Select Components window, the options Download updates immediately and Security Center integration are selected.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Select Components

And in the Select Additional Task window make sure that in the Permanent protection area, Use Internet Explorer protection (SDHelper) and Use system settings protection (Tea Timer) are selected as well. This is recommended to have a little extra protection in your Windows computer.

Scanning and cleaning spyware from your Windows computer

After you have finished the Spybot-Search & Destroy installation, start the program for the first time, go through the Spybot-S&D Wizard, create backup of Windows registry if you are asked to, click the Next and then the Start using the program button.

When you’re done with the first time process, you will be presented with Spybot-Search & Destroy main window. The three main tools that you are going to need are right here: Check for problems, Recovery and Search for Updates. It is recommended that you start by searching for updates to make sure that you are running the latest.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Main Window

Click the Search for Updates button, select the place near you to download the latest bits and click the Continue button. We did check at the beginning to download updates, but you can see that there still quite few more. Then select all the necessary updates and click the Download button, wait until the downloads are finished and click the Exit button.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Update manager

Now return to the main window again, to get the best protection recommended to Immunize Windows right away. Immunization allows you to take preventive steps against spyware that may try to exploit your web browser. Click the Green Plus button with the label Immunize to immunize your system.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Immunize

Navigate back to the main window of Spybot-Search & Destroy once again and run a full scan on your system, click the Check for problems button to start the scan. Now seat and relax, this might take a while…

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Check for problems

During the scan process you will start seeing, if any, the entries that Spybot may have found in your system. Spybot-Search & Destroy also offer some details about the entries, if available, by expanding the Plus (+) sign next to the item.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Problem information

Once the scan is completed you can view the list of everything that the program have found. One good thing about Spybot is that it doesn’t remove all the spyware right away after the scan, you still have the chance to uncheck any false positives or any other entries that you may recognize that are not a threat, that way Spybot will not removed it from your system.

Now you should be ready to remove the spyware from your system, click the Fix selected problems button and then click Yes to remove all spyware.

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Fix selected problems

Lastly Spybot – Search & Destroy will show you a confirmation window with the total number of problems fixed. If you see a big Green check-mark besides the entry, this means that it have been successfully removed. There will be times when a particular spyware will be active and cannot be removed at the moment, if this is the case the problem can be removed the next time you restart your computer, click Yes to set this setting. There you go, now your PC should be free of spyware!

Spybot - Search & Destroy - Problems fixed


Spybot-Search & Destroy may not be the fastest program to scan for threats, but it does a great job detecting and removing spyware from your system and for the money, you cannot ask for more. And it is definitely an anti-spyware program worth trying!

Spybot – Search & Destroy – Problems fixed
About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].