How to Remove Spyware

by Contributor

The best way to rid yourself of spyware on your computer is to prevent it from being downloaded. Unfortunately, this does not always work. Spyware is software that takes information about you and your computer usage and reports that to a third party for advertising or other purposes. You need to remove spyware because it intrudes on your privacy and has the potential to negatively affect your computer's performance. Follow these steps to find out how.

Download and install spyware detection and removal software. A few examples of free anti-spyware software are Spybot Search and Destroy, HijackThis and Windows Defender. You should be able to search for these and find safe downloads.

Back-up your personal data. When you start trying to eliminate spyware, you can lose important data in the process by accident or misdiagnoses. Be sure that anything that you have to have is safely backed up somewhere other than your infected hard drive.

Disconnect from the Internet and reboot your computer in Safe Mode.

Scan your computer using the anti-spyware software. Remove any infected programs or files either via the anti-spyware software or by uninstalling the program with the uninstall programs utility on your computer.

Reboot and check and see if this fixed the problem. Most of the time, using the anti-spyware software will eliminate the problem and you can continue on. If it is still a problem you may have to resort to more drastic measures.

Format your hard drive and reinstall your operating system. This is an absolutely worst case scenario. Refrain from formatting until you have tried all other means several times and sought professional help. Back up all information that you need to keep and be prepared for a lengthy reinstall process.


  • check The best way to not have to deal with removing spyware is to take precautionary action. Downloading anti-spyware software and setting it up to scan automatically on a daily or weekly basis can save you a lot of trouble.


  • close Deleting files can result in your computer not functioning properly. It is wise to check to see if a file is actually spyware or if it is misdiagnosed. Seek the advice of others either in online forums or from professional computer technicians.