On Removing Adware and Spyware From Your Computer

by Barbara J. Feldman on June 27, 2009

Fixing an adware or spyware problem before it’s too late can be the difference between have a fully functioning computer and a non-functional one. If this is your first encounter with adware then you might have heard that reformatting your computer is the only way to get rid of an adware virus. This isn’t entirely true as there are other, last dramatic tools for removing adware which should be tried before you consider reformatting. Let’s take a closer look at whether or not you need to reformat your computer to remove adware.

Run a virus scan

Before you think about reformatting your computer there are some internet sites which have free scans you can run on your computer to detect and remove the adware software. There are two free online scans which are excellent at removing spyware, malware and adware, and you don’t have to uninstall any of your current protections.

1. BitDefender’s Online scan – This online system scan will scan for viruses, worms, dialers and similar malaise and remove them from your computer’s operating system. Go to www.bitdefender.com to access their free program.

2. Ewido Online Scan – This online scan will search and remove Trojans, adware, cookies and spyware from your computer’s operating system. Go to www.weido.net/en/ to access this program.

Manual Removal of adware

If you want to try and remove the adware yourself it’s actually quite easy. Go into your program files and search for software that you don’t recognize and, to remove it, right click on it and select ‘Delete’. Then go into your control panel and look for the add/remove icon. Once you have found and removed the files you want removed, reboot your computer. Go back through your files to make sure that the unwanted files are no longer there. If they’re still there then repeat the first steps. If this is unsuccessful, consider using one of the free online programs to do the job for you.

Reformatting your computer

If you have exhausted every other option and you’re still having difficulties with your system you should consider reformatting your computer. While this will completely remove any and all adware software on your operating system, reformatting should only be considered as a last option.

Before you reformat here are some things to remember:

Write down all internet pages that you want to remember as they’ll be gone
when you reformat.

Backup all important files and data you will need. All programs will have to be reinstalled once you reformat the hard drive.

Make sure you have all the CDs and software to reinstall once you have reformatted the computer.

Once you have taken steps to ensure that you will be able to re-install the information that you will be losing you can begin to reformat your computer. This will take some time since you’ll have to re-install everything that will be lost in the reformatting of your computer.

Do you need to reformat your computer to remove adware? Not usually. If you can remove the adware without having to reformat, life will be much easier. While reformatting will completely remove any adware or spyware you have hiding in the computer and ensure that it doesn’t come back, it will also remove absolutely everything else in your system as well, so the choice is up to you.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "On Removing Adware and Spyware From Your Computer." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 27 Jun. 2009. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/561/on-removing-adware-and-spyware-from-your-computer/ >.