While removing spyware on your own might feel a bit intimidating or seem like it’s more work than it’s worth, it is actually fairly easy to do. If you can be patient with yourself and follow directions carefully, removing spyware from your computer by yourself will save you time and money versus hiring a professional to do it for you.
Here are some simple steps for removing spyware from your computer:
Step 1: Download and install the spyware detection and removal software of your choice. There are many reliable, effective options available; some are free while others are available for purchase or via subscription. Some of the free versions include Spybot Search and Destroy, Ad-Aware, which also has a version you can buy, and Windows Defender. There are also many sites that list known spyware and viruses, where to go to verify that your machine is infected and steps to remedy the problem.
Step 2: Back up your personal data. Before you start trying to remove anything from your computer, always make sure that you have saved important personal information and data to a zip disk, a regular disk or a thumb drive, just in case something happens to the hard drive while you’re trying to remove the spyware. When you are removing programs look for ones that you do not recognize; many spyware programs will have names that include search, shopping or adware. You can get rid of these easily.
Step 3: Re-boot. After you have removed everything that you believe to be harmful you will need to re-boot your computer. Make sure you are disconnected from the internet and re-boot your computer in Safe Mode. Safe mode only loads files required by the operating system. While your computer is in Safe Mode your spyware removal program will have a much easier time removing the spyware from your system.
Step 4: Run your anti-spyware program. Scan your computer using the anti-spyware software. Once the program is finished scanning your computer, it will present a list of spyware, viruses or other malicious content that needs to be removed from your machine along with instructions on how to remove the items.
Step 5: Re-boot then re-scan. Re-boot your computer then re-scan your system to make sure the problems have been fixed. Most of the time if you’re using anti-spyware software you will have eliminated the problem. If you still come across stubborn spyware it likely has installed itself into the system restore sector of Windows XP. When your computer re-boots the files that are stored in this area will automatically be restored. You can fix this by turning off the system restore feature which allows the spyware removal software to effectively eliminate the spyware.
By following these simple steps you should be able to remove spyware from your computer, thus saving yourself time and money.