How to remove spyware from your computer

Spyware and adware is not only sneakily intrusive it also slows down your computer, is frustrating and can be very difficult to get rid of.

If you’re using antivirus software you should be safe from spyware and adware but if you so do somehow have a computer that is infected here are some steps that will help you get rid it.

Disconnect from the internet
Either remove your Ethernet cable or disconnect your wireless connection

Try to uninstall the program
Check the Add/Remove Programs list in the Windows Control Panel. If the unwanted program is listed, simply highlight it and click the Remove button. After removing the adware or spyware reboot the computer. Make sure you reboot after uninstalling, even if you are not prompted to do so.

Scan your computer
If the above step doesn’t work you can run a full system scan an antivirus program. This scan will highlight suspicious and will prompt you to either clean, quarantine, or delete as appropriate.

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Access the hard drive
If the adware or spyware isn’t removed you need to access the hard drive in safe mode so the adware or spyware doesn’t load. To do this you will need a tool like the BartPE Bootable CD. This allows you to access the spyware/adware folders and manually delete them. The process only takes a minute or so.

To avoid future adware and spyware infections, be careful about what you install on your computer. If you see a free program that you’re interested in do some online research to see what others say about it. Also keep your antivirus software updated.
Filed under: Tips & Tricks

Written by Steve Bell

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies producing content producing. He has a particular focus on IT security and has produced several magazines in this area.

More articles by Steve Bell

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