Spyware is difficult to remove, but here are five easy tips to speed up the process
Do you suspect that your PC has spyware? Are you confused about the steps to take to remove it? Well, don’t worry.
In this guide, you will learn all the tips and tricks to remove spyware from Windows 10 for good.
But before we dive into spyware removal methods, let’s take a quick look at what spyware is and how it can harm your system.
What is Spyware
Spyware is a type of malware that attaches to your PC and secretly records all your online activities. The main purpose behind this is to sell your information to advertisers, gain access to your bank account details, or sometimes, outright steal your identity.
It also logs your internet activity, such as the sites you visit, your username and password, and other similar sensitive information.
How To Know If You Are Infected With Spyware
While there’s no surefire way to tell if your computer is infected with spyware, there are some signs that serve as good benchmarks:
- Slower-than-usual performance and program freezes or stops.
- Files are added or deleted on their own on your PC.
- Your browser home page has been changed.
- Your default browser changes automatically.
- Strange toolbars appear in your browser.
- You often get pop-up ads on your PC.
- Unexplained and increased CPU activity.
The changes above are a sign that your Windows 10 computer may be infected with spyware. However, they are not the only indicators, only some of the most common.
How to Remove Spyware From Windows
Now that you know how badly spyware can damage your system, let’s take a look at some of the best spyware removal methods.
Notes: Since spyware steals and transmits your sensitive data, you should disconnect your PC from the internet to stop further damage. To do that, turn off your Wi-Fi if you’re connecting via a wireless network, or if you’re using a wired connection, just disconnect the Ethernet cable.
Turn on Safe Mode
Before you start testing the various methods for removing spyware from your Windows computer, you should put your PC in Safe Mode.
Safe Mode is a Windows feature that lets you start your computer with the most basic settings and files. It helps you fix most of the problems in your operating system.
Here’s how to run your PC in Safe Mode:
- Type settings in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match.
- Now, select the option Update & Security > Recovery options.
- Under Advanced startup, choose Restart now.
- After restarting, on the screen Choose an option, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
At the next restart, press 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. If you need to use the internet, press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
Use Windows Defender Offline Scan
Windows Defender is a free antivirus program by Microsoft, first introduced with Windows XP.
Now part of the Windows Security framework, it works by scanning and then removing all threats it finds on your computer.
Follow the steps below to start the scan:
- Type windows security in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match. From there, click on options Viruses & threat protection.
- Click Scan options under options Current Threats.
- Now, choose Windows Defender Offline scan, then click Scan now.
The scan will complete in a few minutes, and your PC will restart during the process.
To view your scan results, select again Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. From there, click Protection history to view the threats that have been removed.
Delete Suspicious Files
Another way to remove spyware from your Windows 10 is to remove suspicious files that you don’t recognize or may suspect as spyware.
To do that, type control panel on the start menu search bar and select the most suitable one. In Control Panel, click options Programs and Features, right-click on the application you think is spyware, and click the button Uninstall.
Once the installation is complete, you will need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
Use a Professional Spyware Removal App
If you have tried the methods above to remove spyware from your PC, and none of them have worked, your next best option is to use a spyware removal tool.
While there are tons of amazing options to choose from, we’ve listed two of the apps that we think are the best. And they are free too.
Avast Anti-Spyware Tool
Avast’s free antivirus is a great app for removing spyware, as it constantly checks for threats behind the scenes. While the premium version offers more features, the free version is enough to get rid of the spyware that infects your PC.
All you need to do is install the tool and run Smart Scan; the app will take care of the rest.
Malwarebytes Antimalware is another free option for removing spyware from your Windows 10 PC. It is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Install the app and run the scan. The software will run itself and remove the spyware from your PC.
Reset/Reset Windows 10
If none of the above methods worked, then your last resort is a Windows Factory Reset.
Reset Windows lets you delete all your Windows files and applications, giving you a clean look. Then reinstall all necessary drivers and applications that were installed from the manufacturer.
To get started with Windows Reset, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, click Get Started.
From there, you’ll get two options to choose from: Keep my files or Remove Everything.
In your case, you better get away with deleting all your files from Windows 10. Otherwise, you might be left with spyware. So, choose the option Remove Everything to proceed with Reset. Please note that this will wipe your system, so be sure to back up the files you need and run those files through an antivirus tool before copying them back to your computer.
Follow the simple instructions ahead to the end, and in no time, you’ll have Windows 10 as good as new.
Say Goodbye to Spyware
That’s it, guys!
Spyware can be a big problem for Windows computers. Hope this guide helps you to remove spyware from your PC forever.