Getting rid of all the spyware on your PC!

Before you can think about getting rid of spyware, you need to know wheter you have "Spyware" on your system.

Indications that you have spyware on your computer:

Flickering screen: If your computer screen flickers without reason, spyware could be the cause. Many spyware programs - especially those used in office environments - periodically take "screenshots" and store them. While the screenshot is being made and stored, the screen can flicker.

Just in case you do not know, a "screenshot" is a picture of the monitor and everything that is on it like the programs etc. that you are running. 

New browser toolbars:
Some spyware installs it's own toolbars in your browser. If you don’t know where the toolbar came from, chances are good that it came from spyware.

Sluggish system: If your system starts responding slower than you remember, spyware could be the cause. Running spyware (it is, after all, a program) takes time normally spent running your other programs.

Low system resources: Windows lets you know when it detects that your system resources are getting low. If you start seeing warnings about your system resources, it could be due to poorly written spyware consuming the resources normally allocated to other programs.

Inability to change home page: If your browser’s home page suddenly changes to a page different from what you chose, you could have a browser hijacker spyware on your system. If you cannot change the home page to one you want, you’re surely infected.

Unwanted advertisements: If you see pop-up or banner ads appear onscreen, you may have spyware installed.

If you really want to understand how spyware works and all the damage it can do, you could check out these links: &

Eliminating spyware

Spyware is hard to remove. Spyware programs often install themselves in several places on your system and include methods for “healing” themselves. This means that, if you don’t get rid of all the spyware, it reinstalls itself from the pieces and parts that are left on the system. Spyware often hooks itself deeply into your operating system. Deleting the wrong files could make the system unusable.

Please Note: You could seriously cripple your system if you start deleting files left and right. So don’t do that either.

If you suspect undetected spyware on your system, a number of detection utilities are available. The best free program we recommend is "Spybot Search & Destroy". You can get it by downloading it from or

To use Spybot Search & Destroy, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the program.
  2. Run the program by choosing Start > Programs >Spybot - Search & Destroy > Spybot - Search and Destroy.
  3. The main program window, appears shortly. The interface for Spybot S&D is very easy to use.
  4. Click “Check for Problems”. The program runs through thousands of permutations of spyware programs that could be on your system. Depending on your number of files and hard drives’ sizes etc. that you have, the program will take some time. (On an average PC it takes 15mins.)
  5. After the checking is done, select which things you want the program to correct (by selecting the check box beside each item) and click Fix Selected Problems. Most problems are solved through deletion, but Spybot S&D automatically creates a Windows XP system "restore point" before doing anything.
  6. In case the spyware deletion causes problems; you can then use Windows XP to restore the system to its condition just before the restore point was set.
  7. When Spybot S&D is done, exit the program and restart your system. You should notice a difference in performance right away.

There is one last step to "Monthly cleaning" that must be done to make your system run fast and it is covered in the next section...

Next - Defragmenting your drive?? >>

<< Previous - Monthly cleaning tasks..

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Table Of Contents

  1. How to clean up your Windows XP? - Introduction
  2. Before you do anything! - Precautions!
  3. Creating a cleaning schedule..for a fast PC
  4. Monthly cleaning tasks..
  5.      >> Getting rid of all the "Spyware"!!
  6.      >> Defragmenting your drive???
  7. Improving the Windows Performance! 
  8. Speeding up your PC's startup speed!