Guide to Spybot Search and Destroy

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Getting Rid of Spyware: A Guide to Spybot Search and Destroy


According to CloudEight Security Tips, Spyware and adware are the number one threat to computer users (“Say” 1). Computer users whose computer system or internet connection is slower than normal are a victim of this threat. According to Wikipedia, spyware is any piece of software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge (Spyware 1). They have also defined malware, a piece of software intended to do harm to a computer, as a classification of spyware. These types of software will unnecessarily load ads, websites you didn’t intend to visit, or collect information thus slowing down your computer system or internet connection. It’s time to search and destroy these little pieces of software off of your computer.


Spybot Search and Destroy (Spybot S&D) was created to disinfect an “infected” computer system. Spybot S&D software is a free software solution that detects spyware. It is simple to setup and features an easy to use interface that even the most inexperienced computer users will understand. Don’t be fooled by the simple interface however. Spybot S&D removes thousands trojan programs, cookies, adware, dialers, browser help objects, keyloggers. It can help you prevent spyware on your computer as well as download weekly updates so that you can keep up to date with the malicious users who are constantly releasing new threats.
This paper will guide you through the three major steps of using Spybot S&D. They are, getting started with the software, starting the scan, and interpreting the results and removing potential issues. Each step will be described in detail along with the necessary visual aids.

Getting Started: Downloading and Installing


Spybot S&D is able to support all three major browsers: Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Opera. Spybot S& D works on the major windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows NT, and Windows 9.x. The license is totally free, no hidden fees either.

The procedure for downloading Spybot S&D is as follows:

1. Go to

2. Click Download under Home as shown in figure 1.

3. Click license to read the license. See figure 2.

4. Click on the first “download here” button as shown in figure 3. This will take you to a mirror selection page. In other words, a list of available download locations allows users to choose the web site from which they want to download Spybot S&D.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Guide to Spybot Search and Destroy." 22 Mar 2017

Related Searches

You may choose any of the download sites since they all contain the same file. Please note that clicking on the download here button does not begin the download immediately. Keep in mind that the Spybot S&D site constantly updates their mirrors based on speed. We recommend that you choose download button corresponding to, if it is available. You will then get re-directed to the page to download the file.

5. Click on download now link to begin the download. See figure 4.

6. Select save to disk and click ok. This dialog box allows you to specify where you want the file saved on your computer. See figure 5.

1. Double click on the Spybotsd13 icon to run the file. The installation of the Spybot S&D is easy. All the user has to do is run the file after it is downloaded in the desired location on the computer’s hard drive. Most of the time, the file will be named Spybotsd13.exe. See figure 6.

2. Choose English as the language and select ok. This dialog box (figure 7) allows the user to customize the installation and program based on the language the user feels most comfortable in. This guide however will continue to be in English.

3. Click next to continue. The installer will bring up the box labeled figure 8 in this document. It is just welcoming you to the wizard to install Spybot Search and Destroy. The license agreement will be the next window to show up as shown in figure 9.

4. Click “I accept the license agreement”. Then Click next to proceed. You will be prompted to select a location for the installation. If you want to change the location you may. Once the location you have selected is sufficient, click next to continue.

5. Choose a location to install the file. Click next to continue. In the next dialog box (figure 11) you can select whether you want a full or custom installation. Custom installation is only recommended for advanced users.

6. Choose full installation.

7. Click next to continue. The installation file will install the necessary files to your computer. After it has completed proceed to the next step.

8. Make sure that Run spybotSD.exe is checked in the next window (see figure 12).

9. Click next to run Spybot S&D. Spybot will now start and display the Spybot Wizard.

10. Fill in the checkbox that says “Do not show this message again” and click ok as displayed in figure 13 on the next page. This is some legal information telling you that Spybot will remove some programs that will it consider spyware but you might find useful. We will discuss how to choose what to remove and what not to remove later.

11. Click the create registry backup button (figure 14 on the next page). This allows Spybot to create a backup of critical computer files before it attempts to modify them. In case something goes wrong it is always good to have a backup. Once the backup has completed you may proceed

12. Click the next button.

13. Click the search for updates button (figure 15 on the next page). Once you click on search for updates, Spybot will contact the program creator’s server in order to download any updates to the spyware recognition rules or to the program. Once that has completed you may proceed.

14. Click on download all available updates(see figure 16 for an example). Spybot will now download all available updates. Once it has finished you have completed the wizard.

You have successfully downloaded and installed Spybot S & D. The next step will be to start the scan.

Starting the Scan

Now that you have completed the wizard, it is time to start scanning your computer.

1. Click on Search and Destroy button (figure 17) on the left toolbar to make sure you are at the main screen for Spybot S&D.

2. Click on the “Check for Problems” button (figure18). Scanning of your computer will now begin.

3. Verify that Spybot is searching your computer for spyware by looking at the bottom of the window. There will be a green bar there that will fill as the search continues. It will be completely filled when the search has completed

Nice job! You have now learned how to start a new scan. Once the scan has completed proceed to the “Interpreting the results” portion of this guide.


Interpreting the Results

Once the scan has completed you will see in the bottom left corner something similar to figure 19. This shows how many problems were found on your computer.

Above the number of problems found, you will see an actual list of spyware on your computer. The list will be similar to the one shown in figure 20.

Results in red are spyware (Tutorial 3). They will be harmless for you to delete. Results in green are tracking cookies(Tutorial 3). Some cookies are good and some are bad. An example of a good cookie would be one that keeps your shopping cart list at active will you continue to shop through their site. Another example would be one that allows you to login to your email account automatically. An example of a bad cookie is one that is placed there by advertisement companies. They then track your movement on the internet by looking at which sites you have visited with their advertisements.

If you are in doubt about a certain file you can click on it and read the description. You are now ready to remove the files.

Removal of Spyware

1. Verify that the checkbox next to the problems you want removed is checked. If you don’t want something removed just remove the check mark. See figure 20 for an example.

2. Click on the “Fix selected problems” button (see figure 21) to remove the spyware you selected. The next dialog box (figure 22) will ask you to confirm that you want the selected problems removed.

3. Click “OK” to proceed. Spybot S&D will now remove the problems that you selected. Once it has removed the selected problems it will display another dialog box (Figure 23) informing you of the results. You will also notice that the problems you selected to be removed now have green checkmarks next to them as shown in figure 24.

4. If the dialog box informing you of how many problems the program has fixed is displayed then just click the “OK” button.

5. Occasionally if Spybot cannot delete a file it will ask that the program will be run upon startup. Make sure you save any open documents and click ok so that you computer can be restarted.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed, run, interpreted and removed any spyware that you have on your machine. Below are some helpful tips that you should keep in mind when running Spybot Search and Destroy.

1. Always update the recognition rules before you start a scan. The first time you ran the scan Spybot S & D did it for you. If you want to do it yourself just click on the update button on the left hand tool bar.
2. Read the description of a particular spyware file if you are unsure about removal.
3. Once you are done running the program, restart your computer and run it again so that you can verify that all spyware has been removed from you computer.

Works Cited

“Say No to Spyware”. CloudEight Security Tips. 10 December 2004

Spyware. Wikipedia. 10 December 2004.

Tutorial. Spybot Search and Destroy. 10 December 2004.

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