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Standalone Spyware or Malware Removal Tool
Anti-malware, anti-virus and anti-spyware are programs that will scan the computer to detect malware, viruses, Trojans, worms, rootkits, adware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other types of malicious software. The scanner module uses a locally stored virus database to look up for the unsafe files or processes in the system. Other scanners use a cloud-based detection technology where the virus database is stored on the server of the security vendors. A removal process is another component by most of the scanners and most of the security vendors and researchers have created or developed spyware and malware removal tools that only target specific infections.
A removal tool for a particular infection often helps because it was developed to accurately remove the infection cause by a specific malware. Read below to learn what these tools are and where to download them.
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Free Spyware Removal Tool, No Free Scan
- ComboFix - A free spyware removal that targets removal of SurfSideKick, QooLogic, and Look2Me infections.
- SmitFraudFix - The researcher who created SmitFraudFix is a Microsoft MVP awardee. The tool is known to remove infections of several spyware and rogue programs such as Advanced Antivirus, Advanced Virus Remover, AdwarePunisher, AdwareSheriff, AlphaCleaner, AntiSpyCheck, AntiSpyware Expert, Antispyware Soldier, AntiVermeans, AntiVermins, AntiVerminser, AntiVirGear, Antivirus 2009, Antivirus 2010, Antivirus 360, AntiVirus Lab 2009, Antivirus Master, Antivirus Sentry, Antivirus System Pro, and many more.
- AIMFix - Users of AOL Instant Messenger are targeted by some viruses, spyware and malware. A researcher has developed AIMFix to remove spyware and viruses for AIM users.
- McAfee Labs Stinger - A free virus and spyware removal tool that was developed by McAfee for removing specific virus infections, mostly in the wild, affecting many users.
- CWShredder - One of the popular free removal tools of Coolwebsearch spyware that has infected thousands of computers. One of the symptoms is when the browser's homepage has been hijacked by about blank spyware.
- TDSSKiller - The popular Alureon or TDSS infection removal tool by Kaspersky. If your browser is redirected to unwanted websites when using a web-search or if the browser is displaying pop-up spam tabs, this is the first tool to use.
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Other Free Spyware Removal Tools
Most security vendors have created a web page that lists the threat names and links to download a malware or free spyware removal tool that does not scan. The reason is that the removal tool will only remove the infection by a specific malware or spyware and its variants:
- Windows Malicious Software Removal tool (MRT.exe) - Microsoft has listed in the Microsoft KB 890830 article the spyware or malware infections that MRT.exe will remove. It is located in C:\Windows\System32 folder which you can run any time.
- Spyware Removal and Antivirus Tools by ESET is another good tool for removing spyware.
- Symantec Virus Removal tools - The top threats that are tough to remove using a traditional antivirus program in Windows will be cleaned by the malware or spyware removal tools by Symantec.
- Kaspersky Virus-fighting utilities - Malware and spyware that is listed in the Kaspersky virus-fighting utility page includes links to removal tools for a particular infection. An example is one of the CNET.com forum members experienced an infection by Sality worm. The Kaspersky PURE program can detect and remove the said infection but the removal process is not complete. Using the Sality worm removal tool from Kaspersky Virus-fighting utility website has helped in accurately removing the particular infection.
- Avira AntiVir Removal Tool - Another antivirus vendor that provides a removal tool for some viruses or spyware that requires custom removal process.
- McAfee Virus Removal tools - In addition to providing Stinger, McAfee has created other spyware and malware removal tools.
Image credit: Screenshot taken by the author.