Spybot - Search & Destroy

Spybot - Search & Destroy

Editors' Rating:
Average User Rating:
out of 5705 votes
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Quick Specs

File Size:
Date Added:
July 01, 2014
Operating Systems:
Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7
Total Downloads:
Downloads Last Week:
Product ranking:
#3 in Anti-Spyware
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

Spybot - Search and Destroy is a free malware and spyware detection and removal tool that utilizes open source malware definitions to protect your computer against attack. What makes the tool so useful is that it is very lightweight -- running in the background without interrupting your activities -- but it can actively identify threats when they appear on your computer.


Free and powerful: Unlike many spyware and malware detectors, Spybot is free for personal use, being supported largely by commercial licenses and donations. Combined with the frequent updates, speedy scans, and a number of tools like System and File Scan, Immunization, and a Quarantine-level update, this is a very powerful tool. While hidden at first, there are also advanced tools like Report Creator, Startup Tools, and Rootkit Scan.

Long pedigree: Spybot has been a free tool since the 1990's, and the developers continuously update and add new features. After installation, you'll be prompted to back up your Registry, and at any time you can switch from manual to automatic protection mode. For most users, then, Spybot is easy to use, running automatically in the background at set times, but it also offers more advanced tools for users with the experience to use them.


Some hidden tools: While all basic tools are free to use, and you'll never pay for a definitions update, some tools remain locked pending a paid upgrade. These include Phone Scan, Boot CD Creator, Secure Shredder, and System Repair. These are not vital or core parts of the software, but it's not immediately clear how to unlock and use them.

Some tools removed: Longtime favorite tools like TeaTimer have been removed, while new tools are available, albeit with some of them costing money. Spybot was never a full replacement for an Antivirus suite, but some longtime users may be frustrated with the changes.

Bottom Line

If you have spyware or malware on your computer, your first step should be to download Spybot. This free detection tool is among the most trusted, and it's the ideal first step when you suspect a problem or want to ensure future problems don't create headaches.

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

All User Reviews
  • All Versions:


    out of 5705 votes

    • 5 star: 3329
    • 4 star: 1375
    • 3 star: 316
    • 2 star: 167
    • 1 star: 518
  • Current Version:


    out of 2 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 1
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    Results 1-2 of 2

  • 1 stars

    "Absolutely pathetic piece of junk!"

    September 06, 2014   |   By pickycustomer

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.4.40


    Pros? What pros?


    Cons? Too many!


    SpyBot S&D has...
    Terrible detection.
    Can't fix a thing.
    Immunize fails horribly.
    The ability to waste a users time and efforts not to mention HDD space.

    At one time SpyBot was one of the best. Anymore it's a total waste. When my last laptop was fried I bought a new laptop. The new laptop has never seen nor will it ever see SpyBot S&D. Period. I use avast free and MalwareBytes Premium along with Comodo Firewall and I feel completely safe. I will never, ever install SpyBot again. Neither should you. Period.

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  • 2 stars

    "screwed up my settings irreversibly"

    August 23, 2014   |   By gbferrell

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.4.40


    Didn't use it enough to find any.


    After installing, updating and immunizing using default settings, it arbitrarily deleted my Recent Items list from my Start menu and I had to change my password to log into my Yahoo Mail again, after which I couldn't regain the better version and had to use the basic version of Yahoo Mail- apparently because of some kind of cookie setting that was changed. Likewise, I couldn't log into my Reverbnation.com account because it said cookies weren't allowed in my browser. I tried every setting I could find in IE 11 options, lowering security levels as far as possible in Security and Privacy tabs, but still couldn't log into Reverbnation.com or regain the advanced version of Yahoo Mail. I tried to use S&D's new 'undo fixing' function but that had no effect. I had to do a System Restore before I could regain previous access to the above-mentioned 2 websites. I've been using older versions of S&D for years and never had this type of problem. Wasted about 4 hours.


    S&D 2.4 over manages and screwed up my settings irreversibly. Thanks to Microsoft for System Restore.

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