Spybot - Search & Destroy for Windows XP

By Safer-Networking Free Editors' Rating

Key Details of Spybot - Search & Destroy for Windows XP

  • Search your hard disk and Registry for threats to your security and privacy
  • Last updated on 07/02/14
  • There have been 0 updates within the past 6 months
  • The current version has 0 flags on VirusTotal badge_icon
This is the latest version that supports Windows XP and Vista.

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Jun 9, 2014

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.4.40

Responding to user reports, we fixed some bugs in Spybot's Updater:

  • problems when bdcore.dll is updated (only Spybot +AV editions)
  • for antivirus updates the proxy settings were ignored (only Spybot +AV editions)
  • we rephrased the message that is printed when no new updates are available to be more user-friendly
  • for users of the Polish translation of Spybot, updating was broken

General

Release July 1, 2014
Date Added July 2, 2014
Version 2.4.40

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 128,321,967
Downloads Last Week 130
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5,731 User Votes
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Developer's Description

Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot also can clean program and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system. For advanced users, it allows you to fix Registry inconsistencies related to adware and to malicious program installations. The handy online-update feature ensures that Spybot always has the most current and complete listings of adware, dialers, and other uninvited system residents.