Spybot  Search and Destroy (Free)

Spybot Search and Destroy (Free) User Reviews

5 stars50% 30
4 stars23% 14
3 stars11% 7
2 stars1% 1
1 star11% 7
Based on 59 reviews
Avg. user rating: 4 Based on 59 user reviews
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Once great, now awful 1 stars by HonestJohn Nov 24, 2021 (Read all my 10 reviews)
Spybot was once a pioneer and staple, a "Must have" program. Not any more. Based on distant past use, I wanted to give it a go. It was a minor disaster. It is way, way too aggressive in removing things. It starts off wanting to remove everything (defaults to remove all), including Windows staple recent files, logs, and contents. There is a menu of sorts, but it is clumsy, disorganized, unclear, and hard to use. I thought I'd unchecked everything I wanted to keep, but within minutes of running Spybot, I had problems such as program's "recent file lists" being wiped out and other issues to broad to list. There is supposed to be an "undo quarantine" that I could not get to work, so I lost it all and spent a lot of time trying to restore lost data. It is a shame a once good program has fallen this far. Hard to use, bad results. show Review details
Caused my whole computer to run stupidly slow 1 stars by coreysugden896 Aug 28, 2016
For a few hours I was trying to find the cause of my computer running slow, baring in mind the OS was just installed on a new SSD and there was almost no CPUMemory usage. Turns out it was this terrible piece of software 'writing' to my SSD and causing my whole system to just chug if I did as little as open Windows Explorer. Thanks for ripping me off. show Review details
Scan took ages, never fixed the issue 1 stars by gfmcculloch232 Mar 30, 2016
Spent two days repeatedly scanning my PC due to the scans taking FOREVER. Spybot kept finding and deleting things but not throughly enough as they just kept coming back. No customer support option, even though I was using the paid version. Ended up using Another popular spyware remover which fixed my issue really quickly and efficiently. show Review details
Difficult to use - intermittent problems 1 stars by noresterguy502 Jan 15, 2016
For example, when I do a scan and then click on fix it hangs up and I have to shut down and re-open the Start Center. There are many problems such as this in the current licensed version. And the support... what support? show Review details
Would not recommend 1 stars by donba27789 Dec 14, 2015
I have been using the free version for years and very happy with it. When I upgraded to windows 10 I decided to purchase the antivirus version. It's the worst 13.99 I ever spent. Running this software has changed the speed of my I7 processor to run like an old 286. Every internet page causes anywhere from 1 to 5 script errors that I have to either allow or not before I can do anything. I tried contacting Customer service by email to see if I can change settings to speed it up and eliminate the constant script errors. I received an immediate reply that they received my email and would respond shortly. It's been over a week and I'm still waiting. The only thing that is worse than their software is there lack of customer service. In the process of deleting this crap and hope that gets me back to where I was. show Review details
Still is worth its price 3 stars by DarrinSingleton Jul 16, 2015 (Read all my 5 reviews)
I use Spybot for years; the recent changes in program are not encouraging. The program nags too often; it can open its warning screen while computer is locked and consume pretty much resources with it, for reason unknown to me. Currently, all the important actions are manual; interface became too complicated, memory footprint has become very much. Yet still its efficiency as scanner is good, I just do not allow it to stay running in background, to save resources and nerves, it's appeals to pay are just irritating. However, it was once extremely good piece of freeware, so I still recommend it. Just use something else with it, for fuller safety. show Review details
Used to be great 3 stars by 7327837886 Nov 10, 2014
When they offered a true, Free version, I was an impressed user. The "nag" screen asking for donations was perfect. Over time, I donated money, particularly when the software helped me remove difficult spyware from myother computers. Now they offer a "FREE" versoion that clearly is crippled, and not as good. Want true protection? PAY PAY PAY. forget it.. ...it's just not that good anymore, and it's slow, show Review details
Spybot is more for professionals 4 stars by Spark245 Jul 29, 2013
Yes like I said a home user is not waiting for a program like this. That is because it is too complicated. Also the program itself is somewhat slow. But the good side is that the detection rate is incredible. I recommend spybot however for home users I recommend Force Byte Detector since this program can get rid of adwaretoolbars and can protect you against adds,scripts,adware,toolbars. This program is pretty lightweight,clean,fast and free! Also this program has a build in cleanup system which is all friendly too use. The program itself is safe (verified by Virus Total) You should check it out. show Review details
Avg syndrome; bloated, weird, bad... 1 stars by gottleib1885 Jun 04, 2013 (Read all my 6 reviews)
Spybot was my go-to malware program for years until MBAM came along and severely outclassed it. I hadn't used it in a while, but wanted to check behind MBAM, MSE, and SuperAntiSpyware on a laptop I was cleaning up for a friend. I was sorely disappointed with how badly this program has lost focus. From the gimmicks to hide and discourage downloading the free version, to the unnecessarily complicated interface, I recognized this path to bloatware oblivion as the same one AVG took a few years ago when it became the awful, invasive piece of spyware it is today ("security" toolbar, anyone?). With the latest version of Spybot S&D, I could not expediently figure out how to run a full system scan, and it appeared to not even be an option on the free version any more. So I tried to improvise by selecting the entire C drive for a "folder" scan, but this froze the program, which then required a ctrl+alt+del just to be mercifully closed and cleared away. That was all I needed to see. Thanks to the developers for providing a great piece of free software for so many years, and good luck with this as well. show Review details
Improved to death... 2 stars by TheGodSplinter May 21, 2013
Yep! I've used SS&D for enough years to be unable to remember how many there were. It was a solid, reliable, bug-free item, once. But, newer versions have been depressing let-downs. I can recommend to users to keep their older versions and use those and they'll be a lot happier with how things used to be! Oh...SPYBOT FOLK: If it ain't broken, please don't mend it! show Review details
The new version great but... 4 stars by SuperDool Dec 26, 2012 (Read all my 4 reviews)
There is no question that spybot is an excellent free program. However the newer version is questionable since the immunization process does not appear to be working right. I installed the new version on multiple computers and the unprocessed items appear to never get protected no matter how many times you re-apply the immunization process. If I close the program then open the immunization page again, all items appear unprocessed again. show Review details
Been using it forever 5 stars by jmellorbowl28 Nov 04, 2012
Been using Spybot Search and Destroy since the 90's and it always works and finds those bad files. Have installed it in many computers and many different versions of Windows. It always comes through for me. Always been free and safe, I would recommend to anyone. show Review details
Very effective, free realtime spyware blocking 4 stars by z28tommy95597 Oct 17, 2012 (Read all my 6 reviews)
I have been using Threatfire for many years and it is no longer being supported by PC Tools, dropping it... I found Spyware Terminator to be an excellent replacement for Threatfire, "real time" protection along side Avast and PrivacyWare's "Private Firewall on Windows 8. show Review details
Rid of tracking cookies 4 stars by katiezee2677 Jun 21, 2012 (Read all my 2 reviews)
At last - able to rid my system of the tracking cookies 'atdmnt' and 'doubleclick', which constantly reinstalled after deleting in IE. In the 'cookies exceptions' area of advanced settings some cookies have multiple parts. One can delete certain features of a cookie while retaining the desired cookie if preferred. show Review details
Simply the best 4 stars by colingrahamyoung Oct 05, 2011
Tried many free programs of this type, this is the most honest, it really does a great job, a little slow in scanning but worth waiting for. I have tried other programs even the paid versions, but Spybot has a good detection rate, and this time it is here to stay. show Review details
Very good tool 4 stars by danricha Oct 31, 2010 (Read all my 2 reviews)
Updates are the only negative I have on this program, they are hard to get. show Review details
Very good product - a must have 4 stars by SeSorrow Feb 18, 2010 (Read all my 29 reviews)
This product has been around for a VERY long time. I have used it myself for over 8 years. And I am still using it to this day on all my PCs. This program has a decent interface, nothing too flashy, and pretty well laid out for the most part. My only gripe here is that some of the features you have to dig for by changing into the advanced mode, like the scheduler and the real-time shield. The program cleans pretty well, although it MUST be kept up to date. The option to update during install should be done differently, because if you are not careful, you may have more than one instance of Spybot running. Has some "extras" like IE tweaks, file shredder, and a startup manager. Another reviewer stated that the updates were getting too big. My entire Spybot program file is less than 70 mb after all updates. This program is a must have to complement any other anti-malware program you have. And it DOES have a real-time shield. show Review details
Non-intuitive and heavy 1 stars by roger2 Dec 27, 2009 (Read all my 3 reviews)
Reminds me of a M$ program in that it is bloated and full of hard to understand and probably unwanted features. For example, I changed some advanced settings and received no confirmation. It installs itself deeply. Definitely not simple, light, easy, clean, or intuitive. I would a program that finds and lists problems, offers me some options on how to proceed, then verifies results of actions taken- all with an easy to understand interface. This program is not that. Finally, it will not allow you to uninstall without begging for a second chance and asking you to submit your thoughts to its homebase. Never seen any other program do that. show Review details
A tried and true program. 5 stars by Mike132 Nov 15, 2009 (Read all my 18 reviews)
I have used this program for yrs now. I would recommend it highly to everyone. I can not remember a machine I ran without it. It's very effective in all that it does. show Review details
Good and free .. 5 stars by TideWalker Oct 16, 2009 (Read all my 23 reviews)
Been around for quite awhile and does a good job of scanning and detecting malware of all sorts. You should really have this on your computer and keep it updated! show Review details
Good, works well 5 stars by JohnofTaunton Sep 01, 2009 (Read all my 13 reviews)
Good, works well though it is a little slow. A must have app. show Review details
Old but true 5 stars by Davoid Dec 21, 2008 (Read all my 7 reviews)
This is one of the oldest SpyWare removal programs around and it is still one of the best. There are others out there that can do just slightly better job, but not without being a memory hog. S and D still gets my vote... show Review details
Just ok 3 stars by sdmoore68 Nov 25, 2008 (Read all my 2 reviews)
Spybot SandD is good in a pinch. I had used it for about a year. Recently I ran into some spyware that it could not get rid of. I scanned from the XP OS, from safe mode, even from a boot CD and the virus/spyware continued to infect the machine. I do like the immunization feature and will continue to use that feature. show Review details
Great spy buster but bulky...... 5 stars by AndreKyrychok Nov 24, 2008 (Read all my 2 reviews)
This program works well as long as you keep it right up to date. My main complaint is to the size of the database files as they accumulate. This ends up making Spybot take up a decent amount of hard drive space. I still recommend it if you have the space to play around with. show Review details
A must-have program in your toolkit 5 stars by LokiDivil Oct 09, 2008
It's common place nowadays to find your computer littered with toolbars and spyware. There has been a flood of spyware apps that are annoying to say the least, I find S and D removes 99% of them. You'll always get a new one which has found a way to stay for a short while; But the authors always respond quickly and it's short lived. To the authors "Thank You"... Keep up the good work show Review details
A permanent fixture on my computer 5 stars by AspieMum Jun 19, 2008 (Read all my 3 reviews)
This program is a permanent fixture on my computer. Its easy to use. When you scan the computer it doesn't take hours. I also particularly like the Immunize feature. Also it works. It does spot spyware. show Review details
Another must-have free program 5 stars by djeckert May 30, 2008 (Read all my 3 reviews)
This is another must have free program that truly works, has no spyware built in, and is completely safe to use. every wednesday simply click to update the program and you are again stopping the baddies. Unlike some other free programs this one does not simply do a pretend scan finding baddies and then asking for money to eliminate them first. I would suggest using the immunize function and check protect against all. I would not use the teatimer function which is not effective anyway and slows down even my quad 4 machine. This program always plays nice and helps put another layer of protection on your computer. Get this program and run a new scan every week as the program is updated. You will not be sorry. also note that protection is given not just to internet explorer but also opera and Firefox. Very nice. show Review details
Not as good as 1.4 3 stars by SithTracy Dec 04, 2007 (Read all my 19 reviews)
Slow... startup lags on 1.5.1 and there has been a promise of a fix for a while now. It works but lags my Core2Duo and AMD X2 systems on startup. I recommend it, but if you have 1.4, hold onto it for a while until the next release comes out. show Review details
Very good! 5 stars by darkocean Oct 23, 2007 (Read all my 36 reviews)
Get this you need it bad. Catches almost everything. However on older computers it will slow things down to a crawl. So not a good idea to browse the net or play computer games while this is running. (If you have an old comp) show Review details
Essential 5 stars by jackfrost May 14, 2007 (Read all my 35 reviews)
Never depend on just ONE spyware tool. get this one and select one or two more to form a suite of non-conflicting tools. only use ONE memory resident shield out of your suite and disable the others. don't mess with advanced features you don't understand. if you don't like the default look, find a skin you do like or design one on your own. update as often as possible and make donations if and when you can. You are a good man Patrick, and you seem tireless. Keep up the wonderful work and don't be a sell out. show Review details
Works great 5 stars by HansGi Apr 28, 2007
I use it to get rid of annoying bots. I works great and is easy to use show Review details
What a beauty 5 stars by satyricon2k Apr 15, 2007
I've been using Spybot SandD for years, and it's never let me down. They've gotten better with new features, and the TeaTimer is a godsend. I always recommend it, coupled with something like Spyware Blaster you're pretty much covered. The interface isn't the prettiest, but does that really matter? Get it--you'll be safe. It's as good as the big commercial guys. Five stars all around. show Review details
Use it with... 5 stars by sweden Apr 08, 2007 (Read all my 7 reviews)
You need this program! Use it with A-squared and Ad-aware and u are pretty safe! And a virus program.. show Review details
Great program but falling a bit behind..... 4 stars by Djohnfot Feb 08, 2007 (Read all my 5 reviews)
For years Spybot has been one of the big dogs of free anti-spyware programs and it still is but it's slipping. It has one of the best spyware blockers available but its scanner misses a lot compared to Adaware SE or most of the commercial programs. Signature updates are infrequent. Spybot should not be used as your only anti-spyware tool. Use it with another quality freeware program (Adaware SE or Tenebril's Spycatcher Express) and you will have a combination as good - or better than - most commercial programs. Needed? A less clunky interface and more frequent signature updates. Beginners should stay away from the EXPERT menus. Fooling around in here can cause you grief. If you don't know what a menu item or program choice does - leave it alone! I congratulate the author for a fantastic free program but hope a program upgrade is in the works. show Review details
The after care is fantastic. 5 stars by col2lin Dec 06, 2006
The after care is fantastic. As they rely on donations its in their interest to see you are satisfied. Possibly the best anti-spy program. Put it this way when looking for something to solve the problem in your computer, Spybot must be considered show Review details
This one gets the job done 5 stars by ericez26 Nov 30, 2006 (Read all my 5 reviews)
Very recommended to everyone.. a mandatory software that must be installed in our PC show Review details
Doesn't find keylogger 3 stars by chatrage Oct 29, 2006 (Read all my 5 reviews)
Run the free Actual Keylogger, run Spybot it won't find or alert, wussup with that? show Review details
Simply excellent 5 stars by Misbahullah Oct 25, 2006 (Read all my 3 reviews)
I really amazed that a person is in this world who is dedicated to serve people without any type of expectation from them. I really wish him good health and future. Thank You very much. show Review details
Spybot search and destroy works 5 stars by skwirlinator Jul 19, 2006
I've been using Spybot SandD for years. I had some trouble when I first started using it but it has become very simple and effective over the years. If used along with other software recommended on the Optimize Xp page you can count on it being effective, I've downloaded it for other people and after the first scan they were always impressed. It's unbelievable how much crap this program weeds out. I usually run it 1x wk letting it update automatically when it is opened. I immunize and run the scan which finds a few items once in awhile. After the initial scan and immunize it only finds a few items because it keeps the bad stuff out fairly effectively. I, of coarse, use other protections as well. If you have the means, I recommend sending the developer a donation and a note of thanks for a great program that has made weblife safer. Excellent Program / Very Effective show Review details
I think that this program is just outstanding ... 5 stars by SHURIK Jun 16, 2006
I think that this program is just outstanding. It protects realy good, easy to use, and has many great features. I'd recamend this to everyone! show Review details
Eclectic - this may help 5 stars by reviewthis Feb 28, 2006
Not sure if this was your problem but try changing the download server. I was Bad Checksum errors {meaning the file came down corrupted.}Once I change the server the file came down fine. I have been using this software and have recommended it highly. show Review details
Past and current issues 4 stars by eclectic Feb 18, 2006
I had Spybot on my PC spring 05 with the same Internet service I have now on my new laptop. I loved the product on my PC. It was very easy to use and did a great job. No problems. Currently, I am getting an error about installing detection updates using integrated or manual updater. I have research Spybot help extensively which took me to LAN settings. Help for my computer says this is for dial-up only as did my Internet provider. They both say if any proxy settings are entered it will prevent my ability to use the Internet (I have the box checked to not allow dial-up tried it both ways). Spybot help says I have to have this information entered in there proxy settings for it to work. This was not an issue on my PC. Perhaps a program change. I do not know. I have not been able to get past this issue as of yet although I suspect if I do I will be once again very happy with the product. show Review details
Get product 5 stars by opentraffic Feb 06, 2006
This is a great freeware anti-spyware application. Every PC should have it installed. Be sure to use the immunize feature. Also make sure that you also install anti-virus software. show Review details
Works fantastic for a freebie 5 stars by JohnnyBoy Jan 26, 2006 (Read all my 4 reviews)
I have used Spybot-Search and Destroy for a few years and for a product that is free, it works GREAT! If you download Spybot and also download the SpywareBlaster which can be found on this website, on the same page as Spybot, your PC will be very protected. They work well with each other. show Review details
Another must have! 5 stars by Ghost_grey Jan 03, 2006 (Read all my 56 reviews)
Everybody who has a computer with internet connection or installs software should use this just to be safe show Review details
Very good scanner 4 stars by alnjk01 Dec 30, 2005 (Read all my 124 reviews)
Have been using this program on and off for over 3 years now. Scanning capabilities are very good to excellent. The added features are another big plus. However the program does have a large footprint,does use system resources,is not laid out as well as it could be (i.e.confusing),scanning is somewhat slow,results are not always explicit and stability is sometimes an issue. show Review details
Best program ever 5 stars by DKalan Dec 07, 2005 (Read all my 2 reviews)
This is the most outstanding and greatest program ever! A friend recommended it to me a few years ago and I've been recommending it to everyone who has a computer ever since. This is an absolute must have. Even though Mr. Kolla does not require any money for this program, I've sent him a couple of donations in the past just because I am utterly ecstatic over how his program has improved the security and performance of my computer. show Review details
A must have. 5 stars by Gizmo_151 Dec 01, 2005 (Read all my 10 reviews)
Simply one of the best program too remove spyware. I've used it for years now and never given me any trouble. show Review details
Really, really good 5 stars by estople Dec 01, 2005 (Read all my 8 reviews)
A great tool that after a period of update inactivity is now back in the saddle and stronger than ever. I don't use the skins or the resident protection, but its core is solid and effective. Kinda slow, updates fail once in awhile and it complains when you disable certain XP SP2 security features. Scanning and removal are thorough and unobtrusive, Ive yet to have it fail to excise a detection. Advanced mode offers some neat tweaks, but it's still simple enough to be used by nearly anyone. Best used in conjunction with other similar tools, but still really, really good. show Review details
Excellent stuff!! 5 stars by 2a3d4s Oct 08, 2005
Good program got some things installed on my computer that [..] and [..] didn't get; doesnt compete with any other programs; whats the harm in getting it? show Review details
No permanent solution 3 stars by Mike98 Sep 12, 2005 (Read all my 10 reviews)
It finds and removes a lot of spyware and is easy to install and uninstall. It causes annoying pop-ups, that are not easy to stop, about register changes, when you change a setting of your Windows or install/uninstall a new program. show Review details
Spybot has serious flaws 3 stars by Ronbur Sep 09, 2005 (Read all my 19 reviews)
I agree that its scanner is very useful and trustworthy,but I can't say the same about Startup Scanner.I've been using SpyBot for 3 years and when run it first time Prog managed to persuade me that one of Norton startup files was a fake and recommended to delete it.After removing it,e-mail check stopped working.Each Prog has bugs,but amazing thing is that this fault hadn't been corrected until v1.4 (nearly for 2 years) and even v1.4 still has another one which I reported to their Forum long time ago. Entry in question is "ctfmon.exe" in system32 folder,which according to SpyBot favorite "Paul Collins Startup list" is "CoolWebSearch parasite related virus/spyware".But actually it's very important System file which is responsible for switching between Keyboard languages and it's very easy to check,'cos you'll have this entry just after clean Windows install as soon as you configure second Language. show Review details
Don't forget "tea timer"! 5 stars by JohnBeatty Aug 06, 2005
Spybot also has an excellent real time monitoring feature that's optional and free, but not well explained when you download! You can't add it on later.You have to opt-in during set-up by checking appropriate boxes (look for "Tea Timer" box). At installation it's also wise to click on "System Snapshot" and "Immunization". CAUTION: Of the malware programs listed in Spybot's "Products" list of malware, there are 4 that have checkmarks in their boxes. This means those 4 will be IGNORED by Spybot, instead of you being alerted to them! The 4 to be unchecked are CDilla, CDilla, New.Net, SideStep. To uncheck these, do these steps: Click MODE at the top > ADVANCED MODE > YES > SETTINGS (on the left)> IGNORE PRODUCTS > ALL PRODUCTS > then scroll through the list.Uncheck any pre-checked ones > MODE.Click DEFAULT to Go back to DEFAULT MODE. show Review details
Don't rely solely on spybot! 4 stars by Bobb999 Jul 31, 2005 (Read all my 8 reviews)
I like this program, but no one program catches all malware. I use 4 free programs: Spybot, Adaware,A- Squared, and MS. Spybot finds stuff missed by others and vice versa.eg. Spybot misses tracking cookies from "Realnetworks" which you get if you use Realplayer.In fact of the 4, only Adaware nails it.This week MS found "VCatch" spyware, all 3 of the others missed!My A-Squared has found junk Adaware and Spybot missed. I don't have a specific example of malware Spybot found that others missed but I know it's occurred. The Moral: The more scan programs the better! For me, even 4 is not too many. Sometimes 3 out of 4 find nothing. and the 4th will nail something. And it can be a different 4th each time! I agree that MS deliberately allows certain tracking cookies through. Don't forget, MS itself installs t.cookies on occasion.I recently got an MSN cookie after browsing MSN radio stations. I think Spybot nailed it. show Review details
Spybotsnd 4 stars by greyniteowl Jul 26, 2005 (Read all my 3 reviews)
I have used this excellent free application on advisement of many users in a 50 plus computer group who don't have patience trying lots of different solutions when something simpler exists. They use both 98SE and XP systems and many still continue to use Spybot after installing Sp 2 and MS Antispy. Understand that SPybot leaves bits of "broken spy apps" n registry so some clean up is required. Personally I distrust MS product alone as it is "selective" about which spy cookies it will tell you about. SPybot might be more effective with a better interface, simpler and autoupdates since these are important to keep tabs on to prevent new threats. What more can we expect for free? A good combo is like others suggested with AdawareSE which is also very effective. Suspect those who don't like this dislike informative popups of any kind - even from their firewalls which try to help the user. show Review details
Spybot - search & destroy 4 stars by Donald1 Jul 20, 2005 (Read all my 5 reviews)
I like Spybot because it: works nicely, Is very thorough and updates frequently the spyware definitions frequently. Whereas, _I dislike_ it because: It should have one-button disk scan, Setup for Default Definitions Server, Remove all setup files and folders after it is being removed, by not leaving its restore folder. show Review details
Still one of the best 4 stars by dirtnap Jul 18, 2005 (Read all my 19 reviews)
S&D has apparently left Ad-Aware in the dust at this point in time, because they are updating definition files more often to keep up... show Review details
Add this to your list of spyware utilities 5 stars by cristobalmiguelo Jul 18, 2005 (Read all my 2 reviews)
This thing does it all. Of course, be sure to use a few other anti-spyware utilities to catch anything spybot doesn't get: Spysweeper is another good one. EvilGenius mentioned that spybot has an "immunize" feature that no other program has. There is a product called SpywareBlaster that has very similar functionality by preventing the ActiveX controls of known spyware from being installed into IE. Check that one out too. Cheers show Review details
Free and powerful 5 stars by inuxserv Jun 09, 2005 (Read all my 2 reviews)
A free program that does the job. Has a lot of other powerful features. Should be called powertoys II. show Review details
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