Is your computer slow? Has spyware gotten you down to a crawl? Here is how you can remove spyware safely. Start with your computer off. Now, turn it on and begin slowly hitting the “F8” key until you get to a windows menu. You will see the option “safe mode” on the top. Select this option by using your arrow key and hit enter. It will take a bit of time for the computer to boot. If you receive a message asking if you are sure you want to be in safe mode, say yes.
But what is safe mode? Safe mode is a way to go into windows without all those drivers and extra programs running in the background. It is a way for you to run Windows quickly without all the “fluff.” Now, click start and find “control panel.” Once you are in the control panel, click on “add/remove programs.” Begin to scroll down your list. You are looking for any program that you know you did not install and don’t use. Now, does the program look like spyware? Any type of program that gives you the correct time, helps you “surf the internet” (and is not a known search engine such as Google or Yahoo), “analyzes your computer” or gives you the weather should be removed. Things that offer coupons, games or gambling should also be removed.
Once you feel you have removed spyware, you need to look at what programs are starting up when Windows starts. This is ONLY for those who are comfortable with working with computers. If you make a mistake, you can disable your operating system and won’t be able to use your computer.
Click start, and run. Type “regedit” without the quotes and hit enter. Now, click file, export, and then click on “desktop.” Name the file backup. Once you have completed this, scroll down and click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Then click on software, then Microsoft, then windows, then current version. Highlight the word “run.” Now look on the right. Everything you see on the right is what loads up when your computer is turned on. Much of this you need, so don’t remove anything you don’t recognize! What you want to do is read everything and decide what might be spyware.
Do not remove anything that looks like your virus protection, mouse software or special software for your laptop! Instead, look for anything that has “gibberish” as a file name. For instance, if you see something loading that looks like “Ahbrq4o,” you can highlight it, right click and delete. Look for programs that you may have removed in the Control Panel. If you see them in the registry, you can remove them. Again, this is not for the faint of heart. Only remove things from “run” if you are 100% certain they are spyware.
Now you can close the registry and reboot. Once you are back into windows, it is time to remove your temporary Internet files. Bring up Internet explorer. Click on Tools and Internet Options. Now, clear history and clear temporary Internet files. When you are done, be sure to right click the icon “recycle bin” on your desktop to completely remove these files.
You can go to www.lavasoft.com to download a free wonderful spyware removal program called AdAware. Run this program in Safe Mode to ensure all the spyware is detected and removed.