23 Best Free Spyware Removal Tools in 2024

Nwachukwu Glory  - Tech Expert
Last updated: May 12, 2024
Read time: 26 minutes
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Here are the top free spyware removal software to consider if you wish to eliminate keyloggers, adware, or any other viruses from your device.

THE TAKEAWAYS

Today, digital tracking is at its peak, compromising netizens’ online privacy and security around the globe. Many spyware are now available that most government authorities, ISPs, spies, and third parties use to monitor all your online activities. These intrusive apps can readily install on your devices via infected files, unauthorized app downloads, and malicious links. They then secretly log your activities and send your valuable data to the snoopers. Luckily, some cybersecurity companies offer spyware removal services that efficiently detect and remove malware or spyware from your devices. In this guide, we have listed the best anti-spyware apps to choose today.

Surveillance and spying have been a rising trend around the world. Do you think you have never been spied on? Think again. The Government, security agencies, ISPs, and cybercriminals keep spying without you knowing.

Spyware-attacks

Spying is a significant concern for internet users, but what should you do? Privacy is your right; you should ensure no one infiltrates your privacy.

Spywares are dangerous, malicious applications running secretly on your PC and keeping track of your daily online moves. They record what you do, see what you see, save your details, and transmit them to the spyware server.

Did you know that spyware can steal your banking details? Also, spyware can even record all your keyboard strokes. The most terrible aspect is that spyware is extremely difficult to detect.

You may not realize for years that someone is spying on your cell phone or another device. In most instances, you would never know. The best you can do for yourself is to look out for an efficient spyware removal tool and install it on your device.

Thankfully, many security firms have come to the scene with their cutting-edge anti-spyware tools to detect and eliminate spyware on your devices. Some of these tools are free; others are premium applications with free accounts and trials.

But not all applications work as they claim. That is why we decided to thoroughly research spyware removal tools and test all providers available today for you.

Based on our extensive dive, we picked the twenty-three best spyware removal tools online. But before we get to the list, let’s cover some essential basics you might want to know.

Remove

Quick list: Top 5 spyware removal tools

Short on time right now? Here are the top 5 spyware removal programs that can track down and eliminate any spyware on your device. (These all are free for life.)

  1. Panda Free Antivirus (Panda Dome Free) — Comes with a state-of-the-art antivirus algorithm for malware removal. It does not have any sign-up or download requirements.
  2. Comodo Free Anti-Malware (BOClean) — A useful free malware removal tool with additional features such as secure shopping.
  3. Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit — Designed to quickly eliminate a range of spyware on user devices.
  4. Norton Power Eraser — Highly admired for its capability to track down stubborn and hidden malware.
  5. AVG Free Antivirus — A multipurpose spyware removal tool that eliminates spyware and optimizes your system for better performance.

What is spyware?

What is spyware?

Spyware is a broad category of system malware that secretly runs on user devices and tracks their activities. It carries out the operation by secretly observing what you do; the malicious program sees what you see and sends all its observations to the snooper. The tracker gets your information and can use it for various purposes.

Snoopers sell some of the information and use some to impersonate you. Also, they can use some of your information to hack your account and so on. Information such as your personal login details and credit card numbers can all facilitate fraud and identity theft.

Spyware comes in diverse forms, and any tool used in monitoring and stealing data is spyware. In essence, any software that gathers information from a user without the user’s consent is spyware. It doesn’t matter if it’s from your ISP, a government agency such as the NSA PRISM program, a security firm, or a marketing company.

Spyware has been the most popular means of stealing people’s information and will always be used against us. We see spyware in ad networks, banking applications, and Trojans. Also, even a jealous spouse or desperate employer can deploy it on your system.

Many companies are crossing their ethical boundaries and going as far as installing keystroke loggers. They do this as part of their insider threat program. And today, it has become an enormous problem that affects many people worldwide.

Spyware usage

The use of spyware has drastically increased in the last couple of years, and it seems many organizations are in a race to develop spyware to undo people. Malwarebytes researched security issues and reported that consumer spyware usage increased by 27 percent between 2017 and 2018.

In comparison, spyware for business surveillance increased by a massive 142 percent. This trend keeps rising in 2020 without showing any signs of slowing down.

Cybercriminals are interested in stealing information from both consumers and organizations. Did you know criminals can create additional and more complex spyware for monetization if they have your data? They could even hold you to ransom and make you pay heavily.

Spy-app-icon

Types of spyware

Spyware comes in many forms, which include the following:

Adware

This form of spyware comes through ads. Criminals deploy ads on your website with content that may interest you.

When you click on the ad, the spyware will install on your system and carry out its malicious task. Adware steals your information and can slow down your system performance, making things annoying.


Tracking cookies

Most people have heard about cookies but do not understand the level of damage they can carry out. Tracking cookies are tough to eliminate, especially Zombie cookies. They get installed on your browser secretly and note your every move, keystroke, and log-in details.

Zombie cookies are highly resistant and can resurface on your device after deleting them. You need a state-of-the-art spyware removal tool to eliminate Zombie cookies from your device.


Trojans

Highly versatile spyware looks for sensitive information once they access your device. Trojans steal your bank information, your identity, and other valuable information. Afterward, they send your information to the criminal, who can use it for identity theft, make fraudulent online purchases, and directly steal funds from your account.

Sometimes they can use your information to control your device if they successfully install a backdoor for remote access. RAT is an acronym for Remote access Trojan, and it has posed many security challenges for users worldwide.


Keyloggers

This is spyware that captures every key you press on your keyboard. It also captures the keystrokes you use while logging into your email, social media pages, bank account, etc.


Stalkerware

This spyware is mostly deployed on mobile devices to track the owner. Both organizations and individuals deploy this tool for tracking.

Millions of stalkerware are running on users’ devices all around the world. For example, it was discovered that Mexican Drug Kingpin installed Stalkerware on the devices of his wife to monitor their activities.

He also installed it on the devices of other female crime partners to enable him to read their messages and listen to their voice calls, video calls, and so on. He admitted it all during his trial.


Stealware

These types of malicious spyware programs are developed to take advantage of eCommerce sites. Some eCommerce websites award credits to any webpage that sends good traffic to their products and services. As the name suggests, Stealware intercepts a user’s traffic and sends it to the eCommerce site to take credit.


System monitors

Such programs take a record of everything you do on your system. They take note of your emails, chats, video calls, websites you visit, the program that runs on your device, your phone calls, etc. It sends all this information to the cybercriminal to snoop.

They also monitor your device’s vulnerabilities and identify all loopholes to enable the criminal to deploy further intrusive applications.


How does spyware work?

What spyware does to your device

Spyware is distributed to devices in multiple ways, and their mode of operation also differs.

One of the easiest ways it gets into users’ devices is by making them click on a link that redirects them to a malicious site. The link can be embedded in text messages, emails, pop-up windows, or ads.

Poisoned links often appear on torrent sites, even those believed to be safe, such as Pirate Bay alternatives. Sometimes malicious links install spyware on your device once you click on it.

Sometimes, a user does not necessarily have to click on a poisoned link to get infected. A user can get infected through ads displayed on the web browser, even on legitimate websites.

Also, there are malicious advertising networks known as Malvertising. They carry out cyber-attacks through advertisement; sometimes, spyware can infect you just by landing on a website.

This type of drive-by infection is known as a Watering Hole attack. They are named so because of their aggressive hunting techniques. Internet predators use it to wait for their prey around a watering hole before viciously attacking them.

How it infects a user

Opening infected file

This is one of the leading means through which internet users get infected. Infected files are typically attached to emails, Google downloads, etc. The criminals can also target legitimate organizations and attach an infected file so that unaware users would download it. They also target emails from your bank, post office, Hospitals, schools, and other legitimate organizations.

Downloading applications from unofficial sources

Cybercriminals would most often entice users to download infected applications on the internet. Criminals may develop an app and tout it as a helpful program but embed some codes to carry out spyware attacks on any device that installs it. Sometimes, the spyware remains on your system after deleting the application.

Mobile app stores

Today, many spyware applications on app stores can damage your privacy. Any app store can have such applications without them knowing, so Google has its Play Protect.

Both Apple and Google have done a tremendous job catching and deleting malicious applications in their respective stores. Both tech giants are in a continuous fight with malicious apps. For example, in July 2020, Google deleted eleven Play Store apps infected with Joker malware.

You should be concerned about installing applications outside of Apple and Google app stores because there are a lot of malicious applications on the internet.

Malicious programs on original apps

There are instances when a malicious application can appear on legitimate/original applications. In some cases, they masquerade as the actual application. Therefore, users must exercise caution before installing any app.

Social media engineering

This is one of the most effective ways of spreading malware applications online. Here imposters trick users with original-looking links and documents through social media to get their systems infected with malware.

Some malware would exploit your browser vulnerabilities, which has been a significant way of infiltrating users. Watering hole attacks were a meaningful way of spreading malware. But recently, the use of email, social media, and compromised documents have taken over.


A quick guide on how to prevent spyware

You can avert many spyware infections and attacks with just a little more caution. Unfortunately, most users on the internet are negligent and do not know about spyware or the dangers it can pose to privacy.

Online safety tips

The infection mainly occurs when you surf one site after the other without the necessary precautions. People click random links, download random documents, open attachments, and generally practice poor cybersecurity.

If you think you’ve got spyware on your device, the spyware removal tools listed below in this article will help eliminate it. But if you do not see anything suspicious yet, here’s how you can protect your device from spyware programs:

Download files and applications only from trusted sites and official app stores

For this, you should also install a good and trusted antivirus application because some antivirus applications can also be spyware. A quality antivirus application such as Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Norton Plus would flag infected downloads, eliminate threats from your device, and keep you protected.

Avoid jailbreaking an iPhone and rooting an Android device.

These are critical mediums through which you can not only get your device infected in no time but also throw it into a ring of severe mobile security issues.

For companies, managers should also put security policies in place in their respective organizations. They should also encourage using a Mobile Device Management application, limiting downloads or requiring application approval before download.


Always ensure your devices are locked with codes

It is no brainier. This is because someone can access your device and install spyware on it.


Features to look out for in a spyware removal tool

Here are the features to look out for in spyware, whether free or premium.

  • Effective spyware scanners should carry out automatic and on-demand daily, weekly, and monthly scans.
  • It helps screen for spyware before it is downloaded to the device.
  • Should be able to lock a device and wipe out the contents.
  • Provide adequate protection against SMS spammers.
  • An antispyware program that can perform real-time security updates.
  • Seamlessly blocks unsafe emails, downloads, links, and attachments.

23 best free spyware removal programs

spyware removal

As stated before, there are various categories of spyware. Any of them can be terrible news for users. They all pose equivalent threats and are generally intrusive. However, some spyware can be extremely difficult to detect and remove, so you may need a specialized anti-spyware removal application to eliminate them.

There are countless spyware removal tools on the internet. Some of them are multipurpose, while others target a specific class of spyware and would not complete the job. Multipurpose spyware removal tools provide holistic solutions for removing spyware.

The good news is that we have conducted a deep dive and researched the best anti-spyware removal tools for you. Here are the top 23 best spyware removal tools:

1. Panda-free antivirus (Panda dome free)

Panda is among the top antivirus applications that can effectively tackle spyware. It has good brand recognition and is known for its brutal approach to eliminating spyware.

Panda Antivirus for spyware

It is rated excellently among software security firms, and you can count on it to ensure your privacy. For several years, Panda has received a perfect 100 rating among security firms, indicating its effective operation mechanism. 

Panda supports various operating systems like Android, Windows XP, and Windows 10. It is accessible without hidden costs, and you can use it for life. Furthermore, Panda would not ask for any signup and does not have download requirements. Account creation is optional, so you can decline if you want.

Here are some advantages of Panda free antivirus:

  • A comprehensive solution for eliminating spyware for free
  • Real-time device monitoring
  • Scan scheduling
  • It comes with a fully-featured VPN
  • Anti-theft system for Android devices

2. AVG free antivirus

You should consider AVG if privacy is your concern and you want to eliminate spyware from your device. It’s one of the most well-known and oldest tools to free you from spyware.

AVG free

AVG has many features and functionality that can help tackle spyware intrusion on your system. Furthermore, it can eliminate Adware, malware, and other types of malicious programs.

No signup or download is needed; it comes free of cost without hidden charges, and it supports various operating systems, including MAC and Windows. It carries out boot time scams, real-time device monitoring, and scheduled scans.


3. Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit

Anti-Root Kit

This free spyware removal application is vicious when it comes to eliminating spyware and malware from your device. It eliminates spyware and leaves no trace of them on your system.

The application is free for life. It requires no sign-up and supports a range of operating systems. Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit takes a deep dive into your operating system to handle a vital part of the OS against spyware activities.

Because it goes deep to scan your OS, it usually takes longer to complete the scan. Lastly, it is essential to know that the application is updated regularly to stay alert for new virus definitions that keep evolving.


4. Adware antivirus

Adware antivirus

Adware antivirus application is a reliable option for eliminating spyware. It has an antivirus scanner, a virus removal tool and offers download protection and real-time monitoring.

It supports Windows 7 / 10, has no signup and download requirements, and is free of charge without hidden costs. In Adware, you can disable real-time protection, which can help against software conflict in some situations. That means you can run Adware antivirus and other virus protection tools on your device without any dispute should you need them.


5. Comodo free anti-malware BOClean

Comodo Antivirus

Comodo is a simple antivirus program with a unique user interface and maximum device protection. It has real-time protection and is well-rated by independent software security firms worldwide.

It has no download/signup requirements, is free of charge with no hidden cost, and supports Windows XP and 7. Aside from anti-spyware protection, BOClean also provides a DNS system and secure online shopping for users. It has advanced features, but thankfully the user interface is straightforward to navigate.


6. Spybot Search and Destroy

Spybot Search and Destroy

As the name suggests, the mission of this organization is to search and destroy spyware applications with blazing speed and efficiency. It has a vast library of malware and antivirus tools. Search and Destroy has several paid versions; however, the free version is still versatile and a handy anti-spyware tool.

It provides solutions against spyware, malware, intrusive cookies, ad blocking, removal of unwanted applications, starts up management, and rootkit scanners for your device. Spybot supports Windows 7 and 10 and requires no account creation for downloads (that is optional).


7. FreeFixer

FreeFixer tool to remove spyware

As the name implies, this tool is a highly durable and efficient spyware removal. It removes a range of unwanted and intrusive applications on your device. FreeFixer optimizes your system and fixes issues. It eliminates viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other computer-related bugs.

It supports the Windows operating system and requires no account creation for download and installation.

FreeFix performs scheduled system scans and focuses on infected areas to remove malicious programs. FreeFix also comes with file protection, which is very handy against ransomware.

However, it does not quarantine infected files before deleting them so that you can lose some of them. Quarantine before deleting is only available in the paid version of FreeFix. The reputable application has received wide acclamation from independent software testing and security agencies.


8. Norton Power Eraser

Norton Eraser

Norton Power Eraser comes free for life and targets spyware. It is a specialized system, unlike some other multipurpose antivirus tools. It tackles malware stealing your information and eliminates crimeware, intrusive / tracking cookies, Adware, Trojans, etc.

This tool suppers the Windows operating system and is limited to scanning and removing spyware. As a result of its specialization, it is highly effective and quick. Furthermore, Norton Power Eraser creates a system restore for your device and comes with tools to backtrack the last changes on your device.


9. Malwarebytes Adwcleaner

Malwarebytes

Adwcleaner is one of the best software security firms around the world. It comes with various tools to tackle various types of spyware on your device. It is a specialized antivirus application that efficiently tracks and eliminates malware / malicious applications on your system.

Adwcleaner supports the Windows operating system, requires no account creation for installs and downloads, and can be used free for life. Furthermore, the interface is easy to navigate and quarantine files before deleting. It operates with speed because it’s a specialized application.


10. SUPERAntiSpyware

SuperAntiSpyware free spyware removal tool

As the name implies, this application is super helpful in detecting and eliminating spyware on your device. It specializes in spyware, Trojans, ransomware, rootkits, hijackers, keyloggers, etc. The spyware application has received a lot of recommendations from software security organizations around the world.

SUPERAntiSpyware used to be completely free software, but that changed recently. The program now offers a 14-day free trial, and then if you wish to keep using it, you will need to pay $39.95 +tax for its Pro version (for 1 PC).

It supports Windows 8 and 10. Some of the key extended functionalities of SUPERAntiSpyware include:

  • Automatic updates
  • Real-time protection
  • Scan scheduling, etc

11. Avira Antivirus Pro

Avira Antivirus

Avira has existed for donkey’s years and is very efficient in eliminating spyware and viruses. It works in the background and does not slow down your PC like other virus applications.

It performs its function holistically and can detect more than 350,000 threats (keeps updating). On top of spyware removal, it optimizes your device, carries out system cleanups, is helpful for keylogger detection, protects your calls, and secures your emails.


12. Bitdefender Total Security

BitDefender for spyware removal

Bitdefender is a secure and robust cloud-based antivirus application that protects your devices from spyware and malware. It ensures online privacy and security and provides an anti-theft mechanism for Android devices.

Furthermore, it checks your emails for possible compromise, optimizes your battery life, and reacts instantly to threats. Moreover, you would get 24/7 security updates alongside a secure banking system. It also offers an in-built VPN system for users.


13. ESET Security

ESET for removing spyware

Eset Security is a reliable spyware detection and removal tool that helps protect all your devices. It provides real-life threat detection and scanning.

ESET Security is a fast spyware removal tool. Alongside your PC, it keeps your mobile devices safe whenever you go. This tool is a premium option with various products on offer, but you can try the Eset Security Home version free for 30 days. It provides activity logs and security reports and can wipe your device during theft.


14. McAfee

McAfee

McAfee is a security giant known worldwide for its practical approach to eliminating spyware, malware, and virus applications. It secures your PC against phishing attacks, ransomware, and other malicious applications.

Furthermore, it provides a firewall for your device, blocks hackers from intrusion, and perfectly secures your home network. It also enables you to manage your passwords securely through its encryption mechanism.

Like Eset Security, it is a paid program with a free trial on offer.


15. Trend Micro HouseCall

Trend Micro

TrendMicro is a software company dedicated to protecting your computer and safeguarding your online activities. It protects you against fake financial apps, shopping apps, banking apps, Trojans, and ransomware.

It effectively detects dangerous URLs and carries out automatic blacklisting of hazardous websites. Furthermore, Trend Micro provides a secure cloud backup mechanism, protects against keyloggers, and perfectly secures your privacy.

One impressive thing we noticed on the TrendMicro website during our research and tests is its free online security scan. It allows you to detect and fix spyware, worms, and viruses for free online.


16. 360 Total Security

360 Total Security for spyware cleaning
(360 Total Security Website)

Are you looking for a tool that provides a holistic approach to device cleaning? Give 360 Total Security a chance. It can clean your device and keep you safe against spyware and hackers.

It offers real-time protection against threats, intrusions, and other issues that can slow down your PC. The program is cloud-based, secures online shopping activities, eliminates junk, checks for WiFi security, and optimizes system performance.


17. F-Secure

F-Secure for spyware

F-Secure is a cyber-security organization with a mandate to provide maximum security against threats and intrusions.

The application scans your device quickly and provides automatic updates and safety against infected URLs and attachments. It operates without slowing down your PC and offers customer support.

Many businesses who want to keep themselves safe against ransomware opt for F-Secure. It works well for spyware removal, too.


18. Trend Micro Apex One

Trend Micro Apex

Trend Micro is among the best applications that can secure your device online. It protects your shopping activities and banking transactions and provides measures against ransomware.

Furthermore, it detects dangerous URLs and blacklists such websites, thereby ensuring your digital safety. Lastly, it has a cloud storage system where you can securely upload your documents for storage.

It provides effective spyware removal on PC as well as Android. Trend Micro Apex One works across various platforms and protects your system without slowing it down.

Trend Micro Apex One is an apex predator for detecting and deleting spyware, ransomware, zombie cookies, and other computer-related threats.


19. TotalAV

Total AV to kill spyware

TotalAV is a dynamic antivirus application that can block out viruses, spyware, ransom wares, and other intrusive applications. It securely protects your identity, monitors data breaches, and optimizes your system.

The program carries automatic system checkups, provides a robust VPN system, protects your network, and works on PC and mobile devices.


20. Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK)

EMSISoft

You do not need to install this tool for a system scan. EEK systematically cleans up your system, portable devices, hard drives, and so on without installation.

Furthermore, it does not slow down your PC, has an easy-to-use user interface, and provides a secure cloud solution for data backups.


21. Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free for protection against intruders

Avast is as old as time, and its efficiency is next to none. It can be installed on PC and smartphones and detect malware in real-time.

It blocks out malicious URLs and intrusive applications and detects dangerous applications before the installation. You should opt for Avast if you are cost-conscious and looking for a free antivirus application for optimum security.


23. AdGuard

ADGuard

AdGuard is free for life and among the most straightforward anti-spyware tools available today. It gives a notification when you try to open a malicious website.

The program carries out its operations without slowing down your PC, and it protects your device against spyware, tracking cookies, malware, and other types of threats. Furthermore, it ensures you browse the internet faster and blocks intrusive apps.


Conclusion

As it is clear by now, digital tracking has become a growing trend and a significant privacy issue worldwide. Criminals keep finding various ways to infiltrate your device with various spyware tools. Spyware is connected to ads, pop-ups, dangerous links, applications, infected documents, etc.

Users must be conscious of their privacy and deploy antivirus and anti-spyware tools on their systems to overcome the challenges posed by spyware. There are free and premium software solutions that can help keep your privacy and ensure you avoid infiltration.

It is not enough to deploy an antivirus; you must install a reputable antivirus program on your system. In the end, it all comes down to some common sense.

Be careful about links, be cautious about the application from untrusted sources, and be watchful about attachments before downloading any. However, even if you are mindful of all this, Spywares can still find a way to get into your system without a reputable antivirus application on your device.

FAQs

Spyware is a malicious program that steals users’ information without their consent. They operate on mobile devices, PCs, servers, storage devices, and computer networks.

Antispyware is a dedicated application that specifically tackles spyware. While antivirus is a broad-spectrum software program that minimizes the effects of viruses and malware applications on user devices.

Anti-spyware applications detect spyware and stop it before you install it. Also, they eliminate already existing spyware on devices. They would run a typical scan of your device, including your operating system, and remove malicious applications. A quality spyware removal program has an extensive spyware database and matches records on your device with its database to delete threats.

i) Be careful of attachments and suspicious links. ii) Carry out regular system updates. iii) Enable your device firewall. iv) Opt for an anti-spyware program with a VPN. v) Always lock your device with a passcode.

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About the Author

Nwachukwu Glory

Nwachukwu Glory

Tech Expert
60 Posts

Nwachukwu Glory is a writer, blogger, and tech nerd. She loves trying new gadgets that make life more fun ( and easier). Glory is passionate about digital security and privacy alongside browsing the World Wide Web without any limitations.

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