General basic spyware removal instructions. (The steps I normally take when I have shit to remove from someone's computer):

Step 1:
If the computer runs well enough to get to the add/remove programs:
Go to start / settings / control panel. Open add/remove programs. If you are running Windows XP's standard start menu, go to start / control panel, then open add/remove programs. If possible, remove anything to do with Gator, GAIN Publishing, Internet Optimzer, Weather programs, Ebates, Ncase, any shopping programs, SaveNow, Clock Sync, Hotbar, Mysearch, any toolbars you don't actually use, any "free" screensaver programs you downloaded from the internet, any file /music sharing programs (Morpheus, Kazaa, Limewire, Bearshare, WinMX, and the like. Close add/remove programs. If you're not sure of what it is, you are probably better off leaving it alone. You could be removing something your system actually needs, and in the next few steps most of what you missed will probably be removed anyway.

Step 2:
In the control panel, open internet options, and under "temporary internet files", click on delete cookies, say yes. Hit delete files, check "delete all offline content", click ok. Next, click settings / view objects. Right click on everything that doesn't look like something you actually use, and hit remove.Some objects you can safely leave include Shockwave Flash, Shockwave activex, Java runtime environment, MLXchange, and McAfee or Norton or other antivirus browser plugins.Normally you can safely remove anything that just has a number for its name. If you do remove something by accident, it's not normally difficult to re-install it.

Go to the start button, click run, type %temp%
Go to edit, choose select all. Hit your delete key. Say yes to all.

Empty the recycle bin by right clicking on it, then hit empty.

Disable system restore. Warning! This will remove any restore points you have, and you will not be able to return your computer to a previous configuration you had saved in the past. However, many viruses & spyware like to use this to prevent themselves from being removed, plus in the future if you use system restore to restore to a time when you had spyware or virii, you will kick yourself in the ass to no end:-)

In Windows XP, either right click on "My Computer" , choose properties, and click on the system restore tab, and click "disable system restore", or go to the control panel, double click on the "system" icon, then choose the system restore tab, and choose disable. Remember to re-enable it after you have cleaned everything up! In Windows millenium either right click on "My Computer" and choose properties, or go to start / settings /control panel/ system, and go performance / file system / troubleshooting, and click "disable system restore".

Next, go get yourself a program to remove most of the rest of the shit. You can find a list of legitimate removal programs here:

Beware! There are many many sites & programs that claim to remove spyware, but are actually spyware themselves. This list only contains programs & tools I actually use and trust myself. If you feel I am overlooking a legitimate program that is not spyware itself, feel free to point me to it.

Notice I say MOST of the rest of the shit. Unfortunately I have never found a single program that would remove ALL of the spyware out there. Depending on how much shit is on your computer, it could take just one program, or it could take a combination of programs, and some manual removal of some of the shit. Also, if you have a combination of spyware & virii, it could also take an antivirus program.

Download, install, update the program. Run it. Restart the computer. Run the program(s) again. If nothing is detected, and you aren't getting any more popups, and your homepage is where you want it, you should be all set. It never hurts to run an antivirus scan as well. Go back to whatever you would rather be doing. If you are still having problems, please see our manual removal page here.

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